10 years ago today I was headed into surgery for my cancer diagnosis. That really set everything into motion – my journey into healing and wholeness that ultimately led to the wonderful organization of HealingStrong. In celebration of this monumental day I would like to share the top 10 things I’ve learned over the last 10 years.
#1: DON’T PANIC
Most cancers didn’t get here overnight. Unless you are in a situation where your very life is in immediate danger, you have time to take a step back. Pray. Ask God to show you the way. Seek wisdom and gain understanding!
#2: GET TO KNOW GOD
If you don’t know the Living God, now is a good time to get to know Him. There is no better time to think about eternity then when facing a cancer diagnosis. His word tells us that when we seek God with all of our hearts, we will find Him. A verse that has been an important verse for me is: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom 10:17 As with anything else, don’t take someone else’s word…find the truth for yourself. His word is truth and will lead you to Him.
#3: FORGIVE. FORGIVE. FORGIVE.
I can’t say it enough….forgiveness is key to healing. I’ve known so many people over these last ten years who do everything else right, but they have a hard time with this important healing principle. Forgiveness frees you and allows you to freely love again. I believe the answer to all emotional and soul wounds comes down to forgiveness.
#4: HEALING IN. HEALING OUT.
What you put in your body is either healing or hurting. This goes for your mind also. Either you are putting that which heals into your body and soul, or you are putting in junk. It’s your choice. Each day is a new day to heal. Everyday, choose the pathway that leads to life.
#5: DON’T CHEAT
Whatever you do, commit to it with all of your heart and mind. During this season, it’s important to tell yourself that you are not going to cheat. Set a schedule. Plan your menu. Setup your home to heal. Let others know you have to make some changes. Invite a friend or loved one to help you with accountability. Stay focused. Don’t allow your sweet tooth to creep back in. Your health is worth it.
#6: MANAGE YOUR TIME
One of the best things I was told during my own healing season is that my 1 of 1 is to get well. I cut my hours for work, and looked at my day with intentionality. It was time for me to get well and I had to take time to do so. Healing is a minute by minute decision. How you structure your day matters. This is a new season in your life…a time to heal!
#7: HEALING SHOULDN’T LEAD TO BANKRUPTCY
I have found that most of us have limited resources and need to choose wisely how to maximize our finances around our healing. Raising money through platforms like Give.Send.Go is a great way to make up the difference and allow friends in for support. For some, it’s difficult to do even that. Remember, pray first and seek God’s wisdom. It’s my personal belief that if you do not have the resources to eat everything organic, take every supplement or buy every new gadget recommended that God doesn’t intend for your healing to lead you into bankruptcy court.
#8: FIND YOUR TRIBE
Studies show that plugging into a community helps us to stick with it. Healing holistically is not easy and unfortunately, it’s not understood, nor is it supported in mainstream medicine. Many of us deal with loved ones and friends who are also naysayers. Don’t allow that to get you down! Look for those like you and lock arms. That’s why HealingStrong began — to support people just like you! Our community is made up of people who serve as leaders, co-leaders, volunteers, partners, and those who attend groups meetings. Find your HealingStrong group today!
#9: THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY
Look at this as an opportunity to expand your knowledge base but also gain understanding in the process. There are so many resources available, and below are just a handful of my favorites that have helped me along the way:
Chris Wark’s 20 Questions – A great resource to use for asking questions of your doctors
Created to Heal Strong Book – My top 5 Aha Moments with 14 cancer thrivers
who beat stage 3 or 4 cancer and lists all of my top resources and websites.
H.E.A.L. Bible Study – Daily devotion, readings and live call discussions of Jesus healing ministry.
Remember Me – If you’ve felt forgotten by God, download this one today.
Heaven’s Health Food – CD or MP3 of healing scriptures set to music. I personally listened to it everyday for the first 3 months of my own healing.
Courage to Be Healed by Mark Rutland – Emotional and Spiritual healing at it’s best
You Can Beat The Odds by Brenda Stockdale – Mind/Body Connection
HealingStrong Live! – Some of our very favorite speakers joined together along with a worship team, and “The Bag Lady” who had very special message.
The Truth About Cancer Global Quest – Excellent information to help make informed dec.
HealingStrong Participant Guide (Accompanies HealingStrong Group Meetings)
30 Day Healthy Living Guide (Our newest HealingStrong resource with a step by step 30 day jumpstart guide. Recipes, daily devotions, shopping lists, etc.)
#10: HEALING VS. WHOLENESS
There is a difference between healing and wholeness. God’s design for us is to be whole: body, soul and spirit. If all we are looking for is healing of our cancer, then we are missing the bigger purpose that God desires for us. He wants our soul to prosper. He desires for us to live a full life. His word tells us that He is for us and not against us. He wants all men to know Him, that none shall perish — not even one. This has been the greatest blessing and lesson for me and I’m just now understanding it, almost 10 years post cancer diagnosis. My prayer has changed from Lord, heal me to Lord, make me whole.
“And he said to him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole.” Luke 17:19.
In honor of today’s special occasion — will you please do me a big favor? Please share how HealingStrong has helped you on your journey? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to add a picture if you like, or a short video message!