Hanging Onto Faith

Hope, comfort and encouragement are what my friend Yvonne Ortega can offer you. The Bible promises in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 that we have a God of comfort and compassion who comforts us in our struggles so that we may comfort others who are struggling. If you’re struggling with loss or fighting breast cancer, I pray that God will use Yvonne to offer you comfort. She has walked the path of sorrow and fought the good fight. Now she walks alongside others. 
 
Yvonne’s story: When I became a Christian, I thought my problems would disappear and I would live happily ever after. However, reality set in when I received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2001. I went through surgery, aggressive chemotherapy and thirty-three rounds of radiation. And if that were not enough, in 2009, within weeks of each other, I lost my mother and my only child.
 
Many have asked how I survive a life-threatening illness and so much tragedy. They ask how I still hang onto my faith. 
 
First, I pray for strength and courage daily. I ask God not to let the cancer be in vain but to use it.for good in my life and the lives of others, for His honor and glory and for furthering His kingdom here on earth. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you.”  

Since the loss of Mom and my son, I pray the same prayer. However, after Mom’s death, I asked God to use it to lead hundreds or thousands to the Lord. Since my son’s death, I ask God to use it to lead millions to the Lord Jesus. 

Secondly, I journal. 

In one notebook, I pour out my heart to God. I write about my fear, anger and depression and trust God to comfort me. I also write about the change in my goals and dreams. After my bout with cancer, I left teaching and became a full-time counselor. Since my family losses, I left counseling and became a speaker and author for God. I claim Philippians 4:19, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” 

The other journaling method I use is a gratitude journal. In this one, I thank God each day for specific blessings. This helps me maintain a positive attitude and not dwell on the negative. 

My third method is to memorize Bible verses and review them daily. I focus on verses about faith, hope, healing, peace and comfort. I write the verses on sticky notes and place them on my bathroom mirror, the kitchen cupboard and my desk. 

Praise and worship help me too. I concentrate on how big God is. I know from the Bible that God wants me to sing and praise him in the heat of battle. According to 2 Chronicles 20:22, “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army.” 

Each day, I tell God I love him and trust him. I can’t understand him or his ways, but I cling to the truth that he loves me with an unconditional love. He promised never to leave me or forsake me. That same God also loves you and longs to hear from you. He will never leave or forsake you either, and he will take care of you too.

Comment on this post to have an opportunity to win Yvonne Ortega’s wonderful book, Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.

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1 Comment

  1. Donna

     /  October 30, 2010

    Right now I’m so blessed and my heart is so full after reading these latest blogs. Since I can’t wrap my arms around each of them as I wish I could, I can and will pray a special “Thank You, God” prayer for them. I’m overcome right now. Thank you for posting these.

    Reply

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