For the next two weeks we will feature a different woman from #theFives as she shares her heart with us. In an attempt to break down walls and promote unity among women, we will uncover the real lives of those we haphazardly label and judge. Wanna grow in your own journey of loving without walls? Join #theFives HERE.
Here is the story of Amy Strathman, whose cancer scare came right in the middle of our last session of #theFives:
When Amy met Jen last summer, she had no idea how much that friendship would mean in the months ahead.
In the midst of chasing after toddlers while trying to have grown-up conversation, the two Texas transplants both realized they had recently relocated from Kansas and were now neighbors.
“Something about Jen just felt like home from the very beginning of our friendship,” Amy said. “We became fast friends, and immediately started helping each other with kids for appointments and other events.”
Amy also was inspired when Jen invited her to consider joining a group called #theFives.
“I wanted to make every excuse on why I couldn’t do this, like, ‘My baby still doesn’t sleep all night,’ but something told me I really needed to commit to this,” Amy said. “Oh my, did God ever know how much I would need this.”
On Nov. 3, 2016, Amy and her husband attended a doctor’s appointment anticipating she would need surgery to remove a mass on her leg — something that had happened four years prior — for a second time.
“The doctor went over my MRI and told me benign masses like I was diagnosed with four years prior did not typically reoccur,” she said. “And then came the words no person wants to hear. The doctor stated he had every reason to believe the mass is malignant and that I was most likely misdiagnosed four years ago.”
“I was healthy,” Amy thought. “I wasn’t sick, and yet my upcoming weeks were quickly filled with appointments for testing to include an MRI, bone scan, and biopsy.”
Up until this time, Amy said life had been easy — with a wonderful husband, two beautiful boys and supportive people all around.
“Life comes with its challenges, of course, but I have always had faith in God and his plan for my family,” Amy said. “Now that I look back, I feel like it was always easy to trust in God because His plan for my life looked a lot like the plan that I had for my own life.”
Instead, God began calling her deeper (cue up Hillsong United’s “Oceans”).
“I knew that God had never failed me and I wanted my faith to be without borders,” she said. “I prayed for my health, but I mostly prayed to God to take care of my husband and two boys. I was at peace with whatever news we received because I knew whatever the outcome God would take care of my family.”
The tumor was found to be malignant, but Amy praises God that it had not spread. She quickly began eight weeks of intense radiation, and was overwhelmed as God poured out love and grace through Jen and many other friends.
“They truly have been the hands and feet of Jesus,” she said. “Sometimes, as women, we let things get in our way by overthinking what others may think or how the help will be received, or at times we feel that we are too busy. Then in our minds we make an unnecessary list of the reasons not to support a friend or stranger. Don’t let those things get in your way of loving God and extending your loving arms to others the way he did.”
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Share your story below.
We hope you can #findyourtribe here with us.
*All stories featured in the#FindYourTribe series were collected and written by Sarah Gooding. We love her so.