Pam Foreman lived according to a predictable script. Her life in Norman, Oklahoma, with a husband and three nearly grown children was comfortable, rewarding, and familiar. Now, two years after her breast cancer diagnosis, it all feels hollow. “I was so wrapped up in me,” says Foreman, who admits giving little consideration to God’s plan for her life. Instead, she built a world she could control, which left little room for the unexpected.
Then a routine mammogram uncovered cancer, which sent Foreman into despair. “I was a mother,” she says. “I had things to do.” She was overwhelmed by thoughts of what the disease could do.
Foreman and her husband Michael made 33 trips to Houston for treatment. On her first visit to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, she was shaking in terror. That’s when a nurse took Foreman by the hand and said, “God has not abandoned you.” It was an astounding kind of comfort, particularly since Foreman hadn’t even brought a Bible for her weeks in treatment. She was so accustomed to handling life well—and on her own—that she left God at home.
There are some 430 miles between Norman and Houston. During one of their first trips together, Michael said, “Let’s put on Charles Stanley.” He had been listening as he drove between his jobs as a contractor. They found radio stations along the way that aired In Touch, and on those long drives, she began her road to faith. “My biggest problem wasn’t cancer,” she says, “but that I didn’t really know Christ.” A desire for God awakened in her, and she became a passionate disciple.
“My biggest problem wasn’t cancer, but that I didn’t really know Christ.” A desire for God awakened in her.
After months of chemotherapy, Foreman was scheduled for surgery. The surgeon told her, “Your cancer will be there when you get out.” But after eight hours in the operating room, her doctors found nothing.
“I would never wish cancer on anybody,” says Foreman, grateful for the changes brought about by the unexpected. Each morning she prays, “Wherever You put me, let me help someone.” The work began at home with her children. She apologized for not taking them to church and for missing out on the prayers they could have shared. Also, Foreman has a standing order each month for 50 In Touch devotionals, which she distributes wherever she goes. Her life follows a new script now—one that’s less predictable yet surer than any she could have written herself.
Photography by Gary Longenecker