The last thing you ever want to hear on the other end of the phone is your nurse or doctor saying, “I’m sorry.”
I faced my humanity this past year. I got that phone call. A troublesome spot on my face had turned into the big C. The spot was deep and the surgery aggressive. It’s a scary thing to look at yourself in the mirror and wonder if you’re going to look normal again.
Are you in that place? Have you received that phone call?
I’ve lived through years of chronic pain, multiple surgeries -- and now skin cancer. I know that sickness can kill your perspective and suck the life out of you. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Can I offer some words of life to carry you through this season?
Keep Believing God Heals.
It’s always been God’s plan to heal and it will always be so. Don’t allow your faith to be swayed by sickness. We live in a fallen world with an enemy that has introduced sickness into our lives, but God is still the healer.
One of the first things I did after getting that phone call is reach out to friends with faith. People who know how to pray and who believe that God heals. Their support during this time was critical as I fought to maintain hope and faith despite what things looked like.
Surround Yourself With Life.
Are you having a “bad” day? Even on those days, you must protect your thoughts from the negativity of the world. The enemy will throw all kinds of fear and doubt your way. Trust me -- I’ve been there. Expect it and take steps to counteract and silence those voices.
The last thing you need is a Dr. Phil or an Oprah talking about someone’s horrible life story -- or your great aunt Mabel recounting the details of her last doctor visit or unfortunate experience. Surround yourself with music, God’s word or even a funny movie that will lift your spirits and feed your faith. Surround yourself with life.
Maintain Your Routines.
Routines are good. They help you feel normal, especially when sickness introduces a brand new regimen of doctor appointments, restrictions and treatments.
Adjust as necessary but find ways to maintain a schedule and a sense of normalcy as much as possible. For yourself and those walking through this season with you, there’s just something reassuring about routines.
Remember Your Life Purpose.
Despite the pain, despite the diagnosis, your identity is NOT in your sickness. God still has a plan for your life.
Be creative and seek out ways to stay connected with your passion and God’s purpose. God will show you how.
Don’t Give Up.
You know those mornings when the pain seems unbearable? When you feel like you just can’t make it through another day? That’s when you must not allow yourself the liberty of those dangerous words “I give up” or “I can’t do this anymore.”
I’m not saying you need to deny how you’re feeling or the latest diagnosis, but you’ve got to remember that despite how you feel -- God is on your side as you battle this disease. Erase those thoughts from your mind and your vocabulary with the truth of God’s word.
With God you can. With God there is always hope.
Your healing can happen now… or at the last second… or after the last breath. Now is not the time to give up hope. Otherwise it’s going to be obvious who has won this battle -- and it won’t be you.
I wish I could take it all away, but pain and sickness is part of this life we live. I pray you will be proactive with your faith and always remember that God still heals today.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” (Hebrews 10:35)
P.S. After many prayers and proactive steps for healing, my scar is barely noticeable on my face anymore. I call it a miracle.
Suggested Readings: Matthew 8:16-17, Matthew 10:27