Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
For whatever reason-God allowed cancer to enter my body. I don’t know why. Honestly I didn’t ask. Cancer was not even on our radar. Not even close. But looking back I realize God was preparing me for what was coming next.
I started seeing an ENT in January for chronic sinus issues. Before we could even discuss the options available I needed to be treated with steroids and antibiotics for six weeks. “Ok.” I thought to myself. “At least I’ll have some relief.” But that was not the case. A few days after starting the medication my face began to swell. Eventually making it’s way to the neck and chest areas. It was not pretty and it was most uncomfortable. If you think about it it made perfect sense to me and to my family. Nasal steroids-face swelling-allergic reaction to the steroids.
Skipping ahead. I woke one morning and noticed the swelling had spread to another part of my body. I knew then something was wrong. I woke my sister up and we headed for the ER. After blood work, scans and x-rays I was diagnosed with Superior Vena Cava Syndrome. A tumor wrapped around the vein that leads to the heart.
At this moment God revealed cancer and not sinus issues. Too coincidental. I think not. I think it was part of His plan. I was preparing for sinus surgery; He was preparing me for something bigger.
I didn’t pray and ask God for peace when this ordeal began. He had already blessed me with a sense of peace long before the cancer diagnosis. I felt it. And I knew we were on this journey together. No matter the delay in test results, the many tubes of blood, or countless chest x-rays I felt His presence with me.
Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God allowed cancer in this season of my life. It has deepened my relationship with Him and maybe it’s for me to be an example of His love to just one or to many.
He gave me peace. I cannot describe it. There are no words. Maybe I can illustrate it this way. Imagine a mountain stream flowing ever so calmly and peaceful. Then down stream a large pebble is thrown causing the water to ripple. The water continues to move despite the ripples in the way. The ripples may cause the water to move at a slower pace for a moment but the water does move.
God will give you what you need along your journey. I’m not nervous, worried or afraid. Things will fall into place at the right time and the right place. God has traveled ahead of me. He has seen the victory. I need to remain faithful and follow Him.
Recently diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Tonya continues to write for BoP when she is able. She doesn’t ask “Why me Lord?” She embraces the journey God has set forth for her. The battle has already been won. God has walked before her and now He leads her to victory. Her Breath on Paper bio can be found here.
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