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More From Teresa Todt

December 5, 2021 by Teresa Todt (Illinois, USA)

Six years have passed since the cancer diagnosis I wrote about in my devotion, but what God taught me through that difficult time remains very much a part of me today.  Many survivors can relate when I say that all hope and expectancy I felt just days before my diagnosis was instantly replaced with a paralyzing fear of an unknown future.  At the time I could never have imagined that cancer would take me on a beautiful, life-changing journey, one which only God could orchestrate.  The aggressive disease ended up being an answer to my heart’s cry for a deeper walk with God.  An extreme way to answer a simple prayer?  I certainly thought so at first.  But as I leaned on God for direction, my fears gave way to an incredible peace and a new-found joy like nothing I had ever experienced.

I was a Christ-follower long before my diagnosis.  From my earliest memories, I loved Jesus and desired to follow the path he lay before me.  But as the years moved forward and life became hectic and full, my relationship with Christ dwindled and somehow got put on the back burner.  I spent less time reading scripture and more time worrying about everything—from work to the needs of my growing family.  But cancer changed that.  I ran to God not only with my fears, but with every part of me.  I spent hours studying scripture and found that once I began reading, I could not stop.  God was revealing to me the power of scripture while drawing me into the deeper relationship that I had prayed for many years ago.

As I lay on my bed night after night reading scripture and praising God, I often imagined God holding my hand, leading me through the many days of uncertainty.  As my faith grew, I relinquished my need to hang on to any control I thought I had over my future, and allowed God to replace that with a deep trust in God’s plan for me, whatever that might be.  My fears vanished!  For the first time in my life, I could relate to Philippians 4:7, which promises, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV).

In my devotion, I recount that my fist granddaughter, Tinlie, was born while I was going through chemotherapy.  She lived close by, so I was able to experience the day-to-day joys of watching her grow.  Her birth and the close relationship we shared as she matured gave me another reason to focus on God’s blessings instead of on myself.  She and her family have since moved across the country (that’s for another devotion!), but I do not doubt that God used her birth and the first four years of her life to teach me to live intentionally, cast my cares on God, and rest in the daily newness of God’s grace and mercy.   

Through cancer, God taught me many things.  Above all, I have learned God is enough.  God truly is sufficient in all things. And each and every day I’m humbled and grateful for the lengths God goes to in order to demonstrate love to all God’s children.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” — Lamentations 3:22-24

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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I looked forward to each session of the 2021 Spiritual Formation in Today’s World, and I still consider it a sacred time in my life. It renewed my love for myself, strengthened my love for God, and inspired my love for others.” Read more...