October 7, 2015
Diane Papazian had always lived her life trying to be a good person; guided by being kind, helpful, loving, and honorable. “I had my faith, having been raised Catholic. I always prayed, thanked God for my blessings, and tried to act in ways that were fair and just in all my dealings.” Diane tells us.
This was Diane’s life until, and through, her faith being put to the test when cancer entered her family in 1998. Seventeen years ago, her younger sister was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. “Certainly I prayed during that ordeal, and God got me through it.”
Through this, her career, and her family, were at the top of Diane’s list of priorities. In 2010, Diane’s career focus had earned her an appointment as Publisher at Family Circle magazine. Things would be changed less than a year later, as God had a different plan for her priorities
In April 2011 cancer returned into her life, where this time it was Diane, herself. Despite having a clear mammogram just six months prior, Diane was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stage II breast cancer. That same week that she was diagnosed with cancer, her dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, as well. In fact, they were both operated on the same day at NYU, just a few floors apart from each other. “Imagine my family dealing with that!” Diane tells us.
It was during this time of battling cancer, that God would use it to speak to her, and it was through prayer that God spoke the loudest. Her Family Circle team, friends, and family “all lifted me up and I realized the power of prayer in my life – real authentic prayer that comes when you have faith, not religion.”
God’s plan for Diane would continue to be shown to her, when shortly after her realization of the power of genuine prayer, she received a flyer from Crossroads Church in the mail. It was the week before Easter, and that piece of mail was inviting people to come to church for an Easter message series on Redemption. Redemption struck a chord with Diane. “At this point I was taken off the front lines at the best job I ever had, and was in a new role that taught me that my first priority should never be a career, as that can change in an instant, and it did. Talk about needing a redemption plan!”
People are brought to a place of redemption through a variety of circumstances. For Diane, it was the diagnosis and battle through cancer. God’s plan used cancer to lead Diane to faith instead of religion, and to Crossroads. “Had it not been for my family and friends, my faith, Crossroads Church, Pastor Ray and my fellow dear sisters and brothers in Christ, I would not have gotten through that difficult time, and weathered all the other storms in my life.”
Through her storms, Diane has leaned on Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Currently, God has used Diane mightily at Crossroads Church as she serves with our Guest Response, Worship, Membership, and Cancer Support teams, just to name a few. Through the path of redemption, her priorities shifted from career, to battling cancer, to honoring the Lord, and now serving Him.
“I serve at Crossroads and know I can make a difference here; and now do everything to honor God in my life. For that I’m eternally grateful.”