OPINION: Ramie – this is what gratitude looks like

Ramie was so positive about her cancer treatment that she viewed everything as a miracle – from doctors’ appointments to chemo sessions

Psalm 95:6-7  Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.

Isaiah 43:2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.


Life is full of storms, and your response to each uproar that comes your way truly matters. Watching my friend Ramie battle cancer a while back reminded me of a quotation from my favourite children’s book, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

In Alcott’s words, “I’m not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship.”

Ramie has unknowingly taught me many things. She embodies a strength I could never mimic in my lifetime.

This scripture rings so true to me – Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

It may not be labelled as a temptation, but it highlights that life is filled with highs and lows, and the challenges we face are conquerable monsters along our journey.


In the initial stages of Ramie’s treatment, a donor approved a grant to cover her medication costs. My friend expressed gratitude to God, celebrating as if her cure had already been found.

Ramie’s check-up appointments were particularly amusing. Whenever I grew uneasy about her diagnosis and voiced my concern, she would lighten the mood by sharing humorous stories about her interactions with caregivers.

The beauty of a heart

One day while in South Africa for treatment, she video-called me to show what she was wearing to her doctor’s appointment. The highlight of her outfit was her famous blonde wig – the one she wore every time she felt on top of the world.

“My doctor didn’t recognise me when he saw me today!” Ramie cheered. She looked so well and bubbly.

The way she pushed for her biopsies and surgery to be done quickly, just to liberate herself, was something I found unthinkable. These procedures are not a walk in the park … but that’s just who Ramie is. She was so positive about her treatment that she viewed everything as a miracle.

Every conversation with her during her treatment was an opportunity for me to discover how beautiful a person’s heart could be.

In one conversation we had, I remember saying to her, “If we had been more sensitive in the spirit and prayed against infirmities a few years ago like we do now, maybe you could have escaped the cancer.” To my surprise, her response was, “Jasmin! I wouldn’t have paid attention to you then.”

In the words of Louisa May Alcott, “I’m not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship”

To Ramie, this infirmity was a golden opportunity to discover a relationship with God and she wasn’t going to trade that for anything. Another thing she constantly emphasises is how fortunate her children are, because she now knows how to bring them up in the fear of the Lord.

This reminds me of David’s gratitude in the Book of Psalms. His approach to God has always been unique. He dances before the Lord, praises His name, slips in his requests, and then says “thank you” again, magnifying God in a way that you wouldn’t believe any man could.

Keep on pushing

Ramie’s gratitude was unmatched. She chose to see the glass as full instead of half empty.

What else could explain her never-ending streak of luck?

In life, when you can withstand the storm and the wind doesn’t blow you away, why not adjust your sails instead of trying to adjust the wind? Just wait until you see why God took His time and didn’t act according to your schedule.

If you’re battling a storm alone or against the odds, stay strong and keep pushing.

The Christian walk may seem challenging at times, but the hardest paths lead to the greatest destinations. The toughest climbs lead to the best views. It will all be worth it in the end.

The hardest paths lead to the greatest destinations. The toughest climbs lead to the best views

The most difficult walk you can take is the one you take alone, and sometimes “alone” means the Master’s interruption within which lies the template of your becoming. But that solitary walk is what makes you strongest and builds your character the most.

Regardless of your circumstances, praise God, and His hand will continue to be evident in your life. David’s heart of gratefulness led him to victory in every battle. Stay strong and keep pushing.

Jasmin Zubida Baidoo

Jasmin Zubida Baidoo’s dawn devotional “Hosting His Presence” airs on Asaase 99.5 Accra every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday morning (4.25am-4.55am).

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