Well, it seems the dreaded demon of cancer has reared its ugly head. I backspaced and reworded that first line several times. But there’s no delicate way to say my stage 4 ovarian cancer has recurred because there’s nothing delicate about cancer.
Cancer is an insidious thief with a mission to steal, kill, and destroy.
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy . . .”
And yet, this is only the first part of the well-known verse from John 10:10 spoken by Jesus Christ.
“. . . I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
So, despite my emotions that have bounced around more than a tennis ball at Wimbledon, I am choosing to focus on the latter half of the verse.
I have shifted my gaze from the disease that threatens to kill to Jesus who promises to heal.
Trust me, this takes concerted effort. It’s spiritual muscles that I am continually exercising and strengthening. Now, before I give you the impression that I wear a superhero’s cape and mask—I have something else to tell you. Alone, I am just not strong enough, focused enough, holy enough, or anything enough.
That’s the crux: I can’t. God can.
The spiritual muscles I am referring to are the ones in my legs— more specifically, my knees when they hit the ground in surrender to God’s perfect and pleasing will.
Oh, yeah. We’re going there—God’s will versus our will.
So, what does this “abundant life” look and feel like?
I mean, Jesus says that we can have this abundant life, but then He also tells us in John 16:33 NLT “Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
How do I reconcile this suffering alongside abundance, Jesus?
And while I’m at it, how do I reconcile the scripture about healing from Isaiah 58:8 that you gave me the first time I had cancer? Oh, and what about all the other suffering that’s happening to YOUR image bearers, YOUR precious children?
Reconcile: To settle, resolve. To make consistent or congruous. To check (a financial account) against another for accuracy.
Hmmm, to check against another—If I believe God is the all-knowing, all-loving Great I Am who sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die in our place, I must also take into account that there is in fact value in suffering.
Friends, I realize this is not a new concept. All of us know on some level the value of suffering. “No pain, no gain” and all that. And we’re all familiar with lessons similar to the one about the butterfly breaking out of the cocoon and the need to strengthen its wings in the suffering process. Blah, blah, blah . . . But when we are the ones doing the suffering, well, that just sucks.
However, when I look back on 2021 when I was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and all that the Lord taught me, all that He carried me through, I land on this:
If I could erase cancer but had to erase the gifts God gave me through cancer—I wouldn’t. The biggest gift of all was the Giver Himself.
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you (Job 42:5 NLT).” These are the words of Job the author which the book of the Bible is named. You know, that guy who suffered and lost EVERYYYYTHING, and then the Lord restored it all. Job also says in verse two, “I know you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
God has a plan for suffering. Jesus suffered. It was in the plan. But oh, the benefit!
But It’s hard to see the benefit when I sit at the pity party table with Satan and his demons. Trust me, I’ve done it too many times on this cancer journey. And the demons love it! (see, no superhero cape here)
Picture a dark dungeon with a table where a child of God sits surrounded by grotesque creatures. They chant and chortle, filling this disheartened soul with sad and pitiful thoughts. But God is there in the darkness, too. For nothing can hide His light, and He never leaves one of His beloved children. He’s sitting at another table patiently waiting for His child to join Him and eat in the presence of her enemies. But she has a choice of whether or not to move (free will).
Dear one, when we suffer, we partner with Christ. When we sit at the pity party table, we partner with Satan.
God’s plans are to prosper me and give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Along the prosperous hope-filled road, there will be bumps, twists, pits, storms, and even hurricanes. But take heart, my fellow sojourner—Jesus has conquered and overcome, and so will you and I!
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”’ (Romans 8:37).
We read in the Bible when an army becomes “more than conquerors,” it drives its enemies from the battle and confiscates their food and supplies. There are spoils to be taken!
Yes, suffering is difficult. But oh, the eternal spoils to be gained!
So, as I wait for a surgery date to remove the new tumors in my belly, and then go into weeks of toxic chemotherapy drugs, I will be on the lookout for the spoils. I am a precious daughter of the King of kings. I am a warrior princess. My armor is in place. My God is fighting this battle with me. His heavenly angels are with me, too. But I also know, there is great power in prayer. I would appreciate your prayers, my friends. And I too would like to pray for you.
One final thing to share. I’ve been typing this post in my bathrobe. I was midway through when my doorbell rang. It was a young man named Rafael soliciting solar energy (Ugh! Insert eye-roll emoji). I was so irritated to be bothered when I’m typing this inspired message. Lol! Anyyyywayyy, I kindly told this kid that I’m battling cancer (hence the robe) and don’t want to think about solar at this time.
“I know you’re just doing your job,” I said in an attempt to soften my rejection. “And I hope the next house will be better.”
Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rings again. There stood Rafael with a bouquet of flowers. With tears in my eyes, I thanked him and told him about the post I was writing. Rafael admitted that he wasn’t sure if there is a God, but he does believe that there is still good in this world.
His act of kindness allowed me to share with Rafael about God, the creator of this world.
Isn’t God good? He used a stranger to bring me a glimpse of the eternal spoils!
Cancer, you do not win!
I’d love to hear your comments and prayer requests in the comments below.
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More posts on cancer:
Finding Joy and Peace in Cancer
Patience During Ovarian Cancer
Living in the NOW (even with cancer)
The #1 Lesson I’ve Learned Through Cancer
Beckie, I am so angry at the “c-word.” Enough is enough and I’m mad you have to go through this. Yet you are calm, inspiring, and uplifting. I pray your ministry continues through this challenge, and thank you for being authentic through your journey. I love you tons and miss you tons. God is our connector, and because of that, I know we are together in His Kingdom. Blessings and prayers to you and yours. ~M.
Molly Jo, I am grateful for your friendship and prayers. Hugs and love!
I can’t help but picture you and Jesus, side-by-side capes fluttering in the wind, hands on hips in the super hero pose. Just beautiful. Keep writing about Jesus. He’s the star of this story. Love you.
Amen, Patty! Jesus is the star. Thanks for your friendship and prayers.
So beautifully written. I just don’t even have the words to describe what my heart feels right now but I KNOW God IS GOOD and WILL use this for his glory. Your words give hope and strength to pain and point the reader to the ONLY THING that matters.
Beckie. I love you my friend.
Kathie, I’m not sure how I would have made it through with Jesus and friends like YOU. Thanks for everything. I love you, dear one.
Beckie, I am so sad that your cancer has returned. I really don’t understand but I know God has used you in big ways to inspire others. My husband and I both were touched by the story you shared about Rafael. He was sent to your door for a reason. I pray that your story and your witness moves within him and causes him to give his life to Christ. I will continue to pray for your healing and stay in touch with you throughout this journey. In Christ Love, Becky Pickard
Becky, I’m so touched by your comment. Thank you for praying. Hugs
We often cannot understand why God chooses to allow trials in our lives sweet lady, but we can accept that God has something for us to gain from it. Know that you are covered in prayer.
Thank you, JD! I feel the love and prayers.
Oh, sweet, Beckie. This post is not what you ever wanted to have to write about the first time, much less for a second time. And I hoped I would never have to read another post like this from you. I. Hate. Cancer.
Again, you have written a powerful and vulnerable message for all of us to glean from. And bless Rafael’s heart. I will be praying he comes to know the God we know personally.
Praying over you, friend.
You are amazing. Most importantly, God knows it.
I love you my Friend, and I will never cease to stand with you in prayer and any other way I can.
Karla, I love you, too! Your prayers and friendship mean so much. Hugs!
Praying for you dear friend! And loved the story of Rafael!!! God’s grace in the midst!!
Nancy, you have been a precious friend and mentor for years. Oh, how I appreciate your prayers and encouragement now more than ever.
Much love and prayers back to you and yours!
It is admirable how you cling to Him, despite the difficulty and pain associated with seeing this terrible disease re-emerge. Thank you for your vulnerability and authenticity. We are not fantastic ALL the time; there are moments.
Still, we hold fast to the fact we are victorious regardless of how bumpy the road is because at the end of our journey there stands Jesus with open arms. Pain is inevitable this side of heaven but suffering is optional. Praying without ceasing for you and others facing the same demon, my friend. Sending love and hugs!
Thank you for the love and prayers, Karina!
Oh, Beckie. I thought I’d make it through your post without tears…and I almost made it. Only God could confirm His goodness, His perfect plans, and faithfulness through a young man selling solar panels. I’m fervently praying for you, anticipating His best and your healing this side of heaven. Love you, friend.
Cathy, I know what you mean about how only God could orchestrate my meeting Rafael. Thank you for your prayers and love.
Praying healing for you Beckie. Thank you for ministering to Rafael and to us. Praying every bit of cancer leaves your body, and praise God for John 10:10 and Job’s victory. Believing victory for you, sister, from our sweet Lord Jesus.
Diane, Thank you for your prayers, sweet sister. I feel them.
Thank you for sharing this powerful story, sweet Beckie. Your words bless all of us. I’ll be praying.
Jeannie, I appreciate and feel the power of faithful prayers. Thank you, sweet sister in Christ.
Dearest Beckie, I’m so sorry. He will take care of you just like he did before and always has. Praying for you dear sister. Love & hugs to you.
Mary, much love to you. I appreciate your prayers more than you know.
My prayers for you, Beckie, will be daily, multiple times a day, always and everywhere. Your courage and faith in the Lord’s ability to work miracles will sustain you for all the difficult times ahead. May the cancer be defeated once and for all.
Love and blessings, my sweet friend!
Martha, thank you for your prayers and friendship dear sister in Christ.
I am praying for the Lord’s will to be done in your life and another dear friend’s battle again with ovarian cancer. Both of you have been, are and will have strong testimonies for the Lord, his healing, his mercy, his love, his wisdom and strength. Thank you for your witness to Rafael and his act of kindness for you. My prayers are for you, your family and your medical team. Many prayers and much love!!
Lynda, I’m so about your friend. Oh, my heart hurts for her. And yet I know God will hold her and carrry her as He’s done for me. I’m praying and I thank you for lifting me up in prayer. Hugs!
Joining so many in praying for you, and am so grateful our God hears every prayer. May strengthen you for the journey ahead. May He bring healing and continue to use this difficulty for His glory. What a lovely testimony of God’s grace in bringing Rafael to your door – both to bless you with flowers and for him to hear about Jesus. May he continue to remember the words you shared with him. Blessings!
Joanne, I feel the power of God’s faithful. Thank you for taking the time to comment and encourage me. I pray this post is used to bring comfort to many. Hugs!
God be with you and bless you! He certainly sent you Rafael to bring some light to your day! Even if we are in the valley of the shadow, God is with us. I wish you all the best!
Elisabeth, thanks for your prayers. I appreciate that you took the time to comment, too. And yes, I KNOW God used Rafael—even if he doesn’t see it yet. It’s so amazing that now many are praying for Rafael.
Oh, Beckie, this post is so beautifully written. In the midst of something so ugly and horrible and completely awful as cancer, Christ’s beauty shines through you. Thank you. The Holy Spirit brings you to mind here and there, and I pray for you. And the picture of Rafael standing at your door with flowers brought me to tears. Praise God for opening this door for you to share the Good News of JESUS with him! When the moments get unbearably tough and all the moments in between, “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5, NASB). Much love to you in Christ 💕
Emily, I’m so grateful for your prayers and kind words.
Much love to you, sweet sister in Christ!
I’m praying for you Becky. God is good, my heart and thoughts are with you may the strength of the Almighty fill your cup. May his love neverending and his joy be with you.
Elizabeth, I appreciate the prayers. Thank you, dear one.
This is a powerful post! And the ending was remarkable and unexpected.
You are a mighty warrior against the battle with cancer — Yahweh knows that and knows you will use this for His glory.
I am praying for you Dear Friend.
Dorcas, I appreciate those prayers! Your sweet comment made me smile 🙂
Beckie, I messaged you on Facebook. Please ASAP watch the Jennifer LeClaire video.
Thank you, Valerie! I saw it and responded.
Oh, Beckie, I am so sorry to hear this news, but your heart and faith shine through your beautiful post. What a precious story about the unexpected flowers too. Made me cry. May God uphold you and bless you and heal you. Praying continually!
Thanks, Savanna! <3
Hi Beckie–I just signed up for your newsletter. I loved what you shared about Rafael. You may never know what seeds were planted in his heart as you shared with him about writing your blog. I am praying for you on February 28, 12:30 PT. You are known and loved.
Becky, Thanks for your prayers! Great name, btw 🙂
I am PRAYING for Ya Sister in JESUS BECKIE!! “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!
Love Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/