About the Author

Marissa is a Christ-follower, wife, mom, cancer survivor, writer, speaker, and latte addict who loves to share her story of God’s faithfulness and encourage women with the truth of God’s promises. Her book, Loving Your Friend through Cancer: Moving Beyond “I’m Sorry to Meaningful Support, releases in May 2018.

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  1. Beautiful! I needed to hear this and I know many others who do as well…Thank you for sharing your self.

    • Thank you Jennifer for such a time as this that we are living in dark chaotic world but we know that everything that God allows come to make us strong thank you for Lettin reminding me that he still supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus so happy for you I’m praising with you and believing with you have a happy holiday.

      • Marissa Henley I mistakenly used jennifer name to reply to your message.please forgive me.thank you so much this really blessed me I needed that reminder.God bless you and your family this Holidays.

    • Thanks Melessa for this touching sharing.God is great.I needed to read it.I am encouraged .I have been feeling frustrated about an issue for tge last four days .I am truly encouraged ‘that God is doibg all that is necesary to meet out needs’.God bless you.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story of suffering. Your life is an example of Romans 8:32 and is a blessing to those also suffering.

  3. Marissa,
    Wow…what a powerful testimony that God does and will provide. I love how you pointed out that God not only loves us enough to provide for our salvation, but He loves us enough to provide answers, and people, and a way through all our trials. He is truly the God who gives good things to His children. Thank you for sharing your powerful story…it really hit home. There is no need of ours that God will not attend to…Praise! Praising with you that your health continues. May you have a blessed Christmas with your family!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Thank you, Bev! Yes, the Lord has been so lavishly generous to me, and I’m thankful for every opportunity to proclaim His provision. I hope you have a blessed Christmas as well!

  4. What an amazing and beautiful story. God is always right where we need him. Always beside us. God Bless you and your beautiful family.

  5. Thank you for penning such a heartfelt message. Your story inspires hope to those experiencing a seemingly, impossible journey. May the sweet love of God shower you with His goodness and mercy. I pray you for your complete healing. God makes the impossible- possible! God heals.

  6. Thank you for reminding me of God’s love.
    Bless you and your family this holiday season.
    My impossible situation is dealing with my former husband. There is no kindness in him and yet I must continue dealing with him for the sake of our 11 yr old son. He needs God in his life. He leads a very superficial and immoral lifestyle.
    But I know God is with me and gives me strength.

    • Deborah, Thank you for sharing your heart and your struggle. I’m so sorry you’re walking through this difficult time. I’m praying for you and your son right now and praising God that He will never leave you alone in this trial. I’m sending you cyber-hugs, friend!

    • Deborah,

      Praying for you sweet sister! May God heal your ex’s heart and put some kindness in it. Prayers for strength for you as you deal with him.

      (((((Hugs)))))

  7. Dear Marissa,
    I praise HIM for how HE has brought you and your precious family through! And what overwhelming suffering, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually you went through; with humanly unsurmountable details that you and your husband faced; and then HIM unfolding HIS miraculous orchestrations to get you and your precious ones to where you are now! It is the hardest thing for a godly Mom to have those young children you love and what a broken-hearted burden that you could not be there for them. And the constant pain of the knife in your heart of wondering if you would be there for them in the future. I pray that you are completely healed. Your story is a wonderful one of the LORD’s amazing love and power in HIS providing for each and every need. Thank you so much for sharing to encourage us who have read it. My grandbabies are in such danger, and my Christian daughter and her Christian husband are on very damaging paths for them, believing lies about child-rearing. They won’t allow me to ask a question or give a suggestion and limit our grandparenting time. I cry out to the LORD daily and have excruciating pain for the babies daily. So I really needed this. Thank you, again.

    • Hi NJ, Thank you for praising God with me for His faithfulness to me. I’m still amazed at all He has done for me! And I’m thankful for each and every day of good health He’s granted so far.

      My heart breaks for you and your difficult relationship with your daughter and son-in-law. I hope God continues to strengthen and comfort you with His truth as you cry out to Him. I will stop right now and pray for you and this tough situation.

      • How thoughtful and caring of you to take the time to reply to each of us and to pray for our grandbabies’ welfare and for HIS truth and wisdom for our daughter and son-in-law. Thank you for being a burden-bearer for them and me. You are very special!

        • NJ,

          Praying with Marissa for you, and your little grandchildren. i hope, and pray that all will be well.

          Penny

    • NJ

      Praying for you and your grand children. May God work a miracle in the hearts and minds of your daughter and son-in-law. I pray for strength as you deal with this. May He send a peace to everyone!

      (((((Hugs)))))

  8. What an awesome testimony! During your medical crisis, your faith in God surpassed your fears of what the future held for you. Last year my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and although I appeared strong on the outside, I felt extreme fear on the inside. A song I heard ministered to me at that moment entitled, The Battle Is Not Yours, But The Lord’s”. Long story short, my husband is doing great following surgery and chemotherapy (no radiation required). He’s working full-time again and family members says he never looked sick. Praise Jesus for his sacrifice of love toward his children!

    • Thank you, Charlene! And I’m so encouraged to hear about your husband’s healing – praise God! I haven’t heard that song, but I clung tightly to the verses from Scripture about the battle belonging to the Lord. There were definitely times when I was terrified and heartbroken, and I didn’t know how I could keep going. But He is so good to fight on our behalf! I will pray for continued good health for your dear husband.

  9. I have found your tweet so true when I cared for my mom during her cancer after just burying Dad, while the doctors wondered if my cancer was back. I am going to order your book to check it out as a future reference as I continue to volunteer for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life. Blessings.

    • Thank you, Lynne. I’m so sorry to hear how extensively your life has been touched by this awful disease. How would we ever get through it without the Lord? He is so good to walk with us through these hard things. I hope my book blesses you, and I’d love to hear what you think of it as someone who has walked that path.

  10. What an awesome testimony! During your medical crisis, your faith in God surpassed your fears of what the future held for you. Last year my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and although I appeared strong on the outside, I felt extreme fear on the inside. A song I heard ministered to me at that moment entitled, “The Battle Is Not Yours, But The Lord’s.” Long story short, my husband is doing great following surgery and chemotherapy (no radiation required). He’s working full-time again and family members says he never looked sick. Praise Jesus for his sacrifice of love toward his children who will not put more on us than we can bear.

  11. What an incredible testimony! I will be bookmarking this one to come back to often. God is so good to incourage us through his word even in the impossible times.

  12. “We can trust our Heavenly Father, who did not spare His own Son, to graciously give us all that we need.” Thank you Marissa for sharing this. I know I have times when I struggle with putting my trust fully in the Lord to provide my wants or needs. I am guilty of this often and in this very moment. Your words have helped me remember that God is always good and He always provides. He delights in giving us good things. Thank You Jesus! Thank you again Marissa for sharing your story. May God continue to bless you with your health and may you be here every year to take your beautiful little girl to school. God bless you always. Xoxo ❤️

    • Thank you, Stephanie! Trusting God is a struggle for me sometimes, too. I’m thankful His faithfulness doesn’t depend on my own! He is so good. And I plan to walk my daughter into school for as long as she’ll let me . . . do you think she’ll let me go to college with her?!? 😉 <3

  13. Sadly, my dearest friend does not have Good News for her family and friends, this Christmas. If she, after an 11 year battle with breast cancer that radically took both breasts, a massive number of lymph nodes and part of her sternum, doesn’t take a new round of oral chemo (she began yesterday) she has maybe 3 weeks to live. With it she may have 3 months. She is 43 now, has 3 beautiful girls (5, 9, 11), a mother (68) suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and chronic hoarding/OCD, who live with her and depend on her for care.
    Her husband (45) is a good dad but not a great husband at this time. His culture requires the woman to be strong and to serve him. Since her illness prevents that, then she is cast off. He provides some financial support and does provide some transportation for her to doctors visits. Because she is Christian and he is still Buddhist, their belief system is far apart from each other. Yet he does try, for the sake of unity and the children, to rise to the challenge and do what it takes, sometimes. There is another person in this picture, her oldest child’s father, who abandoned them when her daughter was only 3 months old (they were not married). She was given full custody, but wanting to do the right thing when he came back and wanted visitation rights, she let him have her oldest daughter every other weekend since she was 5 years old. The two younger girls are her husband’s and her children, but her husband does love them all the same and wants them to all be together with him when my friend does pass away. My friend now knows that these 6 years of every other weekend custody she gave her ex-boyfriend to have with her oldest, has been torture for her daughter. She never liked going there because he and his girlfriend gave her no good attention, often confined her to a room, did nothing with her and were critical of everything she did or said. He took her mother to court 4 years ago because her cancer came back and therefore, he believed, she was an unfit mother and unable to care and provide for her children so he petitioned the court to take them away from her to foster care (he lost, but it took its toll on her and her mother from that trauma). Still, my friend wanted her daughter to have a relationship with her “father,” and had hope he would have a change of heart and become good father to her, by the visits with him. Now, he is taking her to court again because he “caught” her on Instagram in a group of teens who talked vulgarly and shared “adult” photos. There is no evidence she participated in this activity. She is mortified by what he confronted her with on it as she is insistent she never saw it until he exposed it to her. She had only shared her struggles with having to visit him with a sympathetic member and how much she disliked her biological father. How he found out about the connection was that he grabbed her phone one day and went on a tirade of calling her every name he could think of, including crazy and mentally ill because she was on Instagram. Now he wants the courts to take her away from her “emotionally destructive and totally incompetent ” mother, who has never done anything but teach the best Christian values as a loving parent through all of her cancer battle, because she is “so wrapped up in her cancer, she can’t be trusted to care properly for her children.” She does have little physical strength now, is in a relentless and horrific pain cycle, fighting high fever, off the charts heart rate and this latest prognosis to contend with which leaves her little energy to fight a court battle, tend to her mother and children and try to persuade her husband to take a more active part in assisting their family. Yet these girls adore her, are well- fed and clothed, go to a private school, are well- adjusted and have many friends . So, I write all this for what reason? It is to share with all of you that, despite all this, this amazing woman and my best friend says she knows God is in control and has a plan for what is left of her life, to prosper and not to harm her (Jer. 29:11), though He slay her she will still trust Him (Job 13:15), because apart from Him she can do nothing (John 15:5) but through Him she has strength (Phil. 4:13). She has a smile, a laugh, a joy about her most days despite her physical and emotional pain, because she is so certain, after even this 11 year battle (her children have never known a cancer- free mother) with 2 semi-remissions of a year each requiring monthly testing, that God is her Redeemer who has given her unfathomable forgiveness, grace, mercy and love which she is determined to give to others until she goes to wait for eternity in Heaven with the Author of her faith. Yes, God will go to any lengths necessary to meet the needs of His beloved children. Thank you, Marissa, for sharing what you, too, know, and know you know, in faith.

    • Dear Dorothea, Wow, thank you for sharing this difficult story. I can hear in your words how your heart aches for your friend and for her family. I am heartbroken with you. Sometimes the circumstances others face seem so unfairly harsh, and it’s so hard to make sense of it. And yet, how beautiful to see how God is sustaining her and giving her such strong faith in the midst of her trial. I am going to pray for her and her family right now, and I will also pray for you as you minister to your friend. Yes, even in this, the Lord will care for her and her children and meet all their needs. His faithfulness is so precious.

    • Dorothea,

      Praying for strength for your friend. May God bring a miracle to her life. Prayers her husband’s heart to soften. I am saddened about the situation. I know God will take care of her in His perfect timing. Praising God for her strong faith amidst these trials.

      (((((Hugs)))))

  14. I so needed this message this morning. I live with chronic pain and some days are so hard. My finances are slim. Not able to do any Christmas and last night my furnace started making noises. I have a repair man coming out but now will have to skip paying a bill to pay him and praying it’s nothing major. I was already two hundred dollars short. My only child is getting married first week of January. He lives in Texas where he got his first job out of college. I can’t go because of finances. To say I am discouraged is an understatement.

    So you see I was having a pity party this morning and your message reminded me of who my abba father is. Thank you for sharing. What a powerful testimony and what encouragement for this sister. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Kathy, I’m so sorry to hear how tough your circumstances are right now. One of my close friends deals with chronic pain, and yes, it is so hard. Thank you for sharing your heart with me and letting me know how God encouraged you today. Your Abba Father will care for you!

  15. God is good always! and His mercies ARE new every morning. He meets every need and for the chance for your sweet kids to still have their mom this mom’s heart is so happy and praises Jesus, even though I do not know you. Thank you for sharing. I will post this to FB because I have so many dear friends with a cancer diagnosis in various terms of treatment phases and I believe in Gods touch for each of them! PTL!

  16. Thanks, Marissa, for your wonderful testimony. I so needed to hear from someone about God’s faithfulness. We are going to have to join forces and move to Washington state with our son and family. This has been quite a chore for we 2 seniors – 79 yr olds. Just when I was about to be overwhelmed, your words arrived on my cellphone email system and encouraged me so much. May God continue to bless you and your work for His kingdom.

    • Thank you, Marylee! What a blessing to me to hear how God is using these words and my story of His faithfulness to encourage my sisters in Christ. I’m so glad you let me know! I will pray right now for your upcoming move and hope it goes smoothly for you!

  17. Yes. This I take this as the word of encouragement that I was looking for this morning. I woke up asking God, “How long? Another month? Another year? How long will I suffer? Am I the reason?” And on and on.
    I trust that when we seek God answers. He may not rid of all the suffering but he gives a plan. And I am eagerly anticipating it.
    Thanks again.

    • Dear Nae, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re in the difficult place of waiting for answers from the Lord. It can be so hard to be patient. But yes, He is faithful to hear our cries and will not ignore our pain. I will pray for you right now that the Lord will give you His comfort and peace.

  18. Talk about (in)couragement! What a glorious, miraculous story. Thank you, Marissa, for this poignant reminder that ALL things are possible with God (Luke 1:37) — just as the angel told Mary all those centuries ago.

  19. I love reading all these comments, Marissa, to see how your post has ministered to many who needed your exact words today. Love what you wrote and awesome to see God using your story. XOXO

  20. Marissa, I praise our Lord for this message of grace and hope 🙂 How good our great Father is to us; I stand in such awe of His loving provision for you and your family, how He is walking you through this season of pain and yet grace upon grace 🙂 He is such a good, good Father to us all, knowing the exact timing, place, and supply of all our needs. What wonder at your yes of surrender to His plan and hand, learning in the suffering. Thank you for this great encouragement and testimony-it was needed today 🙂 May our merciful and loving Savior keep astounding us in all His ways as we seek Him, His hand, and His heart in all our seasons 🙂

    • Thank you, An. I love how you described His faithfulness–He knows the details of what we need, doesn’t He?!? He is so, so good. I’m so glad to hear you were encouraged today!

  21. That is such a powerful story. Thanks for sharing your story. It gives people such hope at this time of year!

  22. Marissa,
    I am so encouraged by your testimony of courage and resilience in the face of the unknown. God is truly faithful. What a treasure it is to see the beauty in those hard times. I pray all the readers will be filled with hope, knowing God is no respecter of persons and if he did it for you, He can do it for us too. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Thank you, Tyra! Yes, He is so faithful to all His beloved children–such good truth, isn’t it? Thank you in joining me in prayer that these words will fill the readers with hope in Him!

  23. Marissa,

    Thank-you for sharing your courageous story, and of hope.

    Blessings to you, and your family this Christmas, and hope for many more for you to enjoy with them.

    Penny

  24. Thank you so much for sharing! I needed to read this message. Sometimes we forget just how much GOD loves His children. Thank you for reminding me! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • Thank you, Gail! What a blessing for me to hear that you were encouraged and reminded of God’s love for you. He is so faithful to give us what we need! Merry Christmas!

  25. Thank you for your testimony. It has encouraged my soul. I know that God hears and answers prayers. May God Bless you to see many more first days of school, excellent health, and strength. Romans 8:32 will be my meditation scripture for the week.

    • Thank you, Andrea! I’m so glad you were encouraged and hope you continue to be strengthened in your faith as you meditate on His Word this week. Romans 8:32 has been one of my favorites for a long time. 🙂

  26. Marissa,

    It never ceases to amaze me how God shows up at the right time. He loves us so lavishly-we can’t even fathom. Thanks for sharing your story of trial and God’s amazing love shown to you through friends. I know it will encourage many women!!

    My aging dad has dementia and it got really bad. He was on hospice and early this year was put in the hospital. It was tough for me to watch him go down like that. I prayed and cried that God would take him home. God had other plans. He healed him better than before. Now my dad lives in an assisted living closer to me. I take him outside for walks and even short drives. He is doing so much better than before. It is a miracle. I know God is still in the miracle business!

    Have a blessed Christmas!

    • Hi Beth! Yes, the Lord is so amazingly generous to us!

      And wow! What a wonderful story about your dad – and such a gift to have this additional time with him. Praise the Lord! And Merry Christmas!

  27. I was diagnosed with Cancer a month ago and have had so many tests and scans and it has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for Family, Friends and Me. The news was tough but because of many other Chronic illnesses it was decided I would not survive surgery or chemo. The only option was Radiotherapy which would carry many high risk factors too. It has been tough as struggling to tolerate due to constantly being sick and nauseous. I had to spend most of it in hospital which was not expected at such an early stage of treatment. Thank you for encouraging and blessing me to face my 2nd week of treatment, knowing God provides and meets all our needs and although we may suffer, He will sustain me and be with me every step of the way. x

    • Julie, I’m so sorry I missed your comment a few weeks ago. And I hate that you are going through such a tough time. I will stop and pray for you right now. Thank you for letting me know that you were encouraged by God’s faithfulness to me – He will sustain you and care for you in this trial. He is so good!

      • Thank you Marissa, God’s Faithfulness through radiotherapy and all the awful side-effects has been awesome, even on the worse of days. Please pray as I face my biggest fears two weeks of Internal Radiotherapy with may high risk factors. I need protection over my bowl, bladder and pelvic bones. Your words were so true and honest that although we are not spared suffering as we lean in on Him he enables us to endure and come through. Praying God’s Victory over this Cancer for His Glory. I will then be through treatment and procedures and need time for my body to recover and restore. May we always be willing and available as women to stand with others through life’s battles, struggles and sufferings. God Bless You and your Family with many precious gifts this year. x

  28. Beautiful testimony! I’m grateful God healed and protected you. I’m also grateful he faithfully provided. I know the pain and struggle you faced has left its mark, and I hope you’ve been able to channel the pain and fear into strength and empathy. Thank you for blessing me with your story.

    • Thank you, Ingrid. God has certainly blessed me with opportunities to share the comfort He’s given me, and I’m grateful. He is so faithful, even in the pain.

  29. Thank you for sharing your journey. I was diagnosed with Angiosarcoma and reading through what you did it sounded so familiar. The rare part for was most difficult to comprehend as it made it sound much more complicated. I have only had 2 rounds of chemo and am encouraged to hear yours has been so successful. Trust in God is clearly the answer to dealing with this situation however sometimes anxiety gets in the way. I believe it is important for more people to share their journeys as this clearly helps others. I have considered starting a Facebook page to document my experience and thoughts. There is so much to share. Thank you for your positive approach and continued words of Encouragement centered around God.