Snapshots of a Mother’s Cancer Experience — Pt 12: Tender Encouragement

When I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2000, I came face-to-face with my own mortality—and learned some profound lessons that transformed my view of reality. I would never sign up for my cancer experience, but neither would I trade away the treasures mined from it.

Above all, I learned to live with the awareness that we all really do have an impending, inescapable appointment awaiting us. We all have an appointment with God. No matter how busy or distracted we are or how distant that appointment may seem, one telephone call can change everything.

My call came when I was a 40-year-old mother of two preschool children and a happily married wife. The following post is Part 12 in “Snapshots of a Mother’s Cancer Experience,” a series that chronicles my journey through diagnosis, surgery, and beyond. (You can find a chronological list of the previous Snapshots here.)


Thursday, August 3

I stand in a darkened auditorium.  Close to the stage.  Close to Roger.

A sweet, plaintive cry rises from his guitar.  My heart swells.

It “just happens” that this midweek service for which Roger plays is a rare all-worship night.  For the next 90 minutes Roger will serve with the music team while I savor a space of solitude and worship.  Perfect timing.

We need this.

I raise my hands, extend my arms, and bask in focused worship.

As I sing, I remember the gift of my first labor: 39 ½ hours of pain, challenge, and then…Roger Dean’s first breath.

cancer experience


Rather than rage at God because I—the a mother of young children—have cancer, I am grateful for the privilege of being a mother at all.

Perhaps that will change.  Perhaps I will enter a tunnel of anger and despair and rail against my Maker for what He has allowed into my life—allowed into this world. But for now, instead, I consider the countless ways He’s blessed me, the many things from which He’s spared me (poverty, rape, murder—to  name but a few).

This trial is hard. Yes. My heart aches. Yes.  But as tears begin to blur my vision, life comes into focus with new clarity.

And so I praise Him….

♥ ♥ ♥


The last song of the evening fades into silence. The quiet hangs a few beats. Then, before the closing prayer, the worship leader shares with our 4,000-member congregation this observation :

“Tonight, I saw a friend who was just diagnosed with cancer…
and she was worshipping her heart out.”

And I know that tender encouragement is from Jesus.

♥ ♥ ♥

Have you faced a difficult trial yet seen blessings in the midst of it? We would love to hear about your experience. Come back on Monday, June 16th, to read the next Snapshot.

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