After Diagnosis



“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:6-8

After my diagnosis, I prayed constantly. I filled my life with prayer, devotionals, biblical reading and music. I believed what God told me- that I’d have peace. But it wasn’t instant, it was still elusive and I didn’t understand why.

It’s because I didn’t know how. I had more work to do or rather, God had more to teach me. I needed to learn how to control my thoughts so that I don’t undo all of God’s work to guard my mind and heart. I had no idea that’s what I was doing. We have a choice of what we think about. We can allow cancer and the fear of cancer to fill our every thought. But will that cure it? No. Will that add any extra days to our lives? No. Will we be able in any manner to control cancer or our future with cancer?

No. It steals our peace and tears down the guard God’s placed in our hearts and minds. We need to choose what we think about: things that are “true and honorable, right, pure, and lovely and admirable.” For me, this meant that I had to force
myself to stop thinking about cancer- but if I didn’t have something else to think about, then I slipped right back into obsessing over cancer. So I created a “bank” so to speak, of the beautiful things from my past.

I thought about falling in love, getting married, when I was pregnant and sharing that news, giving birth- every and all beautiful memories I had I used. I told them to myself like I was telling a story to someone else interested in every minute detail. If I slipped and thought about cancer, I caught myself and remembered my memories. You can’t stop thinking about cancer until you have something better to think about. It creates a vacuum and fear will take advantage.

Cancer is a journey we must walk through but we walk with God. Cancer has many purposes and the greatest one is to build our trust and faith by the wisdom God teaches us as we walk. Cancer provides God with an incredible opportunity to show us his nature, his love and his promises.

Take a moment to write down the pure and lovely memories you can use to think about so that the guards God places in your heart and mind remain intact.

Taryn O’Brien-Ogg