January has always been a difficult month. Post-holiday blues, wintry weather, financial recovery from the gift-giving season, and no planned time off for anyone in my family make it almost unbearable. Oftentimes, I just want to curl up under a blanket and hibernate until February arrives.
One particular year, there was something else –a diagnosis of thyroid cancer in the month of January – that also had me preoccupied. However, when January was over, my feelings of doom and gloom were not. In fact, they were just beginning.
Was I sad? Yes. Was I scared? Most definitely. Did I have any idea what I was going to do next? Absolutely not.
But I had faith in a God who promises healing and hope. For me, that hope was through telling others my story.
Kind of like the hope that King Nebuchadnezzar found in declaring his testimony about seeing the goodness of God.
King Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king. He demonstrated rage. He was known for unfairly sentencing others to endure suffering and death. He’s not exactly the first person in the Bible I think of who proclaimed hope or God’s miracles.
I’m guessing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego probably didn’t see him as a champion for the Lord either. Especially after he ordered them to spend what was supposed to be their final days in a fiery furnace.
Chapter 3 of the book of Daniel tells us King Nebuchadnezzar was angry because these three young men refused to bow down and worship him. When questioned about their decision, their answer was simple, they knew the God they served was the only God they would ever worship, no matter what.
Scripture tells us that they walked out of the furnace alive, despite the king’s orders to increase the heat in the fire seven times more than normal. Upon seeing how these lives were spared, King Nebuchadnezzar issued a proclamation,
If Nebuchadnezzar could talk about God’s signs and wonders amidst his evil ways, the least I could do while facing a cancer diagnosis was talk about my signs and wonders of the very same God.
As my journey progressed, I prayed that God would give me the opportunity to share the hope I had in Him through the following:
- Talking about good health maintenance and care in general.
- Sharing basic facts about the thyroid.
- The benefits of nutrition and exercise.
- The realities of good days and bad days in a health crisis.
- The need to talk about health diagnoses and genetics among families.
The outcome of my cancer journey is one that I don’t take for granted. One thing’s for sure, years later, I’m still reminded to talk about His miracles and wonders, even when discouraged and afraid.