Jesus said, “You will have troubles.”
In October of 2007, a few short months after my baptism, happily teaching 4th grade at a Catholic school in Hollister, California, I found a lump in my left breast. After a visit to a well-recommended surgeon and a biopsy of the lymph nodes under my left armpit, the discovery of stage 3 breast cancer did not, surprisingly, send me into fear or panic.
I actually asked if surgery could be scheduled for Christmas break when I would be out of school. When the surgeon told me I would need a mastectomy within the next two weeks, I was disappointed, but knew immediately that the Lord would see me through it. My prayer was that He would see me through it with grace and humor. The radical mastectomy took my left breast and 26 lymph glands.
Forced to go on disability for four months while I went through chemotherapy, He sent me angels that prepared meals, cleaned my house, did my laundry and even paid my rent for six months. The school organized a fundraiser that helped pay for medical expenses that health insurance didn’t cover. Throughout that time, I never once experienced the nausea that chemo patients often go through. Exhaustion and muscle cramps, yes, but that was tolerable.
The Lord got me through the experience with thanksgiving, grace and plenty of humor.
A year-and-a-half later, when I was laid off, I knew He was calling me back to Brentwood. I began to teach at a Christian school, but couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that God was going to take me out of teaching, a career for which I held a passion, and now held a credential and a Master’s in Education. I kept praying for the Holy Spirit to give me the wisdom and the yearning to surrender to His will.
Sure enough, in March of 2011, due to chronic illness that were leftover side effects of the chemotherapy, I had to leave teaching for good. My departure came the day before things imploded at the school for which I worked. It was as though God picked me up gently and said, “I don’t want you to have to go through this at this time in your life. I have other things for you to do.”
The Lord has given me a task greater than myself, and I can only accomplish with the daily wisdom and encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
As I continue to want to know the heart of my God, I am completing a 2-year certificate program in Bible study and biblical interpretation at Cornerstone Fellowship’s Bible Academy. I am using that and my elementary teaching experience to write a devotional Bible collection for Christian families. I’m blogging and tweeting (@susanirenefox) as a way to connect with others who are seeking to fill holes in their hearts.
I await God’s provision to find a place of my own in which to live. I have been living in rented rooms the last several years and truly wish to live on my own again – someplace affordable, where I can have solace with the Lord, and open my home to Bible study and hospitality to other believers.
This walk yoked to Jesus has helped me to see God every day, to overcome past hurts and disappointments, to remind me that I am a far-from-finished human being, and to find the love and peace beyond all understanding that Jesus freely offers.
Want to know more about my walk with Jesus? Use the Categories Heart Condition, IMHO, Branches or Poetry.
Want to know more about surviving your circumstances?
Read Class of We Made It
Want to know more about my devotional Bible collection for Christian families?
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to get to know who I am.