Jimmy Carter says his faith is giving him peace
The 39th president recently found out that he had a small mass on his liver and decided to have elective surgery to remove it in early August. According to the statement on The Carter Center website, tests after the liver surgery revealed the cancer was melanoma, and it had spread to his brain.
“I think I have been as blessed as any human being in the world, having become the President of the United States of America and Governor of Georgia, the work at The Carter Center, a big and growing family, thousands of friends, and living to almost 91,” Carter said in a press conference. “Everything has been a blessing for me, so I’m thankful and hopeful.”
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), more than 90 percent of adults express a belief in God, and slightly more than 70 percent of individuals surveyed identified religion as one of the most important influences in their lives.
As Carter faces these difficult times, his faith has helped him to be at peace with his diagnosis.
“At this time of President Carter’s life, he is facing the future without fear because he believes the God he worships is walking and waiting with him,” says the Rev. Fred Rajan, vice president of mission and spiritual care at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “He is not alone. Abiding faith in God, knowing God is there for you, helps us face the unknown with confidence and courage. Surrendering the unknown of your future into the one whom you worship helps us let go of things and let God take charge.”
Daily spiritual improvements can help ease anxiety, anger and discomfort, according to the NCI. It has also been found in previous studies to help with quality of life.
Rev. Rajan provides these helpful tips to guide you through a life-threatening diagnosis:
- Spend 5 minutes of meditation each morning.
- Spend some time in prayer.
- Read a motivational or inspirational book or piece of literature.
- Practice yoga.
- Try to go for a brief walk in silence.
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