God’s love comforts, strengthens, and restores our weary hearts. He reaches us in our despair and brings peace and a new perspective. Below is an excerpt from The Grace Impact, p.37-40.
Everyday blessings are easy to take for granted—blossoming trees awakening in the spring, bright sunshine warming the air after a chilly rain, laughter shared with friends. Each of these gifts needs to be savored and enjoyed, but all too often we overlook them to rush to the next event on our calendars.
Disruptions of our fast-passed life can force us to slow down and notice the simple joys. A phone call from a doctor’s office can disrupt a quiet day and change your life, as it did mine.
”I have some good news and some bad news.” The doctor’s calm voice sounded serious. He had my attention. I sat at the kitchen table and picked up a pen to write what he would tell me.
“The bad news is that it’s cancer, but the good news is that we got it all and it’s very treatable.”
He explained the diagnosis, but my mind froze on his first statement. Cancer? I choked back tears. Tongue cancer? Because of the stitches and swelling in my tongue, I struggled to form words as my mind flooded with questions.
After hanging up, I thought about how I had gotten to this point. It had begun with a sore on my tongue that would not heal. Eventually the dentist referred me to an oral surgeon who removed the affected tissue. Because I didn’t fit the profile of one at risk for oral cancer, he almost didn’t send it off for a biopsy. Although all the tissue was removed, I had to face the fact that I had cancer.
That evening I plopped onto my bed in despair. Desperately I called out to God in my spirit with tears streaming down my face. Weary and restless, I move to my piano where I played hymns and prayed through my fingers. In those moments of worship, a gentle but powerful exchange occurred in my heart as I released my anxiety. God gave me special assurance—a deeper peace than I had ever known. The Lord accepted my “what if” questions and replaced them with the precious affirmation of His love. The grace of God’s love would sustain me in this health crisis. I had found an inner sanctuary that became my refuge.
In the following weeks, I had to retrain my tongue to say some words, for a while my name was “Nanthy Gwathe.” I pulled back from my church activities to sort out the confusion of the unexpected diagnosis. My speaking ministry was put on hold. Jesus became my safe hiding place. Intentional time spent reading Scripture, praying, and journaling brought steady healing to my soul. I gained perspective that God would use this trial for His Good. God’s love was shown in the kindness of family and encouragement for friends. In my uncertainty and despair the God of the universe did not remain far off, but gave me His peace and assurance in the shelter of His love. I again realized I didn’t have to do anything to be loved; I could only accept God’s love. Resting in the refuge of God brought a deeper awareness of His love for me.
As a result, I have become more aware of the need to slow down and treasure the everyday blessing like a cardinal’s song, a butterfly on a flower, or the hug of a child.
The cancer experience has also strengthened my resolve to use my faltering tongue to proclaim the good news and hope of Jesus Christ.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3b
God sent His son, Jesus, out of love for us, to bring us back into relationship with Him. He loves each of us with an everlasting love. Nothing can separate us from His love. Even in hard times His love carries us.
Nancy Kay Grace is captivated by God’s grace and love to share about embracing it is everyday life. She has contributed stories to several anthologies and published magazine articles. Nancy is married to her best friend, Rick, who is a senior pastor in northwest Arkansas. They have served the Lord for more that forty year, seeing His grace at work in many countries. Now they enjoy the stage of life with two married children and an increasing number of grandchildren.
In a few months, Nancy will be hosting an online Bible study using The Grace Impact. If you are interested in more information about this opportunity, please sign up for her GraceNotes newsletter at http://www.nancykaygrace.com.
Find speaker and author Nancy Kay Grace at:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancykaygrace?ref
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancykaygrace