Dismay to Delight
In 2017 my world was shaken and my heart was filled with dismay. I received a call that none of us wants to receive. A call from my doctor telling me I had breast cancer.
The big “C”word...CANCER.
This one word turned my life upside down. A word that flashed my life before my eyes. A word that took all logical reasoning out and sent me into a state of panic and dismay. This one word.
Questions started flowing through my mind. How was I going to tell my husband and kids? How do I protect them from worry and dismay? Why is this happening to me with no family history of breast cancer? Mastectomy or lumpectomy? Treatment options and where?
So many questions with no answers. So much unknown.
2017 was a year of looking in the mirror and seeing a sick person. A person who looked foreign. A person who was a cancer patient. A person who didn’t look like me.
It was a year of walking through the doors of a cancer center knowing that everything they were putting into my body was supposed to kill the cancer, but also somehow feeling like it also may be killing me. Every walk through those doors was another week of feeling ill, tired, and pain. Sitting for hours as the medicine slowly dripped into my veins, knowing how awful I would feel in the days to follow.
Do I have you all feeling the dismay that I felt?
I promise I won’t leave you there!
I won’t leave you there because God didn’t leave me there.
As I prayed for guidance, healing, strength, and peace, God whispered…“Choose.”
For six years prior to my diagnosis, I had been working on getting a book published in honor of my youngest sister, Sara. She had a disease that kept her in constant pain and confined to the four walls of her home, but she didn’t let it stop her from living. Sara chose joy again and again. She also knew the importance lies in choosing.
And now it was my turn. Was I going to be a victim of cancer? Live in fear? Live with despair?
It was my choice!
As I began turning to the promises of God’s word, a few verses helped me choose...to be a victor instead of a victim. To live in faith, not fear. To live with joy, not despair.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
When God told me to be still, He didn’t mean physically because that part was taken care of by the cancer. He told my mind to be still. Be still from worry. Be still from fear. Be still from dismay. Be still because He is God. God the healer. God the Father. God the Protector. God who brings good from everything. Even cancer.
I knew that in order to not be a victim to cancer, I had to stop asking the why questions that left me feeling dismay and like a victim of circumstances. I began asking different questions, like, Lord, what can I learn? How can I serve others?
If I truly believe there is a reason for everything and that He is good, then I had to trust that something good was going to come, even from cancer.
Find your delight and true pleasure in Yahweh, and he will give you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way, you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!
Psalm 37:4-5 (TPT)
We can easily make the desires of our heart an idol when we make it about what we want instead of pleasing God. In the above verse, we learn that we must first find our delight in Him. We need to let Him direct our life and trust Him along the way.
When I surrendered and fully trusted, that meant I focused on delighting in Him, trusting that He is with me and would never leave me. Through that process the desires of my heart lined up with His desires.
This life is not about me and my wants and desires. I am here to live my life as a servant to God and His people before I head back home to Him. He made me in His image. I am His. The desire of my heart is to delight in Him.
By the way…I wasn’t a sick person. I was a person who was sick. There is a difference.
With love and joy,