By February 9, 2016 Life Lessons 8 Comments

Last week I went for a routine mammogram. Nothing unusual, just the ordinary routine appointment, but as usual I couldn’t find the hospital and its entrance despite the car’s satellite navigation, despite the Google Maps app on my phone and despite calling a helpful woman in the breast imaging center. Eventually, after some stops and starts and a few wrong turns, I found it. I went inside and sat in the pleasant, rose-pink-colored waiting room, waiting to be seen and screened by pleasant nurses in rose-pink scrubs.

I began to think about all the women whose lives had been changed forever here. The women who felt frightened, overwhelmed and anxious as they received bad news from the doctors trying to describe the intricacies of their test results, the alarming choices before them and the treatment that was about to begin.

I know this personally because 31years ago, exactly six weeks after Rebecca was born, I discovered a breast lump. It was particularly bad timing—if you know anything about hormones and the fact that some breast cancers accelerate rapidly during pregnancy. After a whole series of mammograms and tests, I had a surgical biopsy and left Mike at home valiantly trying to manage a tiny baby, a busy work schedule, and a tearful, fearful wife.

The morning of the surgery arrived. While I lay there in the hospital praying and waiting to go down to the operating room, the Lord spoke to me. He told me not to be afraid and described how I would have a long life filled with more children and grandchildren. In that moment, hearing His voice and knowing He loved me changed everything. I had a word to stand on; I had a word to fight for. Faith comes by hearing the word (Romans 10:17). As I woke up all fuzzy from the operation, they gave me good news. All is well. So very gratefully I packed up my things and walked out of the hospital into the sunshine and a new day. The rest of my life began again.

Now I know some of you reading this will not have had the same good news I received that day either for yourself or for someone you love dearly. I know hearing my story will hit you hard. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but what I do know is that God wants to speak to you and give you a word to sustain you through your difficulties. A word to sit with and hold in your hand.

I have returned to my word many times. I have returned to it in moments of fear and in moments uncertainty, and every time it’s the same. He repeats it, nudging me back from the deep chasms of fear that threaten to overwhelm me, and it lifts me onto my rock of faith. He pulls me from the quicksands of doubt and holds me steady in His promises.

Do you need a word to stand on? Pray for it. Ask for it. God wants you to know and hear His voice. It may be a faint whisper of a moment captured in creation, or it could sound like rain on the sidewalk, but He wants to communicate with you now, always and forever. We just have to be listening.   


  • Laura says:

    Amen and amen, Sally. This is a timely post for 2 reasons: 1) I am reminded it’s time to schedule a mammogram :), and 2) It brings me back to the time when the results of my mammogram did not go well and I leaned heavily into His love to cast out my many fears (1 John 4:18) in overcoming breast cancer. In the 14 years since, I continue to discover more about Love as a noun and verb, and who I am in His immeasurable love. LOVE. It….no, HE continues to be a powerful life giving word in my ‘work in progress’ life. Miss and love you lots!!

    • Sally Breen says:

      His grace and love is always sufficient even if its hard at times to keep hold off . Thank you for sharing your story it means a great deal to me

  • Linda Kluczinske says:

    Yes…in the blackness that overtook the delivery of my youngest son, I the pitch black…saying ,”come Lord Jesus, we can do this”…and my son was born healthy a few minutes later..and I have always marveled at the Truth of His Word….I can truly do all things in Christ Who strengthens me….I remember it often, though I have never shared this with anybody……until now….I love You Lord and I give You my thanks and my praise.

  • Christine says:

    I want to say how much I admire all that you are doing and what you have achieved. I am not on facebook so can’t contact you that way.
    40 years ago we were such close friends and I could never get over the fact that someone as special as you would want to know me. I am sorry that we lost contact but new directions beckoned and you started to blossom and grow into new things. You always were going to be a shooting star.
    I haven’t a shed but I can well imagine you in yours. You haven’t changed physically, except the colour of your hair, and you look years younger than I know you are .
    I haven’t read any of your books but I will try to. I have no right to but I feel so proud of you giving talks about your faith. God bless.

    • Sally Breen says:

      Dear Christine Thank you so much for getting in touch lets not loose each others contacts now can i use your email address.
      You were such a great friend to me for so many years its a joy to reconnect I want to know all about your life etc , much love

  • Nancy Kahler says:

    I love the thought of hanging on to a word the Lord speaks to keep coming back to for strength and shalom especially when the world and the enemy are yakking away in your ears. Needed this this am Sally . You are a gem to me

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