My name is Jacqueline, and I am a cancer survivor. This is the story of what the Lord did in my life.

Last year I received a call that my older brother had died of cancer after a tough battle that included many operations and various treatments. Twenty days later, I received a call from my doctor who gave me the bad news that I too had breast cancer.

When I had gone in for my normal check-up my doctor found a tumor on my breast that needed to be removed. My doctor took the precaution of ordering an MRI to find out how deep the tumor was. The surprise was that they found 13 tumors in the left breast, and I needed to have a mastectomy.

The news was very difficult for me. I didn’t know how to handle this. I was in darkness, and I felt helpless.

But I had to compose myself and be strong for my husband, my mother, my family and my congregation. A few days before the news, I received the same Biblical scripture from five different people:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

I asked, “God, what are you trying to tell me?”

Later, during a particularly hard day, with tears flooding my face, I kept repeating this passage. That’s when I understood God’s message; I understood that I needed to be strong and courageous for God was with me.

After my mastectomy my arm was very sore; I slept with eight pillows. I received a lot of support and love from my husband, Rosen, and my sister, Carola. Many relatives, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ prayed for me.

When my mom came to visit after my brother’s death, I told her the news of my cancer. It was too hard to keep my diagnosis and treatment a secret. She stood by me through the chemotherapy and radiation treatments, both very aggressive therapies for the human body.

When I woke up one morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and was devastated. I saw the Mediport (the plastic square in my chest through which they injected chemotherapy), the scar in my breast, no hair on my head, no eyebrows, no eyelashes. I fell on my knees and prayed to the Lord. I told him, “The disease can touch me physically, but it cannot touch my spirit because I belong to you and you’re going to heal me. I will serve you with more enthusiasm and will proclaim what you did with my life.”

And so, my strength came from the passage above as well as from Psalm 31:3: “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me,”andPsalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

I am grateful to God for giving me a second chance. I thank my family for their love and care. I thank my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ from Floris UMC for their love, encouragement and prayers. I am convinced that prayers move the hand of God and I thank everyone who prayed for me. I thank Pastors Tom Berlin and Barbara Miner for their support; they care for the sheep, and I’m one of them.

I am now completely free of this disease, and I rejoice in the Lord. I can tell you, as David defeated Goliath, so I feel that I defeated cancer, which was a giant in my life.

“Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.” Psalm 30:2

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