Blog by Jenny Rowan
Jenny Rowan was diagnosed with cancer in her early 20’s and shares in this blog how being raised by nurturing, Christian parents set her up spiritually for her journey through cancer. She also shares how she intentionally passes her faith on to her 4 children.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV
“NOW FAITH is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”
Life has a foundation a path. And that is FAITH. Faith is life’s firm foundation!
Faith of my childhood
I grew up in a Christian home. My dad is from Korea and my mom is from Colombia. They came to the United States and decided to follow Jesus. Dad was the first of his family (who were Buddhist) to become a Christian and mom was the first of her family (who were Catholic). I decided to follow Jesus at the age of 7 years old. The first thing my parents did to lay a foundation of faith was to get me to read the one year Bible. I read the Bible every year from the age of 7 – 18 years old, which is when I graduated from high school. That was 11 times in a row that I read the ENTIRE Bible. I have done it since then but not every year and not with that consistency. There were times in my childhood that I read it reluctantly or read it out of habit. But there were more times that I really enjoyed it. As the years went on I realized how much the Word of God was soaking into me.
Psalm 119:105 NKJV
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”
Hebrews 4:12 -13 MSG
“God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.”
How can we have a Firm Foundation of FAITH—The Word of God. Our light for our path. Powerful and sharp!!
Hebrews 4:12 NIV
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
My Dad is an evangelist and at the age of 10 years old I went on my very first mission’s trip. Then every year till I graduated college in 2000 I went on a mission’s trip. On these trips I saw miracle after miracle. Blind eyes seeing, deaf ears hearing, tumors disappearing, cancer being healed, joints being restored, fertility issues healed and babies being born and on and on. Seeing this in my childhood years made me have an awesome view of God. He is healer and nothing is impossible for HIM. Talk about NOW FAITH!!
How can we build a firm foundation of Faith — Read the word of God and Believe in the supernatural!
Faith during my sickness
I met my husband in college and we married in October 2000, after I graduated from college. Six months later, after going to a new doctor for a routine checkup; I mentioned that I had slowly been losing weight – around 20 lbs. and feeling very tired. I thought it was just being newly married and the change of moving to a new state and getting a new job. After hearing my symptoms my doctor asked to feel my neck and then asked if anyone ever told me that I have a growth on my thyroid? I told him that I had no idea where or what a thyroid was. This began my journey of finding out that growth was cancer. Hearing that word CANCER as a newly married 23 year old was devastating. And for the first time in my life something was about to shake my FAITH’s FOUNDATION—FEAR!!
The Definition of fear is;- an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
So going back to my childhood for a second my favorite verse was…
Isaiah 41:10 NJKV
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
I had absolutely no reason to fear as a child, but that verse was planted deep within my soul and spirit – when I needed it the most it was what drove FEAR out. Because Faith DRIVES out Fear. An unknown author said – Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness! When you are faced with a sickness, with an obstacle, when you are in need and all you can say is NOW FAITH! NOW FAITH! NOW FAITH!! You start battling against FEAR!!
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
1 John 4:18b NKJV
“There is NO fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
October 2001 – I had a 7hr surgery to remove my cancerous tumor, my entire thyroid and several lymph nodes that the cancer had spread to. This began my journey of healing. I had radiation treatments and two long years of trying to stabilize my levels. I have had a couple of bumps in the road and fear has definitely tried to creep its ugly self back in along the way but God is my HEALER!! And this year it has been 15 years that I have been cancer FREE!!
Faith for our little ones
Learning faith has been an adventure, but teaching faith seems like an even greater adventure. Mark and I have 4 kids – 11, 9, 7 and 5 years old. They are our hash tag #RowanFabFour!!
We have been teaching them faith by planting them in the House of God.
Psalm 92:13-14 NKJV
“Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,”
Church is not an option for our family, but they also absolutely LOVE Church. Our kids have grown up in this Church. Not only is Church important, but we teach them that part of being planted doesn’t just happen on Sunday’s but happens by being a part of a Connect Group (Bible Study Group). Connect Groups are where your greatest friendships will come out of. Connect Groups are lifelines. But we don’t stop at Church attendance, we don’t stop at Connect Groups, we SERVE in the House of God. And there are soooo many areas to serve in. And finally one of the most important things you can do to teach faith to your kids is just to be with them, to spend time with them.
I don’t know where you’ve been or what you’re going through but I do know that God is FAITHFUL!!
I know that when we say we are weak – He says you are strong. When we say we can’t do it – He says you can do it. When we let fear take over – He casts fear out. When we are sick – He says you are HEALED. When we say we are alone – He says I LOVE YOU!! When we are scared – He says NOW FAITH!!!
God you are amazing – thank you for all You have blessed me with! Please help me face my obstacles with faith and not fear and help me to keep you as the focus – You are the Prince of Peace and my comforter and guide. Please also help me today to help someone else, because I know you have saved me for a reason. AMEN