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Cancer, Life's Challenges

Hope in the Valley

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It was four years ago today that I received a phone call at work. The gastroenterologist apologized then told me I had colon cancer. He told me what would happen next, the tests, the scans, the surgeries, the chemo; he told me I was too young to have cancer. But I heard little of it. I thanked him, hung up the phone, then finished my work day.

The following year brought fear and pain and stress like I’d never known before . . . but it also brought peace and comfort and assurance like I’d never experienced. There were times when I swear I physically felt God there with me.

I was thirty-five, married, three little girls. I needed to work. I needed to be there for my family. I needed to live.

There is never a good time for tragedy, never a time when a trial is welcome. We take a deep breath and go one day at a time, holding our Father’s hand the whole way and, as our forefathers put it, keep a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”

Here are three things to keep in mind when navigating one of life’s valleys:

  • Keep your focus on God. He’s there, really. You may not feel His presence at the time but He is there, leading you, comforting you. Turn to His Word for encouragement and inspiration. Remember His promises.
  • Remember your suffering is only temporary. Nothing in this world is forever and that includes our trials. Compared to eternity, this life is but a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow. Sooner or later healing will come. That’s a promise.
  • Look for the blessings in every situation. They’re there, really. Sometimes you have to look hard to find them but they are there. Even in the darkest of times there is a speck of light.

There’s so much more on this topic and we’ll discuss it in the months to come. But for now, in whatever you’re going through . . . may the Lord bless you and keep you.

Have you gone through a trial and felt God’s presence right there with you?


About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.


5 thoughts on “Hope in the Valley

  1. What a wonderful way to start my day, Michael. Thank you for sharing your journey, for blessing us with the lessons you learned–gifts from our loving Father!

    Posted by Cathy Gohlke | March 17, 2012, 8:08 am
  2. I’ve gone through a lot of trials and tragedies, and normally I can focus on those three things you mentioned. But I’m going through a trial right now where I’ve been having trouble finding God. A boy who I used to teach in preteen Sunday school was killed in a car accident last Saturday. Even though I wasn’t teaching him anymore, we stayed close. I’ve watched this kid grow up. He’d just started his first job last Friday night. He was only 18 and a bright light for everyone around him.
    Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in asking why and missing him that I forget that God’s still in control. So thank you for sharing, I really needed to hear this today.

    Posted by wmelinda | March 17, 2012, 9:05 am
    • Oh, Melinda, how terrible. No doubt there are times in life when we miss God, when we don’t feel His presence or hear His voice. The sorrow is overwhelming. My heart goes out to this boy’s family and everyone around him.

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | March 17, 2012, 9:36 am
  3. Michael,

    Sorry this is late. Congratulations on almost four years of being cancer free. I’ll be praying that you continue to be cancer free for that magic number five year. As a fellow colon cancer survivor, I agree completely with the things you listed to help navigate life’s valleys. Psalm 139 has been a great comfort to me in the past two years as I’ve faced cancer. God formed us in the womb and knows every word that will be on our tongue. All our days were written in His book before one of them came to be. What a comfort in the midst of uncertainty! Thanks again for your encouragement.

    Posted by Tom Leckrone | March 24, 2012, 3:29 pm
    • Tom, YOU an Lori have been such an inspiration to me as I’ve read about your journey through Lori’s updates. I’ve been praying for you and thinking about you often. I know the road has been challenging, way more challenging than it should have been. Thank you for your steadfast faith and example to all of us.

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | March 25, 2012, 5:58 am

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March 2012
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