Name: Angie Hansen
Occupation: Stay at home mom
Favorite verse: 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Why this verse is important to Angie:
March 25, 2014: “Unfortunately this has me very suspicious that we are dealing with a type of cancer.”
I was alone looking at two strangers: A radiologist and the nurse I had just been chit-chatting with about her pregnancy and how much I loved being a mom. But somehow, the peace of God was with me. It was as if I was already prepared for the battle that was to come.
If you asked me to describe myself, I’d tell you I’m a mom of five kids who enjoys traveling, running, friends, and family time. I wouldn’t mention that I have Stage 3c Breast Cancer and that my tumor was ten centimeters. I’m not interested in that defining me.
Of course, you would probably be able to tell as you looked at me with my short, short hair coming back in after my 16 difficult weeks of intense chemotherapy. Nobody cuts their hair this short, but I am now wearing it around town without a thought. No more wigs or head wraps to cover it up, I decided recently. Of course, I’m always changing my mind about things like that…
It’s been a long road so far, and it is not going to be over anytime soon. A few weeks ago, I had a radical bi-lateral mastectomy and full node dissection on my right side. What that means is that I’m numb in lots of places and have foreign things called “expanders” where my breasts once were. Breasts that fed and cuddled five beautiful babies.
Soon, I’ll begin radiation. But that’s not what this “Living Letter” is about. It’s about how I have leaned on the Bible verse above in the midst of my battle with cancer.
This was the verse that came to mind that day I was told I had cancer. I looked back at my first CaringBridge entry and sure enough, it was there at the top of my journal entry. God hears our prayers, he knows our every thought, and he knows that I like to worry. Or should I say I worr-ied?
Something shifted in me the moment I was given my diagnosis. I had always been one to worry: Were the kids getting enough sleep? Will the dog die while we’re on vacation? Is the crockpot on? Doors locked? Facing cancer was different. It was too big for my human mind. Left alone, I would have crumbled in that moment. Jesus was there with me. It’s the only explanation for the peace that came amid this devastating news. My husband was driving over to meet me from his office, but Christ was there first.
This comforting Bible verse reminds me to pray instead of worry. And my diagnosis would be a big, enormous, gargantuan worry without God’s promise in this verse. My chances of recurrence are high even after I beat this thing down. But God calls us to set our worries aside and pray.
So even though I was a worrier—the past 6 months I am happy to say that I have done a much better job of praying through my worries. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’m most certainly not. But God is with me in the midst of my serious illness. And the peace that passes all understanding is with me. I can feel it. And He is with you, too.
Thank you, God, for your scripture in Philippians which reminds us not to worry; instead pray. Help us to do that each day. Amen.
Photo by Jeanne Hansen Photography