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jackie aviles 

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jackie aviles

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How Cancer Healed Me

I'm Jackie!

Through the years, It has been my joy to write words that have captured the essence of hope in suffering. That have encouraged countless people to boldly face their seasons of struggle.


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The further we are on the road, the less there is of it to bear”

Deuteronomy 33:25

“Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be.

ANXIETY was one of the most talked about topics in 2015. I felt like everyone suffered from anxiety. It didn’t matter if you were a mom or married or single in your 50s. Even children were suffering from this.

I was “sentenced” to this sickness as well.

Let me take you back to 2015.

I was told last year that I had severe anxiety to the point of medication. Anxiety that lead me to counseling.

I had just become a pastor’s wife. I had just had a newborn baby.I was going through postpartum depression and had no clue about it.We had recently moved into a new home and my first born was beginning his first year of school.

You can say I had every reason to be anxious!

There was so much going on. I HAD to be on top of everything, one step ahead of the game! My anxiety was connected to losing control of my surroundings. So if at any moment I “lost control” of my surroundings or felt as if I was regressing or not up to par, I would have a full blown panic attack. I would have popitations and shortness of breath. I would have insomnia at night, thinking over and over of all the mistakes I’d made throughout the day. Or thinking about what I could’ve done to make things better…

I was so focused on details, so focused on perfection! At the same time, I thought I could do it all! I didn’t need any help because I was going to do the job the way it “needed” to be done.

Anxiety took over me.

Fast forward to this past week. What a terrible, terrible week. During the last 5 days, I have had the worst symptoms of my life.

My tongue feels as if it’s been scrapped over by metal. My taste buds are completely destroyed. I’ve had severe bone pain that literally knocks the breath out of me. I’ve had nausea and vomiting. I’ve had headaches that gave me blurred vision. I’ve had stomach cramping that felt like labor pains. I’ve had exhaustion to the point where I’ve fallen asleep in the shower, and I’ve been so weak I was in bed practically 90% of the time.

I couldn’t do anything. I wasn’t in control of anything. I was slowly losing “power” over my surroundings…

These symptoms debilitated me and it wasn’t too hard to have anxiety rush back into my life.

I had to fully depend on family and friends for care: from cleaning my home, to serving me meals, to helping me bathe. I couldn’t even reach for my own pills.

My children being taken care of while I’m in bed. My husband, pushing my hair back as I barfed. My mom rubbing my feet because my bones were aching. My sister making me breakfast so that I could eat a little something for strength.

You would think this was an awesome thing!

You would think this wouldn’t bother anyone, to be served in every aspect you could think of.

Except for the person with anxiety. 

For me, all I could see was everything I couldn’t do. It was as if my failures were thrown right in my face.

I slowly faced anxiety again. I slowly saw that I wasn’t in control anymore. And I slowly began to be pushed into submission.

I didn’t like that not one bit.

Yes, you can say I’m a bit stubborn

I began to fight with God. I know – dumb. Like I would actually win right? 🙄

I noticed that he wasn’t even fighting. He was gently and powerfully changing me. I was the one yelling and he was just waiting for me to be quiet!

Sitting on my bed at a calmer moment, I remember asking him: “What is it I need to learn from this? What could you possibly be teaching me God?”

Then, I came across this scripture:

1 Peter 5:6-7

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

I’ve read this scripture so many times.

Like, why this one? Why is it so touching and powerful to me more than it’s ever been before? 

Because God’s timing is perfect. Because his plan is already in line, clear as day and through sweet, convicting revelation.

“Humility.”

The enemy is a liar and his lies were in the way. Lies saying that I wasn’t good enough. Lies saying that I was a burden to people for having them take care of me. Lies saying that I was failing at my “duties”.

We have to expose these lies and fight them with truth. Where do we get truth? “Thy word is truth.” (John 17:17). If anything you are thinking is contrary to God’s word, then it is a LIE, and it is from Satan. Simple enough.

God’s truth came out as the sword I needed to slash the enemy’s lies!

It triumphed and comforted me. It came over me like an ocean wave, covering me from my head to my toes. And it did not come a second earlier or later than when God wanted it to come.

“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy.”

Psalms 94:18,19 

I’ve been made to rest now. I’ve been made to accept help. I am not in control, even when I think I am. Realizing this, I haven’t had not one anxious bone in my body since then!

Amen and glory to God for that!

The last five days had to happen. No matter how hard it’s been, no matter what pain I was going through, God’s will had to be done!

I pleaded to God again but this time my plea was different – not to force my way, but to acknowledge HIS ways.

“Take this cup from me but let it be your will.” 

Instantly I was reminded of Jesus words in the garden of Gethsemane.

“He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.””

This was the cry of my heart. It was as if at that very moment, I was stripped of all pride, and brought to humility. I now cast all my anxieties over to him by releasing the control I thought I had, fully letting God have his throne back!

His teaching had to be brought to my life. Without these five days of agony, there was no way I could’ve had this revelation.

I was placed in such a vulnerable position where I had no other choice but to receive.

This was God’s plan all along…

And that is the best thing that could’ve happened to me!!

Not only did God humble my heart to be thankful and grateful for such amazing friends and family, but he also helped me cast my anxieties on him. He brought me to the point where I was freed from not being in control! A freedom filled my soul!

You see, I had to learn to that God was in control and that in submission comes freedom. God was in control and never lost it!

Pride was replaced with humility.

I was restored and renewed.

I was healed.

God is healing.

God is cleansing.

God is protecting.

God is loving.

God is delivering.
On the fifth day of feeling sick, I went in to the doctor for my checkup.

Earlier in the week, I remembered feeling burning in the area where my tumors were located.

I had also been feeling around my tumors and felt as if something was different – as if they had gotten smaller. But it was just wishful thinking. It was all in my mind.

Or was it?

“Torture works” were the words my doctor said when she revealed that my tumors had shrunken!!! They went from being 6 centimeters to 2.5 centimeters!!!! THE TUMORS WERE MELTING AWAY.

The chemo was working!! My body was responding to chemo. But my soul knew IT WAS THE POWER OF PRAYER THAT MADE IT POSSIBLE!! IT WAS THE DOCTOR OF ALL DOCTORS WHO WAS BEGINNING TO HEAL ME. The great physician that never sleeps on my behalf!

Oh, thank you God, for your mercies are new every day!

I walked out of there so strengthened! I was smiling, even through my nausea spells! Everything around me became so small compared to the GREAT BIG GOD I SERVE!

1Peter 1:6-7

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Highlights of this week

My family. Because there’s always joy in the storm!!  Leave it to them to bring the party to me! Had a good moment to bible journal with my bestie Jessica!

Nurse Sara making sure I had all my pills for the day!My sweet sister taking care of meMy brother Alex praying over me at a very hard time. Towards the end of week I got my taste buds back! First stop ICE CREAM!

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