We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19), but what about when we are not physically able to “go” because cancer has taken over our lives?
I’ve known several people whose lives changed dramatically due to the doctor saying these words: “You have cancer.” Here are the stories of two women who continued to live the Gospel in the midst of their battles.
Kerri Lynne is a pastor’s wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a daughter of the King. She has stared down cancer three times now. First, she had a rare form of stage three uterine cancer, which required surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Later it metastasized into her brain, with another surgery and more radiation. This last time, they suspected another tumor in her brain, but the surgery revealed that it was scar tissue from the radiation and not cancer. “I have spent a lot of time learning trust and patience,” Kerri Lynne said, “and to be calm, take everything one day at a time, and put all my trust in the Lord.” The Bible verse that supported her through these times is from Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
As she looks back now, Kerri Lynne can see the hand of God in everything that happened. They took a call to a new congregation the year before her second diagnosis, which in turn brought them to a Christian oncologist and neurosurgeon in a nearby large city. This was a doctor who would pray with her before surgery. That is certainly not an everyday occurrence! “God brought us to the place where we needed to be, even before we knew it,” Kerri said. Her diagnosis, soon after they were part of this new church, forged relationships that might have taken a lot longer to develop in everyday circumstances. Everyone has a story and we like to share those stories to comfort and encourage one another.
Becky was my God-given short-term BFF (Best Friend Forever). I met her near the end of her breast cancer journey. She was completing her reconstruction recovery and growing physically stronger with each passing week. We were in the same stage of life with children the same ages who were engaged and planning weddings, and then enjoying our first grandchildren together. We had so much to share as we traveled to and from LWML meetings and events. We just fit.
Becky had an exuberant personality. Her light for Christ was always glowing. Her mission: to show others the love of Christ and bring them to understand the love He offers them. But after a month or so of hip pain that would not go away, it was discovered that the cancer had metastasized into her bones and brain. That didn’t stop Becky. She was always the brightest one at chemotherapy, a smile on her face and a positive attitude. She had the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in her heart because that is where Christ lived and she wanted everyone to know it. We traveled together to Pittsburgh, Becky’s last LWML convention, where she attended Heart to Heart Sisters Leader training. She walked in the Heart to Heart Sisters parade. She was beaming. Becky lived her favorite Bible verse, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Both of these women “lived the Gospel” throughout their lives, especially throughout their cancer journeys. “Go!” doesn’t always mean long travel to unknown places. “Go!” means living the Gospel each and every day in whatever situation you find yourself.
Do you have a Scripture verse that gives you strength when life is difficult? Review that Scripture today. Does it speak to you any differently in today’s circumstances?
Heavenly Father, thank You for friends and family who continue to live Your Gospel message each day in spite of the difficulties life throws at them. They are an inspiration to those of us who witness their love for You each day. They are a light to those who do not know You yet. Allow me to also live Your Gospel message each day for those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Written by Karen Morrison
Gospel Outreach Committee member
We would love to hear YOUR stories! Please send them to the Vice President of Gospel Outreach here.
Thanks from the Gospel Outreach Committee!