Finding Faith When She Needed It Most

With her husband battling cancer, she struggled to find her faith–until a cashier lent a hand.

- Posted on Oct 3, 2013

A spirit stone with the word Faith etched in it

"Faith Will See Us Through." The words were engraved on a plaque on the wall of the hospital chemotherapy center where my husband, John, got his treatment. Good advice, but faith wasn’t always so easy to hold onto.

Shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts I felt my worries begin to take over. It was hard to watch my husband go through this. I stopped right there in the aisle of the gift store and looked down at my empty palm.

It was a little trick I’d devised for moments like these. When I felt overwhelmed I imagined the word faith written on my palm. But when I tried it today, the word seemed hazy and dim.

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader

Disappointed, I went back to my shopping. I found a Victorian ornament for my mother-in-law and an angel for my friend Valerie. I headed to the register. There on the counter was a big bowl full of “spirit stones,” polished rocks with words like courage or gratitude engraved on the smooth surface.

I dug through the bowl. I knew the word I needed to find. “I guess you don’t have what I’m looking for,” I said to the clerk.

“Oh!” she said. “Here’s one more.” She reached around and picked up a stone that had fallen on the counter where I couldn’t see. She dropped it in the palm of my hand. It fit as if made just for me. The word engraved on it? Faith.


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