Facing Cancer with Fear and…… Joy

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:8 ESV

Note the contrast of emotions felt and expressed by the women leaving the empty tomb for the first time:  fear and great joy.  How is it possible that the Mary’s could experience both joy and fear at the same time?  Well, they had just received the hope of their Lord being risen from the dead AND they had come face to face with the Angel of the Lord, not something one encounters every day.  Can you imagine the sight and feel the fright?

And on the other hand, stop now and imagine experiencing the great and overwhelming joy of expectation of seeing Jesus again.  These women rushed to share the good news.

Recently the world watched Princess Lacey’s, aka Lacey Holsworth, public two year battle with cancer come to an end.  The diagnosis wrought fear in all the “what ifs” and the ultimate human fear (besides public speaking) is death.  And yet, the Holsworth family also had joy during this time.  The joy of knowing that “if” death came Lacey would be reunited with Jesus, which to this family of faith = great joy.

For a beautiful demonstration of this you may watch her life celebration and family photos here:


When I walked out of the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan on April 16, 2014 after Lacey’s Life Celebration I had a deep joy in my heart, feeling as though I needed to run and share her life’s impact on me.  I wanted to share the message:   #LoveLikeLacey #LiveLikeLacey.

Many of us are walking first-hand with people we love who are facing this evil cancer.  We see our loved ones’ conflicted emotions of fear and joy.  As I type this, my sweet friend, Leigh, is in the midst of the reality of facing the fear of death along with the joyful reality that it brings.  You see for Leigh and Lacey – the end of this earthly life means the end of suffering.  It means the end of sin and turmoil and the beginning of a perfect life with our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who makes all things new.  So it is with this hope that Lacey Holsworth passed from this earth with a smile on her face and is now “dancing with angels.”

It is with the same hope that Leigh, though not as well known as Lacey, is impacting the world around her by enduring this time with the grace God has given her and the purpose He has called her to: praying for the generations.  Leigh has a notebook at her side filled with dozens of children’s faces and their parent’s prayer requests.  She finds joy in her new found life mission to pray for the generations.  So while she has not the energy to leave her home, nor at times her bed, she still has great joy in her Lord and her purpose.  And even when she is too weak or sick to pray she relies on God’s promise that the ‘Spirit intercedes’ for her when she knows not what to pray.

Although my friend knows the power of this joy and purpose, fear still makes it’s attempts to take her over and paralyze her there.  So she puts out the S.O.S. text and she knows that she has a team of prayer warriors who speak Words of Life and Truth to her. ‘For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of Power and of Love and of a sound mind!’ 2 Timothy 1:7  This wise and wonderful woman knows that this type of fear has no place in her life and she knows the One who overcomes it with joy.  The one who has a plan to give her a hope and a future.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy……


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen VanWormer
    Apr 26, 2014 @ 06:48:47

    Wonderful encouragement…till “death is swallowed up in VICTORY!!!” AMEN!!!




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