In honor of National Cancer Survivors Day, Precious Barrolle shares her story of faith, gratitude and love in honor of all the survivors around the country.  Thank you to all who bless us daily with their stories of hope. We celebrate you on this Sunday.  

 I am praising God because the Lord has given me a new song. God is faithful and his grace and mercy endures forever.

Over the past months, the difficulties of life dwelled at my door– I was stroked with a life-threatening situation. The thought of dealing with the situation clouded my vision.

Fear began to creep in as I contemplated the worst in each option; which wasn’t many. My heart sank as I began to remember all of the losses I have experienced – particularly those of my mother, Aunt Sarah, my Grandmother, and my father– and the grief that each of those losses brought to my life. I thought about my sisters, family and loved ones and what pain I would cause them if I didn’t hold on. My dreams and aspirations seemed too important to not be fulfilled whilst my life flashed before my eyes. My sense of feminism & identity left, confusion and fear stuck around and I was flat on my face.

It felt like the world was collapsing beneath my feet, I had to fight, but I needed a plan and I had to restore my attitude. When all attempts failed I turned to God and began to praise him – to remind myself that God is with me, no matter what I’m facing.

Pain, hurt, disappointment, loneliness, anger– all these forces can cause a person to want to let go of (or even lose) their faith.

But I am thankful for my faith that was strong enough to help me recognize that God is always ready to hold me in any situation if I would just allow him.

As my life hung to a tiny thread of hope, money had no value, and all options were exhausted. I had to find a way to work through my unsettling feelings, so I began with a prayer “Lord, I’m sorry! Have mercy”.

I made a personal connection with God, acknowledging that he alone could change my situation. I gave my burdens to him. He became the source of my strength. Thereafter, my praise grew– God became a stronghold that kept me standing against the crashing waves and raging winds of my dark storm!

From prayer, I went to a song. For me, music has always been a source of relief. I was set to a gospel song “God with Us” by Jesus Culture (I played it on repeat).

As I listened to the song, I began to long for God with all of my being. I found myself singing along and praising God for the gift of life. I was reassured of God’s love for me and it’s comforting to know that God is able.

I not ashamed to admit that the situation drew me closer to God. And I was determined to continue to walk with him during the process, because I knew that he would turn the situation around for my good and my praise would lead to comfort and contentment.

Praising God made became very useful and important to me. As I praise God, it reminded me of his greatness and it reinforced my understanding of his power and presence in my life. My praise began to discharge strength to my faith and started transforming my spiritual environment. When I wasn’t expecting it, God moved and turned the situation around for my good and gave me a second chance at life. This life I live now is not my own but God’s.

Regardless of how we praise (with our physical bodies, with our hearts and minds, and with our deeds) the result is always the same: an awe of God’s power, grace, and love for all of humanity.

When we walk in joy and praise, knowing that we are dependents on God, He shows up when you least expect.