Standing together in faith - Catholic Courier

Standing together in faith

I was fortunate this week. I had conversations with two wonderful, strong, faith-filled women. Each woman shared with me her story of being a breast cancer survivor. The stories were remarkably similar. The two women were shocked and horrified when first hearing the diagnosis. One woman shared that she cried when she was told the news. But both women told me that they quickly recovered, elevated by their faith and lifted above the distressing circumstance. Each woman shared that she made a decision to be positive about the outcome. Each thought it was important, in this situation, to model faith and trust for their children. Both used the words, "I would not allow myself to fall into self-pity."

When I heard the first woman’s story, I told myself that this is the kind of faith that I want to have. I want to be able to face whatever happens in my life with strength and courage and optimism based on faith in God. When I heard the second story, so similar to the first, I was struck by the fact that faith is a gift freely given by God. The first woman is a Roman Catholic and the second woman is a Sikh. In many ways, they are very different. But their stories of how faith helped them endure the chemotherapy and the surgery were so similar that I believe that God is sending me a message.

I look at these two women and I am inspired by their grace and their strength. I believe I have something to learn from them, from their stories of faith and optimism and survival. I believe that families of faith can draw strength from each other as we struggle to follow God in today’s world. We are more alike than we are different, because we are bound by love for God and love for God’s people. These two women are examples to me and I thank God for bringing them into my life.

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