Category: suffering

Do You Have Home-Field Advantage?

THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!! And if you’re wondering what that announcement has to do with words to the weary, I must tell you that I started writing this blog in my mind as I lay awake in the middle of the night after the Eagles’ win. So it must be …

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SIX THINGS NEVER TO SAY TO GRIEVERS

Is there anyone you’ll be missing this Christmas? I know so many who have “lost” loved ones this year. A spouse of 55 years.  A  43-year-old father of two teenage girls. An 88-year-old amazing grandpa. A 22-year-old son killed on a motorcycle. A best man from a long ago wedding.  A 9-year-old little girl tearfully …

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Are you a Titus? Or do you need one?

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 36-year-old reporter for a York, PA, newspaper and recently had interviewed Mary Flinner, the new group’s facilitator. When I showed up at a support group meeting a few weeks after my story …

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Five Cancers Can’t Stop their Joy

Bill and Pat Shifflet have faced five cancers in their 80+ years–some cured, others not–but please don’t feel sorry for them. The very happy couple doesn’t spend time bemoaning their own struggles; they’re too busy helping others. “Everyday I pray ‘God, show me a need’,” explains, 82-year-old Pat, who loves to pray for people, send …

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Does Following Jesus Make Everything OK?

  *I have not seen clear statistical evidence that fewer Christians die of cancer than nonbelievers, or that they are immune in greater degree from the diseases that afflict the human race.  Some of the kindest, most selfless persons I know have had more than their share of bad health.  The fact that they belonged …

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The Power of “Even If”

This past weekend my husband and I traveled to western New York for my first in-person speaking engagements since the pandemic began. (I’ve only been doing Zoom events so it was a little more work figuring out what pair of nice pants to wear 🙂 ) While in the area, we had the joy of …

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Is Jesus Really Enough?

My cancer diagnosis  in 1990 was especially crushing to my husband because he had lost his first wife nearly 20 years before to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) while they were still newlyweds. To watch me face a life-threatening illness and such an uncertain future was like a recurring nightmare. One day as he was riding …

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Mountaintops & Valleys: My Oncologist Has Cancer (Part 8)

Dr. Marc Hirsh has walked some deep valleys since he was diagnosed in 2020 with such a serious and rare cancer that he and every specialist he consulted thought his death was imminent. Within days he was forced to close his busy, solo practice of more than three decades and then undergo a painful thoracotomy …

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“Just let ’em fall like healing rain”

May I be honest and share two things?…First, this short post is mainly for me. And second, the song at the end is the best part of it. I’m writing for myself because unwelcome events have left a trail of sadness in my heart. Perhaps you can relate. I’m mourning two years of a brutal …

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When It’s Too Hard to Pray

It’s pretty easy to thank God when ­everything’s going well. When you feel happy. When you have your health. When your loved ones are doing fine. It’s a lot harder when some things—maybe most things—are not going well. In those first dark days after my cancer diagnosis in 1990, I literally ­could not pray. Sentences simply …

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