By Jackie Hampton,
For many decades now, the country has recognized October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time designated to educate the public about breast cancer and the importance of early detection. It is the most common cancer in women worldwide.
No matter who you are, breast cancer can touch your life or the life of someone you care about, and as with many churches, the College Hill family joined in together and recognized College Hill Breast Cancer survivors. This annual recognition was led by Mission Circle #1. Men, women and children wore pink as a sign of solidarity and support.
On behalf of Circle #1, Denise Griffin reminded the congregation of the importance of early detection which includes self-breast exams and scheduling regular mammograms. Survivors were given special recognition and special gifts, after which, Deaconess Sandra Jenkin, a breast cancer survivor, gave testimony of her journey.
Jenkins stood up and started singing Blessed Assurance. After which she shared that she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer July 28, 2018 and it had spread to her lymph nodes.
She said, “I questioned God for assigning this rehabilitating disease to my health resume. She wondered what she could have done wrong because she felt she had been obedient in her service to God to include helping others in need, tithing and beyond. I felt I was obedient to God, helping others, paying my tithes, reading scripture and praying.”
She heard him whisper to her, “There is purpose in your sickness. It is for my glory.” She quoted several scriptures which she felt helped her along the journey but when she began chemo treatments, the side effects were so awful she could not take care of herself very well and had to rely on her husband who was with her throughout her journey.
She said, “I had decided to just give up. I could not see living my life like this. I wanted to give up but my husband would not let me give up.”
She questioned God again, “Lord why me?” She said he continued to whisper in her spirit phrases like “There is purpose in your sickness and as stated in 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your sorrows on me.”
In 2019 Jenkins had a double mastectomy with lymph nodes removed later to find out the cancer had moved to her liver.
She said, “I could not phantom this happening to me.”
She said, I cried out to God,” Lord, how much more.”
Again she heard his words, “There is purpose in your suffering.”
She continued, “I was so depressed, my mind was racing.” She said she would wake up at night crying. Her husband was supporting her through this frustration and after a while he called in what she described as reinforcement which included her family coming in and helping relieve him for two straight weeks.
She said she would go to sleep hearing family members praying for her and wake up and her sisters and brothers were praying over her. Jenkins, on one of her doctor visits, found out that she had previously had COVID prior to it being recognized in March and her doctors said this was the source of a lot of her pain and depression.
She said, “My faith in God started to waiver again. Unbelief was my best friend.” She said, “I asked the Lord to just take me out.” She said as I cried out to him. He whispered into her spirit saying, “I am the mighty creator, I have you in the cradle of my arms. Your thoughts are not my thoughts. I am your Lord and Savior.”
In June 2020 Jenkins had liver surgery and because of COVID, she was alone in the hospital. Her husband could not be in the room with her.
In December of 2020, Jenkins had to have a more aggressive chemo because the cancer came back to her liver. She gained 25 pounds in a month’s time and then she laughed and said, “I have only been able to lose five pounds.”
She said she had so many things to occur but what helped her through it were thoughts of her two children.
In 2021 she said havoc was still in her body. She said she used reverse psychology on God. “If you want your child to die, let it be.” She stated this time she heard Him say, “There is peace in your unbelief.”
Jenkins, with what looked like a glow on her face, closed with, “God calls on us to do the unthinkable. He will not steer you, where He has not seen you.”
Pastor Chaucy Jordan approached the podium while practically the entire church stood in ovation. He said cast all your cares on the Lord for he cares for us. There was no sermon preached for God spoke to the congregation through Deaconess Sandra Jenkins.