Ronda Walker opened 2014 with some good news — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced in January that he was appointing her to represent District 3 on the Montgomery County Commission.
As you would expect, the news was met with congratulations from her friends, family and co-workers, and even her former boss, Congressman Martha Roby.
But Walker is now closing out the year with some tough news — a Stage 2 breast cancer diagnosis.
As you would expect, the news was met with well-wishes and prayers from her friends, family and co-workers.
But what you might not expect is the remarkable similarities between Walker’s response to both pieces of news.
“God’s plans are always bigger and better than our plans!” She wrote on Facebook after receiving the news of her appointment.
“Glory to God in the Highest!” She proclaimed on Dec. 20, not long after receiving her diagnosis for the first time.
So what is it that makes it possible for someone to have that reaction to news that would devastate most of us?
Walker readily admits that it is not a lack of fear.
“Immediately upon hearing the doctor say cancer my mind blurred into a dreamlike state and ever since I’ve felt like I’m having an out of body experience,” she wrote. “The first few days after such a diagnosis -so far- is the worst. The fear of the unknown is absolutely paralyzing. My mind was a battlefield between truth and lies and the lies were winning. Without exception it was the darkest period of my life. My mind ran wild with the what ifs. My fear was never once for myself, but for my husband and children.”
Walker then described the “poking, prodding, twisting and turning” that she’s endured at the doctor’s office, and laid out the details of her diagnosis.
“I had an MRI on my chest and the obvious cancer is only in my right breast,” she explained. “There are two different types of cancer that form in the breast and, always the overachiever, I have both types. Also, I have two tumors one medium-sized and one small. (think golf ball and dime) We don’t have the full picture yet because that won’t come until I get a PET scan… which will show if there is anything else lurking around in my body, then ultimately surgery will tell us more (i.e. lymph nodes).”
But in the closing paragraph of the first post on her new blog, “Merry Christmas cancer,” Walker gives some insight into why she’s at peace with the diagnoses and how it is that she could react the same way to both good and bad news.
“While I did not expect this to happen to me, this came as no surprise to God. He has allowed this into my life and He will use it for His glory. I am His vessel, my life is not my own and the good work He started in me in 1972 will be completed in His perfect way and perfect time,” she said. “I do not fight this bad news, rather I embrace this as an opportunity — an opportunity to glorify God and edify others. Trust me, you have not lived until you have faced the possibility of dying. (I’m NOT going to die, but let me tell you those first few days were very dark) Nothing in the world looks or feels the same to me anymore. What seemed so important two weeks ago no longer matters.
“No guilt in life, no fear in death this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny! AMEN.”
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— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) December 3, 2014