Young, vibrant, and physically fit...Patrice is living life! Married to a devoted, God-fearing man, who not only loves the Lord but loves his wife just as Christ loved the church. Keeping Christ interwoven at the center of our marriage, we are reminded that, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, but a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
With a very fulfilling and rewarding profession, teaching is my passion. I absolutely love and adore my fourth grade darlings. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they are ecstatic about doing a fun project or their expression of excitement when they have done well on a test. But the truth is, nothing warms my heart more than when they tell me that I’m the BEST teacher they’ve ever had!
Let’s just put it out there that going on a memorable and unforgettable vacation makes life worthwhile. Experiencing the food, the culture, the scenery, the people....now that’s living! This was the year we were going to Spain and Portugal. On a past summer vacation, we enjoyed 21 glorious days with our daughter and son traveling throughout Italy. As my vacation planning was on the way, my hubby suggested that we skip a trip this year and focus on the renovations we had already started on our home. Reluctantly, I had to agree with him. With the kitchen completely gutted and confined to living in the family room as a result of the whole house being retiled, junk foods and take outs became my specialty.
During this time of renovation unrest, the various symptoms I began to experience all seemed like just the regular ailments that resulted from poor nutrition and diet. After all, Cheetos, Crunch and Munch, and Goobers were all my cravings of choice after a long day’s work. Symptoms of gassiness, constipation, and gas pains that I started experiencing, I figured would have gone away once my unhealthy eating choices changed. Well, it was not until I witnessed my stomach bloating up and that unbearable feeling of abdominal fullness that my husband suggested I go get it checked out because something didn’t seem right. The sight of my stomach was enough proof that this was MORE than just gas pain!
I figured I would confess to the doctor that I haven’t been eating healthy as of late, hence the reasons for my discomforts. Instead, “You have Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer” became my new reality. I was bombarded with treatment plans, appointment dates, endless procedures, and the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial.
I decided after hearing my diagnosis that I would stand firm on the Word of God and not on the word of man and their statistics for my recovery. No fear! No crying! No self-pity! No questions asked, “Why me Lord?” Instead, I lifted my hands to Heaven and said, “Lord, I surrender this sickness to You because in my weakness You are strong and this battle is Yours to fight.”
With God fighting my battle, I knew I was already victorious. I was ready to put on the full armor of God in order to stand firm with the belt of truth. I must be geared with the breastplate of righteousness, having my feet planted and fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. I would pick up my shield of faith, take up my helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God.
Come with me on my faith-based journey to cancer recovery. I hope you will find courage to face your own “giants” and be encouraged by the strength I have found in relying solely on the Healer and not the healing.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, “all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
For the past 12 months I’ve been poked and pricked
My body operated on and then stitched
A variety of medicines I can’t even name
The infusion of chemo continuously running through my veins
Despite my ordeal, I have Him to claim
Jesus my Healer is who I maintain
I’m reboot, recharged, and feeling so alive
Born Again, Jesus’s blood is the reason I survived
In a recent conversation with my Survivorship doctor, she wanted me to share with her how I was doing from our last visit three months prior.
My heart poured out to her expressing my gratitude of what God has done for me. I expressed to her that I feel fantastic. I am living as though cancer was never apart of my life.
She went on to share with me about a seminar she attended that spoke of the importance of speaking positive affirmations and the difference they saw in people’s lives when practiced by patients who experienced cancer.
Her doctor’s orders were that she wanted me to verbalize aloud everyday that I’m healed from this cancer.
I felt so good to be able to tell her that I do that quite frequently. That I utter those words in my prayers, thanking God for healing me and that I also thank Him aloud.
“Thank You Jesus for healing me of this cancer” were my words to her.
Her face lit up!
Most importantly, God’s name lit up in that doctor’s office.
The emotion I expressed to her about feeling as though I never had this cancer is the J.O.Y. (Jesus Only You) I feel in knowing that only Jesus could have cleansed me with His blood. He removed the cancer cells from my body and revived me by His Spirit.
The more exciting news in all this is that I’m not just healed from this cancer, but that I have been BORN AGAIN!
It goes beyond being free of this cancer and having a second chance at life. It means the promise in knowing like Pastor Rick says, God is leading me to a whole new beginning.
The truth of it all as Pastor Rick said is that we will have to go through tribulations in this life, but we don’t have to live in the midst of our troubles as though it’s the end. We can live THROUGH it, being guided by God’s GPS, to a place where the old order of things will be no more.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
God sent His Son Jesus, our WayMaker, as a revelation, to map out the road for us; not directing us to the end but to a new beginning.
People go through life feeling this persistent sense of emptiness, despite all the money, power, possessions, accolades, and fame, yet nothing seems to fill that void.
Can I say, nothing ever will, until one comes to the realization and truth that only Jesus can replace that momentary happiness or chronic sadness, suffering, and pain with eternal JOY.
Just like a device might require a reboot when the software is not functioning, so do our hearts. It’s simply making a change in our hearts in order to establish a new beginning.
This requires stepping out in faith to experience a spiritual awakening and transformation in the heart.
As a sinner, we are spiritually dead until we choose to reboot our hearts and receive spiritual life through faith in Jesus Christ.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
Many people’s hearts are still closed off to this truth and don’t seem to understand what it means to experience a rebirth. Take a look at the Bible story when Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again or he will never see the Kingdom of God.
“Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN AGAIN. “
The lyrics of Austin French’s song professes just that, the freedom that salvation brings in knowing that our lives may be broken and we may experience traumatic things such as disease, illness, financial loss, abuse, depression, divorce, death of a loved one, etc., but we don’t have to hold on to the bondage of our pain and sadness. Jesus has broken our chains, loosened our shackles, and given us a new lease on life.
Like Nicodemus said to Jesus, for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. John 3:2
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, so one could obviously assume he was an intelligent man.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?~John 3:10
Just like many people today who struggle with this truth of who Jesus is, Nicodemus was no different.
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be? ~John 3:9
Nicodemus too struggled with comprehending that Jesus was the Son of God, the sacrificial Lamb, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The One who came to save us; our rescuer.
Jesus was NOT just a teacher like so many professed Him to be, but most importantly, He is God, the Beginning and the End, our Savior. The One who came to save us from our sins and to set us free.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ~John 3:17
Jesus made it very clear to Nicodemus that ANYONE who believes in Him shall be saved.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16
Could Austin French have sang this truth any better in his song “Born Again”?
I was down on my luck, I was stuck
I was running ’round broken-hearted
I was sinking so fast
I couldn’t last falling apart
And You could’ve ran away
Leaving me there in my shame
Leaving me fighting my pain
But You made a better way
I’ve been saved
Goodbye to the sinner, I’m held by the Father above
No more shame, for
I’m out of the desert and drowned in the power of love
Amazing grace, my soul set free
Ain’t no grave, got a hold on me
I’m born again, born again
Washed by the water, I’m clean
My eyes have been open
You’re showing me all of my life in a new light
Every step, every breath
Like it’s the first time
You could’ve ran away
Leaving me there in my shame
Leaving me fighting my pain
But You made a better way….
Thank You Jesus! You made a better WAY. It’s called the cross.
When this cancer came upon my body, it caught me off guard. But it wasn’t a surprise for my God. He went to the cross for everything we would face in this temporal life. He made a better way through His blood.
God uses our pain and heartaches for His purpose and His glory. Nothing He allows us to go through in this life is ever in vain.
I’m thankful that He allowed me to go through this cancer because if that’s how He chose to use me, I will continue to praise Him because of it. He didn’t leave me to suffer alone, He carried me and saw it to completion…which was my REMISSION!
I’m glad having gone THROUGH it!
The irony in all this is that a month after returning to work, my partner who I worked closely with, shared with me that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. You can only imagine my shock to hear this devastating news, especially because it’s someone I worked so closely with.
What are the odds in all this I thought. I was reminded that nothing God allows us to experience is random, and it’s all part of His plan and purpose.
Once again, this might have caught me by surprise, because it definitely caught my partner by surprise. However, it’s so comforting in knowing that this did not come as a surprise to God. He knew she would have to experience it and would have to trust Him in order to get THROUGH it.
He granted her peace that surpassed all understanding, kept her in good spirits, and helped her to maintain a positive attitude.
There was a point when she questioned why she hadn’t shed a tear or felt moments of sadness. J.O.Y. is what I told her…Jesus Only You!
She recently underwent surgery and she’s doing well. Praises to our God!
What could have meant death, Jesus gave her life.
💕Dedicated to Michele Mazin 💕
Nicodemus struggled with the idea of what it meant to be born again, but it doesn’t have to be the same for us. I think anyone who has survived an illness that could have potentially led to death, by God’s mercy and grace is given another chance at life. I believe God spares our lives for different purposes.
The believer gets the opportunity to rejoice in God’s saving grace, being able to continue doing the work in furthering His Kingdom, and sharing the good news of His love and what He has done. For the unbeliever, God can use His healing power to open one’s eyes to a spiritual awakening of what He desires to do if only faith and trust is placed in His Son Jesus.
Are you born again? Are you washed by the spirit and cleansed by His blood?
I recently had my 3 month follow up CT scan and the results of the scan was all God. All I can tell you is that Jesus’s blood has cleansed and healed me. Dr. Diaz asked me how do I feel and I told him I felt awesome. He said, “And you’re still exercising?” He told me whatever I’m doing to keep it up because I’m doing great and my CT scan is looking really, really good. EVERYTHING WAS NEGATIVE!!!!
It’s now a little over a year since I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and 8 months since Jesus has healed me. My decision of faith many, many years ago to accept Jesus Christ as my One and True Savior was the best decision I could have ever made.
No matter what I may go through in this life, I can maintain my smile and walk in the promise of knowing like Austin French says,
My last CT scan on January 18th showed that my God has kept me in the palm of His hands. The result of my CT scan was a blessing. The scan showed that everything was clear in my abdomen and pelvic. As for my chest, the two nodules that were on the external cavity of my right lung, one of them disappeared and the other shrunk a little.
A quick flashback to three months prior when I had my last CT scan, the image showed that a second nodule had developed on my right lung. There wasn’t much reason to be alarmed because Dr. Diaz said it was the size of his pinky fingernail.
I told myself that I was not going to allow this surprise nodule to steal the joy I was experiencing from the results of the previous CT scan.
You see, when your life is committed to following Jesus, it should be at all cost. No turning back, no turning back!
Try not to be double-minded in your faith. When life is comforting and copacetic and you are smiling from ear to ear, at any moment, the unthinkable can happen. That smile becomes a frown and suddenly there is a downpour of doubts, fears, feelings of despair, and questioning of why God is allowing you to experience the unexpected. Be reminded, that in this world, we will have tribulations, but we are to be of good cheer; God has OVERCOME. God is up to something and He is doing a new thing in our lives.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Let your faith be like the roots of a tree, securely grounded, not easily shaken, and despite how strong the wind might blow, it will not be uprooted.
As BIG as I believe my faith to be, Satan still tries to be invasive and aggressive in his attacks to persuade me that I’m not healed.
I find that if we are not careful, the devil can allow our minds to go on that journey to a place of doubt, fear, and worry.
If you ever find yourself on that path….DETOUR QUICKLY!!!
A week leading up to my CT scan, I started experiencing a lot of nausea. It was unusual because when I was on the full dose of chemo drugs, I hardly experienced nausea and even now being on the maintenance drugs, it never gave me that side effect either. So it seemed odd that a week prior to my scan, I was feeling like this.
But every time Satan tried to convince me of the unthinkable, “What if the cancer came back?” I would turn up the speakers loud in my head to drown out the devil’s lies and scare-tactics. This is a scripture my sister-in-law Marlene gave me of Jeremiah 17:14, that she told me to read often:
“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.”
So, whatever circumstances you are facing, don’t give your mind permission to allow thoughts of defeat, doubt, fear, and worry to linger…rebuke them in the name of Jesus and recite His promises over your life. The moment you allow negative thoughts to hang around, allowing themselves to feel at home, they will surely consume your mind. Remember, they are not welcomed and you need to turn them away immediately. Shut the doors of your mind and secure the lock with the promises of God.
Do you remember what Philippians 4:8 says?
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
So that’s exactly what I did! I began to conduct a Praise Party in my head. I was singing those good old gospel hymns I enjoy singing with my mom and I was reminding God of all the ways He’s been so faithful and true.
My battle with Ovarian Cancer was not one for me to fight. My God showed me victory when the devil wanted me to face defeat. He took me on a Journey of praise when the devil wanted to bring sorrow. He brought healing when the devil wanted to destroy. He gave me life, even though the devil wanted death. My God is worthy of praise; He is an Awesome God!
This is what I call praying my way to victory. The victory is in Jesus name!
You have to remember that unwelcome guests will present themselves (bad thoughts), but never forget that it’s your residence (God’s Temple) and you have the authority to turn away every uninvited guest (thoughts), rather than allow your mind to entertain them. Allow the presence and peace of God to dwell in your mind and the evil one will have no choice but to leave. Where there is Light, darkness must flee.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:5
Jesus is the Light of the world and our source of Hope. Whatever journey you are on in this life, you don’t have to face it alone. God promises to ignite your path and to be your Way-maker.
Lord Jesus, I lift up every person who is reading this post. Father, I know it’s not by coincidence because surely they have other things they could be doing. I pray that they will feel hope in the midst of the unknown. That Your Light will shine through their darkest moments. Lord, I’ve seen You move in my life in so many ways and Father, I know that just one taste of You, a troubled heart will experience Your goodness. In my own journey, when doubt and fear present itself, I’ve tasted and seen that You are good and Your grace and mercy endures forever. Father God, allow their minds to go on a Journey of Praise, glorifying your name. Amen
My Journey Back to the Authentic Me…
My Dr. Diaz…What a wonderful OB-GYN Oncologist! I am so happy to have him as my doctor, truly! I was sharing with him that I started back exercising and I am really trying to take it easy and not over-exert myself. After listening to his recommendation, basically what it all summed up to is that he wants me to “Just Live”. He told me to try not to put restrictions on myself. The goal is to get back to normalcy. If I feel like I’m able to jog for a longer distance, go for it. He said he doesn’t want me to hold back because I’m thinking that I should be taking it easy. It’s called living life to the fullest and being my best me despite what my body had to endure and is still enduring with being on the maintenance chemo.
God has wired us with an inner strength to be warriors. Our bodies are a work of art; intricately designed and wonderfully made by the hands of a Mighty God who miraculously blew the breath of life in the nostrils of the man he formed with His bare hands. We are a masterpiece, created with precision and made to operate efficiently. He created our bodies to heal itself.
When you know by Whom you were created and for Who, we can be brave to live life to the fullest and be our authentic self who God has created us to be.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.Psalm 139:14
My Journey Back to a Deeper Devotion…
After being home for so many months, lets just say I could have easily gotten accustomed to this life. I would say the best part about being home aside from waking up and going to bed at any time, was making my Quiet Time with the Lord meaningful. I wasn’t rushing to read my Bible or pray. I was able to slow down and breathe in all that He had to share with me as I meditated on His Word.
When God grants you a safe return from a journey that could have ended prematurely, you not only realize the extent of how vast His love is for you but that we are fully known personally and intimately by Him.
When your journey takes you through hills and valleys, it’s reassuring knowing that God is there, waiting for you at the mountaintop. The journey of faith is what brings us to the passage of peace. Despite the hardship life’s journey can bring, it can develop or deepen our relationship with God.
My Journey Back to Work…
My first day back at work was a whirlwind of an expression of love.
My administrator Mrs. Wright-Mullings so graciously allowed me to give a big shout-out on the PA during the morning announcements, expressing my love and gratitude to everyone.
In my building, the walls had beautiful student-made banners saying, “Welcome Back Mrs. Moolah” with all the 4th and 5th grade students’ signatures. It was definitely a heartfelt moment.
My Cutler Ridge Elementary family was so warm and welcoming. My friends in the intermediate building had a celebratory gathering, welcoming me back. Wow! What an amazing team! The best part was that three 4th graders performed a dance in recognition of me being cancer-free.
With the downpour of love, prayers, and support that I had received from my C.R.E. family: administrators, teachers, students, parents, clerical staff, custodians…EVERYONE…I know it was the unity in numbers by the power of their prayers that brought me back.
My Journey to Write…
On Saturday I got a text from my friend Martha and she wanted to know if I was blogging. My reply to her was:
Actually, I’ve been so busy, so I haven’t gotten around to it. My last post was “Fear You Don’t Own Me” and she responded, “I read that one.”
Well… I should have never told her I had no time in my schedule to write a post. Especially when every post I write affords me the opportunity to exalt God for His wondrous works in my life.
It was five something Sunday morning (1/27/19) that I suddenly awakened; wide-eyed and the one thing the Holy Spirit put on my mind was…”You have to write your next post”. I grabbed my phone off the nightstand and I created a reminder that I had to write another post. Putting back the phone with the intention of going back to sleep, the Holy Spirit said, “Start jotting down some notes.” All I kept thinking was that I had to get up in a couple of hours for church. The funny thing is, I didn’t feel tired at all.
As I started praying, “Lord, all I have is a title but I have no idea which direction I’m going with it.” All I know is that what I wanted to write was materialized in my notes and a few hours later, my alarm was going off. This was my wake up call for church. By this time, I had finished writing the majority of my post.
I tell you…that’s my Lord. He’s a jealous God who does not want us to become so busy that we push Him to the side and not make time for Him. After all, He always makes time for us.
The humor in all of this is that, my excuse to Martha was that I’ve been so busy that I didn’t have a chance to write a post, yet I had time to do all the other things I wanted to get done.
I felt that God was showing me that if I wasn’t going to make the time, then He was going to allocate “A” time. The Holy Spirit woke me up a few hours early so I could get my post written, and He kept me awake, alert and attuned to what I must write.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, the sermon at church was so appropriately titled, “Simplify Your Schedule”. We are to de-clutter our schedule so that we can make time for God. “It’s not about having more time, but rather about making the most of your time. Good things can clutter your schedule. Your schedule is shaping you into someone.” WOW!
I can’t help but smile at God’s sense of humor!
We are to make God our highest priority so that the busyness of life does not cause us to push God to the side. We should not overbook our schedule that we end up placing Him on standby. As we make our reservations for our daily things to do, our time with God should be on First Class.
He is our Great I AM and we can trust that our time spent with Him will bring our minds to a comforting place of rest and awareness of Him.
The Journey Ahead…
I don’t know where this Journey will lead me but I’m willing to follow. I know My God will never lead me where He hasn’t already prepared the Way.
My Journey ahead could take me through more hills and valleys, but I know He will carry me because my steps are ordered.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23
The Ultimate Journey…
God has a Journey for every one of us. As you go through life, track out a path that your footprints show that your steps were ordered and you are walking by the light of His Word. Our decision to live for Christ should show our track record of how we lived a life that honored Him. The life we choose to live on this Earth will be the determining factor of our ultimate journey, our final destination to that glorious place called Heaven.
Jesus also had to go on a Journey, one that led Him to the cross where He laid down His life for us. So don’t ever think that He doesn’t understand the hardships we will face in this life. Our journey will be justified in the righteousness of His love.
God bless you ALL and may you experience the love and peace of Christ as He leads, guides, directs, and carries you through “The Journey Back” from wherever life might have taken you.
“Sick and tired of being sick and tired / Had as much of you as I can take / I’m so done, so over being afraid.”~Lyrics by Francesca Battistelli~
Has fear ever taken a hold of you? Has it gotten the copyrights over your life? Maybe you have even allowed it to bookmark or crease a few pages as reminders of where life had you stuck in fear. When will you get to that point where you say enough is enough, I’m tired of rereading the same story.
Instead, put that story of fear to rest and begin a new chapter of your life called faith.
Say it… fear, you no longer own me and I won’t allow you to continue making me the main character in what was once my story.
Today, will you choose Faith OVER Fear?
My Latest News….No Fear, just Faith!
I had scheduled an appointment to have my annual Pap smear since it was not done earlier in the year due to my diagnosis.
Even though I no longer have a cervix due to my complete hysterectomy, my nurse practitioner recommended that I still have a Pap smear done since there could possibly still be cervical cells.
A few days ago I received a message from the nurse at my gynecologist office to call her. In the past, when I have had my Pap smear, I never received a call. If the result of the Pap smear was good, they never contacted me.
Why was this time any different?
I didn’t make a big deal out of it so I figured I’d just call the nurse back once I had the chance. But after leaving her a message, then attempting to contact her a hour later and in the interim still not hearing back from her, I decided to speak to the lady who schedules appointments.
I explained to her that I had my Pap smear done a few days prior and the nurse left me a message but I still have not received a call back, and considering my history with Ovarian Cancer, I don’t want to wait to find out why she called me.
Since she didn’t have my file with her and she was unaware of the reason the nurse contacted me, all she could do was take my message again and assured me that she would let the nurse know.
At this point, I wasn’t concerned if her call was to give me bad news because there is a peace that only God gives and a sweet reminder to “be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
So I went on with my daily affairs and it didn’t cross my mind until a few hours later, the nurse called back again. She explained the results of the Pap smear, that it came back showing abnormal cells and they are not sure if it’s something to be concerned about because the HPV results was negative.
She said typically, if the results of the pap smear comes back showing abnormal cells and the HPV results is negative, then they would wait 6 months to retest but considering my history with ovarian cancer, the gynecologist wanted to do a Colposcopy. The doctor wanted me to notify my Gyn Oncologist at the Miami Cancer Institute to get his feedback if his office should go ahead with the Colposcopy, wait, or have it done at MCI.
When the Holy Spirit reminds you “my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” (Matthew 11:30) then you can’t help but give it all to God. So no matter what tests or trials come, just remember and feel good in knowing that God will continue to take care of the situation.
Later on that day, my hubby asked me how I felt about hearing the results of the Pap smear and that it’s like going through the ups and downs. Things are going good then now this; that it changed his mood.
My dear hubby! There I go again, being told this news and not considering how he must have felt hearing it because my world was not shaken by it and neither was I concerned about what the results of the Pap smear could mean in terms of my health and my previous diagnosis.
Nope! I’m not worried actually, I told him. I’m not even thinking about it. I refuse to live my life in fear. I know all that God has done for me and that He is over all this and He will take care of me. I will not live my life worrying if I’ll make it to the 5-year mark. I’m going to live life one day at a time, one year at a time. I’m going to live in the moment and enjoy the life Christ has given me and for the time He has given me. I’m going to live my best life knowing that God is on my side and I’m His child.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
After contacting my Gyn Oncologist to inform him about the results of my Pap smear, he said he wants to hold off on the Colposcopy. He explained to us that since I don’t have a cervix, the abnormal cells could be residual cells post surgery. He said he’s not concerned about the results of the Pap smear right now because he wants me to complete chemo cycle 10, followed by a CT scan in January. After all that, then he will repeat the Pap Smear and perform the Colposcopy.
Because I know God is sovereign over all things, He continues to replace my fears with faith, my persistence in prayer with praise, my weaknesses with willingness to trust Him, and my uncertainties with understanding that His will be done.
When you change your mindset of what the world sees fear as, you change your thoughts of fear to a Christian perspective of the promise that Jesus gives to those who are His:
F-aith in facing E-ternity A-nd the gift of R-edemption
No matter what curve ball this life may throw at us, we can live it with Faith OVER Fear because when you are a child of God, you have the promise and assurance that Jesus’s death brought us redemption. His death was our debt on the cross. Paid in full!
Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe. He exchanged our place with His so that we may gain Life not Death. He cleared our debts so that we can live this life in Faith NOT Fear knowing we will face eternity with the assurance that His free gift to us was redemption for our sins.
No matter what fears you face, I want you to know that God reigns supreme above them and you never have to allow fear to take hold of you, but rather, allow God to withhold those fears and build up your faith in Him.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Society, social media, all have the formula of how to live your best life. Even Joel Osteen’s book “Your Best Life Now” provides a lists of seven steps to living at “your” full potential, BUT do we really need this when the Bible is our ultimate resource, which directs, guides, and instructs us on how to obtain and secure “THE” best life through the confidence we have in knowing who Jesus is and where we are going when we die? We can live our lives, no longer a slave to fear.
What will you choose? A life where society says you can have it all or a life knowing that Jesus gave it ALL for us?
No matter how much we may think we have things under control, there is a certain level of fear we face with uncertainties of the future. The unpredictability of life can bring about a level of fear in not knowing what the future holds, so we need to depend on our sovereign Father who has domination over our existence to remove lives’ fears and replace them with faith in Him.
In the book “A Place Called Heaven” that I’ve been reading, Robert Jeffress speaks about when you die, only to learn that you are at the wrong gate and subsequently being turned away. He further stated, how devastating if you hear these words: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23
I think anyone who has lost a loved one or friend develops a level of fear due to the unsurety of not knowing if that person went to Heaven or Hell. There is a parable in the Bible of a Rich Man and a Poor Man. I will share a part of the story, which you can read about it in Luke 16:19-31.
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment. Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent. But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’”
I wanted to share this parable to show that even the rich man, while living a life of eternal damnation in Hell, was subjected to a life of fear that his brothers would end up where he is if they refused to give their lives to Christ.
So I ask, why would anyone want to live their life with the fear of not knowing where they would end up when they die? Think about it…Jesus paid the price for us already. He made the way and removed the fear of uncertainty through the cross.
I was recently speaking to someone and I asked him if he started going to church yet and he said no, that though he believes in God, he didn’t feel that right now he needed to be going to church knowing that there are so many hypocrites in church. Plus, he thought he too would be considered a hypocrite because he’s not living the way he should.
A response from another person I spoke to said he believes in God but doesn’t speak to him much…as He’s often forgotten/set aside at this point in his life. He said he kind of threw him into the “To do list” section of his laterrrr life.
Can I just say, without any thought of judgment or condemnation, that in this sinful world we just can’t “wait” or put God to the “side” or even put Him on “hold” until we live out what we consider to be our “best life” and then when we think we have exhausted our worldly pleasures, we turn to Him.
In this life there is no guarantees and none of us know when we have reached the end of the rope and suddenly left trying to hang on, only to realize there is no time left.
Fear disguises itself and can appear in your life in different forms to rob you of the joy, peace, happiness, contentment, assurance, security, love, self-control…..
Fear can even give the false sense of missing out on what life has to offer if you decide to turn your life around and live for Christ. Just like the person I spoke to, he’s aware that he’s not living the way he should; yet, he wasn’t ready to give up being in the world and not of the world.
But the truth of it all is, it’s so wonderful for the grace that Jesus gives. Scripture reminds us that “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 and “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9
We don’t have to live with fear of being judged by other believers because with what judgment we judge, we too shall be judged because “the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.” Isaiah 33:22
Wouldn’t you want to live this life always being ready for the moment God says it’s your time?
Wouldn’t you want that assurance that if you lied down to sleep and it’s the end for you, that you will arise with Christ?
Why don’t you experience spiritual freedom to live this life with faith, freed from the bondage of fear, knowing that your life is redeemed because Christ paid your debt and took your penalty?
I wanted to share this letter that one of my sisters recently wrote me, expressing her fears when she learned that I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Overcome by her fear of not knowing if I would survive, she realized she had to be strong in the Lord and turn to Father God in prayer. She quickly came to the realization of what fear would do if she succumbed to it, but instead reminded herself that fear had no place in her life.
The paper she printed the letter on is a reminder of Christ’s blood (red), His holiness (white), and His peace (blue). I love the title she chose: “And So God Did!”
-God removed her fears of my illness and brought her comfort
-God healed me from Ovarian Cancer
-God did it all on the cross for us by paying the price for our sins
The results of my Pap smear may be abnormal, but I refuse to let fear be the foundation of my faith. Fear has no place in my story. I did not allow fear to interfere with my faith-based journey to my cancer recovery.
I absolutely love this song by Francesca Battistelli where she goes through this difficult break up because she no longer wanted to be identified by fear. So she packs up her fear in a suitcase and made it clear that she was ending that relationship.
Come on…sing along with me…
Fear, you don’t own me
There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you telling me what I’m not
Like you know me, well guess what
I know who I am
I know I’m strong, brave and I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Goodbye, goodbye fear
You will never be welcome here
Click link “The Break Up Song” by Francesca Battistelli
Don’t allow fear to own you! No longer should it be your companion. End your relationship with fear and renew your connection with faith.
Hanging out with our good friend Roberto at the hospital who flew from NC to spend Thanksgiving with us.
My chemo team surprised me with a gift just to say they love me and how much JOY I bring them.
A very heartfelt farewell to one of my nurse practitioners (Cristina on right) who’s leaving MCI for a career move and one of my clinical trial team members (Brittney on left) who is moving to London to further her education. It was a bittersweet moment saying goodbye.
Food For Thought: Imagine God withholding His grace from us? Would our hope in Christ sustain, or would we consider that putting our trust in Him is all in vain?
Many of us depend on God, hoping He will answer our prayers.
We PRAY and….
1) “Believe” that He is able!
2) “Trust” Him to do it!
3) “Faith” to expect it!
4) “Hope” that it’s His will!
I knew that the results of my upcoming CT Scan could alter the promising journey of recovery I was on if the images showed that the cancer came back.
So…over the course of months, what did I do?
I maintained a sacrifice of praise and reminded myself when fear and doubt tried to capture my trust in God and the victory I have in Jesus, I would tell myself…
Actually, that wasn’t my only recourse, because during times like this, we have to suit up with the whole armor of God by fasting, praying, and taking of communion in remembrance of what Jesus did for us. So when those pestering thoughts tried to invade my mind, I would say….
I’m so happy though to be able to share my blessing of what God has done for me through His Son Jesus Christ. The results of my follow-up CT scan showed that there was no sign of cancer in my abdomen, pelvic, or chest. This is certainly the grace of God and it reassured me of the hope I have in what Jesus can and will do as I trust Him to work out all His plans and purposes for my life according to His Will.
Our fears can cause us to lose hope despite our beliefs. That’s why scripture reminds us..
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. ~Isaiah 41:10
Have you ever considered why Peter denied knowing Jesus three times despite how confident he was in who Jesus is?
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. ~John 6:67-69
Can you imagine being Peter, witnessing the miracles performed by Jesus, confessing that He believes Jesus is the great I AM, Son of the living God, yet in his moment of fear, he denies knowing Him?
Was Peter any different from us?
I think not! Don’t we, as Peter, allow our circumstances and the problems we face to cause fear to distract and discourage us?
I know I have!
As I faced Dr. Diaz, awaiting the news of my CT scan, trusting God’s promise that all things work together for the good of those who love Him, I experienced a moment of fear. Despite the fact that I boldly wear this scripture, Romans 8:28 on the back of my chemo cape. Yet, in that very moment as he is telling me how good I am doing and I’m waiting on him to mention the results, I couldn’t wait much longer that I blurted out, “Okkkk…what about the CT scan?” After hearing those words, “Oh, everything looks good!” I breathed a sigh of relief, “Oh thank the Lord!”
He went on to remind me about the nodule that was first spotted on the outside cavity of my right lung. If you recall in one of my earlier posts, this was discovered in the Pet scan when I was first diagnosed and then it was later determined that the nodule was not cancer.
Well, he said another nodule showed up but it’s only the size of his pinky fingernail and right now there is no reason to be alarmed. Moreover, he said we will repeat the CT scan in three months.
I left there thinking, darn, does this mean anything? I mean, the first nodule that they thought was cancer, placed me at a Stage 4!
But Ohhhhh….the power of prayer and the praise from God’s promise that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28
After they determined from further tests that the first nodule was not cancer, I went from having Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer to Stage 3!
It was not until I walked out the hospital and I began to pray that I realized that this was the enemy’s way of trying to rob me of this praiseworthy moment where God has won another victory on my behalf of having a negative CT Scan, yet the enemy was trying to take my focus off the praise and cast it on what I think could be a problem. So I said…
Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
I feel that this helps us to see that our hope should be in the spiritual and not the physical. Pray with confidence, pray boldly God’s promises, and believe that He is a rewarder of good things.
So even when we don’t see the visible signs of what God’s up to, our hope in Him through Jesus Christ should be enough motivation for us to wait patiently for Him to reveal His good work and purpose.
You don’t have to see things happening in your life to believe that God is working through His Son Jesus in us, through us, and for us!!
Lord, let me be reminded that the MORE I Hope in You, the GREATER my Faith will be.
Peter’s story should be a great reminder that he was no different from us when it came to being fearful. He witnessed firsthand the miracles Jesus performed, confident in who Jesus was, as well as being Jesus’s close friend, yet even Peter went through a period in his life where his weakness and fear caused him to take his eyes off God, denying Him.
I think this should make us as believers not be so hard on ourselves when we say our hope is in God and I know He has a plan for our lives or that He will see us through our times of trouble, yet there are times we second guess His power to do all things.
Aren’t there times when our talk doesn’t match our walk?
God knows that as believers, our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak and when we are faced with the struggles of this life, we often times see our problem bigger than what we think God is able to do. We pray and profess to trust God but secretly in our hearts, we carry the burden of doubt and fear.
But during those times of lost hope and failure to see the bigger picture of how God is working things out, why not use ESP?
Enough Sense to Pray!
I can’t credit myself for this, I heard Pastor Gibbs use this acronym in one of his sermons and I loved it!
The privilege in praying to God is going to Him in faith, knowing that He is able to answer our prayers. If we are going to approach Him with an attitude of praying out of obligation or as a final resort, yet having a spirit of doubt whether God is able to do anything, then why bother. I’m here to tell you, don’t waste your time and definitely don’t waste God’s time either. Remember, those who come to Him must believe He is able.
James 1:6-8 says that when we pray and have doubts, we are being double minded. You see, not only should our prayers be single-minded, focused on God’s sovereignty but also single-minded in how we think. God wants us to take our eyes off our problems and put our focus on Him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~James 1:6-8
This reminds me of a sermon Pastor Rick from Christ Fellowship preached a few weeks ago using the analogy of a penny. I was so fascinated by it as he was preaching because I found it to be so true. Ok, so this is how the power of the penny works.
Get a penny and put it in front of one eye.
What do you see out of that eye? If you say nothing, then you got the idea.
That’s right! This small penny represents the size of our problem. But when we allow our problem to block our view, we lose sight of God. Our focus is now on the problem and all of a sudden, we are unable to see God in the midst of our trouble.
What happens is that we take our problem that God sees as a molehill and we give so much power to it that soon we have made a mountain out of a molehill. We have placed much emphasis on the mountain of our problem that it seems insurmountable for God to handle.
Scripture tells us our faith will be able to move mountains and nothing will be impossible for us. So, why not shift your focus off the problem and put the power of God at your focus point.
Why don’t we let the faith we have in God of what He is capable of doing, be professed through our praise.
So, when you pray… asking, trusting, and believing God to answer your prayer, yet your mind revert to what James refers to as being double minded, because you struggle to believe that God is bigger than your problem, just remember that even Peter in his fear felt hopeless at one point. God knows that we are not perfect and that’s why His Word says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God.
~ Revelation 19:7-9
With all the ups and downs in this life and the seasons when we go through uncertainties of our future, letschoose to celebrate life every day! Think about it, we have so many reasons to be thankful evenwhen our hearts seem ungrateful. If we allow our minds to drift off into that place of complacency and complaint, we can literally spew outcomplaint after complaint. Can you imagine engagingin a conversation in which all your mind seems to be doing is soaking inonenegative thought after the next?
That negative energy affects your mood and dampens your spirit. I guess it makes sense why theold saying says,“Misery loves company!”
On the contrary, I say, don’t allow someone else’s negative or complaining spirittobe theconsolation of why they think they came to the right one to vent.
If someone isexpressingnegative emotions as a result of something they are going through, instead of giving the “cold shoulder”, why notbe a spirit lifter and change the atmosphere of negativity.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in they sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14
October isBreast Cancer Awareness Month, so I’d like to give aBIG shout out to those who are inthe struggle and the ones who have beenthrough the struggle. You are never alone in your fight. You will always have the unfailing love of your loved ones who stand by you, but most of all the love from Godwho first loved you, gave His life up to replace yours, and loves you like NO ONEelsecan!
I not only celebratethe victory I have in Jesus that His unfailing lovecovers me through grace,but that October 10thwas my last major chemo meds. I have dropped from a whopping8 hours of infusion to 3 hours and I have been doing and feeling amazing.
Every morning when I rise, I say give me Jesus! Amen.
“God is Good all the time,all the time God is Good!” So I’m continually givingHim thanks.
Can I say my cup overfloweth? And with good reason!
October marks my 9thyear Anniversary to a man that I can truly say was God’s gift to me. Let me just say, to all my “Single Ladies” out there, if your heart’s desire is to meet a God-fearing, faith-believing,man of strength through Christ, and humble leader, then my advice is to delight in God’s sovereign plan for your life and let the desires of the Lord become yours.
Before you begin looking for the right mate, begin by reading about him.
God has given plenty of examples of not only what a Godly husband should be but He also commanded that the man you say “I Do” to should be of equal yoke and love you like He loves the church, which is the body of Christ.
I found this beautiful love song that paints such a breathtaking imageof the unfailing love this man has for his bride. The best part of the song is that he recognizes that as he places his hand in hers, making two become one, their clasped and interwoven fingerssecurely joined with Christ, that together they arewalking together in holy matrimony with the Lord. The lyrics to the song goes….
You’re my unfathomable precious unimaginable joy And you’re exceedingly excited and abundantly more than I could ask for With your hand in mine we will pass through time and space And every second, every minute, every hour of every day I’ll say My unfailing love for you will not be moved For you will not be moved My unfailing love for you And though the mountains be shaken And the hills be removed Yet my unfailing love for you He tells a story of a King coming in glory and He is And that same Man who devised that plan united ours with His And so hand in hand we will walk with Him as our two become as one And all the promises He promises to us He promises will never be undone My unfailing love for you will not be moved For you will not be moved My unfailing love for you And though the mountains be shaken And the hills be removed Yet my unfailing love for you Be my wife…Oh be my wife…Be my wife…Oooo My unfailing love for you will not be moved For you will not be moved My unfailing love for you And though the mountains be shaken And the hills be removed Yet my unfailing love for you
After he expresses to her his unfailing loveand the unexplainable joy she brings and his heart of gratitude that God chose to bless him with her, he goes more in-depth of him honoring his vows. He singsthat even when the mountains be shaken, which in marriages there will be rough patches,his promise to her is thathis love will be unfailing.
As I listen to the song and I consider the unfailing love of my husband Pete through the season of my diagnosis, his countless days off work to care for me, clean, cook, follow-up with physician calls, schedule appointments, endless doctor visits and extensive hours of myinfusion…
YET, not oncedid I hear him complain! Instead, he clasped my hands in his and hecontinuouslyprayed for my healing.
When I got diagnosed, I honestly don’t think I even considered how he feltbecause I automatically looked to him as my strength. As long as I had his unfailing love to carry me through this, I was strong.
Newsflash, it was not until a week after the diagnosis that he shared with me that he cried hearing the newsand how he spent countless daysreading statistics of my illness, crying over what could be. I knew that if he could have taken the cancer in place of me so that I didn’t have to go through it, he undoubtedly would have. I am his bride and his love for me is unfailing!
Then it made sense to me why the doctor looked at me after explaining in-depth what treatment would entail and then he looked at us and said, “You both look numb!”
Huh? How dare he think such thoughts, glancing up at my husband, my rock…. ourfaith is strong! You see doctor, “And though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed…I have the unfailing love of my husband who will carry me through. So,I’mgonnabe OK!”
So as the bride of Christ that we are, isn’t that the same way that God demonstrates His unfailing love for us? We sin day after day, yet He takes our hands in His and He carries us through the difficulties of life.
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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Roman 8:38-39
I’m always so humbled when I consider God’s unfailing love for me. When I close my eyes and paint the brutal, gut-wrenching image of how He suffered, I think, this is love…an unfailing one. The physical pain, though incomprehensible, yet he endured it all. Rejected by many anddejected in spirit as He prayed forthose who refused to accept His unfailinglove and offering of grace.
So as I finish off the month of October, so thankful that I am privileged, blessed, andsoloved…all because I am both the bride of Christ and of Pete.
As I know too well, more so than ever before, that our days are numbered and rather than wasting precious moments complaining, instead,find reasons to be thankful and live everyday as though it were our last.
Let’s commit to living our best life because tomorrow may not be promised but God’s promise is…. He’s coming back and those who believe will experience His unfailing love for eternity.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. ~ John 14:3
I’m reminded of a song I learned as a child.
Count your many blessings.
Name them one by one
and it will surprise you
what the Lord hath done!
With my diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer to now my Remission, I have so many reasons to be oh so thankful.
I chose to start out with the statistics of this rare disease and its survival rate, not to intimidate anyone who is facing this aggressive disease but rather to show you the Goodness of my God and what He CAN and WILL do when you “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Proverbs 3:5
Dr. Diaz: I want you to know that Ovarian Cancer has a 60% chance of recurring.
Patrice: So, during your study, how soon have you seen the cancer return?
Dr. Diaz: It usually recurs within the first two years, but if it goes past 5 years, the chances of the cancer not coming back are even greater. Normally, people are finished with chemo after 6 cycles, but because you are a part of the Clinical Trial, you will go on to do maintenance chemo totaling 22 cycles. Doing the maintenance chemo is a good preventative means of keeping the cancer from recurring.
Patrice: Well Dr. Diaz, I am not even concerned because I know it was God and the work of my two doctors that healed me from this disease!
Dr. Diaz: Smiles
My battle with Ovarian Cancer began March 21, 2018 and after a very successful chemo infusion and de-bulking surgery, the battle ended on August 27, 2018, and we received the news we were longing to hear.
“My Doctors say I’m in REMISSION but the Word of God tells me I’m HEALED.” 🙏🏽
“You restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” ~Isaiah 38:16-17
I would like to give you a flashback of the events of what occurred the day of my surgery. I want you to know that God made His presence obviously clear based on the success of the surgery and the ongoing praise that permeated the Recovery Room after Pete and Michelle received the results of the surgery from Dr. Gatcliffe and Dr. Diaz.
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore I will deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. ~Psalm 91:14-16
Too Blessed to be Stressed…Too Anointed to be Disappointed!
The morning of surgery, I woke up with praise on my lips. I was feeling fearless! The previous CT Scan that was done on July 18th revealed very promising reports that the Chemo did exactly what it was supposed to do according to my doctors.
I, on the other hand, just take pleasure in giving God the glory that He was the Chemo flowing through my body and He directed it to every diseased area where it needed to flow.
Let’s Take a Quick Break for a Bit of Sermon Talk!
Last week’s sermon preached by Pastor Rick from Christ Fellowship is such confirmation of God’s divine intervention. Just to give you a snapshot of his sermon, he explained that during WWI, Mustard Gas was used to kill soldiers.
Amazingly, what they found after examining the bodies of the dead soldiers was that many of them had cancer. It was discovered that the Mustard Gas not only killed the soldiers as intended but it also killed the cancer cells. With that discover, they wondered if they could find the perfect balance of mustard gas that would kill cancer cells without killing the patient. Sure enough, their discover led to a medical breakthrough, chemo therapy. Amazing right?
Every three weeks I am subjected to chemo, my “mustard gas”, and while the chemo is eradicating the cancer cells, it is also killing some of my good cells. What I find even MORE mind-blowing is how God sheltered me throughout the entire battle that was going on in my body.
With that said, how can I not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the chemo that flows through me every time I receive my infusion?
The side effects of the infusion is vast and though I have experienced some, they have not been debilitating to the point of feeling like death coming upon me like Pastor Rick explained his experience.
I am just so thankful that Jesus Christ shielded me from so much!
So, as I reflect back on August 1, 2018, the day of my surgery, I prayed, asking God to make Himself evident in the operating room, giving my doctors steady hands to use the tools with precision, and the wisdom and knowledge of where to navigate in search of the remaining tumors and lesions.
If I said I was scared of the end results I would be lying. I had completely erased the notion of fear and defeat out of my mind. I was confident in the knowledge and abilities of my two doctors, Dr. Troy Gatcliffe and Dr. John Diaz, but more so, I had an unexplainable peace that surpassed all understanding in the sovereignty of my Savior.
So what about other believers who have the same attitude of faith I do, yet their outcome is different?
Well, I don’t have an answer for that except that as we do this Christian walk, we have to believe with ALL our hearts that God’s plans are ALWAYS good NO MATTER WHAT!!! We don’t understand it at times, but because we know God’s love for us, we must trust Him even when it hurts or we become doubtful.
I heard a sermon by Pastor Robert Jeffress the other day and he explained why parts of our lives are like the back of a tapestry.
On the reverse side of the tapestry shows a mess, with hanging threads and tangled stitches.
Isn’t that how life is at times?
Sometimes life’s a mess and we can’t seem to understand why bad things happen or sometimes life just doesn’t make sense.
Though we may not have the answers to life’s questions, we will one day when we are united with our Creator.
The tapestry of our lives will be revealed and we will see the beautiful, detailed image of how God has woven together all the loose and dangling threads for our good.
All along, it was those loose threads and uneven stitches that depict the events of our lives that God was stitching together for His perfect will and His glory.
“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17
“Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” ~John 13:7
Party in the Pre-Op!
I felt so glamorous in my designer, green gown that draped off the shoulder with a second piece of fabric wrapping loosely across the front. To complete the fashion ensemble, I rocked my airy and light baby blue headpiece. Then I completed the look with a pair of pastel yellow, skid-grip socks.
The nurse came in to chitchat for a bit to entertain any questions I might have and to prep me.
Heart rate, temperature, blood pressure checked, and then he started an IV line in both hands.
The anesthesiologist discussed with me how they will make the surgery pain-free and that the medicine will remain in my system for up to 24 hours to ensure that I wasn’t in pain after the surgery.
Since this was going to be administered by a needle in my lower spine, all I cared about was that it would be done while I was knocked out. Even though they assured me that it wouldn’t hurt and done before I knew it. The same thing with the catheter, I did not want that done while I was awake. Ugh!
The highlight was when my two doctors came in to ask me if I was ready and because it’s always so pleasant talking to them, they were so nice about posing for a picture with me. They are so sweet!!
It wasn’t evident that I was going in for major surgery at any moment. I was being so silly doing all these antics on Michelle. She was saying they were gonna complain about all the noise we were making.
Typical Michelle…such a prude. LOL
Suddenly the curtain was pulled open and the two nurses that came to wheel me to the operating room, commented that we were having way too much fun. 👍🏽
From the short commute to the operating room, I was out before I knew it.
However, I will describe what occurred in the operating room based on the conversation my doctor had with Pete after the surgery was finished, as Pete and Michelle experienced it.
What was originally planned to be an extensive 6-hours surgery was surprisingly reduced to 2 hours.
Can We Get Our Praise On!
As Pete and Michelle sat in anticipation and curiosity of what was taking place in the operating room, two hours later, in walked Dr. Gatcliffe and Dr. Diaz. They were very pleased with the outcome of the surgery.
A matter a fact, what Dr. Gatcliffe and Dr. Diaz witnessed in the operating room had them questioning what they saw the first time they attempted to do the de-bulking surgery when I was initially diagnosed but realized that the cancer was so compacted and attempting to remove it would not have been the optimal decision.
The surgical plan was to conduct a complete hysterectomy along with removing the spleen, parts of the intestines and other organs where the tumors and lesions matastisized.
It was with much amazement that Dr. Gatcliffe said he ended up only having to remove the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and omentum. As for the intestines, spleen, and any affected organs aforementioned, no evidence of the cancer was present.
While my doctors were giving credit to the chemo, and rightfully so, Michelle and Pete were not only thankful that the chemo melted away most of the cancer, but they also acknowledged the power behind my healing was ultimately God.
Overwhelmed with joy and just rejoicing about the great news, Pete was beside himself that all he continued to say was, “Oh wow! Thank God! Thank God!”
Michelle recalls, wanting to run outside the door to the outdoor foyer area and just scream, yell, jump for joy! She remembers feeling the urge to yell out and share the news with all the people around her of how good our Heavenly Father is and that He never leaves His children. She wanted to let my doctors know the G😍😍D G😍😍D God we serve❣️
“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” ~Psalm 105:1
You Gotta Trust the Process!
When I was first diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, I knew that 1 of 3 things could result from having this disease:
God would miraculously heal me from this cancer through faith and prayer, completely sparing me from enduring surgery and chemo.
God would allow me to go through my battle with cancer, but He would carry me through it and like the poem “Footprints in the Sand”, if I ever doubted that He was still by my side, it was because my footprint faded into His as He carried me when the road became too difficult to travel. Healing would come on His timing.
God would not take this cancer from me, but instead welcome me Home early.
God chose Option 2 for me❣️
He not only healed me of this disease but He chose to do it as a process.
Remember the story of the blind man whose friends fought their way through the crowd to get their blind friend to Jesus because they knew once Jesus touched him, their friend would gain his sight?
Were they in for a surprise!
With the on looking crowd, Jesus chose to pull the blind man away from the crowd and out of the town.
I’m sure with all this blind man heard about Jesus, he expected instant healing.
Much to his surprise, Jesus chose not to give him his sight all at once. The first time Jesus spat on his eyes, the man saw men as trees, walking. The second time as Jesus put His hands again upon the blind man’s eyes, his sight was restored and he was able to see clearly.
Could Jesus have fully restored his sight the first time?
But like I said, sometimes Jesus immediately saves us from the stuff we are facing, and sometimes He carries us through the fire.
Jesus chose to bring healing to my body in stages.
Though my healing didn’t occur instantaneously, I was praising God throughout it all. After hearing the glorious news from my doctors about the CT Scan and that the chemo did what it was supposed to do, it melted away most of the cancer, I knew I not only had to trust the Hands of my Savior but to trust His process and His timing.
It was after my hysterectomy that I received my full healing.
For me, trusting God as He delivered me through my battle with cancer was a faith builder. It gave me so many opportunities to thank Him through the stages of my healing and to trust Him that not only is His timing perfect, but that blessings flow when I intimately seek Him and spend time in His Word.
It is during our struggles when we face these God defiant giants in our lives, we just need to surrender it all to Him.
Jesus, You are enough and I will allow You to pull me away from the crowd, and away from anything that causes me to take my eyes off You.
I heard a preacher say this once and I committed it to memory, “God’s delay doesn’t mean His denial!”
Will you choose to wait upon the Lord?
Whether your healing happens instantly or it occurs in stages, use that time to thank Him every step of the way because He is worthy of our praise.
Crunch on this…The M&M of My Healing!
So, I’m sure many of you are wondering, “Was my healing a Miracle or Medicine?
By definition, a miracle is defined as an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. It is an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause that defies the laws of physics.
So, would I say God performed a miracle on me?
My answer is no!
However, giving all glory to the omnipotence of my Savior, I see my healing as God’s divine intervention through the use of medicine and my doctors.
God gave knowledge and wisdom to my doctors of how to treat me, using the right chemo that would be effective at melting away the cancer cells. He also blessed and guided their hands to remove all visible signs of what was left of the tumors and lesions.
Because I KNOW that nothing happens without God’s sovereign plans, and that He is in complete control of EVERYTHING that happens to us, I am thankful that He chose to heal me of this disease.
God not only determines the date we will be born, as well as the time of our death.
There is absolutely nothing that occurs on this earth that catches Him off guard because we serve an omniscient; all-knowing God!