Judy Gattis Smith takes on an important and difficult topic – a faithful, yet emotionally authentic response to cancer. In Fear Not! she offers a biblically grounded exploration of how one’s response to cancer is part of one’s faith journey. She shows how the crisis offers challenges and opportunities that through God’s grace can transform survivors in deeply healing ways.
The participants’ workbook plus a leader’s guide for facilitating the weekly group meeting. Throughout both, Gattis sustains an intimate, sensitive tone which invites personal reflection and growth. Using storytelling, drawing, meditations, imagery, and Bible passages, she encourages participants to name the many difficult aspects of life with cancer. Then she helps them develop practices that help foster faith and healing. These include using positive memories; choosing perspectives and coping skills; finding ways to approach illness with endurance, courage, and even humor; and discerning patterns in response that are shaping the larger pattern of one’s life journey.
Excerpts from the poetry and journals of cancer survivors emphasize the real-life struggle to find wholeness and meaning in illness. Gattis’ work is a gift and an inspiration.
Your challenge with cancer…. This is an important event to consider because it is a crisis moment – a time where both danger and opportunity come together. You have begun looking at the fears, dreams, feeling, experiences and thoughts cancer has brought you, trying to gain some self-understanding through this experience, some reorganization of the your life and your thinking now that you are a cancer survivor. You were given dark nights. If not treated as growth they will destroy you. - Chapter 6