Hardship Series: One Woman's Journey Through Sickness

LISTEN TO EPISODE 26 HERE.

This week on the podcast, we discussed another difficult season that is experienced by so many: a very serious and extended period of illness. 

Our guest, Toni Perry, shared her remarkable journey through a prolonged season of infirmity. Tony is an instructor of digital media and journalism, and she transparently shared about the last 14 years of her life which included 3 severe medical diagnosis. 

God is with us in our pain.

To begin her story, Toni shared that that right before her first diagnosis, she was at the height of her career. They, one day, everything changed when she began experiencing autoimmune responses to food poisoning. For years, she was crippled and in pain, unable to work. Finally, in 2014, she fully recovered. 

However, 2 months later, she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Toni shared about her wrestling with this second diagnosis: "It rocked my world," she said. She remembers asking God, "Why did I wait all this time for you to heal me?" However, she recounted how she experienced God's presence in her pain. After a 5 year journey of treatment, she was cancer-free.

In 2021, Toni felt called to teach. Soon after receiving her dream job, however, she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. "I have to be honest, it was difficult to have my prayer time, she said. "I had to really force myself into my prayer chair. And there were a lot of tears." However, looking back on her story, Tony sees how every trial and hardship that she experienced brought her closer to God.

We can't do this journey alone.

She recalled Mark 2, where 4 friends of a paralyzed man bring him to Jesus. "There were many times when I couldn't pray.  I didn't have any more in me. So I needed other people to pray for me, " She said. "The reason Jesus healed this man wasn't because of his faith. It was because of his friend's faith. And that is very encouraging."

She encouraged us to reach out and rely on our community and church family. We can't do this journey alone. We need to be proactive in finding those places where God is providing, or where there's resources available.

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