Even as you take the steps through the door of your new diagnosis, you must listen to God. You may not have the answers to the questions that torment you about your family, your suffering, and your fear of the temporary darkness ahead. But if you listen, He will speak--in some way, through someone, on some page or in some event. and if you listen for Him, you will know it is God, and you can go on.

There comes a time in our lives after the shock of our bad news that we have to get back to the business of living. We were placed on earth with a purpose in God's mind and given a certain number of days to complete it. "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph. 2:10)

We can quit this life, quit our work, and leave our job unfinished as soon as we face difficulties, or we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, put our hands to the plow, and work until our job is done. After the tears, we must once again focus on what God has brought us here to do.

by permission
A quote from "When Your Doctor Has Bad News"
by Dr. Al B. Weir, Medical Oncologist
Director of Campus and Community Ministries
Director of Medical Education International
Christian Medical and Dental Associations

"There is an apple tree in the back corner of my yard. It is a miracle tree. You would have to see it to believe the tree is still alive, let alone put on apples every year. the entire front of the tree died and carpenter ants hollowed out the trunk most of the way up from the ground to the smaller limbs. It's lifeblood comes from only the back half with no trunk to hold it up. The hedge protecting it from the winds allows it to remain standing. I don't harvest the apples; I let the birds and other critters eat them."
Gerald Washington, Moore, Oklahoma.

Just as the crepemyrtles in Gerald's backyard strengthens the old apple tree, allowing it to continue, season after season, to accomplish the purpose for which it was created, Steel Magnolias are a hedge that God uses to strenthen cancer survivors.