When Your Small Group Becomes Your Bosom Buddies

When Your Small Group Becomes Your Bosom Buddies

“Blessed is the man (woman) who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” (Jeremiah 17:7)

            October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This may be an unusual topic for a church blog, but perhaps not so much for a women’s church blog.  Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate among women:  young, old, all ethnicities, non-Christian, Christian.  I chose to write about this topic because I had my own breast cancer scare this month. 

            Oh, I’ve been expecting it.  Really.  No, I’m not trying to be negative.  I have a family history of breast cancer, so each year that my mammograms were normal, I did the happy dance.  This year, after an abnormal mammogram, I got scheduled for a biopsy.  And I was glad.  Glad?  Yes.  I want things caught early…the earlier, the better.  Fortunately for me, the results were benign.  More happy dance.  More relief.  Feeling lucky and blessed. 

            While Christian women aren’t immune to health-related adversity, they do possess a sustaining faith they can rely on.  I shared my situation with my women’s small group, and I was encouraged by their prayers.  While a biopsy can certainly be a scary or anxious or uncomfortable experience (I’m not in denial!), I was able to get through it with a sense of calm and determination.

            Even if the results hadn’t been so favorable, I know I had the support of my family, friends, and my small group, who cared about the outcome.  That’s a good feeling.  No one wants to experience this alone.  I must say the medical staff who attended to me, all female, felt like angels surrounding me.  I don’t know if they were Christians…but they were professional, empathetic, and calming.  That blessed me. 

            In a church this size, no doubt breast cancer has affected many lives…grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters.  As a body, there are women here who can love, support, and encourage each other through these experiences…and be breast cancer angels! 

            In conclusion, do your self-exams and get your yearly mammograms (as recommended by your family doctor, based on age and risk factors).  Do any recommended follow ups for ultrasounds or biopsies.  The good news is, the follow ups are more often benign.  Find a trusted support group, even if means having someone to go with you.  And while it sounds easy to say, try not to let fear overwhelm and paralyze you…you don’t want the added stress hormones.   Place your trust and confidence in God.  Even if your circumstances prove more challenging than mine, my mom was a breast cancer survivor for over 40 years…there is hope, there is survival, and there is life after breast cancer.  Even though my mom is now gone, I even sensed that she was with me during this time.  I thought of the example she set in not letting this stop her from living the rest of her life, and I’m thankful she gave me that.

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