Sharon’s Story – When cancer invaded my breast eighteen years ago, one of my first questions was “Why me God?” I held the belief that breast cancer was hereditary.  There was no history of breast cancer in my family so that was my obvious question, why me.  After eighteen years I cannot answer that question and I’m not searching for the answer anymore.  However I do know that cancer led me on a faith filled journey that changed my life.  It brought me as close to a perfect faith as I’ll ever experience.  Abraham had perfect faith when he took his son Isaac on the mountain to be sacrificed.  In Genesis 22:5 before Abraham goes up on the mountain to make the sacrifice he tells his servants “We will worship and then we will come back to you.”  The “we” Abraham was speaking about was he and Isaac.  Abraham knew God would make a way for them to both to come down the mountain. Because he had promised Abraham that he would be a great nation.  So to fulfill this promise Abraham knew God would make a way for both of them to come off of the mountain.

So it was with me. God would provide a way for me to go up the mountain and come down the mountain. I knew at my diagnosis that cancer was a deadly disease. But I also knew that whatever stage I was in, God would heal me and he would remove any obstacles that would try to block my healing. That is what is so extraordinary about faith.  You don’t have to know how God is going to do something miraculous in your life; you just have to believe that he will come through on time.

It was by accident that I found the tumor.  As I was preparing to take a bath my hand brushed across my breast and I felt something different in my left breast.  What I thought was an accidental encounter, was actually my call to action.  God will not bring something to your attention and then expect you to do nothing.  I did what was expected.   I went to my doctor, had a mammogram. This was followed by a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.  In every step of my treatment I sought and prayed to God for his direction.  I leaned upon a bible principle from Dr. Charles Stanley, “Obey God and leave all the consequences to him.”  I also often quoted Proverbs 3:5 – 6 throughout this experience.

I also viewed my cancer diagnosis as a partnership. While I was battling cancer my family and friends were my caretakers and supporters.  At those times when I was at a low point their prayers sustained me.  When I physically felt weak my family and friends were my caretakers.  I could not be concerned about those who kept their distance or turned their back on me.  Because those that God provided to support me were also being blessed in ways that they could not clearly comprehend at the time.  God allowed them to participate in my faith journey and showed them that what he did for me he could also do for them.

Today God has given me a gift that allows me to encourage others that are going through a similar experience. I don’t ask “Why me?” rather I say with authority “By his stripes we are healed.”