Tag Archives: Cancer

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Here it is February 11...almost Valentine's Day and this is my first post of 2016. That should give you some indication of how life is going right about now....fast. Very, very fast. Juggling homeschool, housework, health, parenting, church responsibilities, kids' activities, and well, life in general tends to eat up a giant portion of the day (and sometimes the night)...every day. 

Oh, don't get me wrong...after a 16-month battle for my life, I'm soaking up every moment of actually living it. Still, a crazy and overwhelmed schedule tends to leave this type-A-deadline-driven, perfectionist feeling stressed, anxious, and terribly, terribly behind.

I am learning--yet again--that being is better than doing. That's a difficult lesson for this over-achiever. I like my lists. I like to check things off my lists. And I like my lists done before I go to bed.

Your type-A streak might not run as deep as mine, but I’m guessing you can relate to my feeling of being overwhelmed. Life is crazy. Life is hectic. Life happens at breakneck speed. But here's the crazy irony of it all: If we don't stop to simply be in God's presence, we'll never become who He intends us to be.

Be Still and Know That I am God...Compassion That Compels | www.thereisgrace.com

I'm privileged to be sharing the lessons I'm learning over at Compassion That Compels today. Won't you stop over there and join the conversation? And while you're there, check out the incredible ministry that Compassion That Compels provides for women battling cancer. Do you know someone who is facing cancer? Encourage them in their battle by sending them a Compassion Bag, or support the work of Compassion That Compels by shopping at one of their sponsors.

 

 

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Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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The thing about being a first-born, type-A, chronic planner is that you tend to make plans...lots of plans. After awhile you might even get pretty good at it. In fact, you might become convinced that you can accomplish anything if you simply have the right plan.

As any good planner will tell you, nothing ruins a good plan like an unforeseen interruption, especially one beyond our control--a sick child, a flooded basement, a 45-minute detour due to road construction. Any number of things can throw your plans off track and send a type-A person like myself into near hysteria. Not a pretty picture, I assure you.

My life and plans were rudely interrupted with a single word: cancer.

I didn't plan for it.

I didn't want it.

And there was not much I could do about it.

I was shaken, and I needed Someone who would be unshakable.

Thankfully, I happen to know Someone whose plans are never interrupted. He's never caught off guard by my circumstances or worried about how a situation will turn out. In fact, He says things like:

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11, The Message)

and...

I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8, NLT).

So, when my plans crumble in the face of unforeseen circumstances, I can be sure that God doesn't worry. He doesn't fret.

When I am anxious that God is not answering my prayer at the moment I expected Him to, or in the way I hoped He would, I can be confident that He doesn't need to rush or hurry.

I can rest knowing He has a plan...and it is unshakable!

When You Need #Unshakable Plans |www.NancyBackues.com

I am honored to be sharing part of my story today at Intentional by Grace. Won't you join me over there to discover How Cancer Gave Me Unshakable Faith?

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

Faith is the presence of Hope | www.thereisgrace.com #unshakable

We will all face circumstances that shake us and threaten to destroy our resolve and our faith. Those moments when we are just not sure we can carry on.

For me, that moment came with the words, "It's cancer." No one wants to hear those two simple words, but to someone who has battled that deadly disease before, those words carry extra weight. They undo all the fighting and bring immediate defeat. That simple statement stole every ounce of triumph—all the success of my previous battle—and left my emotions and my faith in a crumpled heap.

Yes, I had beaten cancer once, but I didn’t want to have to do it again. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I was up for the fight...

I'm incredibly privileged to be sharing another chapter in my story today over at Message in a Mason Jar. I would be thrilled if you'd join me there, and together we can become Unshakable.

 

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

Ch-3 image FB

When your doctor tells you the cancer is back and uses the words, "non-curative" and "chemo for the rest of your life," your mind reels, your world is shattered, and your faith is shaken.

Then there's that moment you recall the lessons you learned as a child in Sunday school, and you realize...This God—He is THE ONE for my situation. HE is unshakable.

I'm privileged to be sharing part of my story today at LiveLaughRowe.com. Won't you stop in and see me over there?

 

 

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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Unshakable book

It's here!

Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm is now available on Amazon!

When you purchase a print copy here or the Kindle version here, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the cancer compassion organization I work with. Simply select Compassion That Compels. You can read more about Compassion That Compels here.

Happy reading!


 

 

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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In case you've wondered about the radio silence around here lately, here's what's been going on...

Coming in May...Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm

Yes, it is really happening! And it's getting close! (Final release date still to be determined.)

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek from the back cover:

When a cancer diagnosis rocked her faith to the core, Nancy Backues found herself fighting an even greater battle than her illness. She was also fighting for her faith.

In Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm, Nancy shares openly about her struggle with fear and doubt and addresses the tough questions many of us ask in the midst of difficult circumstances. Questions like

  • Is God really good?
  • Does God really love me?
  • Is God big enough for my situation?
  • Is God even aware of what I’m going through?
  • How can any good come from my situation?

As Nancy’s story unfolds, she wrestles with these difficult questions, answers them with overwhelming evidence of God’s love and faithfulness, and takes readers on a journey to find faith that is unshakable.

 And here's what people are already saying about it!

Unshakable speaks to anyone going through a trial of any kind
and is full of so much truth  and heart and awesomeness!”
~Rosann Cunningham, author, UnEmployed Faith

Unshakable provides the blueprint for victory in every life storm.”
~Kristianne Stewart, founder, Compassion That Compels

"Unshakable is not a book that brings God into our story; it beautifully displays how
God brings us into His. I’m thankful that Nancy was willing to share her honest
discoveries in her darkest hours.” ~Heather Gilion Co-author, Dancing On My Ashes

"Anyone who argues the Bible isn't relevant for today needs to read Unshakable!"
~Kristen Feola, author, Spiritually Strong and The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast

"Through Scripture and personal reflection, Nancy shows that it’s possible to feel
completely shaken by a difficult circumstance and yet to come through it to
find a faith that is unshakable...because of the God who is unshakable."
~Darcy Wiley, blogger, Message in a Mason Jar

I will be sure to announce the release date as soon as I have one. For now, stay tuned for ordering info and special deals! In fact, go ahead and enter your email on the sidebar so you don't miss any upcoming news!

 

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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It all happened in the same week. I was officially pronounced "cancer free" then a few, short days later I lost my mind...over a pair of gloves.

We were running late, yet no one was following the simple instruction to "please move more quickly." The whole scenario escalated until it resulted in a wild-eyed mom (who will remain nameless) barking orders at her startled children as she threw backpacks and lunches in their general direction then forced marched them, in a huff, to the waiting vehicle.

Then it happened: A sheepish voice squeaked from the backseat, "I forgot my gloves."

For a moment, I considered foregoing the gloves, but with Missouri winter setting in, and a wind chill of 26, the child had to have gloves. I slammed the door and stomped back into the house to retrieve them. Back in the vehicle--gloves in tow--we were finally off to school.

Then it struck me: I would not have reacted this way a year ago. At this time last year, my mental and emotional energy was focused on one thing: victory over cancer. That meant regular, daily, time in God's Word to hold tightly to His promises and regain control of my thoughts and emotions. It meant "little" things like lost gloves and hurried mornings didn't faze me. There were bigger mountains to climb, bigger giants to slay--I was battling cancer for cryin' out loud. Who cared about forgotten gloves?

Here I was a year later, the words "cancer free" still ringing in my ears, and I was already back to the same ol' me. I had kicked crazy to the curb, and it had bounced back and rolled right over me!

While I was thankful that life was returning to normal, I didn't like that I was falling back into the same habits. In the midst of the battle, I had been intentional about so many things--faith, priorities, commitments, even my attitudes and emotions. As a result, I had grown in many of those areas. Was I seriously going to go back to the same old habits and struggles as before? I sure didn't want to! The trial I had faced brought me closer to God and took me deeper in my faith.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2, 3)

If I was going to hold on to all I had learned over the last year, I would have to Be Intentional about it. Focusing on the important things had been easy when the rest of the world stopped--when others were bringing meals and shuttling our children about. Now that life was returning to "normal," I would have to work at it.

Finding intentionality in things that matter most | thereisgrace.com

Since I'm pretty sure intentionality isn't something I struggle in alone, I'm inviting you on the journey with me. And what better time to do it than at the New Year?

Over the next few weeks, we'll be exploring intentionality in many areas of life--spiritual, physical, and emotional. In addition to my regular posts, I'll  write once or twice a week about an area in which I'm learning to Be Intentional. I'll be honest about how I've failed or where I need improvement (as if you expected anything less) and share things I've discovered along the way. I'll also recommend resources I've found helpful or that come recommended by others I trust.

This isn't a one-sided conversation, though. I want to hear from you, too! I want to know how you've learned to be intentional and what has helped you along the way. Share your favorite tips and resources in the comments or join the conversation on social media (use the hashtag: #BeIntentional)

What areas do you need to Be Intentional in?

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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Last year I celebrated Christmas quietly at home with just my husband, my children, and my mother-in-law. My body was weak from six rounds of chemo and I was emotionally drained from the battle we were waging--both physically and spiritually-- for my health. But my spirit remained joyful--hopeful.

I saw Christmas in a new light. Sure, I had a new perspective on what truly matters in life, as often happens when you face a crisis. But more than a revelation on the value of life, I had a new perspective on the whole purpose of Christmas. Suddenly, it was more than a simple story of faith. It was now a glaring declaration of God's love for us...for you, for me, for each of us individually.

Isaiah 9:6

It wasn't long after that weary Christmas Day that I received a Compassion Bag from Compassion That Compels. Since then, I've been privileged to write for their ministry and have grown to love Kristianne and her heart for women battling cancer.

This year, I will gather with all my family and celebrate Christmas CANCER FREE!! I'm talking about it over at Compassion That Compels...won't you join me there? While you're there, consider sponsoring a Compassion Bag for someone battling cancer. She'll appreciate it more than you'll know...trust me. And maybe next year, she'll be sharing her own story of victory!

Read the rest here.

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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This summer, my family and I visited the beach. That's a pretty big deal for this Midwestern girl. I can probably count on two hands the times I've seen the ocean up close and personal.

As every girl knows, a trip to the beach requires a new swimsuit...which, of course, means the dreaded trip to find a new swimsuit. Such a trip would have been traumatic enough in my 20s as I would have lamented over my not-so-supermodel physique. (Oh, the things we worry about in our 20s!) It would have been slightly more troubling in my 30s as I attempted to camouflage the effects of birthing two babies and the toll those babies had taken on my body. But in my 40s...

Well, in my 40s one would hope it would have been different.

I've heard it said, and I believe it to be true, that after 40 you really don't care what others think. Sure, I'd like to look like Cindy Crawford, but that ain't gonna happen. I've stopped holding on to the dream. I have finally found comfort in my own skin and come to grips with my own physique...cue the victory parade!

But now I faced a new obstacle: scars.

scars

My first surgery in 2010 left me with a 6-inch scar running down the back of my left thigh. Of course I know it's there, but since it's on the back of my leg and it's faded over the last few years, it's easy to forget about. This time, however, there was a new scar, and this one wasn't so easy to hide...my port.

For those who don't know, a port is a small device implanted just under the skin for the purpose of delivering chemotherapy drugs. While I am thankful to have had it during chemo, I wasn't looking forward to toting it along on my vacation. It's implanted right under my right collar bone, so it was easy to cover up with clothing through the long, cold winter. But now it was swim suit season. That was a whole new ball game.

Unlike the one on the back of my leg, this was one scar I could not ignore. When someone looked at my face, there it was...a few inches below my chin, looking like it was about to burst out from under my skin. It was unmistakable. It was unavoidable.

That is when I decided...it would just have to be seen, and I (and everyone at Ft. Walton Beach) would just have to live with it!

Strangely enough, it didn't bother me once my feet hit the sand. 🙂 I figured those who didn't know what it was could probably care less. And those who did know what it was...well, they would understand.

They would know that it's more than an ugly protrusion under my skin.

More than a disfigurement.

It's a physical marker of the battle I am waging. A weapon in my arsenal.

That's the thing about scars...those of us who have them understand what they represent. We don't see the ugly or the imperfection. We see the struggle. The fight. The victory.

As I type this, I am recovering from yet another surgery, and I have yet another scar. Before all is said and done, I'll likely have two more.

I don't like scars. Not because they're ugly, but because they represent pain. Deep pain. Pain no one should have to endure.

They remind us of a time when we were weak, vulnerable.

And for that reason, I'm learning to appreciate my scars. I don't know that I'll ever grow to love them. But I pray I will always remember what they represent...

"My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10)

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signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

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While I am recovering from surgery this week, my lovely friend, Kristianne, is stopping by to grace us with her beautiful words. I first met Kristianne in January when I received one of her Compassion Bags. We spoke on the phone a few weeks later and I knew it was a friendship born in heaven. Over the last few months, we have spoken often--sharing our hearts, baring our souls, and covering one another in prayer.

Kristianne is the founder of Compassion That Compels, an amazing ministry to women who are battling cancer. You really need to go check out her web site and hear her heart for women!

But first...I'd like you to meet my friend, Kristianne...

love-smells

Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

love-smell-1Grace’s ringlet curls wrapped around her spangly bracelets as she leaned across our bubble gum tea party. She wiggled her index finger in the space between our faces. “C’mere, mommy…real close and breathe big with me,” and we did as if together, we could breathe in tiny moments like solid molecules.

“Mmmm…I love you. You stink really good today, mommy.” Of course, I completely understood that it was the scent of my perfume but what Grace really smelled was my love.

Everybodys love smells different.

love-smells-2My Italian grandma was never a gushing geyser of sentiments but I do remember the endless flow of Little Debbies that grew within the pockets of her flowered, polyester housecoat and sent me on cream filling waves across her kitchen linoleum to the gold, shag-carpeted guest room. I never knew what treasures waited behind the real imitation wood closet doors with their shiny brass knobs. There were always stacks of toys, games, and primary-colored, striped clothes that, if they were too big for me, I could pass to my older sister and too small, given to a younger cousin.

My grandmas love smelled like a mix of garlic and mothballs.

In the Old Testament, around the time of the battles between the ites and the ambivalent Israelites, animal sacrifices were pleasing aromas to God. I’ve read the New Testament starting with the red letters enough to know what Jesus saw, heard, tasted, touched but what did Jesus smell?

But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.  (2 Corinthians 2:16)

Lazarus was dead for four days

A woman with an issue of blood for 12 years

Legion and his tomb dwelling demons

And how about that mid-dinner pedi Jesus did for all of his disciples? 

Let’s face it, what Jesus had to smell would leave us gagging. Nowhere do we read about Jesus priming his hand sanitizer bottle or getting into a Febreze spraying frenzy after each encounter.

Not a mention of what He smelled, because maybe what Jesus smelled was love.

Live a life filled with love following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.     (Ephesians 5:2)

Retracing the steps across and around the decades of my life, I see first my 20’s “if God loved me.” Then, 30’s “when he loves me”. Now in my 40’s and no longer an “unsecure person”,  but firmly rooted in faith and realizing that grace isn’t acquired like a scouting merit badge, it’s because He is love.

He loves me because God is love, and to Jesus, I hopefully stink really good.

kristianneKristianne is a writer, speaker and founder of Compassion That Compels. Her life of love is filled to overflowing for her husband Royal, and their daughters Grace and Annelise. Collecting people and gardening are among her passions. Painting lives in brilliant hues of God’s love and compassion is her purpose. Join Kristianne on Facebook Compassion That Compels. Follow her on Twitter Kristiannefaith and Instagram.

signature-1Like what you've read? Sign up in the sidebar to receive blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE printable of 10 Inspirational Scriptures. It's as easy as that! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, too!

Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.