Christine here: My guest for this week and next is author Shirley Corder. I hope you will drop by again next week to be encouraged by Shirley's inspiring story as she went through the Cancer Valley and came out the other side.
For some years, my husband and I lived in the beautiful Elgin Valley of South Africa, home of Elgin apples and Appletiser®. We often traversed the magnificent Houw Hoek mountain pass, about an hour from the city of Cape Town. After leaving the valley with its acres of apple trees, the road ascends at a fairly gentle gradient to the summit. Majestic mountains tower overhead, casting long shadows across the road.
After negotiating a steep U-turn, the road continues down a steep descent to a spectacular valley. It's like entering another world. The farming landscape is dotted with small buildings and grazing cows. And as the mountains slip into the background, the road is often bathed in bright sunshine.
One sunny afternoon, my life journey arrived at just such a pass, only it wasn't beautiful. One minute I was enjoying life as a busy registered nurse and pastor's wife, and the next I hit a U-turn.
"You have cancer," announced a radiologist. "And I don't think they'll be able to get it all out." My life spun out of control as I attempted to negotiate this unexpected twist in the road. God promises in his Word that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). I had often seen this verse in action, but I admit, I couldn't see how he was going to do it this time.
With the use of a skilled surgeon, an unconventional and courageous oncologist, a supportive family, and many praying friends, God pulled me through a pretty grim year of treatment. At the end of the year, I started the descent into the valley. My future lay spread before me, but it was so different. I could no longer nurse, due to a weakened immune system. What would I do with my life?
I hadn't anticipated being blindsided by cancer, so I had made no plans. But then God had known about the cancer long before I did. And he did have plans.
Suddenly doors opened for me that I would never have anticipated. My hobby of many years turned into a full-time occupation as I began to share in print some of the good things God had done in my life as a result of cancer.
At the time my treatment came to an end, I had no idea how long it would take for my life to get fully back on track. Nor did I realize that when it did, I would be travelling in a different direction. From nursing sister to published author. But then, isn't that what a U-turn is all about?
Purchase Strength Renewed (print or Kindle)
Purchase from Barnes and Noble (print or Nook)
Rise and Soar Website (encouragement for those in the cancer valley)