Faith During a Health Crisis
- Faith has always been important to Fox News anchor Shannon Bream. And in her new book, she explores how God’s plans can turn our worlds upside down and redefine our lives — like when her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
- For the Breams, the crisis of Sheldon Bream’s health ended up both “bolstering” their faith and their commitment to each other.
- For some, turning to faith can be a great way to keep spirits high when cancer starts taking an emotional and/or physical toll.
- Shannon Bream’s new book The Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak is set to be released on March 29.
How was Bream’s world turned upside down? Well, she was completely caught off guard when her then-fiancé Sheldon Bream was diagnosed with a very rare brain tumor at the age of 24.Read More
Sheldon was told he had an acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumor that develops on the balance and hearing, or auditory (cochlear) nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain.
“In a way you think nothing else matters. We got to figure out what this is. We gotta get him through it, whatever comes with it, this is our mission now,” Shannon said.
“It puts everything into focus but it also very much knocks the wind out of you when you’re young and optimistic and don’t expect something like that,” she added. (The young couple met when they were undergraduate students at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.)
Through the stories of mothers and daughters, Shannon’s new book shows that “faith is more often a twisting road than a straight line,” which is something she can surely attest to after going through her husband’s health crisis. And just like Shannon, the families in her book can also certify that greater peace and joy are waiting at the end of the hard voyage.
The Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak, which is set to be released on March 29, is the Fox News @ Night host’s third book. She has already written the New York Times Best Seller The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and Their Lessons for Today and Finding the Bright Side: The Art of Chasing What Matters.
When the One You Love is Sick
For the Breams, the crisis of Sheldon’s health ended up both “bolstering” their faith and their commitment to each other.
“We saw people reach out (to us) who didn’t know us, from other churches, other Bible studies, whatever the group was, they sent a note or a message: ‘We’ve heard about you, we put you on our prayer list,’” Shannon Bream told SurvivorNet.
“It was just such a beautiful thing to see that people you’d probably never know or meet still wanted to help bear your burden and pray through your difficulties with you,” she added. “That was just a really inspiring thing for us.”
The experience also taught them early on in their relationship that “there is a lot of strength in sticking together.”
“We like to say that, ‘We’re not perfect but we’re perfect for each other.’ I’m his number one fan and I think he’s mine,” Shannon said. “When you’re actively looking to uplift and take care of someone else and you’re both doing it in a marriage, it’s a very healthy thing.”
This is something actress and melanoma survivor Jill Kargman can attest to as her health scare (cancer) was a true test of her relationship’s strength.
In a previous interview with SurvivorNet, Kargman said the disease “is a great way to find out if you’re with the love of your life or a shithead.”
“I think it presses the fast-forward button on getting to the bottom of that answer, because a lot of people in middle age are kind of at a crossroads, waiting for their kids to fly the coop,” Kargman said. “I think if you’re with someone who is not supportive and kind of emotionally checked out or doesn’t tell you you’re still beautiful with that, this might not be your person.”
Faith During a Health Crisis
During a health crisis, such as cancer or Sheldon Bream’s acoustic neuroma diagnosis, it is important to find ways to cope with the complex web of feelings you may be experiencing.
For some, including the Breams, turning to faith can be a great way to keep spirits high when cancer starts taking an emotional and/or physical toll. In fact, a 2015 National Health Interview Survey found that 69% of cancer patients reported praying for their health compared to 45% of the general United States population.
This was the case for ovarian cancer survivor Monica Layton, whose church congregation helped her both spiritually and physically as she battled cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her church also aided in her recovery after treatment.
Power of Prayer
Prayer plays an important part in providing comfort during cancer
National Health Interview Survey
“(I’ve) gone to the same church for a long time, so it’s like another family that really supports me,” Layton previously told SurvivorNet. “We’re Episcopalian, and when I was having surgery, my priest came to the hospital and stayed and prayed with my family the whole time — and it was a long surgery. And then he came back to the hospital every day to pray with me.”
In addition to praying for her, Layton’s church congregation also sent flowers, cards and a prayer blanket. They often visited her, as well.
“They were so kind,” Layton said. “I think my faith has been very important, crucial for me — just the prayer really helps, I think.”
Contributing: Gayle Jo Carter