“I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”

I have been so fortunate to come into contact with wonderful people who walk with me and encourage me on this journey we call life.  Even in the “tax world,” God places folks in my path each day who give me friendship, encouragement and love.  Sometimes, I’m not the best about telling people how I feel, but this one is different…….

beverly 3

In 2003, during my first tax season, I met a spunky little redhead who was in her first year as a tax preparer.  She almost always had a smile on her face and was looking for the best way to be productive in her job and help to those around her.  Over the last 12 years, I have been proud to get to know her and work with her closely.  She is an excellent tax preparer, great office manager and a loyal employee.  She is a devoted wife and mother.  She is a dedicated friend.  Most of all, she is a child of God, and she is not afraid for anyone to know it!  She worships with her whole mind and soul; she prays with great fervency, and she leads others to pray with that same passion.  Her entire life is a testimony to the fact that she belongs to God and places her faith and trust in Him.

Since this summer, though, she is fighting a new battle, and she is fighting it with the love, devotion and steadfastness she is known for.  She is fighting breast cancer, and we are doing everything we can to fight it, too.

I have spent many an October through the years watching with, honestly, some disinterest as so much attention is given to breast cancer awareness, raising funds for research and applauding survivors.  It’s not that I didn’t care.  I guess it is mostly that I had not FACED the reality of this disease; I was apathetic.  As prevalent of a disease as it seemed to be, I really didn’t have anyone close to me that had faced a diagnosis of breast cancer head on.  Honestly, I was lackluster with my own health in this area, and thought sometimes that it was “blown a little out of proportion.”  All of those ideas and thoughts have changed now.

beverly 1We were grateful that Beverly’s cancer was diagnosed in its early stages.  We quickly found out, though, that even early stages could have great consequences.  Beverly has undergone a radical double mastectomy.  She received the news that the cancer was in her lymph nodes, and she is now going through chemotherapy.  She has lost her breasts.  She has lost her hair.  She has lost her peace of mind, always now aware that cancer may lurk in her body.  She is walking a daily road right now of pain and uncertainty.

Allow me, though, to tell you what Beverly has not lost.  She has not lost her FAITH.  She has not lost her LOVE for a God who provides strength and mercy.  She has not lost her passion for PRAYER and the belief that God hears her every cry.  She is a pillar of strength.  She has faced this adversity with the amazing knowledge that God is with her and that His glory will be seen in her adversity.  She is a shining example to me, and I praise God for her friendship and her testimony of faith.

beverly 2

Beverly with her devoted husband, Greg. What a beautiful couple!

Several weeks ago, I shared the verse from Isaiah 41 with Beverly.  “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.   I shared with her that to be placed in God’s right hand is not just a place of honor, but a place of supreme protection.  There is no safer place than in God’s right hand.  I pray daily that God will hold Beverly right there, in His right hand, sheltered and covered. I hope you will join me in praying for Beverly as she continues this journey.  She is certainly “fighting the good fight.”



About Tina Swaggerty Collins

Tina currently serves on staff at Ball Camp Baptist Church. A music graduate of Carson-Newman College, Tina has been active in church music ministry for over 30 years and is an ordained minister. She is the mother to two amazing grown children, who still allow her to be a nurturing mom from time to time. Her blog is an invitation to step into her life as a mom, a minister and a follower.
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2 Responses to “I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”

  1. Donna Norris says:

    I’m not sure who wrote the above message for Beverly, but it was perfectly said! Beverly and I go back to 1997/98…with life’s challenges, much out of our control, we haven’t gotten to be as close as we once was. BUT, she knows that I love her and would do anything for her! You and I have had so MANY amazing times together! We once were inseparable, I miss those times! You are an Amazing, Strong, Faithful, Loving, Friend whom I admire! Life throws us ALL curve balls, along the way, we have to figure out how to handle them. Some are more challenging than others. Gods got this and you are a WINNER! Love you my sweet dear friend! Donna💕

  2. Pastor Michael Willis says:

    Perfectly said Tina.

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