My Journey to here
Gaby is the Intermediates Leader and Communications Coordinator for Activate Church. She has had to rely on God through some really challenging times and now testifies to His Goodness!
My Journey to Here
When I was 19, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was December 2010, I had just moved to NZ from South Africa 7 months earlier, and then Hodgkin’s Lymphoma turned my world upside down. But with my faith, a great team of doctors and my family by my side, I got through 6 months of chemo and radiation and 8 months later I was in full remission with no cancer detected. So, I went on living my life; I went flatting, married Ashley and was doing well at work. I was enjoying being a young adult and attending Activate church.
In July 2014, I went to see my oncologist for a check-up as I was not feeling myself. I was booked in to do a whole lot of tests and we discovered that the cancer had returned. This time the road was not an easy one. We were told this next treatment would destroy my ability to have children, so Ash and I had to think seriously about our future, and we decided to freeze my eggs in the hope that IVF might make this possible one day if I got well enough again. I started weeks of chemo spending weeks in hospital and continuing the treatment for another few months. Then after a scan, I sat in my oncologist’s office, and he told me the chemo wasn’t working. I remember looking at him blankly, not knowing what to do next… was this it?
Then he told me that visiting American oncologist who happened to be at Waikato Hospital at that time had told him about a new chemo they were using in US that had great results with this particular cancer. However, it wasn’t funded in New Zealand…. and it was very, very expensive. When I walked out of his office, I was so angry I had to go through this again, angry because I was young, just married and had a whole life ahead of me, and I was scared that I would die. But I also realised then, that through this whole cancer journey I had never given it completely to The Lord. That’s when I knew I needed to surrender it ALL to God. Whatever would happen next, I knew it was the journey God wanted me on.
A few weeks later, I went back to my oncologist to see what the next step was for me, and he said he had a Christmas gift for me - he had got funding for me to get the chemo treatment from the US. I just burst into tears because I then started to see God’s work. When I surrendered everything to God, He started making miracles happen.
Even though the treatments were difficult and still wasn’t 100% sure it would work, I had a deep peace that came from having surrendered to God. I did 3 rounds of chemo with no side effects, and by June 2015 I was clear with no cancer detected. I have had many miracles since then, big, and small, including having our 3 beautiful babies naturally without IVF. I have a loving husband, a supportive family, and I am cancer free.
When I have taken up the challenge to lead the Intermediates Ministry at Activate, and to join the Communications team, I have had self-doubt about whether I can do it well enough or be good enough. But my journey has taught me to continuously surrender everything to God. I’ve learned He takes us on journeys that He knows that we can get through, but we need to make sure we go with Him. I always remind myself to celebrate and give praise to God for all the miracles big and small, and to surrender all to Him.
Whatever you are facing right now, ask yourself if you’ve really surrendered it all. I pray you too would know the same thing I’ve learned - that that is where things really change for the better.