When you go to a doctor and you are complaining of pain they ask you to rank your pain from a 0 (no pain at all) to a 10 (the worst pain you’ve ever experienced or imagined). A mastectomy is my level 10 pain on my own personal measuring stick.
On one of the painful, sleepless nights following my mastectomy, I read Joshua 1:1-9. I don’t know why I went there. It was probably just a random thing knowing me, but I seriously doubt it was as random as I thought it was at the time.
The story begins right after Moses died. God speaks to Joshua and tells him it’s time to lead His people into the promise land. This doesn’t sound like it would bring any comfort to a woman suffering from discomfort from a mastectomy and the unknowns that come with having breast cancer. I’m sure I even questioned why I was reading this until I hit verse 5-9.
Verse 5: God tells Joshua, “I will not fail you or abandon you.” – I felt like God was saying the same thing to me. I needed to know He wasn’t leaving me and I could trust in Him.
Verse 6: God demands Joshua to be strong and courageous because he has been given a job by God to lead these people to the promise land. – God had told me to be strong and courageous too because He had a plan and I needed to trust that it was good.
Verse 7: God tells Joshua again to be strong and very courageous, but this time He adds obedience to His decree. – Before I was even diagnosed with cancer, God told me I had to have faith in His ways and not my own, and I needed to trust in His plan for my life even when it wasn’t looking like a very good plan to me.
Verse 8: Study this book. Mediate on these words. Obey. – Oh, wake up call! God needed me in His Word. I couldn’t just read it either. I needed to think about it, talk about it, write about it, and pray about it. I then needed to obey it.
Verse 9: This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – This verse became my battle cry. I never had to, nor will I ever have to, fight a single day of this war alone. I had nothing to fear. I had nothing to worry about. I only needed to be strong and courageous and have faith God was right there beside me every step of the way. He has been. I trust He always will be.
Joshua 1:9 has been my go-to verse many days. Sometimes I cling to the beginning. Other days the middle. And often times the end. Knowing God is with me wherever I go has granted me strength and courage and has taken the fear and worry away. I don’t always understand God’s ways, but He’s also never asked me to. I’m to have faith He’s with me always; therefore, I have nothing to fear. That revelation brought me so much comfort that sleepless night and many nights after it. I can’t tell you how many times the different pieces of this one verse have ran through my mind. I love this verse. It’s become one of my favorites.
This verse inspired this piece of jewelry.