If you haven’t already met one of the most positive, Godly, and awe-inspiring women out there, we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Body (or as some people know her, Sparkly Survivor).
In July of 2017, Nicole was diagnosed with Stage 3 Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma. Through the support of her family, her incredible attitude, and most importantly, her faith and relationship with God, Nicole is now cancer-free. We are so proud to have Nicole as a CanPlan Champion and had the incredible opportunity to ask her a few questions about her faith and how it has changed her life through cancer and beyond. We hope you can be as moved and inspired as we are from Nicole’s life-changing story.
CanPlan: Describe your relationship with God.
Nicole: This question makes me smile, because the answer is so simple, yet so dynamic at the same time. I am beyond thankful that our relationship does not depend on my works, but on acceptance of His Son. In that regard, our relationship is so beautiful and secure. In the day-to-day as I “wrestle” with Him in the battle of my desires and sinful nature to what He has for my life, I believe He is sanctifying me and continues to change and grow my love for Him as I connect with Him through reading His Word, worship, prayer, and obedience.
How did cancer impact your faith?
My faith grew leaps and bounds through cancer. Cancer in and of itself is a horrible thing, but what God did in my life during cancer changed my life for the better. I learned how to trust God in a new way and my eyes were fixed on the eternal life that Jesus offers especially as death seemed to be quickly approaching. I felt such peace and surrender to my loving, faithful God for what the future would hold. And he showed up in beautiful ways throughout the entire journey and now in survivorship. I have fallen more in love with God as I learn more about who He is and how great His love is for the world.
Did you deal with doubt or anger with God at any point during your journey? If so, how did you handle it? What advice would you give to patients who are in a season of deep doubt?
When I was cured by a miracle during surgery, I was shocked to see that I had doubt. I discovered where my heart really was when my amazing, big, wonderful, loving God that I believe in with all my heart, doubted that I could be healed by a miracle. But I was reminded in a big way that God supersedes natural law, and that ANYTHING is really possible. And if He wills something, there is not a power on Earth that can stop it from happening. It has grown my faith so much.
If you are in a season of doubt about God loving you or if you will ever be healed from cancer, stay rooted in the truth: God is good all the time. It’s more than a feeling or circumstance, it’s the truth and it never changes. It’s sturdy, reliable, steadfast and fully good. He loves us and promises eternal life and that is something that cancer can never take away.
What’s your favorite bible verse?
My favorite Bible verse is John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” but during my cancer journey, my theme was also Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and Devotional: What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days by Holley Gerth. I read that through my cancer journey and was incredibly moved and changed by it.
It has often changed but right now my favorite is Tremble by Mosaic MSC.
“Jesus loves us right where we are at, but He loves us too much to let us stay there.” - Pastor John Snyder, Crossroads Community Church
What would you say to a patient who doesn’t know much about God but wants to take the first step in getting to know him?
He sees you right where you’re at and He loves you more than you can even imagine. There is truly no better time than now to start believing and learning about Him. I always recommend reading the Bible starting in the book of John to learn about the story of Jesus, asking questions that you wrestle with at www.gotquestions.org, and surrounding yourself with those who can help you in your journey. It’s the best decision you will ever make and eternal life begins now.
What's the best way to combat "why me?" mentality?
For me, the “why me” came to me only when I became cancer free. It was more of “why do I get to be cancer-free and live while so many suffer and die from this terrible disease?” The way that I got through that was just remembering that God has a purpose and plan for our lives. He is doing amazing things through the most difficult of circumstances, and He proved that by His death on the cross. We are understood by so many others who face the same trial that we do and we are understood by our Savior on a personal level.
How did you incorporate prayer into your journey?
I think sometimes prayer is perceived as something that needs to be done kneeling beside a bed at night with hands folded and eyes closed. But if that was the only way to pray, how could we ever follow the command to “pray continually” found in 1 Thessalonians 5:17? I would literally have conversations all throughout the day through writing and just talking to God in my head. Thanking Him, lifting up requests, confessing struggles, sins, and fears. I talked with Him all the time. And it felt like a relationship more than ever before even with eyes open and on the go. It became an essential piece of my cancer journey and now in survivorship as well.
At what point in the process did you feel closest to God?
When I wrote my funeral with my husband, I had never felt so close to God. I was preparing to be in His presence for all of eternity as we did not know if I would make it past my surgery. It was when I came to a point of full surrender and trust that I experienced this peace. My future was secure. I had nothing to fear. It has made all of the day-to-day worries not feel so daunting as I think back to how free I felt in that moment.
What’s your best piece of advice for other patients?
I would have to say Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." I also can’t recommend enough writing daily and documenting your journey in a raw and real way to look back on. It has kept me humble, grateful, and able to empathize with others. Day One is a great app to download to journal on your phone or computer - I couldn't write with my hand because I had a blood clot and my dominant arm was swollen!
Want to learn more about Nicole and her faith journey?
Visit her website: https://sparklysurvivor.com/
Follow her on Instagram: IG @SparklySurvivor
Like her Facebook Page: FB @SparklySurvivor