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Dealing with the shock of a diagnosis

By: Jennifer Jackson, Simply for Women

While shopping for curtains and lamps in a local home decor store, I received a life changing notification. While pursuing fabrics and colors, my phone dinged, What I saw on my screen stopped me in my tracks. 

My biopsy results were in: Cancer.

My heart sank and began beating faster as I started placing all the items in my cart back on the shelves. Suddenly I became aware of my sweater, the fabric uncomfortably itchy exaggerated by the quick rise in my body temperature. As I wandered through the parking lot I couldn’t seem to remember where I parked. Who should I call? My husband is in a meeting. Would he want me to interrupt him? Maybe my best friend or my sister will answer. What should I do now? Where should I go?

A state of shock comes upon us when we receive unexpected and high-impact news about our future. I walked through several of these times in recent years, the biggest of course was my breast cancer diagnosis and then smaller yet significant waves of shock as I navigated extra treatments, ovary removal and a liver ultrasound. I don’t know what diagnosis you or someone that you love may have received, but I want to start to walk with you from shock to hope. 

This path is not a straight line. One minute your mind is racing with the most monstrous and destructive thoughts. The next minute you find yourself rationally processing your emotions while sitting across from a trusted friend. Many times these things happen at once. 

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” (Deuteronomy 31:8). 

Feeling alone in diagnosis is normal. You may feel like no one could possibly understand. But God does. God has this situation in His hands. God promises He will never leave you.

Perhaps you have been in this trial a while and you or your loved one received the news of a recurrence of the diagnosis. This can take you immediately back to the initial state of shock. In Luke 8:43-44, scripture tells us, And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

I imagine the weariness the woman felt, worn out from it all when she decided to come to Jesus. She was focused on one task, to reach out to Him. After trying everything medically possible, she rallied. One touch of the hem hanging down from his garment and she found comfort and healing. She likely never imagined that  in that crowded moment of people-lined streets that He would pause for her. She put her health in His hands, and it is time for us to do the same.

Just like this woman, I had no choice but to do many things the doctors prescribed for me. I can tell you stories of the hours sitting in the chemo chair but one thing I know for certain, Jesus met me there. I can’t imagine facing cancer without Him. Grab a hold of Him. He wants to meet you in this suffering. 


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