This is the testimony that Marissa gave at the Praise Service at our church on Wednesday evening.
This year I turned 25. By 25 you feel like an adult. You have more responsibility, you move out on your own, and best of all…you can rent a car. 🙂 Turning 25 is a big deal. I had no idea how big this year was going to be.
On September 24, 2015, a week before my 25th birthday, I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. The month was filled with fear, despair, test after test, going through weeks with no answers, realizing that my life would never be the same, and having to make choices for my future that I had never even thought about. Between making choices about treatments, a new schedule, work, and future children, my mind was overwhelmed.
When I look back at the first month, I see all of these things. But I also see one overpowering thing. I see peace. A peace that truly passes all understanding. I have always been taught about the peace and strength that God gives in difficult times. I have read about it in my Bible. I have heard testimonies about it and I have even experienced it myself throughout my life, but never in this way. Isaiah 43:2 became my lifeline. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
Through each test, through each moment of panic, this verse would come to my mind and the Lord would give peace. There is so much the Lord has shown me about Himself in the last few months. I love having peace knowing that God has chosen me for this. This is one way He is going to mold me and bring me closer to Himself.
About a year ago I remember talking to a friend and saying how I felt like I was at a point in my life where I needed to make a choice. Keep living the way I was or start living more for God. I chose my way. It was easier. One of my first thoughts when I found out about this cancer was that now I had an easy choice. My God loved me so much that He was not going to let me choose my own way. He is bringing me closer to Himself through this trial.
What a blessed life I have. I know that I will have days where the fear is overwhelming and I will wish that my life was different. But I know I have a big God who loves me so much and He will give me the strength for each day. And with that hope and peace, bring on tomorrow!
Thank you for your prayers and support. I am truly blessed.