For my friends with cancer, I love you all.

Alice and Arnie O'Hara at their 50th Wedding Anniversary

“Finding out you have cancer is like going to sleep in your own bed and waking up in a boxing ring. You’re standing toe to toe with the heavyweight champion of the world. The crowd is looking on, you’re in your pajamas and you don’t even know how to throw a punch.” – Nicole Johnson Fresh Brewed Faith.

I left church in the middle of Easter Services in 2010 and went straight to the hospital. I was in so much pain that I could barely breathe. An ultra sound revealed a mass in my stomach and I was referred to a surgeon. It wasn’t until three months later that we were able to ascertain without a shadow of a doubt that this mass was benign (not cancer).  In the gap between finding the mass and the surgery and test results I felt like I had to be strong for my kids, so for them I’d make promises I wasn’t sure I could keep. Telling them I would be fine and that everything will be okay seemed the faithful mother thing to do.

Secretly, for 90 days, I prayed, cried, pleaded and bargained with God. Sometimes, not knowing can be just as scary as knowing.

I have several friends walking through that right now, and all are in my prayers.

I walk these steps with more men and women than I can count.  My mother in law was a 45 year breast cancer survivor before she went home to be with the Lord at 86. We have many other friends and relatives who are now celebrating years of remission.

We have also lost my beloved father in law (Dad) to cancer in 2008, our aunt to leukemia in 2007, another aunt to breast cancer in 1994. My best friend from college Amy Jo died from cancer in 2010, she was 44, leaving behind a mother, a brother, and a teenage daughter. She is missed.  I do not know why some people recover and other do not. All I know is that, the only absolute found with cancer, is the absolute faithfulness of Christ. It is his faithfulness that get’s all of through one day at a time.

I walk with and support friends who have cancer or their children have cancer or a spouse or whomever as a prayer partner and friend. That is a gift and a privilege I pray I never take lightly.

For every one of my friends who walk this path, my heart hurts. However the test results come back or how high or low the numbers during treatment, know that God is faithful and promises to be with us each step of the way. In each case, we are reminded to look not to the left or to the right, but to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. 

This video is the edited for You Tube version of Nicole’s Video Sketch on Stepping into the Ring. It is a hopeful, honest, and inspiring piece. I know many women who gain inspiration from it and so I’m offering it here.

Please note that this is edited and the full version can be seen on her DVD. For anyone of you locally who would like to borrow this DVD to see the full sketch, please let me know. Or if you’d like to purchase more of her heart-felt and inspirational messages, please see her web page.

Tomorrow I will introduce you to a friend of mine named Barb Boswell. Barb is a breast cancer survivor who has written two books and who travels and speaks at women’s groups across America sharing her experience, strength and hope in Jesus Christ.

If you are a cancer survivor, would you please let a word of encouragement in the comments below? Thank you.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved. No goods or services were received in exchange for this endorsement. I only share resources that I myself find helpful and inspiring.

Baggage by Nicole Johnson

While putting together this new blog format and platform, I ran across my Nicole Johnson files. I first discovered Nicole when I was at Women of Faith back in 2004. Most of her sketches were humorous that year and being of the bulimic mindset that if a little is good well then the whole thing must be wonderful, I bought her entire set of videos and watched them all in one sitting.

I do that you know, binge on things other than food. That’s part of what this whole blog series is about, the effects bingeing and purging, and trying to find balance and peace instead of control. I don’t just eat one cookie, I eat the whole bag. I don’t just buy one book, I buy the whole set. If I find a sweater I like, I buy every color in my size.  I don’t just join a health club to rehab my knee I, fill my living  room with machines and wear myself out.

 After a while guilt kicks in and I have a garage sale and purge my home of all evidence of my extremes.

Fortunately for me, I hang to my DVDs.  

This particular video is on Nicole’s Fresh Brewed Life You Tube page, and I think it’s very profound. This sketch was written for the Revolve Tour for teens and speaks to the baggage we all carry around with us.  Enjoy. Please note that the young woman acting in this video is not Nicole but rather a young woman named Katharine. Katharine Everett is a graduate from Baylor University and is a gifted and I dare say anointed young actress who really brings these sketches to life.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic, all rights reserved. September 18, 2010. Confessions is not a bible study or teaching, but rather a resting place for the stories of my life as I learn to give them voice. In everything, test the Spirits, go back and look up the scriptures mentioned, read the commentaries and learn for yourself what God’s Word would reveal to you. Disclaimer: No goods or services were received in exchange for this post. I only write about resources that I find encouraging and want to pass on to others.