Maureen with grandson Charlie
Confronted with a rare incurable
cancer, Maureen remains courageous
In November 2010, while holidaying in New Zealand, Maureen Payne developed
serious back pain that was soon to be revealed as a fast-growing incurable
cancer that had originated in her pancreas, spread throughout her abdomen and
has since entered her lymph glands and other places.
“It’s a rare cancer,” Maureen says. “I have had many
sessions of chemotherapy but the cancer remains active. At worst I have a few
months to live, at best a few years.”
Although she is face-to-face with an early death, Maureen is not afraid of
what will happen to her.
“Of course, I was shocked when I was first given the news,” she
expresses. “I was also saddened for myself, my family and later for my
friends who would miss me.
“But I can honestly say that this year has been filled with joy, peace
“As a Christian, I have felt within me the Lord’s closeness and
comfort, which has given me great joy. I have felt a peace, strength and
courage despite my circumstances that can only come from God.
“I have been given all that I need to cope with what I am going through.
God willing, this will be the case to the end!”
Maureen says she does not know the reason God has allowed this suffering, but
she firmly believes that some good will come from it, as
Romans 8, verse 28says that God works all things for the good of those who love Him.
“I can’t believe how many friends of mine and my family have come
to church recently because they know how much this pleases me. God can use
their love for me and seeds can be planted as they hear the word of
Maureen prays that their hearts will be opened by God to desire His
forgiveness and want to live for Him with the assurance of everlasting
Her journeying to her present relationship with Jesus did not begin in
comfortable circumstances, but through many difficulties early on.
“I am an only child — both my parents died when I was relatively
young. My mother when I was 16 and my father when I was 25.
“From a young child I have had an awareness and love for God. My parents
were not Christians but I went with my grandfather to a church where I always
felt close to God. I can remember I would feel sad that I had caused Jesus
such pain but I was grateful that He gave His life to take the punishment for
“I had always thought that loving Jesus was all that was necessary and
required of me to go to heaven. I since have learned that trusting in and
obeying Him is equally as important.
“A failed first marriage and some bad choices were made when I wanted to
be in control of my own life. My wrongdoing lay heavily on my heart and I
wondered how I got to where I was.
“During this time a friend who was a born again Christian had been
sharing with me over a long period of time what she believed. I was convicted
that she had the truth. My life then changed.
Maureen with grandson Joshua
“I confessed my sins as the Bible says in 1 John 1, verse 9. This verse
promises that ‘if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to
forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ I then
asked Jesus to take control of my life and it seemed that physically a huge
burden of guilt was lifted from me. I also knew from the truth of God’s
Word that He had forgiven me.”
Now 20 years later, Maureen knows God never breaks His promises.
“I know that God will take care of me no
matter what the circumstances are — He has control of my life.
“I live in the promise of Proverbs chapter 3, verses 5 and 6, which
says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your
“Now as I live each day I face choice after choice. I don’t always
make the best choices but I do desire to please my God.”
For Maureen, staying on God’s path has given her strength to get through
“When I think back and said ‘yes’ to Jesus, and I put my
life in his hands, I had no idea then what I would gain,” she
“I have since realised what a privilege it is to be a follower and
disciple of Jesus. Because He died for my sins and rose again, I have no fear
for the future and I am able to live an abundant life today.”