hello my name is Katherine Albrecht and I am a radio host a consumer advocate and also like millions of women a survivor of breast cancer a couple of years ago in 2011 I found a lump in my breast like so many women have done I went to have a mammogram and I got the terrible news that I had been diagnosed with a potentially deadly disease one in eight women in the United States and many more women around the world of course will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime it is a challenging disease to get through because breast cancer takes away from women so much of what we value about ourselves our femininity even removing parts of our body we lose our hair we go through a lot of a lot of loss and coming out on the other side of this this is my real hair a couple of years later I really would like to share the journey that I went through and I’d like to share it not only as a woman and not only as a cancer survivor but also as a Christian and I’d like to share the way that my faith was strengthened by this extraordinary journey that I’ve been through and thinking back on it I maybe could say I wouldn’t change a thing so you see the picture of me here this is the photograph from my radio program if you go to my website at km a show com or just my name Katherine Albrecht comm you can see a series of very glamorous photos that were taken of me before I was stricken with breast cancer and I’m going to shock you with the next image this is during the height of my cancer treatment when I was receiving radio therapy radiation and what you see here that’s me complete with with very little hair that’s me strapped to a machine that immobilized me so that I would be able to receive radiation on the surface area of the left side of my chest that it would not penetrate my heart so this was I have to say one of the toughest parts of this experience but I did do full chemotherapy I did receive actually three separate courses of three different drugs of chemo they therapy the cancer that I had after my mastectomy it was revealed that it was a rather advanced form they call it locally advanced breast cancer and I was at stage 3c so I was about a hair from developing stage four cancer which conventionally speaking is the incurable stage of cancer so this is sort of me at my best and me at my lowest here and now I want to talk a little bit about some of the lessons that I’ve learned not only through cancer but over the last several years of my life and I want to start by talking about sacrifice one of the things that the Bible tells us is to be thoughtful about surrendering ourselves there is obviously the example of Jesus Christ himself giving the ultimate surrender giving his life for us but I believe that we’re called to surrender things that we care about in order to receive even greater blessings and if you think about Christ’s giving up his life for Humanity what he bought by giving up his life was a tremendous amount more life for for all of us and I have here a slide this is a picture of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac or at least being called to sacrifice his son Isaac and of all the just shockingly difficult things to be asked to do if you think about Abraham’s life story Abraham had been childless for most of his life his wife and he I’m sure we’re ridiculed and devastated socially by their community because they were not able to have a child and finally the Lord does bless Abraham with a child he he of course has Isaac and he is called to sacrifice Isaac now a lot of people look at this story and say well what a terrible story but an awful god what a horrible Old Testament story that anyone would be called to sacrifice their own son but look at what happens as a result Abraham in obedience goes out and says I don’t understand what you’re asking me to do Lord it makes no sense to me the thing that I most value in my life that’s most important that I least want to lose you’re asking me to give up but I will be obedient and how does the Lord bless Abraham as a result of this well first of all of course he spares his son and gives him an alternative sacrifice and then he turns around and blesses Abraham with the thing that he is most longed for all his life which is children he actually says to Abraham after this experience I will bless you and your children will be as numerous as grains of sand on the sea and it is true that Abraham is now the

father of or has become the father of the Christians the Muslims and the Jews which all told our countless numbers of people across this globe so by sacrificing the thing he least wanted to give up he wound up with so much more of that and that’s really been in you know in a way my own story sacrificing is offering something precious to God for destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else these are actually a dictionary definition so and I want to follow this with another slide about obedience and obedience is fulfilling a command to order or instruction complying with a command those two go hand-in-hand and now let me tell a little little bit of a story here about suffering and redemption some of you may be familiar with the Hollywood film and the the book that that spawned it called the hiding place this was the story of Corrie ten Boom she was a Holocaust survivor she and her sister Betsy were imprisoned in a concentration camp and had some of the most horrific experiences a human being can go through they were very much blessed by God though they prayed through the entire experience and when they were stripped and had their hair cut and all of their clothes removed from them and they were marched into the showers to be deloused and then taken into the concentration camp dormitory they were able miraculously to tie a Bible on a string around one of their necks who hung it down her back and you can just envision this naked white flesh and a very obvious Bible but somehow God blinded the eyes of the guards they did not see this Bible and so these two courageous women were able to smuggle this Bible into one of the most desolate places on earth they got into the concentration camp and into the dormitory and the first thing they saw when they walked in were filthy mattresses and horrific living quarters as they walked in Betsy who did not survive the the concentration camp said Cory to her younger sister we need to pray and we need to thank God for everything in this place and of course Cory’s thought was why would I want to thank God for this this is terrible and Betsy said no we are told to give thanks in all things and I’d like to read this she especially said I’d like to give thanks for the fleas and so Betsy bowed her head and said okay Cory together let’s give thanks to God for these fleas and Cory said and I’ll read here an excerpt from her book the fleas this was too much Betsy there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea give thanks in all circumstances she quoted it doesn’t say in pleasant circumstances fleas are a part of this place where God has put us and so we stood between tears of bunks and gave thanks for the fleas but this time I was sure Betsy was wrong so you can envision these women in the most horrific of circumstances and yet something miraculous had happened they had managed to smuggle a Bible into the dormitory where all of the women were and so every night amazingly miraculously they were able to sit down with these women these other women who in many cases were experiencing their last 24 hours of life before being executed by the Nazis and were able to read from the Bible and bring these women to salvation right there in one of the darkest places that that one could ever envision and I picture Cory bowing her head in obedience not because she wanted to say thank you for the fleece but because she was told to do so by God Himself and her sister helped remind her of that so she she thanked God for the fleas and now I’d like to read the punchline to this incredible story she writes in her book the hiding place at first Betsy and I called these meetings timidly but night after night no guard ever came in so we grew bolder so many women prisoners now joined us that we had a second service everywhere else we were under rigid surveillance guards were always present yet in the large dormitory there was almost no supervision we did not understand it one evening Betsy’s eyes were twinkling you know we never understood why we had so much freedom in the big room she said well I’ve found out that afternoon the prisoners had called for the supervisor but she wouldn’t step through the door and neither would the guards and you know why Betsy could not keep the triumph from her voice because of the fleas that’s what she said this place is crawling with fleas so there’s a perfect example of sometimes when things seem really dark and you say why are there these fleas why is there this cancer why is there you can name so many different things and you ask yourself this question and then you come to find out later that there really was a purpose we just couldn’t see it so in this case it was the fleas been enabled them to bring

so many women comfort and bring them salvation the salvation of the Bible in their very last moments in many cases who knows how many women were saved by Corey and Betsy ten booms courage in that dormitory all right well now I’d like to talk about my own circumstances and perhaps this is similar to circumstances others have as well that we have a tendency when we think about our lives and I’m sure Abraham felt this way about his son Isaac and I’m sure Corey felt this way a little bit about the phileas to say hang on a second I’m in charge I don’t want fleas I’m not gonna say thank you for them not going to sacrifice my son or be obedient and this is sort of our stance that the two fists together the the closed fist the grabbing of things to ourselves as we try to take control physically and in some cases almost almost in aggressively but now let’s talk about what God wants from us so what he wants is your hands to be open he doesn’t want this hands clenched in a fist of power and control he wants you to unclench your fists loosen it up let go of the thing that you think you’re holding on to that means so much to you trust God and do you know what he does when you give him your open hand empty when you’ve released what you thought you were clutching he gives you a blessing and I’d like to give a couple of examples not just through the cancer years but through the years leading up to it of how I’ve learned this really critical lesson in my own life and I’m sure I’ll learn it many more times so let me give my personal testimony a couple of years back I was involved in being an activist I was doing a lot of media appearances and a lot of radio programs I was involved in many many different arenas of my life doing lots of work and I felt overworked overburdened overstressed and exhausted like so many people today so here’s my stress meter off the chart well it was right about that time in 2006 when I got a clear prompting in my heart from God and the prompting that I felt in my heart from God was to give him my time now if you think about this my time at that point was stretched so very very very thin that I was clutching my time with both hands just like that picture and what he was asking me to do was to be obedient and release my time to him and I didn’t want to the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God in it thou shalt not do any work some folks say that we’re no longer under the law and that we don’t have to follow this but I do believe that there is a place for a rest and I believe that God in His infinite provision for us allowed for that rest and if we don’t take that day will be even more frazzled but here was my experience with this command I said hang on a second you want an entire day out of every seven a whole entire day you’re kidding do you have any idea how extraordinarily busy I am Lord instead of taking my time you should be giving me more time why don’t you give me extra days instead of trying to take one away from me but I need for my work but here’s the bottom line it’s really about obedience and obedience is not about how you feel I want my time myself it is about what God wants and I have a biblical quote here this is from 2nd Corinthians bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ so often we have these selfish thoughts and we have these mimimi or I’m going to do it my way thoughts and we have to always get back to a place of letting go of that so obedience is not about how you feel it is about what God wants and what God wants from us as I’ve said before is as this slide shows for us to empty our hands to not be clutching our time like this but to release our time like this and in the process of releasing there is a stepping out on faith because you believe that when you let go of your time you’ll have less of it and I actually made a decision at that point I said okay Lord if that’s what you want from me I will give you my time even if it means that everything comes crashing down in this house of cards I will give you my time even if it means I can’t get anything done I fail at all the things I’m trying to do I will be obedient even though it will mean tremendous loss for me professionally and personally I will obey and so I emptied my hand and unclenched my fist so we’ll go to that slide here so again it’s the unclenching the fist letting go of the time you’re clutching trusting God now with no time in my hand at all and what did he do he filled my hand with a blessing and in fact the Lord wound up giving me in

response to my obedience to my complete surprise more time than I had ever had and in fact those Sundays though that my family and I took off as as a rest as a time of rest we didn’t shop we didn’t work we didn’t talk about work we just took the day off and what began to happen in my life the first couple of months I was gritting my teeth oh it’s Sunday I want to work and I can’t earn but then over time I got to the point where I actually could plan out things that I enjoyed doing or actually just take a nap or read a book or take some time to be with my husband and what I found instead was because it wasn’t a selfish thing of me taking the time but in obedience of me giving the time but I could truly relax and enjoy it and so here’s my my vision of what God wanted for me so here I was at the stress meter and when I obeyed by giving up some of my time I wound up lounging on the hammock so now let’s talk about the next thing that I was asked to sacrifice and this one was tough – give me your money proverbs 3:9 says honor the Lord with thy substance and with the first fruits of all thine increase now the time in 2007 when the Lord asked me to tithe was one of the most difficult times for me financially that I’ve ever been through in fact there was some unemployment on the scene and we were having difficulty paying the mortgage in order to actually keep our home and it was at this troubled time when I was counting every penny and really struggling to even make the grocery runs and put gas in the car that the Lord said give me your money and again I said hang on a second what shouldn’t you be giving me money how is it possible Lord that you’re asking for my money right now of all times so I gritted my teeth I went through that same process and kind of had to get over this we’ve got to hold on tight I only have a little bit of money here and I want to hold it hold it all that I can’t give it to you I can’t tithe it because I’ve got to hang on to it because there’s not enough of it and yet the obedience piece came back and of course obedience is not about how you feel it is about bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ so at that point I said alright Lord even if it means we lose our home even if it means that we will not be able to pay the mortgage even if it means that the bills go unpaid and the bill collectors come and my husband and I wind up living in a trailer or a tent in the middle of the woods somewhere because we can’t afford to live I am going to be obedient and I will try and I brought this before my husband into my amazement given how broke we were he was in completing total agreement and from that point forward we began tithing 10% of our income of everything before taxes before expenses before everything I am the author of a book when I would sell a book the book would cost me $10 I’d sell it for $20 I would tithe on the $20 that came in $2 right off the top it would go into an envelope and let me tell you what happened as a result of this obedience and again emptying my hand I’m clenching my clutching hand letting go of the money trust in God tithing appropriately and this refrigerator that you see is filled with organic vegetables and food this is I I will admit this a second refrigerator we actually had so much blessing in our home going forward from this point that we said well gosh all of these organic veggies we live far from the store we were in a position at that point through so many financial blessings out of the blue I had people giving me money for my radio program I wound up finding a tremendous and fabulous job just out of the blue blessings flowed in like they’ve never flowed in before and so this is actually our second refrigerator filled with organic fresh healthy produce the sorts of things that we never could have afforded before and this was the the answer that I keep finding over and over that when I let go of the little tiny bits of something I’m holding on to and I give it to God sacrifice it with the expectation the full expectation that he’ll take it away and not replace it he winds up giving me so much more and I’m finding this over and over in every area of my life next 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer one of the most traumatic and horrific experiences a person can go through I lost all of my hair I was sick I was bloated I was asked by a young girl at the pool when my baby was due just the horrible physical experience of going through I don’t even have words to express it and it was during this time

that the Lord said to me all right Katherine what I want you to the alternext is your marriage give me your marriage let me read this from Ephesians five wives submit yourselves unto your own husband’s as unto the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church now I have to say I grew up in well the 1970s and 80s I’m a product of the modern era I have a doctorate from Harvard University I’ve written a best-selling book I’m a radio host I’ve done a lot of things independently on my own and to be told to be submissive to my husband I have to say was it was it was a bit of shock and it took me some real teeth gritting just like the other times give me your time give me your money give me your pride in your marriage let go of that and submit to your husband oh how I resisted this submit that’s not it that’s not a popular word in the in the modern era is it do you have any idea how much I have to be in charge of if I let go if I stop being the person trying to manage and control everything in my home what’s going to actually get done so here I was I’ve got to hold tight to the little bit of control that I actually have and so once again I found myself doing this I must must hold on to the control in this household because if I submit and allow my husband to take charge of things they’re gonna fall apart it’ll be a disaster and once again I got to the point where it was so relentless what the Lord was asking me to do I said all right I will be obedient even if it kills me even if it destroys my home even if it destroys my marriage I am going to submit to my husband and be gracious to him and allow him to make the decisions the major decisions and come to him in love instead of constantly trying to control and be in charge so where does this come from obedience how did I feel that it was terrifying but if I relinquished my my control in my marriage and my my desire to always have be right and always be on top of things then somehow it would be a disaster but again it’s not about how you feel it’s about sacrifice on the altar the thing you think you’re going to lose and of course as he’s done so many times the Lord blessed me in ways I never could have imagined so let’s go through the process again mmm I have to stay in control they can’t release it so then you unclench your fists and then you let go and then you trust God with an empty hand fully expecting that he’ll never fill it and then what does he do then he fills in this case my marriage with a degree of love and respect and beauty that we had never experienced before so my husband would be the first to agree with this we found a wonderful book I’d highly like to recommend by Martha peace you can see it on this slide here the book is called the excellent wife and I have to say reading that book was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done as a modern woman I read the book in the book talked about the biblical role of men and women and there was a critical line in there that said what what women really want is not to be dominant or in control or run the marriage or run the household completely themselves what women want is to be protected nourished loved and cherished and what men really want is to be respected and to be loved you know all those basic things but it’s really an issue of respect and cherish and you you would think well hang in a second if I’m giving my husband all the respect aren’t I going to wind up sort of down here somehow and I found that exactly the opposite was true that the more I was able to actually fulfill my biblical role as a wife and to be respectful and loving to my husband and give him the space to be the head of our household the more he lifted me up and the more relaxed I could become being provided for and being cherished is an extraordinary extraordinary blessing as a woman there’s nothing like it to know that you the buck doesn’t stop with you the buck stops with your husband that there’s a buffer between you and the world outside in in the form of this strong wonderful person that the Lord has put into that role and that was what I learned as a result of being asked demanded to let go and being obedient thinking I would lose everything and instead gaining everything this is a picture here on the left of the summer after my cancer treatment ended you see I have much shorter hair there and there’s my husband and we are actually on our second honeymoon enjoying the beautiful sunshine in the Caribbean it was an extraordinary trip it was a wonderful thing and this is the

blessing after having had so much stress in our marriage to have finally gotten to a point of harmony and joy and love so there we are I also have to say that during that time my husband in I guess because of all of the changes happening around us made a decision to become baptized in our church and it was an extraordinary extraordinary thing to watch to watch that transformation for him and it’s been it’s been all uphill since then so now let me get to the tough part of the cancer treatment in the end of 2011 I was on well the the problem with stage 3c breast cancer it’s very deadly and very dangerous and it has an extraordinarily high rate of recurrence and if it does recur it typically kills you within a couple of years usually to two years so the cancer that I had was so severe that I had to receive more than just normal amounts of treatment but I had to receive extreme amounts of treatment and one of the drugs that I was given at the dana-farber Cancer Center in Boston is a drug called taxi tier and taxi tier is known to have side effects it can cause numbness in the hands and feet that never goes away it can cause hair loss where the hair never grows back but more importantly in my case it caused my mental faculties to almost completely vanish during the time that I was on taxi tier I remember my husband and I in a parking lot and I said we’re walking up to our car and I said that’s not our car and he lied to me and said Catherine that that’s our car and I said no our cars silver and he said now our old car was silver a couple year to go with our cars blue this is our car and I remember feeling like a little child that I didn’t recognize the car that I didn’t know I remember sitting in a restaurant at that time holding a menu and feeling as though the menu is the size of a billboard that I was having to carry this immense thing and trying to I remember thinking in the restaurant how do people hold these things and navigate these restaurants this is so complicated so I really was was losing my faculties and I went through a period of time of trying to decide do I continue with the cancer treatment that was needed to save my life or do I quit and try to grasp what little bit of my brain was left and right about that time the Lord began stirring in my heart about something much more profound and then simply the reaction from a chemotherapy drug but he actually convicted me that with all of my Harvard education and all the things that I’ve done that I had not given him my mind so at this point now now is where the rubber really starts to hit the road because it’s one thing to not have enough time to get things done or enough money to pay your mortgage or maybe to not have the best marriage in the world but let me tell you this to be told as as an academic to surrender my mind to actually place just like Abraham did with Isaac my mind on the altar for Destruction which is fully what I expected what happened was absolutely I don’t even have words to describe what a tremendous challenge that was to my spirit to be told Katherine you need to give me your mind and you may not get it back and I remember one night my husband and I were talking I had realized I could no longer drive a car because I couldn’t figure out where I was going and it was that day that he and I sat together in our living room at probably 10 11 o’clock at night and I said honey I think I’m going to become one of those ladies sitting in the corner drooling who can’t even function if I continue this and yet I need to make a decision which is a spiritual decision which is whether to to hang on to what little faculties I have and make a choice do I want to be the intact intellectual person I’ve always been and not have the Lord or do I want to have him in my heart and maybe become that drooling person if that’s the choice I’ve got to make that choice and I made the choice let me get back to my slides here so my mind this is me terrified this is what I thought I would become the the person who sits in the park and doesn’t even know where she is that’s sort of what I had become and I’m gonna show you a slide that’s going to shock you because you’ve seen me here with my hair intact and having gotten through the other side of the journey but the next slide that I’m about to show you is actually me during a chemotherapy treatment at this time when I was taking taxi tier so you’ll see me here right after a tax it – your dose and that’s actually me so this is what I was facing as the prospect of my future and that

night when my husband and I prayed I actually began to cry and I said Lord if it’s my mind you want if it’s my mind I’ve never given you and I know I probably haven’t fully given it to you I gave it to you now and I would ask that you simply come into my heart so that even if I do become a person who can’t think or speak or function professionally but I’ll have you in my heart and when I made that sacrifice I fully expected that just like when Abraham placed his son Isaac on the altar that I would never see my mind again that he was going to put the stake through it and that I would become that person and of course you see me sitting here two years later and that’s not what he did in response to my obedience in response to what I’ve already talked about the letting go they’re releasing the little bit of my mind I had left the tiny shred of my mind that I had left and trusting God he blessed me with perfect peace he changed me he replaced the mind that I had with a much better mind and as a radio host as a wife as a friend as all of the roles that I play I play them so differently now now that I have sacrificed my mind and it’s right back to that same concept you think that these tiny little shreds of things that you have are so precious to you and you have so few of them that you can’t let them go but when you release them and you give them to God it’s it’s overflowing the benefit he gives you so what does he ask for now well this is what he asked me for during the cancer years and it’s what he asks me for now every day which is give me your life during that time I didn’t know if I would live or die I didn’t know if I would survive the cancer there’s a very high rate of not surviving this kind of cancer that I had and yet though he slay me I will trust in him because I know that when the Lord wants to take something away from me it’s not what I see my little tiny thing it’s the huge thing he wants to give us all instead so when he asks for your life whosoever shall save his life shall lose it whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it I have wounded thee but I will heal thee and this is what I have now the beauty and in the wonder of being refreshed in every area of my life and I’ll tell you this the next time he asks me for something I’ll go through the same process it’s not a simple thing you never he doesn’t tell you in advance I’m gonna give you an even better mind he doesn’t tell you what it means for me to give you an even better marriage he says I’m gonna take it away from you are you willing to make that sacrifice and that’s why we step out in obedience not because of how we feel all right well there’s my story that’s my testimony I belonged to a wonderful local church I’d like to tell you all about it and give you the details I also do a daily radio program Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. you can find the radio program at kma calm I hope that you have an opportunity to tune in much of what happens in my radio show now I believe is a direct result of these experiences that have changed me and helped me to get out of the way a little bit of my own life and let the Lord shine shine through so if any of this has been a blessing to you it’s it’s the little glimmer that you see of the Lord when I get out of the way and I thank you so much for taking this time with me god bless you all

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