Life Can Sucker Punch Ya


January 1, 2011. We had just celebrated Christmas and were enjoying the last few days of vacation before getting back to our normal routine. We were optimistic about the New Year. And we were clueless about what was right around the corner: life’s sucker punch.

Three days later, my doctor discovered a lump in my breast. Thirteen days after that, the cancer diagnosis was confirmed. Breast cancer was not on our list of resolutions for the New Year, but it defined the new year. We did our best to fit life into the regiment of doctor appointments and cancer treatments.

I crossed off days on the calendar to mark the time when I could smile again. But God was giving me reasons to smile for the todays. The cancer was caught early. My younger son and I spent his Spring Break in Washington D.C. We celebrated his high school graduation. The good things of life were still happening.

I had anticipated better days in the future, but God reminded me that this day in God’s presence is really good too. And the most important lesson I learned: life’s sucker punch doesn’t have to be a knock-out.

Note: This year, I am celebrating three years of being cancer-free! For the month of October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I will be posting stories about my personal experiences with breast cancer.

Lamentations 3:22-23

 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Psalm 90:14

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  


5 thoughts on “Life Can Sucker Punch Ya

  1. Anonymous

    We never know what is just ahead, do we? I want to be like Paul and be content in all situations … not an easy thing, spiritually or physically. So glad you are cancer free.


  2. Hi Debbie, Somehow my comment appeared as “anonymous.” These will be interesting posts in referencing your experiences to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As you can see, I’m home! It was everything and probably more that I thought it would be. It was exhausting in the hours we put in up and down the endless steps and rocky terrains of the holy land … in and out of the Old and New Testaments. I felt as though I walked and sometimes stumbled through the pages. There’s so much to say about it that I can’t very well even get started with an email. So many friends want to hear “every detail.” I’m happy to respond to specific questions but need to put together one super large article and just share with everyone. I’m finding the task of writing about it hard in that I am covering 6,000 miles away, 5,000 years of history, the entire Bible, plus political and social cultures and plenty of contemporary observations. Some on our trip told me they want me to “transcribe your notes and share with us.” I find that daunting and unlikely that I will do that. I would share an article when published. One of my life themes and a special way God works in my life is hooking me up with people and stories that show His glory. It has always been uncanny how this happens. And it happened at the Garden Tomb. A local story. The volunteer guide was from Indiana, we heard. Most of his tour was complete when he asked, “Anyone here from New Castle?” Turns out he worked in New Castle as head of the electric company. He lives in Connersville. He has a strong testimony about volunteering as a retirement venture at the Garden Tomb for eight weeks each year! Connersville is our sister paper so I’ll be writing stories for both papers on him. This was very personal for me, Debbie. It showed me yet again that while we serve a broad, HUGE God who rules over His vast creation and all in it, He is still a most personal God and yet again, He delivered a LOCAL story to me 6,000 miles from home in HIS country! Other highlights? Touring the tunnel underneath the Temple Mount and seeing the whole Temple Mount area and original Temple steps, the bricked-up (by Muslims) gate where Jesus will return (and a Muslim graveyard in front of it as though that will block him). Baptized in the Jordan River by Delaine with Terri assisting! Then me assisting Delaine baptize Terri! Now that whole question of “sprinkle vs immerse” and do I need to be dunked has been settled! It happened so quickly, then we moved on… but how special. Also a cruise on the Sea of Galilee! It will take all the rest of my days to process everything. On a different level, I have been sick since returning on Monday. I have a terrible head cold combined with jet lag. Not sure where one begins and the other ends. Thanks for all your prayers before and during the trip. Donna


    • Donna, The God that met you in the Holy Land is the same God that watches over us here in the Midwest of the United States. God’s omnipresence can be difficult to truly fathom. We can not go beyond his reach. His eternal agape love is amazing. You (we, all of us) are truly the apple of his eye as he demonstrates his personal love for us individually. God unifies. Always, he has more surprises to remind us that we are the close-knit family of God, regardless of our nationalities. I so look forward to the local story from Israel. What memories you made and shared with others! Glad you are home safe and sound, now get better and get caught up! And please write more blessings from your trip! 🙂


  3. God is good. He will not abandon us in time of our need. Your story serves us an inspiration. That there is hope. That miracles happen. That God will heal us physically, emotionally, spiritually. Indeed when trials come, we further appreciate the gift of life, health, love, faith, family and friendship. God bless you and your family always.


    • Island Traveler… Beautifully said. One line really caught my attention. “That God will heal us physically, emotionally, spiritually.” When going through cancer, I thought my biggest need was for physical healing, but it was the emotional and spiritual healing that had the biggest impact. As another breast cancer survivor put it and I am paraphrasing, “I wish I was always as close to God as when I was going through the breast cancer.” When we recognize our need for God every single day, that is when we are the closest to him. Cancer facilitates that process!


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