Dawn Tolbert

Writer
Mountain Path into sunlight
Bravery Breast Cancer Faith Reflections

Overwhelmed, but not like you’d think

It’s amazing the change one week can bring.

Last Monday, I returned to work from a weeklong stay-cation where Larry and I had tackled some overdue chores. My mind was whirling with all the things to be done as we’re preparing for another academic year. I was a little annoyed because my Tuesday was going to start with a follow-up mammogram.

Something had shown up on my routine screening and “additional views” were required. Those views turned into a biopsy the same afternoon, and in a little over 24 hours, I’d received the news that I have breast cancer.

Wow. I won’t kid you: I was in total shock.

I sobbed–alone in my office, to a friend on the phone, to family. Then we began to pray, and the most incredible peace began spreading it beautiful tendrils into my soul, wrapping my heart in the love and care of God.

Yes, I have cancer. But I wasn’t alone. I’d never be alone.

Scripture has promised that God will never leave me nor forsake me even in biopsy rooms, MRI machines, and–I’m confident–in surgical suites.

Time and again over the past few days, I’ve read verses telling me to not fear and to not be dismayed. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced dismay to this core-shaking level before this week, but God has shown me I don’t need to worry because I rest securely in His hands whatever may come.

Even in the midst of this raging storm, I am safe.

I’ve been completely surrounded by the love and prayers of family, friends, coworkers, church family, acquaintances, and some people I may never even meet. I can feel the prayers as I’m walking this path.

My prognosis is good. The cancer was found early, and they’re pretty sure it’s contained. It is fast-growing so surgery is coming quickly. I have two messages to share from my experience so far.

First, get those screenings. Those mammograms recommended for us ladies and exams for the guys could literally save lives. It may have saved mine.

Second, I can say that God is completely faithful. He offers us such strength when we admit our weakness to Him and ask for His help. I share my story to tell of His great faithfulness.

I’ve been completely overwhelmed, but not by the cancer. By the Father’s great love for me and by the love of the people He has blessed me with in this life.

Thank you for your prayers, and may God’s peace surround you whatever your week may bring.

4 Comment

  1. Prayers and hugs! God’s got it. It is a blessing to enjoy the peace you can have at times like this. Continue to brag on Jesus as He carries you through this journey. Another chapter in your testimony.

  2. Prayers for you and Larry. Knowing you are in God’s hands and having a good medical team is a great comfort for you. God gives us comfort, hope and assurance when we turn our problems over to Him. Hugs and love.
    Deanne

  3. Dawn, this is what being a Christian is all about. Knowing God has this. When we were going through brain cancer with Cecil we felt the presence of God every minute. We were able to get up and face each day as if we didn’t have a care in the world. We of course were devastated when we first were told he had cancer but after the initial shock we just put it all in God’s hands and he saw us through. God never leaves us, he’s,got this.
    Keeping you and Larry in my,thoughts and prayers.

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