Faith as a Foundation for Healing and Growth

“The View from the Mountaintop” by Lynda Gail Salmon, Ph.D.

Three weeks after receiving my Ph.D., I was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. It was a new mountain to ascend, but the trail had been blazed before me by my mother, who died in 1991 from the same disease. I lived in terror for five years when she was ill. 

Desperately wanting to save her, I researched healing techniques as diverse as color therapy and psychic healing. My mother’s walk with cancer was difficult and courageous. Chemotherapy left her only a shadow of her former vibrant self. After her passing, it took 10 years before I could even speak the word “cancer” without a visceral reaction.
Nevertheless, when I received my own diagnosis, the world as I knew it stopped. I died and was born again. I now had a new label: “cancer victim.” No, I told myself, I was not going to be a victim. I knew the dangers of living with a victim mentality. Further, the typical approach of battling cancer as a heinous monster within was unacceptable. I did not want a battle raging inside my body. For me, the rugged path up this new mountain must be marked with the spiritual signposts of light, love, forgiveness, and connection. I wanted to expand my consciousness and relationship with God. 

“I have God’s work to do! I can do this!” I reminded myself continually. “I scaled the Ph.D. Mountain; therefore, I am resourceful, resilient, and strong. During that climb, I was never alone. God led the way!” This knowledge became the serendipitous gift that helped sustain me through moments of darkness on my healing journey.

My mantras became: “Now is the perfect time to be happy.” “I am healthy and whole now!” “I shine my light and love wherever I am.” I no longer waited for all to be perfect to live my life fully and joyfully. 

My healing journey has required that I release the self-imposed limitations and false beliefs I had allowed to define me. I remembered my mother telling her minister that she was tired of people seeing her as a disease. Perhaps she had begun to see herself that way too. I realized I could no longer define myself by my mother’s experience, nor by my childhood, education, age, finances, marital status, or past pain. Who I Am is beyond those descriptors. 

As this awareness continues to deepen and unfold, I revel in the freedom that results from forgiving myself and others. While peeling away the layers of guilt and shame can be difficult, unexpected insights continue to propel my release and expansion. Thanks to the angelic outpouring of love and support from the people around me, I have lost my longtime fear of becoming ill while living alone. My intention to break free from what has bound me soars on the wings of faith.

I have walked this path for nearly two years, bridging my treatment protocol between the natural and medical worlds of health. My days are graced with new spiritual tools, practices, and mentors who bless me with their wisdom and spiritual understanding. Good nutrition, essential oils, prayer, healing meditations on YouTube, emPower™ positive music, and inspirational books rejuvenate my daily life and spiritual growth.

Throughout it all, I have continued to work, write school curricula, develop a summer program, serve my church as a prayer chaplain, volunteer, travel, and facilitate trainings, workshops, and retreats, bringing spiritual ceremonies and celebrations to others. I am fully alive, enjoying life, and expressing God through my thoughts and actions.

I continue to walk this path of transformation. I smile at how often I find myself dancing and taking in the miracles around me. I sit at my computer and ponder, What is it that Spirit wants you to know? Here is what I wish to share with you:

Beloved traveler, 
You may have just gotten a diagnosis, you may be well into the journey, or you may be a support for a loved one. It may be difficult for you not to define yourself by lab numbers, test results, and a body that is crying out. Feelings of helplessness may immobilize you. 
Always remember, you have the power to: 

Hold fast. Know that you are not alone. Hold fast to the realization that, “… with God all things are possible.” Hold fast to your spiritual perfection. Hold fast to the feeling and image of total health. Hold fast to giving and receiving love. Hold fast to expressing gratitude to the Divine. 
By virtue of our common journeys, I proclaim that if you Hold Fast to defining yourself as a magnificent creation of God, your Divine Ph.D. (Powerful Healing Direction) will bring you to a mountaintop experience. 
I’ll see you there!

From Never Alone: Facing Cancer with Faith (Special Edition), published by Unity World Headquarters.

Affirmations for Healing and Wholeness 

  • I am whole and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
  • I am open to the wisdom of Spirit.
  • God’s healing power is at work in me now.
  • I am lifted up by the power of God within.
  • The peace of God lives in the quiet of my heart.
  • Divine life renews every cell in my body.
  • I am wondrously made of infinite love.

From Never Alone: Facing Cancer with Faith (Special Edition), published by Unity World Headquarters.


Faith keeps me strong and confident.

Faith is an inner knowing that arises from my connection to Divine Mind. It allows me to move beyond the limitations of my fears.

Faith does not mean always being strong– but faith gives me the courage to take the next step knowing strength will come. It does not mean having a perfect plan, but moving forward assured that guidance and direction will be provided in a perfect way. Faith does not mean always getting exactly what I want, but knowing that my good is available in every situation.

My good may be a new idea or insight; it may be comfort, help, or a whole new way of living. Faith encourages me to keep anticipating the good. I am in awe of the blessings that continue to appear in my life.

And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” Matthew 8:13

From Never Alone: Facing Cancer with Faith, published by Unity World Headquarters. Get this free booklet (hard copy or digital):