November 22, 2022      

Thankful for a Word Called – SURVIVOR

The dictionary defines the word “survivor” as: “a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died”. Also, it can be defined as: “a person who copes well with difficulties in their life:” Recently our son Ryne was moved from the status of an active cancer patient to a cancer survivor with cancer in remission. For our family, the word “survivor” is one that causes great rejoicing.

       To see our son who was given 2 years to live now be considered a survivor of cancer with a diagnosis of a good long life is something that words can not adequately describe. And we know that it could not happen without the healing hand of God doing a miracle in his body. How can you start to say thank you for that?

       Not only has Ryne overcome this disease that so many other people have died from, but he also has had to overcome the difficulties that are associated with the disease and the chemo and radiation treatment. Ryne has done all of this with a strong faith and gritty determination to not ever give up.

       When Ryne first told me of the diagnosis, I completely lost it and broke down crying out loud. I will never forget the look on his face as he comforted me. The look was like, “Come on Dad. You have always taught me about faith and now that we need it the most, why are you not trusting God.” He even kept telling me that everything was going to be okay and that God would provide for us.

       As a preacher, it is easy for me to tell others going through different types of crises that God will provide and that God is faithful. But when it hits your family, it is harder to swallow. You have to have more than the “spiritual cliches” that you have shared with others over the years. Now that we see how God has worked this miracle it has made all of us stronger in our faith and bolder in our witness about what God can do.

       Through this Ryne is a survivor of cancer and I am a survivor of weak faith. The Bible says, “Give thanks in all things”. That is hard to do. But I do thank God for healing Ryne and also allowing me to experience this situation so that I can be more compassionate to others going through severe times in their lives. Now I can understand better the pain, fear, worry, and even doubt that is involved in these types of situations.

 I went from trying to figure out how to handle life without Ryne if he died to now rejoicing that he will be around. One of the songs that we first heard when Ryne was diagnosed was “Graves Into Gardens” by Elevation Worship. Some of the lines that our family has claimed through the cancer journey are:

You turn mourning to dancing; You give beauty for ashes

You turn shame into glory; You’re the only One who can

You turn graves into garden; You turn bones into armies

You turn seas into highways; You’re the only One who can

You’re the only One who can; Oh, there’s nothing better than You

There’s nothing better than You

Lord, there’s nothing; Nothing is better than You

Thank God for the word survivor. All glory and honor to Him.

In love with Jesus – Gary Mimbs

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