Journal entry from October 25, 2011:

“On Saturday I got the call that I had cancer. And I have to admit, I was terrified. After that came shock, anger, confusion, and a bunch of other emotions I’m not sure I can even put words to. As the initial shock wears off, I find that I’m mostly sad. Sad for myself, yes. But more so, sad for my kids. For my husband. My mind immediately goes to all the worst- case scenarios, and I get paralyzed by a feeling of overwhelming helplessness. But then I remember who I am—I’m someone who draws daily strength from Jesus, and there’s a warm peace that centers me.

I believe that God is fully aware. In fact, I feel certain he is sad and angry about this too. He hates that his children must live in this broken world in broken bodies. In that moment after my initial tantrum about getting the cancer diagnosis, I sensed that he was saying to me, “Kasey, guess what? I have overcome the world.” This earth is not my home. I have never been completely comfortable or at ease here. So, I don’t fear. As crazy as it sounds, I welcome death. The end of this life isn’t darkness . . . it’s hope! I live in the hope that I will see my Jesus face to face.

My name is Kasey Van norman. I have been redeemed and restored by Jesus Christ. This cancer is not a fluke, it’s not a coincidence, it’s not a punishment, it’s not a demonic attack. I believe it’s a sovereign allowance of the Creator in order to chisel me more into the character of his son. I believe God is working to draw me closer to him and his merciful love through everything. even this.”

October 18, 2011: A golfball-sized mass was surgically removed from my abdomen.

October 25, 2011: I was diagnosed with incurable cancer (Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma: Stage III).

November 2, 2011: I was told I had only a few years to live; possibly increasing my years if I received 8 rounds of intense chemotherapy.

2012: Chemotherapy year: the most painful, lonely, and agonizing year of my life. With every round of chemo, I died a little more.

May 2012: Halfway through the recommended chemo treatments I chose to stop treatment & simply live fully.

2013: My cancer is stable. We rejoice. I am humbled. I cry a lot of happy tears. I start writing.

2014: I feel vibrant & healthy & grateful for my thorn. Each day I beg God for strength to trust him over fear and over death. Some days I’m faithful. Other days I cling only to his faithfulness. I return to Chicago, IL (CTCA) every 6 months for my check-up.

April 2014: My journey with God in to the deep places of faith is released in print–Raw Faith: What Happens When God Picks a Fight is published by Tyndale House Publishers. I stand in awe of Jesus.

ps: I know the battle of cancer very well; not only from personal experience, but also after losing my 52 year old mother to a similiar cancer, and my 78 year old grandfather to the same exact cancer as my own. I encourage anyone who is currently in this battle to prayerfully consider receiving guidance and/or treatment through the Cancer Treatment Centers of America / (CTCA)–they are da bomb!