Category Archive: suffering

May 10

When Your Prayers Aren’t Answered the Way You Hoped

        May is a tough month for me. It’s the month of mournful memories—difficult prayers which were not answered the way I hoped. A miscarriage at three months into my first pregnancy on May 8, 1977—Mother’s Day of all things. My father’s death on May 20, 2011, alone in his apartment except …

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May 03

“Some days you’re the pigeon & some days you’re the statue!”

        I appreciate that many of you have told me you really like the quotes I used as introductions to each chapter in my new book Peace in the Face of Cancer. I spent many, many hours researching fitting quotes and trying to find firsthand sources to confirm their attributions. But there …

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Mar 08

A Boy, a Dad and Some Pizza

        My 4-year-old grandson Benjamin may look more like his mother, but he is a total Daddy’s boy—as in, the best time of day is when Daddy comes home and the worst time is when he leaves. So it wasn’t surprising when we were all at a local pizza buffet restaurant recently …

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Mar 01

How to Encourage the Discouraged

        I remember so well the first cancer support group meeting I attended at our community  hospital. It was the summer of 1990. I was a reporter for a local newspaper and recently had interviewed Mary, the new group’s facilitator. When I showed up at a support group meeting just eight weeks after …

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Feb 22

How to Handle Stupid Remarks

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt “Oh, my grandmother had that kind of cancer—she didn’t last long.” “Just stay positive and you’ll be fine.” “My neighbor had that—he was in a lot of pain.” “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle!” Heard any of …

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Jan 25

Praying when You Just Can’t

          It’s pretty easy to thank God when ­every­thing’s going well in your life. When you feel good. When you have your health. When your loved ones are doing fine. It’s a lot harder to praise Him when things—sometimes most things—are not going well. Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I …

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Dec 14

Are You Good Enough to be Healed?

          Illness helps you sort out who your real friends are. Often people you never realized cared for you step up and provide incredible support. And then there are those on whom you counted but they fail to come through for you. My friend Kristie expected to get some words of healing …

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Dec 07

Missing Someone at Christmas

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          I thought it wouldn’t. But it did. It happened again this year. Kenny G was belting out jazzy, holiday cheer. A burning candle wafted a delicious candy cane scent. I was home by myself happily decorating our house for Christmas. I  pulled a yellowed and torn rectangular box out of the …

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Sep 07

Finding Treasures Hidden in Darkness

    And I would love for you to meet my friend, Nancy, a 10-year survivor of incurable liver cancer. My Cancer Prayer Support Group meetings always were better when she was there—partly because she’s a wonderful baker (she brought four fresh strawberry pies to one summer meeting!), but mostly because she’s just an awesome …

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Aug 31

Don’t Waste Your Cancer

    Those are the words penned by author-pastor John Piper on the eve of his surgery for prostate cancer in 2006. Our cancer support group often spent a meeting discussing one of Piper’s ten ways we can “waste” cancer by allowing it—instead of God—to be foremost in our lives. (You can read his wonderful …

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