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For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. - 2 Tim. 1:7

A chest x-ray showed a large mass near my heart, and while I had no symptoms, tests showed that it was a tumor. Because of the location of the tumor, surgery was necessary. I was stunned when I received the news. I was so afraid of major surgery.

"Why me?" I wondered, as I drove home with my three little children, ages 5, 3 and 2. How would they cope without me while I was in the hospital? What if it were cancer? My husband's business took him away from home a great deal. I was so upset I couldn't think clearly.

As I prayed about my unexpected health problems, the words of this scripture came into my mind. I got out my Bible and read this verse over and over. I realized that even if I couldn't control what was happening inside my body, I could control my response to it.

I'd been on a spiritual plateau for the past few years. This need for surgery became an opportunity for renewed spiritual growth and the joy that it brings. I was able to think more clearly about what needed to be done.

Following one phone call to my Relief Society president, the wonderful sisters rallied around me. They unselfishly provided child care, meals and visits to me while I was in the hospital.

A beautiful inspired blessing by my bishop gave me further insights into how I could use this experience for personal growth and spiritual renewal.

The surgery revealed that I had a large benign tumor in my thymus gland. It was removed and no further treatments were necessary.

My gratitude to the Lord was not limited to relief at the good news from the surgery. I was thankful for the whole experience, because it turned out to be a great blessing to me.

The words of this scripture helped to direct me and move me from fear and uncertainty to leaning on the Lord for strength and guidance. As a result, I was given spiritual power, and felt and received increased love.