Yvonne Ortega’s journey through breast cancer, as chronicled in her wonderful devotional Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer is but one of the many difficult obstacles she has overcome as she has learned to follow God, one yes at a time.
Her book was written, not with the 20/20 hindsight that the passage of time allows but each devotional was penned right in the heat of battle. Yvonne takes the reader from the shock of the diagnosis, to the invasion of surgery, to the struggle to decide what treatment options to pursue, and finally, praise God, to recovery. Because she wrote each devotional right then, they convey the emotion, the desperation, and the sufficiency of God who walked with her every step of the way.
Over and over Yvonne, a single-again working woman, said yes to accepting her limitations, to overcoming pride and to asking for help and God supplied all her needs through friends and strangers alike. She said yes to letting her regularly cleaned house get cluttered. She said yes to wearing a surgical mask and gloves so that she could continue teaching during her treatment phase. She said yes to her emotions and allowed herself to cry, and this allowed friends, medical personnel, and fellow cancer warriors to embrace her and encourage her.
The things Yvonne learned through her journey through cancer have been proven true in her other journeys of suffering as well. After she recovered and was declared cancer free she lost both her mother and her only child unexpectedly within weeks of one another. The things that had helped during treatment — Bible study, prayer, memory verses, a support group, praise and worship music, and a sense of humor — continued to be the source of much comfort and healing.
On a trip to Alaska with her father after the loss of mother and son, Yvonne said another yes — a big one. She said yes to enjoying life again. She also said yes to leaving her secure counselling job and to following the dream that God had placed in her heart many years earlier — to be a writer and retreat speaker. God has taken Yvonne all over North America and beyond to speak and encourage and bring laughter and hope to people who experience loss. And boy does she have a resume! The school of hard knocks has prepared her well but God has redeemed it all and given her an infectious positive attitude coupled with the passion and drive to serve Him by serving others who need Him.
For a weekly message of hope in Spanish or English tune in to www.blogtalkradio.com/hope-for-the-journey on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. EST. To have her come and speak or to sign up for her weekly devotional go to www.yvonneortega.com. Yvonne lives in Virginia, USA.