The Faithbook

A place of writing and reflection…

Gaining Courage Through Cancer: What Cancer Cannot Do

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The Lord will guide you always, He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame…”

Isaiah 58:11

Trying New Things

Cancer can improve the quality of your life.

It can give you the courage to break out of old patterns and try something new. Some of that courage comes from realizing what it means to know that our days are numbered; that the end point of our life has slipped out of the fog, achieved definition, and is now moving toward us. And because we sense the finish line, we want to do everything we possibly can until the race is finished. So we take on challenges that we’ve put off for years, like starting a support group, reconciling with a sister, or even cleaning out the basement. We begin to live a kind of now-or-never approach to life.

Some of that courage comes from having faced fear. We’ve confronted the biggest bully of our life — cancer — and survived, and that gives us the courage to face up to other intimidators. So, whatever it is that’s paralyzed us into inactivity before — fear of failing, fear of taking a risk, fear of loss, fear of what people might say — now looks trivial. We begin to sort through things we wish we had done and reconsider them outside the lens of fear.

I know one cancer survivor who sold her house, bought an RV, and began traveling the country, reconnecting with people. I know another who stopped saying “I wished I could ’a” and started taking piano lessons; another who stopped making excuses and began writing a book; another in an abusive relationship who finally got some counseling and began standing up for herself.

But on another level, courage to try new things comes via an experience that so shatters your life that you can’t help but come back together a new way.

Cancer brings you to the end of yourself, realizing you can do nothing to save yourself. You lean heavily on God because He is all you have.

And, as Psalm 40 says, He picks you up, puts your feet on a rock, and gives you a firm place to stand. He puts a new song in your mouth and a hymn of praise on your lips so that “many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. “Psalm 40:3

He gives you courage to try new things.

The Lord will guide you always, He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.Isaiah 58:11

Consider it pure joy… whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2

We all die. Not living is the failure.

The Faithbook 2016
Article by Sidney J. Winawer, M.D. 
Excerpted with permission from What Cancer Cannot Do, copyright Thomas Nelson.

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