I was asked to put into words what the last two years of my life have been like. I have put off writing this for many reasons, one of the strongest being that I felt unable to put God’s overwhelming blessings and merci into mere words. However, with some encouragement and prayer I am going to give it my best shot.

Let me start by saying that the Bible doesn’t say God will not give us anything we can’t handle. To the contrary, God gives us way more than we can handle because He wants us to come to Him for strength. To lean on Him to get us through the pain and overwhelming problems this world brings us. He is our only hope for victory and through Him we CAN overcome anything that we face.

To the world I had the prefect life. A beautiful house, two amazing kids (a boy and a girl), and a committed loving husband. The truth was that my life was a mess. I had a marriage that was falling apart and a home that took more money and time to clean than we had. My children were watching their parents grow further and further apart with no end in sight. In October of 2015 the walls finally came crashing down and in a blink of an eye my 21 year marriage was over. I was in shock and completely unable to accept the circumstance of my life. I began trying everything I could to fill this unbelievable black hole in my heart. I refused to ask God for help because I blamed Him for everything. I lashed out and did anything I could think of that would push God away. I continued down this road of destruction well into the summer of 2016.

Then during a routine mammogram I was yet again face with the unthinkable. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2016. My thoughts spiraled in a whirlwind of emotions. How could this happen? I was only 43. I worked out every day and ate very healthy. I had gone every year for my physical and had begun to get mammograms at age 40. This was NOT supposed to happen to me!!!!! Had I not suffered enough this past year? Couldn’t I just get a break? Did God have an evil plan to destroy me? Then my thoughts turned to……… No man would ever want me now. I would be half a woman. I would be permanently scared, a Frankenstein. I would be destined to spend the rest of my life alone with no one to share my thoughts, my joy, my heartaches, my trials, my victories and my love with. I fell into a deep well of depression and despair. However, during this very low time there was always this small flickering light of hope. My spirit and my soul knew that the secret to my happiness was just a call away.

It was at 2:46am on August 8th 2016 that I finally made that call. From the floor in my bedroom I cried out to God for help, to give me strength and to show me what I needed to do. That was the same day that I met the man that would become my plastic surgeon and a friend. Over the next month I underwent many tests and began taking medicines that made me feel like I was dying. I wish I could say I never wavered in my focus on God but that would not be true. I may have waivered but He never did. Even though I didn’t have a husband to hold my hand and wipe away my tears when I was scared I did have a God that gave me friends and family to comfort my every need. Many times even before I asked for help God would provide an answer or someone to take the burden from me.

I underwent a double mastectomy and transplant at the end of August. I was a text book case until I wasn’t. About 12 hours after my surgery I began to hemorrhage and was rushed back into surgery. I was given a blood transfusion and underwent another 2 hours of surgery. The road to recovery has been kind of bumpy. I had to have surgery in December of 2016 for a blocked artery in my abdomen from the transplant. Then in April of 2017 my doctors again found a small amount of cancer which was causing my left breast to be unable to heal. I again took chemo and again had surgery. My most recent surgery was on September 28th of 2017. I was hoping this would be my last but I will most likely have one more in about a year.

I am sure you are wondering why I said at the beginning that I felt unable to put into words the overwhelming blessings and mercy I had received. You probably are asking where the blessings or the mercy was. Well I will tell you. The blessings came in the form of my children, my family, my friends and my life. God showed me through them just how amazing He is. I had been given the opportunity to be a mother to a son and daughter that would make any parent proud. I received the blessing of being able to watch them grow and mature into Godly radiant young adults. I received the blessing of having family that loved me unconditionally and without cease. I received the blessing of friends that lifted me up spiritually and physically. Most importantly I received the blessing of being able to live this incredible life.

I was given a gift!!!! How I chose to use it was up to me. You see my gift came in the form of tremendous heart break and fear. God allowed me to walk this road so that I could let others see Him through me. I could have cried and blamed God. I could gotten madder and filled with hate but that would have only hurt me. Instead I chose to smile with tears in my eyes. I chose to laugh instead of stream. I chose to let God get the glory instead of Satan. For these choices God has given me mercy. He showed me mercy every time I was afraid and wanted to quit. He still shows me mercy every time I fail Him. I am in no way deserving of this mercy. I continue to have moments of doubt and sadness but now it only last a short time. I know that God has bigger plans for me than I can ever imagine. My job is to be ready when He calls me.

I pray every day that I will be able to help someone else who is hurting or in pain. I pray that God will give me wisdom and strength to face all of the challenges I have ahead. Most of all I pray that God will never let me forget what He has done for me and brought me through. I am a survivor. I am a warrior. I am a child of God!!!!!

Guest Author For: Tina Torres, CEO, The Gratitude Specialist