By: Deborah Hall Branch
After being diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) of the left breast, I didn’t know what to expect. Here I was preparing my mom’s funeral, who’d passed away four days prior my diagnoses. My family hearts were already heavy with grief, so I made a decision to keep my diagnoses a secret until everything quieted down. Wow, what a traumatic time! The doctors were telling me I needed to hurry and take care of my mom’s remains and return back from South Carolina (where we buried my mom) as soon as possible for further testing and surgery. My husband and daughters watched closely to see when I was going to fall apart over her death. Yet, I knew if the dame really truly broke, the secret I held close would be exposed. It never dawned on me just how long the cancer been there, what stage was I facing, how long did I have to live? To be perfectly honest, anger arose in me. How dare cancer show up when I’m trying to grieve my mother’s passing? How dare it expect me to give it all my attention? Satan’s tactics were not classified information to hell only. His desire to destroy me was obvious.
When my second surgery was over, then it hit me! “Oh my God Deborah, you have cancer. They just removed a tumor out of your breast that was cancerous.” “Oh no! Did I really hear them correctly—Cancer.” I found myself torn between crying because I missed my mom and sorrowful for my diagnoses. How do you divide pain, grief, sorrow when it labors within you all at one time? It would have been easier to assume that God had designed a plan for me to soon be with her again. Surely, when anyone is diagnosed with the disease their lives sooner or later will end in death. Yet, I noticed something that appeared to me out of the ordinary, I had never asked God, “Why me.” Wasn’t it par for the course? After all, it’s the big “C.” Doesn’t it have more power than God? An abuser, it invades one’s life without permission and takes all dignity away, even unto death. I’d spent more than several years doing events for breast cancer awareness. Worked with organizations, local community groups, and churches. It would have been my right to ball my fist up at God. But, I never asked Him, “Why did He let this happen to me?” It’s simply because God had no part in it.
The whispers of Satan’s voice attempted daily to contend with my faith in hopes of making me believe God had forsaken me. That all my years of being a born-again (since my childhood) Christian were just a farce. It seems the more Satan tried to annihilate my trust in the Lord God, the more my heavenly Father encouraged me with His promise, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper …” Isaiah 54:17. On advice of my cancer counselor, I joined a support group. Many people who have been diagnosed with the big “C” including myself, found support groups a very beneficial help. It gives you a chance to talk about your feelings and work through them with those who are just like you. But, for me it came a time when even that became too overcoming; like my life was being overshadowed with gloom and removing the light of hope away. Although my heart was aching for those we were losing rapidly, I didn’t want to talk or hear about cancer every day. It started feeling like we were giving it too much power, too much attention, and too much authority over our lives. So, I made a decision not to completely abandon the group, but to support from afar with something more powerful, prayer.
To have faith in God means that He equips us with the ability to fight against principalities, spiritual wickedness, rulers of darkness, and evil, wicked powers. Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you, Luke 10:19-20.” Even in our sickness He desires for our will to be surrendered to Him. He reassured me the plan had not changed, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11 even if it’s unto death. God wants us to know that no matter what happens He will be right there for us. When it seems that we have lost our health, know we are still not abandoned. He’s right here with us. His promise is that He will reward us in heaven for the sufferings down here.
Romans 8:37-39 says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, many medical professionals and scientists have predicted that in the years to come we will hear about more people being diagnosed with Cancer. Take heart. He specializes in curing the incurable, and healing those who are beyond healing even if it means going to your heavenly home. Have faith and trust in Him no matter what it looks like.