In my ideal world, God would sit me down with paper and pen and ask me to write out exactly how I would like my life to go. Much to my shock and chagrin, however, that is not the way God handles His business.

It was June 24, 2005 when I first received the news that I had cancer. Being the naïve 23-year-old, 6-month newlywed that I was, I reacted out of anger, fear, shock and disbelief. Finding the beauty and purpose in my situation was the last thing on my mind as my doctor began to tell me that the lump I had found on my leg was actually non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and that I would have to undergo eight rounds of aggressive chemotherapy.

Fingering my long locks of hair, I listened as the doctor said that I would lose all of my glorious mane, which I had just spent $65 to have highlighted!

There was no way that in those first overwhelming moments, I could have known all that was to come in my life through the journey of cancer. Having served God all my life, I figured that eventually, God would bring this all around for His glory, but I was less than thrilled with the platform He had chosen.

I was completely shocked, though, when I began my chemotherapy treatments and started to see God in a whole new light. It was almost as if I had really trusted that He could heal me of cancer, but somehow did not trust that even He could make my daily life beautiful in the midst of such a scary and horrible situation.

I was never so glad to be wrong in all my life! I began to see that if I just turned my situation over to God, He was ready, willing and able to take my burden and to be not only big, awesome healing God, but gentle, loving and compassionate Father as well.

I am a singer and songwriter and had begun working on producing a CD when I got the diagnosis. It would turn out that during my battle with cancer, most of the songs on my album, True Story, would come to me. Today, these songs are providing encouragement for others facing their own storms.

It completely rocked my life to see that happen and to realize that with Him, even the worst days of the storm were not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. He gave me strength, grace, joy and yes, even beauty, to make it through and come out stronger than ever before!

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