My name is Joanne; I am a child of my Heavenly Father who showed me grace by sending His son to die for me. I found mercy when I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Because of His sacrifice, I have eternal life. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). He is the One who provided the strength to endure, when my daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in February 2015. I still remember the morning she anxiously called her dad and me aside and told us they had found a mass in her breast. My first thoughts were, “Ok what are we going to do about it? What is the doctor saying? How are we going to handle this to take care of it?” Then...it was as though God put His hand on my shoulder and said, “Step back, I’ve got this!” My God knew about this long before the doctors knew.
As a mom, I reacted with my heart and immediately wanted to protect her, but had to realize this wasn’t my battle to fight. Kevin (Tiffany’s dad) and I were there to support, to assist, to do anything we could, but it was Tiffany’s decision with her husband Paul, to fight her cancer naturally with diet and nutrition, many herbs and oils and above all seeking to discern God’s leading.
Tiffany did very well. She had a few bad days here and there but overall she was able to care for her family and felt reasonably well. She looked fantastic. But in March 2017, Tiffany started experiencing considerable pain in her back and could hardly stand. Then, one day in May I got the call, “Mom, I am stuck, I can’t move!” I raced to her house, ten minutes away, and was thankful that her two kiddos, Tristan (11) and Ariana (7), had gotten a lawn chair and put under her and helped her sit down! If she had fallen, she simply would have broken. When I arrived and saw the pain in her face, I nearly crumpled to the ground. There was nothing I could do to help relieve the pain—I felt helpless!
I called Dr Mike, the chiropractor, and he said, “Make her comfortable. Get her to the hospital!” I cried. Then I wiped away my tears and cried to God for His help. He had never stopped helping. Peace came again to my soul and to my mind through these words, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalms 18 30). I had to rest there. I had to say, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” That is what has kept me going every morning—trusting my God and my Savior. When Tiffany went to the hospital, she found out that she had two tumors on her liver and her back was a mess. They did ten radiation treatments on her back on three areas and put her on a hormone block.
She went home to rest and they thought she would not make it past August. We visited regularly, prayed fervently, but honestly we were at peace, whatever the outcome would be. So many people prayed for Tiffany and her family, and for us. I cannot express how much it meant knowing that our names were brought to God daily. God is good all the time; all the time, God is good. This truth makes life easier! I found peace in looking to Him instead of self and depending on Him, being thankful to Him, and looking for joy in the little things. We are so thankful to still have Tiffany and she is doing so amazing. Her smile encourages all of us. Thank you, God!
We never know what a day will bring, but we can trust in the One who gives us each breath. Just resting in Him, knowing that He has us, whatever the outcome, gives me joy! A preacher once said, “Choose joy every morning; it is a choice.” We can choose joy, even in the middle of the bad things. We can bear the disappointments when we choose to take them from the Lord. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5. His love and His comfort strengthen us, no matter what we have to go through. What a great God we have! We give God thanks!