Clinging to Jesus Through Cancer: An interview with Kyla Pace

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Editor’s Note: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we are closing our month of posts focused on learning with an incredible podcast that has much to teach us on how to respond to cancer, as well as to all of life’s unwelcomed surprises. Listen to this inspiring story and then, please, be faithful to regular mammograms. 

My friend, Kyla Pace, is one of those women who oozes Jesus. I’ve known her for over a decade, through some of the most challenging seasons of her life, and can honestly say that Kyla walked as intimately with Jesus in good health as she did throughout her recent battle with cancer…in fact, I’d say she walked even closer in the crisis. 

As we sat down to talk about the roller-coaster ride she’s been on over the past year, one theme rose to the surface: the importance of depositing Truth into our hearts. 

The “C” Word and A Surprising Response

Kyla shared the details of the devastating day she heard the words, “you have breast cancer,” and her response. Having no idea her world was about to change (she was 35 years old, with no family history of cancer), Kyla went to the doctor’s appointment alone. Likewise, she stood alone when the woman who did her biopsy shared the news. Kyla gathered her purse, with tears streaming down her cheeks, stopped at the window to check herself out, made her way to her car, closed the door, took heavy breaths…and began to praise God.

A heart of praise. Kyla described the overwhelming comfort that came over her while sitting in her car; she physically felt the peace of God surround her. Although she was scared and shaken while driving home, what came from her heart and mouth was praise—words like “God, I love you” and “God I trust you.” Does this reaction seem unrealistic or unimaginable? Kyla would describe it as a supernatural moment. 

None of us know how we will respond when the bottom falls out from under us, but what I do know is that what’s already inside of us comes rushing out.

Clinging to Jesus

Kyla and I talked about the years before her cancer diagnosis; years characterized by what she called a “heart miracle” in her, where God completely shifted her understanding of grace, causing her to fall crazy in love with Him, and a “marriage miracle,” where she and her husband did the hard work to repair brokenness. Look at that timing--major seasons of heart change in the years leading up to her diagnosis. One resulting in deeper love for Jesus and the other a deeper love for her husband, both of which Kyla said she could not have made it through cancer without. She daily clung to God’s Word and her husband’s support, recalling how cancer made their marriage even stronger.

Does this all seem impossible? Does praising God in a major life storm seem ludicrous? Kyla shared one of the scriptures that she clung to for dear life, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). As Kyla cried out to the Lord (many days on her face, in her closet, with the door closed), of course she prayed for healing, the ability to continue raising her four children and that God would be glorified through her trial. Yet, she also recalls how meditating on the above words that Jesus cried out in the Garden just moments before He was arrested, tried, and hung on the cross gave her strength—strength to also pray “not my will, but Yours, be done.”  

Thankfully, Kyla is cancer-free today, homeschooling her kids and using her story to encourage others, but I’m convinced that even if the outcome had been different, her response of praise would have remained.

I hope you will take the time to listen to my entire conversation with Klya—I promise you will be blessed by her story! You can find a direct link to the podcast here or go to Uniquely Beautiful Stories podcast in iTunes and

What about you? I would love to hear how you’ve sensed the Lord near to you in times of trouble.


Meet the Author!

Heather McAnear is a wife, mom, author and speaker with a passion for sharing God's truth to help women understand their uniquely beautiful design and how to use it for God's glory! In fact, Heather hosts the Uniquely Beautiful Stories podcast on iTunes in hopes do just that! She loves teaching young married couples with her husband, homeschooling their three children, traveling the world, enjoying good chocolate and long conversations in coffee shops. CRBC has been her church home for two decades and she is thrilled to be part of the Women's Ministry team, helping women connect with each other and grow in their walk with Jesus!