Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Courage
Hello, Vintage Church! I am hoping you’ve had Jesus lay on your heart someone who is facing breast cancer, and you’ve had an opportunity to pray for them. Breast Cancer Awareness month is a wonderful time to remember those who have passed away from the disease, those who are courageously stepping through treatments for healing, and especially those who have survived. I’m sure if you know someone who’s faced this disease, you’ve witnessed amazing examples of Courage.
A favorite passage that exemplifies courage, despite disease, is Matthew 9:20-22: “Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, ‘If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.’ Jesus turned and caught her at it. Then he reassured her; ‘Courage daughter. You took a risk of faith, and you’re well.’” From that moment forward, the woman was healed! Her courage and her faith in who Jesus is had healed her. This miraculous healing represented a combination of her belief and determination to press through a crowd of people to touch the robe of Jesus.
There are many difficult decisions women often have to make during the healing process from breast cancer: mastectomy, lumpectomy, radiation, or chemotherapy? Do you lose your breasts, reconstruct them – if so, which method? Do you risk losing all your hair? Should you take therapies that make you feel sick (sicker than the cancer did), lose your strength, or make your weight fluctuate? The process is grueling. Do I choose this therapy or that one? What do I do?!
My personal experience has been a 6.5 year-long battle with cancer. I receive a spinal injection every two weeks of chemotherapy for the breast cancer in my spinal fluid, and take oral chemo two times a day to prevent the lesions on my bones from spreading to my vital organs. When you read of long-term survivors with incurable breast cancer, this is a common example of the things they often face.
And Jesus says to me: “Take Courage, daughter your faith has healed you.”
This courage comes from within – but what’s within that allows me to survive anything is the presence of spirit. For a battle such as cancer, the spirit becomes exhausted. It is not meant to be alone; alone we are helpless and will die of worry. Let God be in you through his Holy Spirit! He fills your soul with joy, and gives the body strength and courage! The spirit leads the soul which leads the body – know this for yourself in the midst of anything you battle.
God says: “Forget about self-confidence, cultivate God confidence!” (I Corinthians 10:12)
God also says in Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.” The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (the word of God). Where do we get this armor? Prayer, repentance, studying scripture, community with other believers, and witnessing to doubters and seekers. We are called to fight, but let God do the leading. We have the greatest stories of courageous warriors in scripture, including one named Deborah, whose story is found in Judges 5. She is amazing in her armor; we should envision ourselves as courageous like Deborah.
Of course, our primary example of courage is our Lord Jesus Christ – there is no other example like him, and no words to describe the courage he demonstrated to save us. Think about his sacrifice each time you have to endure another needle, therapy, or medication – you will find yourself at peace. Family members, try not to grieve for your living loved one, take courage. It’s the most important thing you can do to care for them.
Allow me to share some verses that have given me reassurance and may be of comfort to you too:
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you!” – Acts 1:8
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no long I who lives, but Christ lives in me!” -Galatians 2:20
“But for you who fear My name, the Son of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture!” – Malachi 4:2
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy: nothing will harm you.” – Luke 10:19
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Sprit that dwelleth in you.” – Romans 8:11
We’ll take a look at Hope in my last blog for Breast Cancer Awareness month!
In His Grip,
Surviving Breast Cancer through God’s Grace since 2012!