October 06, 2015

Thankful for Cancer by Glynis M. Belec


          I would never ‘in’ this world be glad that I had cancer.  Yet, from a life-learning, God-honouring, spirit-living, ‘out’ of this world, perspective, I am thankful that I did.

          I know that sounds weird and even a little foolish - how can anyone utter those two words in the same sentence; glad and cancer? But I am glad.

          I am not glad that those wretched, devouring cells wreaked havoc in my body. I am not glad that I had to have 6 months of intensive bittersweet poison course through my veins traversing - not differentiating between the healthy and the hideous untoward. I am not glad that my family and friends were sent into turmoil as they tried to figure out how to help.

But I am glad for a million other reasons.
  1. God got my attention
  2. I learned to lean on Him alone
  3. I realized that I am NOT in control of anything
  4. I learned to love deeper
  5. I learned to speak sweeter
  6. I learned to listen better
  7. I learned to forgive quickly
  8. I learned to judge slowly
  9. I found out that some things don’t really matter and it’s not important for me to win all the battles
  10.  I learned the value and importance of family
  11. I discovered what unconditional love means.
  12.  I learned that when I don’t allow people to help me, I am actually stifling the God-given gifts of others
  13. I found out that death is nothing to fear
  14.  I learned the importance of giving hope to others
  15. I found out that God doesn’t need me to defend Him. He just needs me to serve Him.
  16. I found out that ‘paying it forward’ is the best way to pay someone back
  17. I learned that gratitude is more than an emotion – it is an action
  18.  I came to the conclusion that gratitude is also an attitude that can change perspective and promote well-being
  19. I learned to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for me...


          No, cancer is not something I would wish for anyone to go through. But even seven years later as I give thanks to God that he chose for me to survive the battle, I am still learning. God is not finished with me yet, and I know every morning when the sun comes up I am filled with the love of Jesus and the hope in His promises and the peace that passeth all that understanding [that I thought I had.] As I think upon these things I know I have two choices when I roll out of bed – wallow in self-pity, bemoaning all that I have been through and all the troubles that lie in wait OR I can put a smile on my face and say – “Okay, God – what are we up to today?”

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          And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.                                                                                 Colossians 3:15-19

23 comments:

  1. I totally get it, Glynis. God uses life experiences to teach us things. It's only in the aftermath that we realize that the deeper awareness of our purpose here far outweighs the discomfort of what we went through to learn it. Doctors and lawyers go through years of education to get to where they're at. A degree in Christ-like-life takes some serious education too. The difference, I guess, is that people choose to go to school for a profession. But for this kind of learning, God makes the choice for us. The question I have to ask myself when life hits is, do I want to learn, or run? Sounds like you chose to learn. Your list is wonderful. I must share this with those I know who have serious life issues. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi, and those are some pretty 'bang-on' observations. Somehow I knew right away that God didn't give me cancer but he allowed me to walk through the valley and realize from whence my strength comes!

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  2. I, too, found this an excellent testimony, realistic and upbeat at the same time. Having been a recipient of your "passing it forward", I can testify to your living that which you are saying. I, too, intend to pass this on.

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    1. Ah, Patricia. . .how you soothe my soul with your kindness. And I know you know what the journey is all about. x

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  3. this is so thought provoking Glynis. God is using you to reach others and will continue to use you, I am sure, through this kind of writing

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Tracy. You made me think with your prompt, wise lady.

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  4. " I know that sounds weird and even a little foolish - how can anyone utter those two words in the same sentence; glad and cancer? But I am glad."
    Not weird or foolish - wisdom and peace abound when we look for the Light (of Christ) in our dark and ugly times. Love your list! Thanks for sharing this truth.

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    1. Thanks, Marnie. And that is SO true - my situation sent me straight to the Light. I did not like nor want the alternative. ;)

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  5. Thanks for this blog, Glynis. How uplifting to know what God taught you through cancer, and how He helped you become thankful. This is a very poignant story of how God would want us everyone to give thanks, and how He causes all things to work together for good.

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    1. It truly does work together for good. I think I was hit with a 2 x 4 just so that I would slow down and listen! Thanks, Sandi,

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  6. Glynis,
    Thank you for sharing from your heart. The big "C" is a fear many people have and face. God has equipped you to walk beside them and share His comfort and peace with them. That's an audience I can't reach, because I haven't experienced it. I love how God equips each of us to reach unique audiences. Thanking God with you and for you!

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    1. It's the old 'Walk a Mile in His Moccasins' adage, isn't it? I feel such passion when I write/speak about how God got me through this. I promised Him that I would be a mouthpiece if I got through it. It's always a good idea to keep up one's end of the bargain, isn't it?

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  7. My mother first got cancer at the age of 36 when I was 16. At first she was given a 98 per cent chance of survival (she had hodgkins) but unfortunately it kept coming back. For the next twelve years I watched her go through chemotherapy/radiation and surgery over and over; losing her hair each time. Throughout this entire time she finished raising her four daughters, went back to school, worked, went through a divorce and most importantly....L.I.V.E.D. In fact she was out dancing the Friday before her death, which happened the following Thursday. I don't think I ever heard her complain. What a legacy she left us all. Thank you for your beautiful post that reminded me of my mother and all that she taught me THROUGH having cancer.

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    1. She must have been very determined to take care of you girls. Wow, that is quite a woman, Gloria! And I hear a story in there too.

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    2. Wow, Gloria. That makes me cry. Your mother is my hero. So sorry for your loss. So grateful that she taught you all a beautiful lesson.

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  8. Our Lord is sovereign! And your testimony is a light to others to see His ways are faithful even when walking those dark valleys. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. And thank YOU, Lynn for your kind words that spur me on to help others who may need a little hope and encouragement in their lives.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your insight, Glynis. I watched my aunt pass away this year as a result of cancer. Her journey was different than yours, but the presence of Jesus and the sense of knowing what it truly means to be loved - these things were similar. I remember seeing her in her last days, and seeing only beauty, the beauty of the living Christ. I haven't found the words yet to explain what it was like to see past the cancer to the truth. I feel that you have, and you are a guiding light for all of us. Thank you. Be blessed.

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  10. Thank you Glynis for sharing lessons learned during the storm. I appreciate you! And I love #9 - are you sure it's okay for me to let go? Really? That would be a relief. Smiles. :)

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  11. As a cancer survivor, I can so relate, Glynis! :) Numbers 2 and 3 especially stand out for me. I smiled through your whole list. Thank you.

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  12. I like your "thankful" list Glynis. It definitely puts things in perspective.

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  13. I hear your voice in all of this, Glynis, and it shows that you have much to teach all of us. Cancer does seem like a tough way to learn, but you seem to have thrived spiritually through this hardship. What a testimony that is to others who know your story! We all need to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding. Thanks for an excellent blog. I too smiled as I read your beautiful list of discoveries and graces.

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  14. Thank you Glynis, for sharing your powerful words of encouragement. Your list is well worded and you have chosen to see the goodness of the journey. Blessings to you!

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