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Child of God: Facing Illness without Fear

Jerusha Agen Fighting Fear 20 Comments

Jerusha: I’m delighted to host writer and blogger Robyn Hook at the Fear Warrior Blog today. Please join me in welcoming her to the FW community!

By Robyn Hook

woman-in-field-running-away (1280x853)I have stage two breast cancer. Now is the time to decide if I want to do chemotherapy because there is no turning back after this procedure.

I lay on the pre-op cot awaiting the surgery to insert a port below my collarbone. The device will permit powerful chemotherapy drugs to be administered directly into my heart so my blood can dilute the chemicals enough to prevent them from burning my blood vessels.

My brain’s foggy from lack of sleep, and my thoughts whirl with the sentiments of the anti-chemotherapy crusaders whose words kept me from sleeping the night before. They tell me I’m young, and there’s still time to undo my cancer with healthy foods and herbs to allow my body to heal itself. The medical professionals say they have a treatment with a high success rate.

A treatment that could kill me, give me a different cancer, leave me damaged and unable to raise my three boys.

The confusion swirls in my mind. Who do I trust? None of it feels right. Poisoning my body, killing my cells.

God, am I doing the right thing? I squeeze my eyes closed. I’m so scared. Where are you? Why can’t I feel you today when I need you most? Help me.

The nurse steps back in, meeting my gaze her expression turns serious. “God’s got this. He’s going to carry you through.”

I swallow and nod. “I know.” But how did she know I’m a Christian? Had my husband said something before he left for the waiting room? Had I? Maybe she saw me praying.

Rose (1280x853)She sits down beside my bed. “We aren’t supposed to talk about God, but I can tell you’re struggling and felt I should tell you.”

Tears trail down my cheeks. “I can’t feel God through the fog and confusion. I’ve been a Christian most of my life, but it’s like my fear has shut Him out.”

“He’s here. He’ll never leave you.” The confidence in her gaze reveals her love and awe for God.

I learn she’s a new Christian from the Hispanic congregation at my church. Her husband had brought her and her family to God only months prior. I see her freedom and excitement that comes with being on fire for God. And I glimpse my Savior in her. His love, His light, His peace, reaching out and wrapping me in warmth.

They wheel me into the OR. The surgeon comes in and asks me if I’ve seen Kelly yet. I blink, unsure who he means. Then Kelly, an OR nurse from my church, appears at my side. Yes. From my church. I think God is trying to tell me something. I had never seen her look so official in her surgical scrubs or her gaze so serious. She squeezes my arm and leans over me. “We’re going to get you through this, Robyn.”

Her familiar face blurs. I know she isn’t referring to just the surgery. She’s talking about my cancer treatment, and she’s representing my church family. She’s reminding me of their support. I know my congregation is praying. Ever since my diagnosis, I have felt them lifting me up and offering pleas on my behalf. God is telling me He’s going to use them to get me through cancer.

Thank you, God.

I-am-with-you-always-graphic-1 (1280x853)When I awake, a new nurse is there. Another believer. Another who wraps me in love from my Father. This time, I’m not crying. I’m smiling, ready for the next nurse to come in and speak life.

And she does, of course. It seems God’s making sure I don’t miss His message.

All day, God rains His love down on me, teaching me what it means to live in the Kingdom, and showing me He’s got this. Even in a secular hospital where the nurses are discouraged from religious comments, He’s in control.

I began the day on shaky ground feeling abandoned, unsure—terrified. But I left knowing who held my life, my future, my healing.  Although all good things, my faith will not reside in herbs, essential oils, healthy foods, or the medical profession. My faith is rooted in God.

God placed the cancer before me because it’s the path he chose for me to walk. My life belongs to Him. Who am I to disagree? To fear? He’s promised never to leave his children. Even when we don’t feel Him. He’s there, blessing us with more of Him.

And carry me he did. Through the sickness, the weaknesses, the doubts, the physical needs. Now at two years out, I have no promises that my cancer won’t return. There is nothing I can do to guarantee a long life. But I do have the assurance that wherever my life leads, He will go before me (Matthew 28:20).

The song below sums up that day. I gave God my fear and God reminded me I’m a child of God who is full of faith.

“No Longer Slaves,” by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser (Bethel Music)

Has God comforted you through others in the Christian body when you were afraid? Has He reminded you in other ways that He is with you in times of trial or danger? Please share!

RobynHookRobyn Hook writes inspirational contemporary romance. She earned a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and has worked as a counselor and university administrator before answering the call to be a work-at-home-mom.

She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is currently preparing her fiction novel for publication. She and her husband live in Northwest Arkansas with their three young boys and a border collie

Find her at and on Twitter.

Comments 20

  1. Emily Conrad

    How neat to read this part of your story, Robyn! I was happy to read you had one believing nurse with you, but what a neat sign of God’s love that He sent one after another to see you all the way through. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Patricia Bradley

    God is so faithful! He put each of those nurses in your path that day to comfort and encourage you. And what a wonderful encourager you are to tell your story. Isaiah 43:1-3 tells us He has called us by name and will be with us through the fire and is one of my favorite passages.

    1. Robyn Hook

      Jesus is in those nurses! For the first time, I really recognized Him in a person—revealing His goodness, love, and power. I love that verse, too! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Alice Marie Holder

    Robyn, I am so proud of you and I know your Uncle Fred would be too in all that you have accomplished not just for your career objectives but your Blessed witnessing to all. God is so Good and He strengthens me daily. I realized that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and yet we all go through “things” in life that can wear us down. I think a major issue is mankind wants to fix everything themselves instead of letting go and letting God work! A number of people at our church, Belmont Baptist in Abilene have also been touched by various forms of cancer. Your testimony of your walk is a great inspiration to all who suffer from these afflictions. The Abilene Holders all love you.

    1. Robyn Hook

      Marie, your precious family means so much to me! Thank you for your support and sharing this with your church. I’m so blessed to know that my decision to be His witness is impacting others going through the fire. And I so agree about mankind wanting to fix everything ourselves. A major lesson of the fiction novel I’m writing is about surrendering. I can’t wait to share it with you! Please give my love to the Abilene clan, and know I’m lifting you up in prayer.

  4. MJ

    Robyn, thank you for sharing your testimony of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness through such a fear-filled time in your life. Your story brought me to tears, as I was reminded of the incredible mercy of our loving Father, who knows exactly what we need in our times of fear, questioning, and doubt. His mercy and sovereignty is so clearly visible in your testimony.

    1. Robyn Hook

      What a wonderful God we serve and what a blessing you are for sharing your thoughts! I love knowing God is using my fear and weakness to show his strength and mercy. To God be the glory!

    1. Robyn Hook

      So true! When I felt abandoned, He showed His faithfulness with a swift lesson on what it means to be part of the church body and walk in the Kingdom! Thanks for the comment, dear friend.

  5. Heather Tabata

    Thank you for sharing your story. As a Christian working in healthcare it can be intimidating to want to share your faith. I’m glad you were cared for by people who took care of you spiritually as well. What a powerful example of how God knows exactly what we need.

    1. Robyn Hook

      It’s interesting you say that. It did seem like they weren’t accustomed to speaking about God with every patient. I hadn’t really considered this before, but I think their initial hesitation actually helped reveal God’s presence. Overcoming that place where we feel the urge but are afraid to answer the call. Thanks for sharing your unique prospective, Heather!

  6. Holly Hook

    Love this and love how God orchestrated this particular day in such a faithful and purposely planned way. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Robyn Hook

      Yes, and I love that they answered the call! You never know who you’re going to touch when you speak life. I’m so glad you saw this Holly. You and your peeps at KLRC speak life everyday!

  7. Katie Sanders

    WOW, Robyn! Thanks for sharing your story. The “God moments” sprinkled throughout your day prove how much God loves His children—despite our fears! 😀 We are His blood-bought treasures.

    The mention of breast cancer frightens me: my maternal grandma died from it before my parents even met. My aunt survived breast cancer, however, and now leads a normal life! (Maybe you’d enjoy Mandisa’s music video, “Overcomer.”)

    For the past five years, my sister, Rachel, has been struggling with Lyme Disease, which gives her severe adrenal fatigue, headaches, and body pain. The disease is extremely resistant to treatment. Yet even in our valley, the Lord has given many evidences of His presence and love. (I’ll name just three here!) Now Rachel has a deep and intimate relationship with God that she never had before this suffering. Despite the ongoing medical bills, God continues to provide enough money to meet our expenses. And last year, God led us to a church where we receive support from the pastor and congregation. It’s a huge blessing, since we’d almost given up on finding a church that TRULY cared about us. Praise the Lord!

    1. Robyn Hook

      I do love Mandisa’s song Overcomer! It’s amazing to me how trials can draw you nearer to God. It reminds me of James 1. Consider it all joy my friends when you face trials of every kind. I didn’t understand what he meant until I had a few of my own. I’m so glad you found a church home, Katie. God made us to live in community. We need each other! Thanks for sharing!

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