A Cancer Survivor Shares the Words That Inspired Her

Given a two-year life expectancy, she decided to trust God to give her what she needed.

by Aug 19, 2013

Carol Kuykendall

If you are going to be used by God, he will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all; they are meant to make you useful in his hands. —Oswald Chambers

When I placed this quote above my computer several years ago, I wanted a reminder that God intended to bring some good out of my Stage 4 ovarian cancer diagnosis. I had no idea then how meaningful those words would become for me now.

When first diagnosed, I was given a two-year life expectancy. Instead of fighting that prediction, I let it shape my life purpose: to do what mattered most in the days I had and to trust God to give me exactly what I needed every step of this new journey, even if it included dying much sooner than I expected. But I didn’t die, and when I passed the five-year anniversary of my diagnosis, I wondered if I could find a new life purpose about being a survivor.

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Soon, my phone started ringing and people identified themselves as recently diagnosed cancer patients. “How have you survived cancer?” I was asked again and again. I felt a bit baffled. I didn’t have any nice neat list of do's and don'ts about not eating sugar or eating only raw vegetables. My survival is far more about what God has done than what I have done,” I replied, and went on to relate my story about the ways God prepared and equipped me for my journey.

In these conversations, I keep discovering how life-giving and hope-bringing our personal stories can be, especially when they are shared with a person walking the same challenging path that God has walked with us. That’s sacred ground. And I’ve discovered a new life purpose.

Lord, I hope that I am useful in Your hands when I tell and retell my stories about Your faithfulness.

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