Today in our Take Heart series, I’ve asked my new friend Nancy, whom I’m met through The Story Circle (in)couragers writing group, to share about how she handled her doctor’s dreaded words, “It is cancer,” and how God’s words helped her live out her faith’s hypotheticals in the context of real struggle.


The words rolled off his tongue with deliberate matter-of-factness, as if he wanted to do it quickly, like ripping off a Band-Aid.

The pathology report came back. The tumor was malignant. It is cancer.

It had been almost a week since a 6-inch tumor had been removed from the muscle of my thigh. I had spent the last several days in a recovery fog and trying not to think about the outcome of the pathology report. Now there was no choice. I had to face it: I had cancer.

I broke down and sobbed right there on my hospital bed. My husband held me tightly and let the emotions roll over us both. I remember one of the hospital staff apologetically changing the dressing on my leg while I sobbed and sobbed.

As quickly as the news had come, something “clicked” inside me. I know it was the peace of God, because suddenly, for “no reason,” I knew everything was going to be all right. It might have been a shock for me to find out I had cancer, but it didn’t shock God. If I truly believed God was in control, now was the time to live it.

I looked at up at my husband, wiped away my tears, and said, “OK, we’re going to do this. We’re going to make it.”

The following Sunday, I sat in the back of our church during worship and poured my heart out to God. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how we would make it. I didn’t know what the future held for my health or what that meant for my young family.

I stilled my heart before God, having said all the words I knew to say, yet still wanting to pour more out to Him. Once again, I felt God’s peace calm my heart: “We’re going through this. You’ll see the other side.” It’s as if the words were audibly whispered in my ear. They calmed my nerves and brought peace to my soul. I would get through this. It wouldn’t be easy, but God would be with me every step of the way.

Those weren’t the only breakdowns I would have, or the last moments of doubt and questions. There were many in the days and weeks to come as we waited for more information, weighed treatment options, and made arrangements for child care.

I quickly discovered my emotions were unreliable and unpredictable, and I had to cling tightly to what I knew to be true, not how I felt at the moment.

  • I know God’s Word is true:”Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” ~Proverbs 30:5
  • I know God is good, and He does good: “You are good and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” ~Psalm 119:68
  • I know God has a plan for my life: “‘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
  • I know God is bigger than me and bigger than what I face: “I know that you [God] can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” ~Job 42:2; “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my [God’s] ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~Isaiah 55:9
  • I know that fear and worry are not from God: “Do not be anxious about anything” ~Philippian 4:6a

So, dear friend, whatever you face today, whatever mountain looms before you threatening to shake your courage and your faith, take heart. Your God goes before you; He’ll be with you every step of the way.

{Have you ever received news this heavy, either about yourself or a loved one? How did the peace of God come to you? Which passages of Scripture became especially dear to you in your time of trial?}

nancybiopicNancy is a lover of words and all things chocolate. She is married to her best friend, and when she’s not settling sibling squabbles between her Little Miss and Little Man, she is writing about faith, family, and finding grace in the midst of it all. Read more at There is Grace.



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This week in our Take Heart series we’re talking about the quest for wholeness, whether physical challenges illness or emotional struggle. We’d love to hear how God has helped you take heart in in any of these areas. Link up with us at the bottom of yesterday’s post.