No Journey Back
No Journey Back
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Over the course of life, most people find themselves at least once facing a point where there is no turning back. You face a decision to take a certain path, and you go all in. Sometimes you make the decision, but sometimes the decision is made for you.


Author Linda Martin’s point of no return came when cancer entered her life. In No Journey Back, she shares the story of her journey, which began with a diagnosis of third-stage thyroid cancer. She quickly realized she couldn’t go back to how things were before the cancer, so she moved on to learn more about herself and her family. Martin also discovered more about her relationship with God. Always an important part of her life, her relationship with Him deepened while she faced her disease.


Although No Journey Back is the story of Martin’s battle with cancer, it also shares the great things God has done for and with Martin. If you are facing your own difficult journey, you can find strength in Martin’s story and in the knowledge that He will not leave you to walk your path alone.

Who do I belong to?? As a Christian, that has always been an easy answer. I belong to God. But have you ever really been face-to-face with someone who tried to prove that you were just kidding yourself? How secure are you really in God’s hands? My reassurance came in a very unexpected way; one that I hope I never have to go through again, but am glad I experienced.

At this point I wrestled with just how to present this unique and somewhat shocking experience. Some may question if I was truly awake or just having a dream. I must assure you that every detail was real and I was fully awake. First let me share a scripture verse which I realize we don’t often take truly to heart and mind.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. NKJV

Satan is the master of disguise. There was the time when I was visiting my daughter who lived in another city. We had gotten up early to go to breakfast together at one of “America’s favorite restaurants.” We stepped up to the crowded counter and placed our order. I gave the clerk a ten dollar bill. I quickly realized she had not given me the correct change so I asked if she would check her drawer to see what I had given her. She, not so politely, told me the amount I have given her and she had given me the correct change. She replied that she could not open her drawer to check. Suddenly the manager came up and opened the drawer. Everyone watched the situation develop as the manager said in a loud harsh voice that I had given the clerk a ten dollar bill. I explained that was correct but she had given me change for twenty dollars. I told her I was a Christian and I could have pocketed the money, but that was not what God would have wanted me to do. And what if I kept the money and someone there in the crowd knew me and saw what I had done? Lying and stealing are not what a Christian should do. The manager stood speechless for a minute, then took the change and apologized along with giving us extra food. I thanked her and turned around to come face-to-face with a pastor I knew standing along with people from a local church. So you see, Satan disguised himself in the form of money hoping I would sell my witness for a few dollars.

A very simple disguise most of us have been a part of, but so many times it has been the roaring lion disguise we may recognize first. What I found out is that Satan will go to any extreme to devour us. He wants to destroy, capture our souls and to give us doubts about our relationship with God. I had no idea that he was walking around my house one night hoping to devour me and my faith in my God. I had no knowledge what and who I was about to come face-to-face with in just a few hours.

A few days after the cancer diagnosis, Phillip and I were finally able to go to bed at a reasonable hour. We got into bed, talked a while, and then prayed for God’s continued care for us and for the healing of my body. I continued to pray silently as I fell asleep. Suddenly I was awakened by the feeling that someone was in our bedroom. I could feel my husband beside me, so I started to nudge him to turn on the lights when my eyes were drawn to the foot of the bed. There, standing at the foot of the bed, was something I could not believe; something that was so grotesque that I could not help but stare. That alone was a surprise to me that I could stare at this “creature” instead of screaming and crawling over my husband to get out of the room, better yet, out of the house. I have to admit that I am not the world’s bravest woman. I am looking at this being when suddenly he turns his head and looks at me…

Linda Martin grew up in the Appalachian coalfields of southwestern Virginia. She is a popular speaker and has served on boards of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. She and her husband, a minister, reside in Roanoke, Virginia. They have two children and seven grandchildren.

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