I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer in 2014. At the time, my daughter was a Disney Channel star on her show Jessie. We worked hard to keep my cancer a secret. I got 30 below-zero ice caps on my head during chemo to limit my hair loss. Cancer was a storm of pain, healing, tears, and joy. It was a tragic but redemptive and beautiful hurricane that upended my life. God came to me within the stormy waters of cancer and called me to walk on water with Him. I will never forget it. Though I’d never want cancer again, I don’t regret having it. God used it to bring me liberty and to help me receive love. He uses it today as I have the honor of encouraging cancer patients from my experience.
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[d] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”Matthew 14:28-30
I began writing a book about my cancer battle set behind the scenes of my daughter’s fame. The more I wrote it, the more healing and recovery I experienced. I also gained wisdom and a better perspective. The book went through many iterations as God uses writing and journaling to help me work through difficulties and issues. I programmed the autosave function to save every few minutes in my word processing program. One day, I was writing tiredly and accidentally deleted most of my book. Every few minutes, it kept saving the wrong, deleted version of the boo until it was unrecoverable. Hours, days, months, and years of work disappeared without hope of retrieval. It was one of the rare times in my life that was so devastating that I couldn’t even speak.
20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[a] should be kept alive, as they are today.Genesis 15:20
Can’t Let It Win
Losing my work this late made it impossible (barring a miracle) to make the original publication date of October 13th, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I couldn’t allow the deletion to win, so I created and published a prayer journal. This one would be specific for women with cancer. Learning a graphics program and how to format, design, and publish a prayer journal was more of a challenge than I thought. It took me longer and passed the deadline, but I kept going. With the errors of newly experienced, I put out the “Breast Cancer Prayer Journal for Women” at the end of October 2022. I’ve written volumes of personal journals over the years. God uses them to help me sort life out and focus on Him. Journals are perfect for me to publish, allowing me to get my publishing sealegs while helping others.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
It was not God’s will for me to get cancer; it wasn’t God’s will for me to lose my work. Things happen, we make mistakes, and evil is alive and well on planet earth. Not one of us is immune to its effects. Through cancer, I received redemption, and through the loss of the book, I discovered the gift of creating prayer journals. God truly does work things out for the good of His people when we continue to trust him and have the tenacity to keep going after we get knocked down. Are things rough? Keep going, look to Him to help, and He will.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11