1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
How one approaches adversity states so much about one’s character. It’s a fact that a positive attitude, prayer and laughter can overcome illness. My new friend, fellow blogger Connie, is a testament to this. She’s a remarkable woman who not only faced cancer, but shook her fist in its face and refused to give in to despair. Her genuine warmth and authentic, godly spirituality comes through her wonderful posts: http://www.ibeatovca.wordpress.com – I urge you to discover for it yourselves.
Below is Part One of our interview regarding Faith. I pray her words will be an inspiration when you face any trial in your own life.
Ellie: God has given you incredible strength in the face of adversity Connie, did you always exhibit those characteristics?
Connie: I was raised in a Christian family surrounded by many examples of strong Christians. However, my mother and grandmother were the main women in my life who exhibited the traits I sought. My mother was very strong. I watched her live through many hard times. She always got up, wiped away the tears and faced life head-on. She encouraged me to be strong, but I never thought I had her strength until cancer knocked me down. I learned then that I am my mother’s daughter. I am a fighter.
A strong support system really makes a difference; knowing you’re not alone. Would you discuss in what ways that strengthened you?
When I came home from the hospital after cancer surgery, a quilt was waiting for me. A friend and several ladies I didn’t even know had made it for me. It is one of my most treasured possessions. In the middle of the quilt it says:
“The light of God surrounds me
The love of God enfolds me
The power of God protects me
The presence of God watches over me
Whenever I am, God is.”
The quilt came to symbolize my faith and served as a reminder that God was in control.
Your positive attitude has been an inspiration to so many. So when times got rough, what self-talk did you give yourself to bolster your spirits?
I had a few “pity parties” and I always invited my husband to attend. It made both of us sad, and I decided they were useless. Instead, I sat in my recliner and counted my blessings. I wrote almost every day in my journal: how I was feeling physically and emotionally. It was a great outlet of expression; an invaluable tool. In a tangible way, I saw that even on the worst days, my blessings far outweighed my woes. My family was amazing! One Christmas they all wore hats to support me. (So sorry, photo wouldn’t attach, please check it out on her blog though)
Can you share how your strong Christian faith sustained you?
It definitely helped to pray for others. I didn’t have to look very far when I went for treatment to see someone worse off than I was. I focused on them and others who were struggling with pain or strife. There were many Bible verses that sustained me, such as Psalm 91.
I also drew strength from Hebrews 13:6 “So say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’” and Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength”, 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” as well as Psalm 57:1, “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past.”
The fact is, you’re never alone when God’s your anchor and you are surrounded by friends – however, were there times when you simply felt like Job?
I never felt like Job and I never asked “why me.” I knew God had a plan. I didn’t like the plan at times, but I simply trusted Him. No one deserted me. In fact, just the opposite was true. Friendships deepened, new ones blossomed and I benefited. It was very humbling to see all the love that was poured out on my behalf.
God was my strength but I was gifted with so many wonderful prayer warriors. Prayers were said for me all over the country. I was lifted up by family, dear friends and complete strangers. At times I was unable to voice a prayer, but at those times my warriors interceded. God heard and answered prayers.
Amen! I pray others find courage in Connie’s testimony. There’s a quiet peace knowing that God is always there in the midst of life’s storms.
Stay tuned for Part Two when Connie discusses the lifestyle changes she makes as she conquers cancer.