rebelling against low expectations

How do you endure long-term suffering?


HALEY WRITES: How do you endure hardship when you know it is just the beginning of a long journey?

My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She will have to have chemotherapy, which we had hoped to avoid since we caught it at a fairly early stage.

Cancer is scary, in and of itself. Chemo is really scary, because it will totally change our life for several months.

My mother home schools four of us, runs a household, cares for our foster child, manages the farm, tutors other home schooled kids, and is just plain busy. She won’t be able to do all of that for a while. A big step down for her, a big step up for me.

I’m really scared that I won’t be able to endure all of the really hard things (finishing school, holidays, caring for my family, helping teach the other kids, caring for my mother) for several months while she spends all of her energy fighting cancer.

It’s already hard with the surgeries and doctors appointments right now.

How do I push through the present hard things and still have hope, knowing it is only going to get harder?

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  • “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” -Romans 15:4

    I can’t give you a bunch of tips that will help you to endure this hard time, but I can tell you that God gave us the Bible for a reason, so I would advise you to seek help through the Scriptures, and to pray for endurance, even ask other people to pray with you. God will never leave us, and He won’t ever forsake us, all He wants is for us to turn to Him for guidance, and He is glad to lead us wherever life takes us. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing that encouragement, Faith! God has really blessed myself and the rest of my family by giving us many people who lift us up in prayer, as well as many who seek to pray with us. Thanks for the great reminder!

  • My grandma had cancer. It was hard on us all, especially since my Aunt Allison has a life-long disease and my Grandma takes care of my aunt’s kids, who are 5 and 4. She is cancer-free for now, but it’s a kind that will come back. I don’t really know the best way to deal with these types of things, but we have to trust that God is in control and will use it for good. I believe that we all can learn things from our trials. My little sister has mental problems, and can be disagreeable, mean, and sometimes even violent, but through living with her, I’ve learned a lot about patience, forgiveness, and more. Like Faith said, reading the Bible and praying are two of the best things that we can do. Some of the Psalms are really good for encouragement through trials. I’d also say that trials can draw us closer to God. I know that whatever I’ve been through with my family, it’s made me learn to rely on God.

    I’ll be praying for you -Olivia

    • Olivia, I’m so sorry about your Grandma’s cancer. The scariest part is knowing it will come back. As my mother goes through this tough time, our family is really learning how to appreciate the good days. Don’t forget to enjoy the cancer-free time!

  • I have a friend who has been going through the process of cancer treatments. She and her family are an amazing example of trusting the Lord in times of trials!

    Stay active spiritually. Don’t loose your bond with the Lord, because HE is who will help you during this time. He was give you strength, and you know what? He will give you peace. I can’t say I truly understand what you’re going through. I can’t give you all these tips, but I’ll be praying for you continually… That God will give you great peace, wisdom, patience, and grace. God bless you,

    Jazzy @

  • Wow, that sounds really tough. My cousin had cancer a couple years back, and I know how hard chemo can be. I guess something to remember is that all dark tunnels end sooner or later and God though His strength with bring you through it. If you’re relying on God, you will never be disappointed. I’ll definitely be praying for you as you travel this road!

    • The tunnel does end, that is true. Looking at the tunnel from one end knowing you have to travel all the way through it to get to the other end is the tough part. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Hi Haley. First of all, I am SO very sorry that has happened to your mom…I haven’t personally had any experience this extreme in which my life has changed drastically AND suddenly…I’ve had both things happen, but not at the same time with makes a big difference. From my minimal experience, here are a couple things I would encourage you to do:
    1) Allow people to help you and don’t fear asking for help! This can be tough I know, but I’m sure there are people in your life who are more than willing to be there for you and help whether it be through providing meals, helping with kids, etc. If someone asks how they can help, tell them! My family (for example) couldn’t have made our move to Africa without help! Truly we couldn’t have!!! And people were so quick and willing to not only willingly and joyfully help when we asked, but also offer help!
    2) Don’t put all the pressure on yourself!! I really know how easy this is to do (I’m the oldest of five)! My mom recently went back to the U.S. for a month and so my dad, brothers, and I were left here in ZA. Being the oldest (and only girl) cooking and a lot of cleaning fell to me…Helping boys with school, making sure baths are done, getting them to bed (my dad works from early afternoon to late night) and stuff like that also fell partly to me, but being the natural leader I am, I felt the weight of that SOLELY on myself! My dad was constantly reminding me “megan, I’m still here! You don’t have to do everything!! The boys can help with dishes and I can answer some of their school questions”…So try not to put yourself under unnecessary stress and pressure…I KNOW a lot of responsibility will fall to you!!! I’m sure of it! But just remember your dad will still be able to help out and delegate little sibs. to help…
    3) Always have something to look forward to! I know, for me, when I’m dealing with a lot (whether it just be a ton of school work or having to take care of my brothers for a month) I know it really bogs me down sometimes. =P It always helped me to look forward to something! Even if it was just scheduling a phone call with a friend or something simple like that! It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant! But having something to look forward to really helps me keep going.

    That’s all I can think of now, but know my heart goes out to you!! I know how hard it has been for me to deal with a huge amount of responsibility on a short-term, so I can only imagine how it must be fore you!!
    I’ll be praying for you!! I encourage you to seek the Lord as well!! That’s more important than any of these practical things I listed. Stay in tune with the Lord!! Seek Him first!! He will guide and strengthen you!

    • Wow, Megan, thanks so much for the great post! I really love the suggestions you made, and I even worked on putting some of them into practice this weekend. I think that my toughest weeks are those where I don’t choose to take time to recharge, or I pretend that I am in a battle all alone, when in reality there are many around me who long to help. Thank you for the prayers!

      • I can understand how those times would be the hardest!! And I also understand how easy it is to just want to do it all on our own…It’s SO easy to do!! I’ll continue to be praying for you!! I truly am SO sorry Haley!!

  • (1) Pray and read your Bible daily. That quiet time will be imperative to your well-being in the weeks and months ahead.

    (2) Always be there for your siblings. Comfort them when they need it, spend time with them, and just always be there for them. You will have to fulfill the role of Mom in their lives for a short time.

    (3) Some may disagree with me, but find an escape. Find something that you can go to occasionally as a release from all of the stress you will facing. Maybe it’s in the presence of friends (that’s mine). Maybe it’s walking the beach or walking out in nature. Maybe it resides in a hobby. Don’t let it overtake your time (that defeats the purpose of it). It is merely a way for you to enjoy yourself for a short time to forget your troubles. Not sure what music you listen to, but Those Nights by Skillet embodies this concept excellently.

    (4) Rely on your friends and mentors. Good, Christian friends will uplift and encourage you. Maybe this will be a good time for you to find out who your real friends are, the ones that truly look out for you and want to help you. Your mentors will also help and encourage you, and can be a good voice of wisdom in your life.

    Now, I have never been in this situation so I cannot imagine what you’re going through. These were just some things I could think of. I pray that your mother recovers completely and fully, and I pray that God will give you the strength to overcome this challenge. And you can be sure that this will all work out in your family’s favor.

    Hope this helps and God bless. 🙂

      • I’ve just heard people say that escaping reality is a bad thing, but in moderation, I think it can actually be healthy. Thanks!

          • Missouri is home apart from Zambia.
            That is a bit of a tough question!! I’d have to say I prefer by far in almost every aspect except for the fact taht I really stand out here… =P I mean, that has it’s benefits cuz it’s difficult to get lost! haha!!! But then again, it’s annoying because people sometimes give me more attention than other people which I don’t like; and the fact that I’m remembered everywhere I go can have it’s drawbacks… But taht’s one negative under 100 positives!! So I think I prefer Zambia. =) But I miss my friends in the U.S. TREMENDOUSLY!!!!

          • What is it that you like about Zambia? Sorry if it seems like I’m grilling you! I’ve just never talked to a missionary kid before. If you have any questions, please ask!

          • LOLOL! No worries!! =) I don’t mind all the questions!!
            Well, what I love about Zambia…I’ll be brief even though I could write you a book.. 😉
            1) the people are SO friendly
            2) THE MUSIC!! Oh the music is my FAVORITE thing!!!
            3) there is a large emphasis on relationships and people more than things!
            4) Time is of no essence…it’s like it’s non-existent here…haha this can have its drawbacks I guess, but it’s nice most of the time!
            5) Life=living as a community
            That’s a few things…! You might be interested in my blog if you haven’t already checked it out
            So you’re a guy right??? And your profile says you’re from Texas?? So are you a city guy or country guy?? Do you have brothers nad sisters??

          • Yes I am a guy and yes I am from Texas! I live in a suburb outside of a major Texas city (trying not to give too much info to World Wide Web if you get my meaning), so I’m kind of in between country and city. They both definitely have perks. I love the outdoors and all that comes with it (camping, hiking, canoeing, hunting), but I also like the convenience of city life. So I kind of get the best of both worlds you know?

            I’m the oldest of three: I have one brother and one sister. We’re all home schooled. I used to go to an Assemblies of God church, but now my family is transitioning to a new church.

            So what’s school like on the other side of the world (I’m assuming you’re home schooled)? What are your hobbies or pastimes?

          • Yeah! I totally get ya! =) 😉 I prefer the country, small town life myself; but it is nice when the city is close by too. =)

            Awesome!! So how old are you? (or would you rather that stay private?)

            I’m home-schooled. I was home-schooled before I moved here though, so that wasn’t a transition. I’ll graduate toward the end of next year.
            My hobbies/pastimes would include anything that has to do with any kind of music (haha) I play piano and guitar and am known as the girl who’s always singing…, reading, writing, cleaning, cooking, hanging out with friends (I’m a realy social person, so I like being around people. lol), umm…I guess that’s about it! =D
            My favorite thing besides music is just living life like it’s the 1800’s which I get the opportunity to do here because we’re often without electricity and running water…and so are the neighbors, so we live as a community and work together and learn to cook on charcoal! haha…anyway, I guess that sums that up!

            What about you?? What things do you enjoy in your free time?

          • I’m 16 (you’re 17 right?) I play the bass guitar (I tried regular, but didn’t enjoy it very much). I used to play in band in my church. I like reading, doing anything outdoors, martial arts, and hanging with friends. I’ve also recently started writing movie scripts. In fact, me and a bunch of friends got together and made a 40-minute long comedy this past summer! It was insane! So that’s kind of my idea of hobbies. What do you like to read?

            Okay, so my view on how you live is constantly changing. First I thought you lived in a mud hut in the desert. Then I realized that you obviously have internet, and I saw pictures on your blog (which is great by the way), so I know you have some buildings where you live. But now you tell me that you live like you’re from the 1800s! So could you give me like a rundown what life is like compared to American life? What do you and don’t you have? I’m really curious since I haven’t really gone far outside of my home state, and I’ve never known anyone who’s lived in Africa. Thanks!

          • Yup, I just turned 17. =)
            Cool!! Guitar is so much fun! I’ve never played bass before though.
            That’s so neat!! I love the outdoors also! So when you say martial arts (I might be totally wrong about this), that’s like a general term right? And then there’s specifics like tae-kwon-doe (or however you spell that) and karate; am I right? or is martial arts a specific thing as well?? haha..sorry if this is a dumb question… =P My Aunt and cousin are black-belts in tae-kwon-doe…! I took like a tiny little bit of karate when I was like 7, but I only remember a few things! lol…

            Historical fiction or historical biographies are my favorite genre of book…! I especially like stories (fiction or no-fiction) centered around war-eras. =) What about you?

            LOLOL!! I just died laughing out loud!!! So I live in a normal ish house. =) it’s styled differently than an American house for SURE, but it’s similar to like an old-fashioned ranch house. XD… We have running water and electricity but we don’t have a clothes dryer, dish washer, or air conditioning or a heater….our power is out SO much though that 1/2 the time we’re living like it’s the “1800’s” When our power goes out, we *sometimes* have water in the house and sometimes not…it depends on if our water tank is working (which is hit and miss…). When we don’t have water it affects everything from flushing the toilet, to bathing, to cooking…And we don’t have a way to use a washing machine or oven or anything like that, so we have to cook outside and either wait to wash our clothes or handwash them when necessary…
            We line-dry our clothes and we have to iron EVERY PIECE because there’s this thing called a mango fly that lays eggs on your clothes and buries itself in your skin…and yeah, it’s gross… =P OR we can just let the clothing sit for 3 days which apparently by that time the mango flies leave your clothes…anyway, part of that was unnecessary..sorry! haha…
            ummm…so we eat by candlelight and cook by fire a lot. Another reason it feels like 1800’s is because of how everyone dresses here! it’s different, but basically everyone wears long skirts (it’s just African material)…AND everyone is working SO hard and lives off the land…Even in our little neighborhood….Across the street, our friends live in mud houses that aren’t quite huts, but almost…and everyone around here farms…and we live as a big community! Whenever I want my friend, I just shout his/her name at the top of my lungs and they’ll show up…and when our power goes off, we share water (if we have it) sometimes and help each other carry jugs of it back and forth to houses… =)
            We also trade with eachother like I’ll give my neighbor a head of cabbage if they’ll give me some kale or something like that!
            At Wiphan, there’s no running water ever, and the village life is really fun because it’s one big family!!haha… “community” is everything here!! And while I’m not *exactly* a part of that community around Wiphan (called Nkwazi), they include me a lot..
            Oh yeah! And we have internet (sometimes; the network isn’t always the best) until the power goes off…
            And we have a car because Wiphan is WAYYY too far to walk!!!! Especially with 7 of us…but we do a LOT more walking than we did back in the states because if we want to get somewhere inside the village or neighboring village at Wiphan we just walk… =)
            So does that answer your question??? It’s kind of like 1800’s but I guess really it’s just like living in Africa! haha…
            P.S. I would TOTALLY live in a mud-hut with a thatched roof if I could!!! XD XD

          • Wow! That’s something else! I couldn’t imagine living like that, but it sounds kind of exciting, since it’s so drastically different than what I’m used to. Yes that answers my question. Thanks! 🙂

            I haven’t read too many war books, but I have seen several war movies. My family is very pro-military (I have almost a dozen immediate relatives who have served or are serving), so it’s very important to them that teens my age see movies that depict war accurately. That may sound a little weird, but it’s a respect thing, since some teenage boys think it’s cool to fight in war. They wanted to teach me from an early age that war is not pretty and comes with a cost. I have been thoroughly convinced of that.

            But I digress. I think I only have one more question for now lol. So I know that there are a lot of…I don’t know, maybe not terrorists, but more like gangs and tribal disputes all across Africa. Lots of violence from what I’ve heard (at least in Sudan and Northern Africa). Is your family in the middle of that? And what do you have for protection from that kind of stuff? I mean, I know God protects your family, but something a bit more tangible if you get my meaning? Thanks.

          • Yeah, I totally understand. =) I guess it was kind of always my dream to live like this, so i’m loving it.!! Though it wasn’t at ALL easy to leave MO… =P

            Yeah! I totally get that!! And I think that’s a good thing!! So movies like Saving Private Ryan and others like that?? I REALLY want to see that one a lot…!! My mom said there are parts that are even hard for her to watch though…so idk…

            Nope, actually Zambia is a very peaceful nation; something they pride themselves on! Of course there are still witchdoctors and there is still violence, but overall it’s very peaceful!!
            I totally get what you’re asking! =) And our house actually has bars on every single window and door!! We have a wall surrounding our house (like everyone does unless they live in the villages). We have 3 dogs and a nightguard; so we definitely feel safe!! I actually feel safer here than I did in my house in the U.S.!! haha!

          • I just realized that I didn’t answer your question about martial arts! So, saying martial arts is like saying movies. You have comedies, dramas, action, but their all still movies. Martial arts is the same. You have tae-kwon-do, aikido, judo, karate and a bunch of other ones, but they’re all still martial arts. I’m a black belt in tae-kwon-do, but I’ve also done some Krav Maga (Israeli self-defense), Kajukempo (basically a bunch of different arts thrown together), and ju-jutsu (Japanese awesomeness).

            So one thing you should know about me, I pride myself on being a movie junkie. 🙂 I don’t watch everything that comes my way (I’m a Christian and have convictions), but I’ll watch pretty much anything my parents let me, be it war, action, drama, comedy, even romance (okay, usually not romance, but you get the picture). I also try to give like critical opinions on movies about their quality and such. I was thinking about starting like a movie blog, but I’m not sure if that will ever happen. Anyway, in my opinion, Saving Private Ryan is one of the best films ever made. It shows the terrific bravery of soldiers, but also the horrors of war. It celebrates the soldier without celebrating war. It was a terrific movie despite the violence, and I definitely recommend it if you have the stomach for it (and believe me, you will need a stomach lol).

            And about security, that’s crazy! Your family is set! I mean, I would feel safer there too!

            Now there is something I need to say, but please know that this is not a reflection of you at all! You seem like an awesome human being and I wish I could get to meet you in person, but I think I need to stop communicating with you like this. My parents have recently put the breaks on me texting girls, so I’ve stopped. I didn’t think of this as texting, but now I’m beginning to use it the same way with you, like with conversations and such. I cannot in good conscience continue to do this. I need to respect my parents’ wishes regarding this in private and in public.

            And again, it’s not about you at all! And I don’t mean to totally stop all contact on here, but we should only discuss the issue in the article, if we’re going to discuss anything. Please let me know when you get this to make sure there’s no hard feelings. And when my restriction is lifted as I get older and more mature, I hope to continue these chats again! Thanks.

          • No worries!! Wow! That’s super cool that you’ve taken all those classes on martial arts!

            And I totally get ya!! I’m the same way..anything I’m allowed to watch I will. I hope I watch SPR soon…my dad LOVES it also! I might have to turn away a little bit though.. 😉 😉

            Okay, God is amazing! Actually, I was lying in bed last night and I was like, “Wait…my parents don’t mind me communicating wiht guys i know, but they always know about it…and I’ve been chatting with this person without even asking them!” and God really showed me actually the EXACT same thing he showed you which is that in good conscience I also need to stop chatting …idk…like, 1 on 1 like this…
            So PLEASE know, I don’t have ANY hard feelings at ALL! And actually, I was about to reply to you with a similar message (trying to figure out how to put it… =P ) just as I read yours!! So again, NO hard feelings and actually this just shows me how incredible God is to convict us both of the same hting at the same time!
            So don’t worry about replying here if you don’t feel in good conscince about it! I 100% understand!
            Thanks to you as well! =)

          • Whew! That’s actually really cool that that happened at the same time! But we’re on the same page, so until next time, goodbye Megan. 🙂

          • Hi MJ! Unfortunately, yes. That rule was not applied when we last talked, but it is now.

            But if it pertains to the discussion question or the article, please feel free to comment on my post if you think it deserves it. We just can’t go off on tangents anymore.

            Sorry and God bless. 🙂

          • Well, I’d rather not say specifically publicly like this, but we live in Southern MO REALLY close to the AK border. =) What about you??

          • Yeah, I didn’t expect you to say the exact town here on the great wide internet! I live outside of a small town in the Kansas City area.

          • Okay! cool!! Well, we’re from the same state even though we’re at opposite ends! haha… Have you always lived in MO?

          • Coolio! XD Actually, I was born in Oxford, MS and lived there for one year before we moved to Dallas, TX for another year and THEN moved to MO when I was 2. =) MO is where both my parents are from, so it’s definitely home…and it’s the only place I really have memories of living…Though I’ve returned to MS NUMEROUS times and TX a couple times. =)

    • Those are some great suggestions! I really love the practical advice. I really tend to forget the dramatic effect that staying in the word can really have. Thank you so much for the reminder of that. I’ve really made an effort to read my Bible and pray this weekend! The escape things is another great suggestion. I weave to escape, and it really calms me.

  • The short answer is “Fix your eyes on Jesus.” The other answer is; I think this ties in read well with the recent Reb article about God allowing more than we can handle so that we realize (and are forced to practice, every day) our utter dependance on Him. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18 KJV

  • Haley,
    I so sympathize with you. My sister is in the same battle, but with pancreatic cancer. It is as if time stops while everyone redirects their steps. But this is will of God in Christ Jesus for your Mom and you and all those affected. God has entrusted you with a huge challenge and His grace will be efficient for you, even though at times you will want to give up. Your trial will produce character in you that God deems necessary for your walk in the future. Don’t let this trial deter your faith. He is for you, not against you. I will remember to pray for you. You are not alone. Keep me apprised of what happens. God is good.

    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

    In Him Always,

    • Yes, time really does stop when the cancer diagnosis is out. With all of the tests and waiting, it feels as if we’ve put our whole lives on hold while we wait for a treatment plan. Thank you so much for your encouragement, and I pray that you sister will win the cancer battle.

      • Haley:

        May God give you strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

        PS: one thing that I didn’t mention is that you do whatever you can to have some fun and distraction from the situation. Get out with friends. Getting away from the situation helps to handle the daily stressful routine. I will continue to pray for you, your mom and your family. I too hope that she will be healed however God chooses to do that.

        Blessings to you and yours,

  • Hi Haley — I’ve never been in your exact situation, but I know what it’s like to see someone I love deal with an illness for an extended time. You’re right that it’s hard. But God’s grace is sufficient for me, and I know it will be for you! There’s a lot of good advice already in the comments, and here are a few things that have helped me.

    ~Stay, stay, stay in the Word. =) No matter how crazy busy you get, this is what will keep you going. God’s word is living and speaks to us right where we need it.

    ~Ask a couple close friends/mentors to be on call for you. Someone who will listen and point you to the Lord. Sometimes just the act of a sending quick text — “Please pray. It’s a bad day.” is enough to remind you that you’re not alone.

    ~Know that there will be good days and bad days. It’s probably going to feel like a roller coaster sometimes. God will be with you in all of it! Hold to Him as your Rock when everything else is shaky!

    ~It’s okay to take breaks. =) Set aside times during the day when you can rest and recharge. Getting over-stressed and overtired isn’t going to help anyone — I learned this from experience. (haha) It doesn’t have to be long, but enough to rest and refocus your mind.

    ~And here’s my game changer — keep giving thanks. Thank God for the big things, little things, hard things, good things. It opens your eyes to how He is with you. And gratitude always brings joy. You can have that even in hard times.

    May God bless you and be with you, strengthen you and sustain you today and in the days ahead! In Christ, you can do this. Love in Him!

    • Kori, thank you so, so much for your words of wisdom! These are all excellent points. I have really started doing several of those things since I read all of the posts with similar advice. I will keep giving thanks to God, who provides in all circumstances! He has blessed our family with a treatment-free Thanksgiving week, and I am so grateful!

  • My grandma had the same thing and now Grandpa has lung cancer, they’ve given him 3-6 months. He lives an hour away so when Mom’s over there I have to step up. We’re in sort of similar situations. It’s hard. I can’t imagine what it’s like for it to be your mom. I’m honestly not sure what to tell you, but here are some things that help me.
    The first is to know that suffering is normal (1 Peter 1-ish) and that it’s good (Romans 3:26-27, Psalm 119). It’s for our sanctification and to make us trust Him. I tend to forget his goodness until it’s the only good around, so struggles help me see.
    The church is everything, make sure they know what’s going on so they can help.
    Try to focus on each thing as it comes, so you don’t get overwhelmed. I can’t handle a whole week at once so I just go do the dishes, say something encourageing, then the next thing, ect. God will give you the grace as you need it. “The reason His mercy is new every morning is that there’s only enough mercy in a day for that one day.”-John Piper
    Escape to the prayer, you’ll find rest in it. Sometimes I feel like I’m about to explode, so I run to my room and pray one of those blubbering-like-a-whale, i-can’t-see-through-tears type prayers.
    And stay in the Word. Pick a book and read through it once a day or week, maybe 1 Peter — it’s all about suffering and the hope we have in Jesus.
    I’m sorry this hurts so much, God knows what he’s doing. I’ve been praying for you guys all day and I’ll pray again when I think of you. Sorrythis was so long, I hope it helps!

  • Hmm..I feel your pain. We had a tough time last year when my grandma was in ICU for about two weeks (and she remained in the hospital long after that). My mom was constantly with her, which caused a rather chaotic and disorganized house. Three things I can tell you are:
    1) Don’t panic if it doesn’t all get done. My sisters and I probably didn’t do as much school as we should of while my mom was spending time with my grandma. When life is thrown out of its usual routine, sometimes things get a little chaotic, and that’s okay.

    2) Don’t be afraid to turn to cereal as a valid dinner option. Serious, my mom would often go to the hospital to be with grandma at night, and we would often have cereal for dinner.

    3) Stay focused on God. He is always there for you, and He is always bigger than the storm. My grandma was ,by medical report, probably going to die. But she pulled through! Expect miracles!

    • I laughed when I read the cereal for dinner point! Thank you for the smile. 🙂 Your point about expecting miracles is a great one as well! We have already received some surprises from God, and I plan on expecting more.

  • Hi Haley,
    I just want you to know I’m praying for you. This must be so hard. Remember that your Father loves you and isn’t going to leave you alone in this.


  • Hello to all the commenters!

    As I read through all the comments I felt like I needed to do something. Cancer is such a beast and just looking through the comments I see it’s touched so many lives here.

    I’m not sure how exactly to say this. I felt like I needed to post this link. It’s a link to a video on cancer. I watched it and was blown away with the amount of information on cancer that no one is aware of. I hesitate to post this link because I realize that many people are probably like “here, watch/listen/read this…I’m sure it’s the answer!” I realize how frustrating it must be to those whose families are struggling with cancer to have everyone put in their two cents. I don’t want to do that. My heart is to simply make knowledge which I think is really important available to those who want it.

    That said, I’m posting this because I feel like everyone should watch it. Even if cancer has never touched your life it is full of information that I think everyone needs to know. To my knowledge, the people who produced it are not promoting any one method/product/service. They are simply trying to spread knowledge.

    I hope you watch it. I know that it is long, but it is very interesting and very full of important information. I am so glad that I did!

    Please, let me know what you guys think.

    In Christ,


  • Hey Haley!
    Hang in there! 🙂
    All I can say to answer your question is: Pray, read the Bible and talk with your friends and relatives. God, extended family, and friends will help your family go though this trial.
    I personally know how this is like and it was hard.
    My mom had cancer(she has been cancer-free for 2 years, I think). She was home schooling my sibling and I, and my older sibling was going to college; my dad was the only person who was working. It was scary.
    Although the cancer was in the first stage, we would go through a roller coaster in our lives. My mom and dad frequently went to doctor appointments.
    When my mom got surgeries, we had to take care of her and ourselves.
    All I can say is God, my church, my family and my friends help us go through this trial. God had helped my mom be strong and brave, and He can help you to be strong too.

    • I am so sorry that your mother and family had to go through the cancer journey. It is a difficult one, and very scary to face. Praise God that your Mom is a survivor!

      • She is better now and I’m glad for that.Yeah, it was hard, but we made it with God’s help. I will definitely pray for you, Haley, and your family. Also here is a verse I love: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV

  • If it’s of any comfort, Haley, know that I am grieving with you. Not because I’ve had relatives that are battling cancer or because I know what you’re going through, but because I cannot comprehend the gravity of this hard trial. It pains me to know that this is happening to you and your family. Sometimes the Father asks us to go through hard things and we are left asking “why?”

    I am here. And so is He. I am praying for you. And know that if you can’t find the words to say outloud in prayer, that’s ok. The power of prayer lies in the One we pray to and not in the one who says it. Our attempts may be awkward and short, but He understands. He holds you in His hand and He will never let go:)

    “You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:8

  • Haley, I can´t find words that would help at all. I can´t say anything that others have not said before me in a more eloquent way. The only thing I can think of doing is sharing Psalm 46, It´s gotten me through so much hardship, maybe it can help you.

    To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song.
    1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. 6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

    • Wow, sometimes scripture speaks so much louder than our words ever could. This is a phenomenal Psalm, and not one that I remember reading before! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Hi Haley,
    That’s tough. Very tough. To be honest, I don’t know what it’s like, so I don’t feel like I have much real advice to offer. But I sympathise with you nonetheless.

    It’s important to be honest in your relationship with God. The Bible’s greatest “sufferers” are not those who attempt to ignore their struggles by burying them underneath empty reminders that “God is good”. Instead, they are those who acknowledge that sometimes things don’t make sense – that sometimes prayers may seem to go unanswered, struggles may seem pointless, and life may feel just too hard. But their faith continues – strengthened, because they really do have to walk by faith and not by sight.

    Praying for you now.

    • Sam, thank you for your insight. I really appreciate you acknowledging that the “God is good” phrase is not always the answer when we go through trials. Honestly, God doesn’t seem good when a diagnosis comes back bad, or Mom has had a really bad day, or nothing seems to be going right. I am able to look for God’s goodness in the trials, but I cannot acknowledge that the trial is good, which is often what that phrase seems to mean. Thank you for your prayers.

  • Hi Haley,
    The answer that you get may not be the one that you want. But if you look at romans 5:3-5 or 1st peter 5:10 you may get your answer.

  • Haley,
    I can’t say much more than what good advice has already been said, but although I have never gone through the same thing, I have battled my own illness and experienced what you described of feeling like you won’t be able to get through the hard things, and accomplish the extra tasks. Something that has helped me recently is simply remembering that I don’t have to be strong. I don’t have to have everything together, I just have to welcome the strength of God which he provides for each task. I don’t know if that makes sense, kind of instead of saying, “I can do this” saying “God I’m tired, I can’t do this, please do it through me.”
    By His breath, Dorothy

      • Praise the Lord who has patiently taught me through all my struggles! So glad it was encouraging.
        By His breath, Dorothy

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Dorothy. Your words obviously come from one who has lived the trial. Sometimes I feel that all the “to-dos” are a huge weight on my shoulders (like tonight, actually), and I can never do it all. And I forget that I can’t do it all. Not alone. Your words are exactly what I needed to read tonight as I face many more tasks with a tired mind and body.

      • Thank you Jesus for bringing this encouragement to both of us!
        I’m so glad it was helpful!
        By His breath, Dorothy Elaine

  • Haley,
    I’m not sure exactly what to say, but here are some of my suggestions.
    First, I would carve out a time each day that you spend in God’s word. Whether its first thing on the morning or right before you go to bed. I’ve learned that you have to be specific about the time or else you will keep putting it off. Coming to God is a really important thing.
    Second, I think someone else mentioned this below, but I would get a journal and write out prayers or just your thoughts and concerns. The ups and downs of the day, whatever. Or, if you’re more of a verbal person, find someone older than you that you can “vent” to. Someone that will be there just to listen to you, not judge you and not tell other people what you have said. I’m definitely a writer, so journaling makes me feel free.
    I’ll be praying for you and your mom.

    • Thanks so much for the advice, Lina! I have definitely been more intentional about spending time in the Word since I’ve been reading these posts. I’ve really fallen into the habit lately of putting it off until “life is easier”, or “life is less busy”. What I’ve finally rediscovered (Believe me, this is NOT an original thought. It just took time and experience to figure out for myself. Why do I always have to do things the hard way?!), is that life will NEVER get easier, NEVER get less busy. Instead, I’ve started viewing spending time with God as a way to deal with all of the pressure. The recent article “3 reasons God will give you more than you can handle”, has been very instrumental in that conclusion as well. I’m now trying to see the pressure as a way to be forced to depend on God, instead of an obstacle in-between God and I.

      The journal and mentor are also great suggestions! I actually do both. I love to talk, and I actually have a few specific people in my life who mentor me spiritually. That has really given me an opportunity to discuss stress, and how to deal with it in a Godly manner. Also, I do journal, although I am not as good at that as I would like to be. I’ll keep practicing! 🙂

  • That is hard. I encourage you to read the book of James. It is written to believers going thru difficult trials.

    If you don’t have a good christian community, it is very important you find one. We need one-another in this life.

    The enemy wants you to think your alone. That is a lie.

  • My advice would be find maybe one or 2 friends that you really trust tell them how you feel, don’t hold anything back. Also spend time in the word. A great book is Psalms.

    P.S. I recently also went though some hard times if u ever want to chat I can always give you my email, kik, Insta..

rebelling against low expectations

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