Joni and Friends Blog
Cancer Survivors Celebrate Life
Today is a special day for more than 15.5 million cancer survivors. People are gathering across the country to honor survivors and show that life after cancer can be fruitful, rewarding, and inspiring!
National Cancer Survivors Day is for everyone. Whether you’re a cancer survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional, today is an opportunity for all people impacted by cancer to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way.
I’ve had an amazing support system through two rounds of cancer, but I have to say that my biggest cheerleader has always been my husband, Ken. When I would take sole ownership and forget to say, “our cancer” he would gently remind me that he was also experiencing cancer. Ken would lovingly lean over and gently ask to call it “our cancer” because he truly was by my side every step of the way.
Many of my Christian friends have wondered why God would put me through so much. Quadriplegia and chronic pain… then a second round of cancer? To them, it appeared that God was doing more harm and I don’t blame them for thinking this! It can be hard to trust God during tough circumstances. But even scripture tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.’”
So why would God allow quadriplegia, chronic pain, and then add two vicious rounds with cancer?
The answer: God is less interested in my physical well-being and more interested in strengthening my soul.
Our crisis, in this case cancer, give us an important opportunity to lean into God and learn what He has to say about our trouble and suffering. I’m not the same Joni I was before cancer. I know, I can feel that I’m becoming more like Jesus, and I love that. When we cultivate a godly response in our suffering, God makes us more like his Son—complete, and overflowing with the Holy Spirit. Say yes to subduing every fearful thought “captive for the sake of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
So, do something special for the cancer survivor in your life or honor the memory of a lost loved one. Take a moment to pray for those you know who are battling cancer or other trials. Ask Jesus to show them how to react to their suffering with a godly response.
Suffering does not dictate who you are; it creates an opportunity for God to refine and shape the person that He created you to be. Joni Eareckson Tada shares her wisdom gained from battling with cancer not once, but twice. In this resource, we learn about God’s view on suffering and trials.
Download and share with a friend facing cancer or other trials.