Our first Hero of the Faith is Vicki E.
FGM: Please describe the event in your life that tested your faith.
Vicki: In Nov of 2005, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer. News like that rocks you to your core and brings you to your knees. I was forced to make decisions that I had no knowledge to base them on. I eventually had a double mastectomy followed by eight rounds of chemo. I had six reconstruction surgeries. At one point, tests reveled that the cancer may have spread to my lungs. If this were true, this would have put me at a stage IV, which is considered incurable. The only way to find out was to endure another surgery. We consulted several physicians and were given varying opinions. One Dr. said that it was a 50/50 chance that it was cancer, another Dr. said that he felt my chances were better and that there was only a 25% chance that it was cancer, yet another specialist confidently stated that he was 70% sure that it was cancer. Obviously, they were all guessing, so I was guessing 0%.
FGM: Please describe the pressure that this incident put on your faith. Did it cause you to doubt God?
Vicki: Not at all. To me, it is much easier to trust God in the “big” things in life. The little things are what I struggle giving up to Him. I knew and know that God was in control. No matter what my outcome may be, God is still God. He is still on His throne.
FGM: Did it cause depression?
Vicki: Of course, at first I was scared, angry (not at God, but at the circumstances), uncertain, and yes a little depressed. But, I soon realized that God could handle the situation much better than I, and I gave it over to Him. His shoulders are bigger than mine, His plan is always better than mine.
FGM: What questions did the fact that this event happened to you, bring to your mind?
Vicki: I never questioned God's plan. I never doubted that I would beat the cancer and there just must have been a lesson I needed to learn. I know and trust that God's plan is perfect. I knew whatever he had in store for me was going to be better than my plan. Trials allow us to see a side of God that we wouldn't otherwise. You don't know God as a Savior unless you are lost, you don't know Him as a Comforter until you are brokenhearted, you don't know Him as a Healer until you are sick. This experience allowed me to know more about my God and get just a glimpse of who He is.
FGM: Please describe how your faith helped you to deal with this event: Were there specific Scripture passages that helped you?
Vicki: Yes absolutely, there are just so many to name, but Isaiah 26:3 He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thought turn often to the Lord, Psalm 118:17 I shall not die, but live to tell of all of His deeds, are just a couple I will provide you a complete list.
Vicki: I wanted to constantly be reminded of God's promises to me. As I said, I posted scriptures throughout our house, I had had them posted in my bathroom on the mirror, in living room, Kitchen dining room etc.
FGM: Were there Christian friends that helped you? Explain.
Vicki: Our church does what we call, “small groups”. They are the equivalent of Sunday school classes that meet in homes. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of starting a group. A friend of ours had also been leading one, but yes, we have an excellent support system within our church and friends
FGM: Was your local Church a help to you?
Vicki: They have been there not only for moral support, but have been a strong house of prayer and comfort. They have cleaned our house, done our shopping fixed us meals. Many of these apply more to our small groups but they too are from the church so I guess that counts
FGM: Have you been able to help others who have had similar experiences?
Vicki: My prayer is that the Glory of God be shown in all of this and that He would use me as He sees fit, and yes I pray that through all of this that I may in some way help others.
FGM: Could you Explain?
Vicki: Well, shortly after finishing chemo (the first time around) I started being a small group leader for a group of 6th grade girls at our church. Within just a few months, one of the girls in our group was diagnosed with an extremely rare kind of cancer. I was able to help her and her family. Our small group would go to her house or hospital to visit with her when she could not make it to church. The mother and I had many conversations about what she was going through. She was diagnosed in Aug and passed away in April the following year. It was an extremely difficult situation for everyone involved, but it allowed me to live out 2 Cor 1:3-4 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." Soon after that, another girl in my group mother was going through chemo. She and her family needed help in many areas. We were again able to minister to her and meet many of her needs. Since then, I am constantly hearing about women who are going through the same thing that I did and I am able to share my story with them which I hope brings them comfort and hope.
FGM: Describe how your faith in God changed because of the event.
Vicki: It has grown obviously, the best way to explain it is to relate a God moment story that I related in my last update. I had received an email about a really rich man and a friend. The man had millions of dollars. One day, while his friend was spending the day with him he noticed that while walking, the rich man spotted a penny on the sidewalk, bent down, picked it up, held it in his hands and said a prayer. When the friend asked him with all the money he had, why would he waste his time picking up a mere penny and why did he appear to be praying when he picked it up. The rich man replied by saying that he always picks up a coin that he sees and reads the words printed on it "In God we trust". He holds it in his hands, reminding himself that his trust is in God and he says a prayer. With that being said, the morning of my surgery, as we were preparing to leave, I spotted a penny in our kitchen floor. I picked it up, remembering the email, held it in my hand, knowing that my trust was in God, said a prayer, and put it in my pocket. I didn't say anything to Scott at the time. When we reached the hospital, it was me, Scott and my mother. We were waiting in the waiting room and on the floor, right in front of our chairs, were two more pennies. I picked them up, gave them to Scott and my mom and shared the story with them. I know that God was reminding us to put our faith and trust in Him. He is so good!
FGM: Vicki Thank you
Vicki: You're welcome.
FGM: Update 8-09, The interview with Vicki was originally done in the fall of 2008,Vicki has seen many more trials since this interview, her cancer returned in other areas of her body, and has continued to exhibit her extraordinary faith. As of the publishing of this page, her new treatments are showing to be successful. Vicki our prayers are with you and we want you to know that you are an inspiration. May God bless you and keep you and your family and may your story be an inspiration everyone who reads it, or has known you and experienced it first hand, by the way you live it out everyday.