A year and a half ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. This time we opted to just get rid of the “Sistas” once and for all. During the bilateral mastectomy they discovered that the cancer had escaped the breast and was in my lymph nodes…all twelve that they took out. Which in reality meant that the lymph nodes were doing what God made them to do. I came home with drainage tubes, bottles of pain pills, bandages and a flat chest.
The diagnosis was Stage 3, Estrogen Positive, Progesterone Positive, HER2 Positive, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At the time I had no idea what all those words even meant. Fortunately those words had never been apart of my vocabulary.
What it really meant was that I had to undergo some pretty rough Chemo! For over a year I walked through most of the side effects of breast cancer treatment. I lost all my hair. I gained 40 pounds from the mega doses of steroids. I was weak as a kitten and sick as a dog! Many days it felt like I spent more time in bed than out. During those long days, weeks and months that I learned to lean back into God’s arms and trust Him for my healing. I claimed healing scriptures, listened to praise music and rested knowing that God’s love for me was enough.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago…I received a phone call wanting to know if I knew of a small group who prepared meals for Chemo patients. I was able to connect this sweet lady with the patient’s former small group leaders to organize Take Them a Meal. Many of her small group friends prepared meals and delivered them to her front door along with prayers for her and her family. That was my serve day project this year. I certainly had compassion for the woes she was walking through. Lasagna, salad in a bag, garlic bread and chocolate cake delivered to her door in Chelsea one Thursday afternoon. A sweet chat at her front door and a short prayer of blessing. I ministered to my fellow sister in Christ. I know how to pray for her and God has reminded me regularly to lift her name to His Throne Room and petition for healing!
I would loved to have participated with my small group on Serve Day like I have done in the past. I followed them and others on social media. #SERVEday2016 The ladies from my group shared the joy of getting to minister to others as a group. While I missed all that…I loved getting to help someone whom I could relate to what she is going through.
We minister to other from what we’ve walked through!
What my experience really showed me is that none of us have to wait for the official day to serve others. It’s really about helping someone in need. Find a need and fill it. We can minister to those around us every day. And ministering from a place of real understanding is sweeter than sweet.
SERVEday2016 was AH-MAZING! Hands down.
But, lets ask ourselves…What will our SERVE look this week?
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.