Either Way, I Win: God's Hope for Difficult Times

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9780806627564: Either Way, I Win: God's Hope for Difficult Times
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In this short book, Lois Walfrid Johnson offers readers hope. Not just heartfelt get-well wishes, but the life-giving hope that is found in the presence of Jesus. It is because Johnson understood her life to be in tune with the Spirit of God that she was able to say, Either way, I win. It is her hope that this book will give anyone facing cancer or any difficult time the same reassurance.

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From the Preface (pre-publication version):

Dear Friend,

What does it mean to say, “Either way, I win”? How can you have hope even in the most difficult times of your life?

I was still a young mother when I faced a life-threatening diagnosis of cancer. Out of the knowledge that I might not live, I wrote the first edition of this book. If I didn’t make it, there were things I wanted to say—words I wanted to leave behind.

Soon I discovered there are many forms of cancer. It’s natural to think first of the kind seen under a microscope, but there are also cancers of fear, hurt, depression, loneliness, and unbelief. Cancers in which people face daily frustrations, no-win situations, suffering, and pain. Cancers of divorce or another loss of loved ones. Cancers that seem to end all hopes and dreams.

When things are going well, most of us plan our lives like a trip across the country. We study a map and set out, thinking that we’ll arrive at our destination. We forget about detours—interruptions like a brief trip on a side road or interruptions so serious that they keep us from reaching our destination.

Centuries ago, Moses faced a life-changing interruption. As the adopted grandson of the Pharaoh of Egypt, Moses had every advantage. Growing up in a palace, he must have set his sights high and expected to do well. Instead he killed an Egyptian and fled to a foreign land. Forty years later, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush: “I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt.”

By then Moses had suffered enough to feel inadequate and afraid. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” he asked. “Who am I that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Out of his long years in the desert, Moses saw only the impossibilities of an extremely difficult assignment, not the opportunity of a lifetime.

But God didn’t listen to his excuses. From the bush that burned without being destroyed, the Lord declared, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you” (Exod. 3:14, NIV).

By giving his name, God revealed his divine nature and character. In that one instant, a forty-year interruption became the foundation for a life’s work. “It’s not who you are,” God told Moses. “What really counts is that I am with you.”

In that time when I felt pushed against a wall by a life-threatening diagnosis of cancer, I knew that my life was not just interrupted. I could soon be gone—done with, over, dead. But when I cried out to the Lord, he graciously provided a door in the wall. In the moment he gave me the thought, “Either way, I win,” everything changed. I knew that no matter what happened, I would win for one reason. Jesus Christ would be with me.

That was over twenty-three years ago. Since then, advances in diagnosis and treatment options for people who have breast cancer have markedly improved. There have also been significant improvements in the management and treatment of side effects related to cancer. I’ll note some of those changes, but the spiritual concepts of dealing with something difficult remain the same.

In recent years, a number of people have talked to me about the original edition of Either Way, I Win. Some of them said, “Lois, you better update that book to tell people you are still alive. You need to prove that you did it.” Each time I heard those words, I grieved. “Prove that I did it? You really think that I did it? That’s the very worst reason for updating the book!”

Every year I’ve lived has been given to me. I can cooperate with the Lord, but he’s the one who gives healing. And so, I’m back with this new edition, not because I’ve done all the “right” things and therefore am still alive. I know better. I’m back, not because I have “succeeded” in living where many others have died. Again, I know better. Instead I give you this updated book for one reason. Because of the ways in which I’ve been tested, I am even more certain that the God who said, “I am with you” is big enough.

Let me tell you why.

About the Author:

Friend of families Lois Walfrid Johnson is a speaker, teacher of writing, and former instructor for Writer's Digest School. She is the author of the Gold Medallion Book Award winning series Let s-Talk-About-It; Stories for Kids, the best-selling Adventures in Northwoods novels, the Riverboat Adventures series and the Viking Quest series. Readers from more than 40 countries have written to say, "I love your books. I can't put them down." Lois and her husband are the parents of three married children.

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