Friday, October 17, 2014

When Pink becomes Personal by @emilylaney

Photo credit: Storyboard Life (Peter Doyle)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

October is a beautiful month. We usher in autumn with its crisp air and flavors of cinnamon and pumpkin. Rich reds, oranges, and yellows color the trees with a reminder of the cycle of the seasons. Fall is my favorite season by far. But another color of October has definitely become the color pink. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, as I’m sure all of you are aware. Pink is everywhere, a color of solidarity and awareness for the women who fight this terrible disease. Over the years, I’ve been in support of this pink month, though not an avid participant. But this year, pink became personal.

My friend Angela passed away about two weeks ago from breast cancer. She fought her fight with courage and grace for the past three years. We all prayed for healing, and that healing came when God brought her home. It’s painful, but I’m so grateful that she’s no longer in pain.

Circumstances shook up Angela’s life. She didn’t plan to have breast cancer at the age of 35. She didn’t plan to go through countless treatments, surgeries and hospital stays. She didn’t desire to experience the anxiety of test results and doctor’s visits. She wanted to be married, to have children, to advance in her career. But sometimes, life throws us punches.

Angela never gave up during her fight. I’m sure there were times where it was unbelievably difficult, but her faith didn’t waver. Her courage didn’t falter. She stood tall, confident in the grace of God. One of her favorite verses is the one that’s at the beginning of this post. She lived out that verse as a beautiful example to all those who knew her. She trusted God throughout her whole life, and didn’t falter when things got very difficult. In fact, she seized opportunities to serve others. She poured into the lives of chemo patients by bringing them coffee during their treatments. When she had to stop working because of her treatments, she began volunteering more. She took advantage of opportunities to encourage and share her faith with others. 

Life really does throw some hard punches. The enemy is constantly looking for ways to crush our spirits, deflate our dreams, and rip away our faith. But we can’t let him. Like my friend, we have to take the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 to heart- every single day. When things make absolutely no sense, we have to cling to scripture. We can’t rely on our own understanding, because our understanding is not complete. We only see a small piece of the big picture of our lives. At the conclusion of difficult seasons we may understand a bigger piece of the picture- we may understand why certain difficult things happened. But in some cases, we never fully understand. In fact, my friend Angela mentioned several times that she felt that God wanted her to use her struggles to encourage people to come to Christ, even just one person. I think she left this earth not fully knowing who that person is, but she’s complete now. God’s shown her the full picture, and she’s whole.

Pink has become personal to me, but more than anything else, it reminds me of how personal my God is. He’s so much bigger than cancer, and he’s so much bigger than anything you may be experiencing today. Trust in Him.

If you want to learn more about my friend Angela, check out my blog at

Emily Laney is a social worker, educator, and justice seeker.  She has worked with vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad and loves to help startup nonprofits reach their goals.  She is a Passion City Church door holder and leads a team of abolitionists at Not for Sale Georgia.   She loves her husband Brent and their rescue pup Biscuit. Sunsets and Sushi make her happy.

You can connect with Emily on twitter @emilylaney or on her blog

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