October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You’ll hear from a courageous woman who has walked this path and has hope to share for others on the same journey. Author and speaker, Yvonne Ortega will share encouragement for your life — especially for the hard times.
When I received my diagnosis of cancer in 2001, I was an award-winning teacher and part-time counselor. I loved teaching, but I knew God wanted me to go into counseling full-time. After my diagnosis, I begged God to let me live and promised to do whatever he wanted.
One month after I finished radiation, I received a phone call to go for an interview for a position I hadn’t applied for. At the interview, I accepted a full-time job as a substance abuse counselor in a men’s prison. I enjoyed my work at the prison, but the men were allowed to smoke. My asthma got worse, and after a few years, I had to leave.
I told God to take away my passion for prison work or find me a job in a smoke-free facility. He found me a job as a substance abuse counselor in a smoke-free coed jail. After six months, adult outpatient services at the agency headquarters needed a bilingual licensed professional counselor. Once again, God moved me.
I no longer work in adult outpatient services but work as a full-time speaker and author. As a cancer survivor, I know life is a gift and that God is “close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NIV). Through my counseling, speaking, and writing, the Lord has allowed me to join him in saving those who are crushed in spirit and need his hope. What a privilege!
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