By Paula Swift, CHTP
Just one word evokes a diverse response. Whether you’ve experienced it yourself, or walked alongside others through their crisis, fear, anger and sadness tend to dominate. So, it might sound strange when some will remark this time in their life to be the best event that ever happened to them. I am one of them.
When I reflect on my own experience with breast cancer, I find that there is one common ground with others who also claim that cancer was one of the best thing that happened in their life. And it all comes down to faith. With varying beliefs and religious practices, there is always a foundation of faith in a higher, greater power, with the majority having a very personalized relationship with God. There is incredible beauty found in each individual as their faith grows, and their spirit and life begin to flourish with profound discoveries and meaning, regardless of what their body might be doing.
Upon receiving that phone call from my doctor to confirm my cancer diagnosis, I wasn’t quite sure how to feel. My immediate prayer was that God would bring to me the right people who would support me in the way that He wanted for me. He answered that prayer immediately that very night with a dear friend. I knew in my heart that I wanted to take a different direction than the standard medical protocol, and she was my first cheerleader, offering the beginning of what would be a long road of research and education that continues even today. I set my heart and eyes on my ultimate Healer, my Creator, my Heavenly Father, for this direction. And the intimacy with Him grew exponentially as He offered comfort and guidance.
Sunday morning following the diagnosis, I was on my way to church at a very early hour. During the quiet, 20 minute drive during sunrise, I was asking Him how will I know which protocol He wanted me to do. His voice was so clear that it was nearly audible with my human ears, “I’ve got this, Paula. I’ve got you”. Okay, okay, I get it, Lord. One step at a time it will be. From then on, those words were repeated countless times throughout my healing and the more I allowed the time and space to listen, the more I heard His voice and the more I recognized when His Spirit was moving me. It became very clear that the path He was leading me on was for the sole purpose of serving Him and serving others.
Reflecting on my healing experience and life since, the joy and peace that have filled my soul exceeds all I’ve ever known prior. The intimacy with my Heavenly Father continues to grow closer in ways that my heart had yearned for throughout my lifetime as a believer. When focus continues to be with Him, fear does not prevail and pain has purpose. It is because of all He continues to teach me, and His overflowing unconditional love, that I am able to live my life serving others seeking whole healing of their body and spirit. Healing comes in many ways and sometimes it is not on this side of heaven. But healing the spirit is eternal, and we recognize that our days in this body are temporary, it sets our sights to what is forever. And that is where the adventure really begins!
Paula Swift, CHTP