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This morning, I popped into smallMart (where I work part time) because I wanted to pick up some Canada Day decorations. I was gabbing away with a co-worker when a regular customer came into the store. She had a HUGE smile on her face and looked like she was going to burst if she didn’t tell us her news.

“I’m cancer free! Five years of suffering and finally, I’m cancer free!”

She burst into tears anyways and continued to tell us all the plans that she and her husband were making, now that “cancer is behind us.”

My co-worker and I became completely caught up in the celebration of the moment. I got a real sense of what it truly means to rejoice with those who rejoice.

A few minutes later, I ran into this customer on the street. She was still smiling.  She held my hand and started to tell me all the details of her cancer journey. I’ve never heard of such pain and such violating surgery. This woman had been through so much.

I listened for quite a while and when she was finished talking, I asked her, “What’s the most profound lesson you’ve learned through this long and painful experience?  (Once a teacher, always a teacher!)

She didn’t even bat an eyelash – she knew exactly what she wanted to say.

I’m not just a survivor –  I’m a thriver.  Someone said, “There are no atheists in the trenches.” I agree. You can have all the friends and family supporting you but ultimately, you still go through trials alone. Suffering makes a person think about God. There’s something very spiritual about suffering. Going through such a severe cancer made me wonder what I’ve been doing for the past 65 years of my life without Him.

Everybody is on a journey and God is the Pursuer of our souls.

God pursues you with an intensity that can breathe life into you.    Jud Wilhite


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