Colliding with My Destiny from God
A crisis of any kind is an unwelcome intrusion upon my very well-orchestrated plans.
When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, little did I know how cancer would change the course of my life. I searched for other survivors. But there were no support groups or Gilda’s clubs.
Were there other survivors?
A friend gave me a journal to write about my cancer experience. Eventually I wrote the book, In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer which includes my story and the stories of eleven other women with cancer diagnoses. My hope was that other women would be encouraged by our stories.
But destiny didn’t begin with a published book.
A friend invited me to a writing conference where the Lord connected me with other Christian writers and provided a place where I could hone my skill since I had no previous writing experience.
My friend also started a writing group where we critiqued and encouraged one another on our writing journeys.
During this season of writing and learning, I discovered an ovarian cancer camp in Missoula, Montana. There I met other survivors who connected me with the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance (WOCA).
Through WOCA, other survivors and I share our ovarian cancer stories with medical students in a program called Survivors Teaching Students. We hope they will recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer so other women will be diagnosed in the earlier stages.
We also started a local ovarian cancer social group: The Fried Eggs—Sunny-Side Up. We meet monthly, sponsor speakers of interest, and participate in fundraisers.
Writing a book and sharing my story opened doors to radio, television, and podcast interviews. I have also contributed to various Christian compilation and devotional books.
I had never planned on being an author or speaker.
I never anticipated that a cancer diagnosis would be my collision with God’s destiny.
Discernment in Our Unexpected Circumstances
How can we discern if our unexpected circumstances are leading us into God’s destiny?
When I was told I had cancer, I didn’t know what to do. I cried out, God, I need your help.
I’m reminded of Jehoshaphat when he was surrounded by powerful armies. He prayed. “We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help” (2 Chronicles 20:12 nlt). Jehoshaphat knew only God could help him.
Cancer was too big for me, and only God could help me, too.
2. Obey God.
As a nurse, I had watched my patients suffer the devastating side effects of chemotherapy. I vowed I would never take those drugs. But I sensed the Lord telling me, Go through the process. That meant chemotherapy.
I recall the Lord’s words to Jehoshaphat,
“Do not be afraid or discouraged…for the Lord is with you!” (2 Chronicles 20:17 NLT).
If I had refused to obey God and not go through chemotherapy, I would not have written a book, spoken to medical students, or advocate for the amazing women I’ve met along this journey.
3. Praise God.
I may have been blindsided by cancer, but God was not. Jesus is still Lord.
Even in the messy middle, Jehoshaphat appointed the singers to go before the army singing, “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” (2 Chronicles 20:21 NLT).
Jehoshaphat didn’t know how the Lord would bring about the victory, but he believed in God’s promises and faithfulness. This battle was too big.
The battle was too big for me, too. But God would be faithful to me just like he was for Jehoshaphat.
4. Trust God.
I was helpless to change my situation. I had no idea how God could bring anything good out of something so destructive.
As I reflect on the path God chose for me, I can see the steppingstones that led to my destiny. Each step could stand alone, but together they led me along a path to being a published author and an advocate for ovarian cancer survivors.
Like Jehoshaphat, I need to watch how God’s plan unfolds. Then I will see how God brings about his purposes and plans for my life.
“God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on]” (I Corinthians 1:9 AMP).
Sometimes it’s the unexpected circumstances in our lives that lead us into our destiny in Christ.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).
In what ways has God used the circumstances of your life to direct you into his plans and purposes?