Have you ever been digging for your keys with grocery bags already in hand? You want to turn to someone and hand your load to them so you can get what you need. Many days of my cancer journey I felt like my hands were full and I needed somewhere, someone to offload my weight so I could reach what I needed. I knew I needed something. And it was even accessible…if only I could free up myself enough to grab hold of it. A burst of hope in the hurting. I am that someone for women fighting through cancer. I hold the load so they can grasp what they need.
Think of it as giving someone a light in the dark. Every woman’s experience on their cancer journey is different. Mine isn’t exactly like yours. AND my second cancer journey was not like my first. Yep, I’ve survived two different types of cancer. And have found the light along the way.
If you’ve received a scary diagnosis, I have three lights to help you find your way through the dark.
1. The first light is hope.
Envision me handing you a light of hope and asking you to begin to anticipate hope. Can you see it? Close your eyes if that helps.
Imagine hope. Not a big fluffy concept, but the specific hope you need right now. Imagine me handing that to you. When you’re in the dark, you don’t know what’s in front of you. But the light of hope shifts your mindset from fear to anticipation of good. Take this light of hope from me.
Begin to anticipate hope.
After a long dark night of tossing and turning it can be hard to face a new day. I recall many times when I didn’t want to get out of bed, even when the sun was shining. Some days it seemed easier to focus on the wind and waves of life instead of choosing hope.
But I found the light of hope when I:
- Spent time with friends and family for support and encouragement. Made time to be outside and get out of my normal routine. (Because normal doesn’t feel normal right now, does it?
- Play cards or board games. It’s a nice break to work towards a trivial outcome when all of your other decisions seem so weighty.
- Spill your mental guts on the page. Doodle.
- Write out your prayers.
- Go for a ride with a friend.
Take this light of hope and set the tone for your day. Anticipate good. Renew your hope. Close your eyes and see goodness around the next corner. Choose to anticipate hope.
2. The second light I have for your dark night of a cancer diagnosis is rest.
Envision me handing you a light that brings rest. I know your cancer is probably the biggest battle you’ve ever faced, but I am asking you to rest.
What it would look like to rest?
Be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace. Some days are harder than others. When you run into heavy days, it’s okay give yourself a day off or take a much-needed break. Allow others to lend a hand and some heart. Let their actions say, “You don’t believe right now, but I do. So I will believe for you until you believe again.”
God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Psalm 46:5
Find light in this darkness when you rest.
3. The third light I give you in this darkness is trust.
Trust in God. Count on God to see you through this rough sea. I hand you the light of trust in God because I know without a shadow of a doubt that He is able and trustworthy and loves you.
He is reliable and right there beside you. I hope you feel the power of this light of God’s trust.
What if you had something you never had to doubt and could always rely on? Well, you do. It’s God and his love for you. It’s God and his plan for you.
Replace self-focused thinking with a God-focused mindset. He knows you best. Just because you can’t see Him doesn’t mean He isn’t with you.
Hope and Trust Him
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
When we wait upon Him, He will surely renew our strength according to His word. Anytime that our strength is spent and not renewed we grow weary. Since the effort required to do simple tasks when we are weary increases greatly, there is a tendency to faint or give up.
You don’t have to walk any part of this journey alone. Yes, it feels dark at times, but there is light. One small candle illuminates an entire room with its glow. And not because it is giant. Our small faith can light up the darkness that threatens to enfold us.
During your journey in and through and beyond this illness remember to choose to see the light. You live in the glow of the light when you hope, rest, and trust. Which one do you need to start with right now?
Having walked through two different types of cancers and multiple major surgeries I know there is darkness. I’ve felt it. But the light is brighter.
If you need help finding the light, I’d love to help. I offer helpful tools and short-term coaching to help breast cancer patients heal inside and out. Please reach out to Jeannie@JeannieSchmidt.com. Thank you.