What Warriors Do: Overcoming Life’s Adversities

devotionals Oct 31, 2019
What Warriors Do: Overcoming Life’s Adversities



a brave or experienced soldier or fighter

It was Mother’s Day weekend 2012. We sat at a soul food restaurant as my Mother told me and my two sisters that she had breast cancer.

She had caught it relatively early.

And I do mean she.

After repeatedly feeling a burning sensation in her breast, she went to the doctor and had a mammogram. The results came back negative. No sign of cancer.

But she knew her body and insisted they give her an MRI. And there it was, undetected by her initial mammogram – stage 2 breast cancer.

Given the fact that her Mom had died of breast cancer in her early forties, my Mom opted to get a double mastectomy.

Pretty much nothing else has felt quite like that conversation. We were scared and in tears but my Mom was so strong and focused on doing what needed to be done that she held us all together.

A lot of sleepless nights followed. Going back and forth between thinking of every possible thing that could go wrong and being too scared to face it all.

My Mom never wavered though. Consoling us and letting us know she was going to be just fine as she dealt with the same disease that had taken her Mom from her when she was 21.

Her surgery date came. There were a lot of unknowns. The biggest was if they would find cancer in her lymph nodes. That would mean the potential for chemo and that the cancer wasn’t contained.

My mom and sisters

My Dad, sisters and I sat in the waiting room together. We took walks and ate bad hospital food. We prayed. Those were 10 of the most grueling hours of our lives.

Not as grueling though as the 15 seconds it took for the doctor to approach us after he had completed the surgery.

I remember thinking as he walked towards us how truly fragile life was. It can change in a matter of moments.

I couldn’t even register the words the doctor was saying. I just saw the looks of relief on my Dad and sister’s faces.

Surgery had went well. No cancer in the lymph nodes. She was doing fine.

The road to recovery was no cake walk.

Ok, it sucked.

But it was worth her life and she powered through it. Refusing to let us help her more than she felt we should.

She got back on her feet. I was amazed by her strength, steadfastness and determination. And by how resilient God created our bodies to be.

I learned so many things throughout that experience that I’ve carried with me since. Among the most important are:

1.Your health is YOUR responsibility (not your doctor’s).

According to her doctor, my mom didn’t even have breast cancer. She forced the issue and it saved her life. Listen to your body and make your health a priority!

2. Devastating challenges bring growth and strength.

So often we want to run from the challenges that we face (I’m certainly guilty of this!). But the bible says:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2 - 4

3. Love life and those you cherish the most.

My Grandmother never saw 50. I never got the privilege of knowing her. Life is short. Live it to the fullest and enjoy it with the ones you love!

4. Prayer is powerful

There is nothing more powerful than an open line of communication with the creator of the universe. If we focus on his ability and not our inability, all will be well.

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on our difficulties.

Oswald Chambers

5. Your inner warrior is gangster

Don’t ever forget what you are capable of through Christ who gives your strength!

I couldn’t let breast cancer awareness month pass without saluting my Grandmother, Mother, Aunt Lynn, Aunt Toni and the gang of survivors for being the definition of true warriors.

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