“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28
In times like these, with a pandemic raging, life can become even more fearful and stressful if you encounter health, relational, financial, or any other life struggles, besides and including Covid-19. In March, I discovered a lump and an abnormal indentation in my breast which was later identified as invasive ductal and lobular carcinoma. This diagnosis was followed by a mastectomy and additional tissue and lymph node removal surgeries.
One of my first responses was, “Why me Lord?” Having lived a relatively healthy lifestyle throughout my life, I could not believe this was happening. I was in total denial. I later realized that denial was an issue of pride. “Why not me?” should have been the question instead.
My next response was outright fear with the “what ifs” spiraling through my head pushing out all rational thoughts. What if it spread to other organs in my body? What if I could not get treatment in a pandemic? What if the treatment didn’t work? What if, what if, what if. . . And so the battle began, resulting in a downward spiral physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Being a long time Bible teacher and student of God’s Word, I began to pray fervently, listing all the attributes of God and His precious promises. In the beginning, even those prayers did not ease my fears as my eyes were blinded by the hold Satan had on my mind.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, with physical and mental healing, key verses slowly began to break through, gain strength, and grow. I was able to make application of His Word to my daily walk again! Some of my favorite verses were Psalm 41:10, Philippians 4:6, Joshua 1:9, Ephesians 6:11, and 2 Corinthians 10:5.
When you read these verses, you’ll notice some of the keywords.
- Be still – Some versions say “quit striving” or “relax and know that He is in control.”
- Pray – Talk, ask, and fellowship with our Father. He knows our thoughts but wants us to turn to Him in total reliance upon Him.
- Thanksgiving – When I took my “fear” and turned it into “thanksgiving,” my thinking and perspective changed. It is difficult to be fearful of a medical procedure while giving thanks for it at the same time.
- Put on the full armor of God – Numerous applications can be made, but know that God provides our protection from attacks if we will remember all His truths, allow the sword of the Spirit to work for us, hold on to faith, protect our minds, and use all the weapons He provides in His Word. He knew we would need them.
- Take captive every thought – As pointed out by Jennie Allen in her book, Get Out of Your Head, I realized taking control of our minds can bring peace to our lives and that I have a choice. While I may not be able to control every thought every time, I can choose one thought to battle against and capture it, change it every time it comes to mind, and replace it with the truths of God’s Word.
I know that God allows everything and that nothing happens without His knowledge. He has a plan, and I await eagerly to see how He works everything for good according to His purpose in my life. I pray that I may be worthy of the calling He has for me in this journey and that I will be able to be of comfort to others in their time of need.
I cannot imagine facing all the difficulties of this world without a true relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I encourage you to trust your life to Him if you have not done so already. And if you have made that commitment, I would encourage you to walk closer to Him through daily prayer and meditation on His Word. Only with Him can we stand firm through the “what ifs” of this life.