When all you have is Christ, you find Christ is all you need.
After years of excruciating and exhausting pain in my back, doctors discovered and radically removed a softball-sized tumor from my pancreas. Nineteen years a go I was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was 23 years old with my entire life ahead of me. I had just finished college with two degrees; met Jack, an incredible man one month prior and was interviewing for my hard sought after career. I was told by the doctors that there was no hope, no cure, to go home and enjoy the remaining of my life; that I had maybe 10 years to live and that I was surely going to die. The prognosis was fatal; no one could or ever had survived this type of cancer. I had just been devastated.
Because the type of cancer I was diagnosed with was very rare I sought doctors everywhere including Mayo Clinic in Rochester and MD Anderson in Houston. Although the prognosis was the same, doctors at MD Anderson were treating another patient with the same type of cancer; therefore, I chose MD Anderson Cancer Center.
We went to MD Anderson about every 3 to 6 months for CT Scans and tests. During this time I was trying any and everything to cure this ravenous disease: the herbal teas, hypnosis, shark cartilage pills, mental imagery, massive vitamins and who knows what; there were so many things and books I can’t remember them all. But as it would go the cancer moved rapidly to stage 4; it metastasized to my liver.
As the years went on I had more and more blessing bestowed upon me by God. Most importantly my relationship with Jesus Christ became personal. I believe I knew OF Jesus but I didn’t KNOW Jesus personally. I also married Jack and we adopted two children. All given by the grace and love of God. We continued with appointments to Houston. The cancer in my liver continued to progress and by 2003, I had had several surgeries and chemotherapy both in attempts to reduce the number and size of the tumors but there was no hope that either could be used to eradicate the disease. With every appointment the situation grew worse. There were more tumors in my liver and of the ones there prior they were bigger. I had so many tumors in my liver they could not be counted. And although a liver transplant is possible, they are rarely performed for patients with cancer for fear the cancer will simply attack the new liver. I was therefore not a candidate for a new liver unless all hope was virtually gone. Even though I had lived well past the 10 years they had given me in 1985 the doctors at this point had nothing to offer. And I had tried all the home remedies I knew… Thus, the title of my article. I began to surrender my will to His will. You see through my story, my 19 years of battling cancer I was truly healing but not in the physical sense. God was healing my heart. There was a time in my life when my heart was more terminal then my liver. But by doing a work in my heart did not mean He would heal my liver in this world.
In the fall of this year, 2004, I was scheduled to go back to MD Anderson. But this time not like all the others something was different. This time many people were praying for me: Pastor Joe Wright, the Central Christian body, my Bible Study group, many, many moms, my husband’s office personnel throughout the country and so many friends and family. I realized that this appointment was different. I had a blanket of peace around me unlike the usual anxiety that comes with every other appointment. I prayed for healing from God; that if it be His will that I be cured of this disease for HIS Glory; that it be His miracle.
I felt the presence of God with me that He was hearing my heart and prayers but that His grace was sufficient. I kept hearing Him tell me that His grace is enough. I knew I could accept that. I am a true believer in His will that if I surrender my will His plans for me are perfect, perfect if I will but surrender. And I know that my own personal sufferings in every aspect of my life not simply my health but all sufferings have helped me to rely on Him, to trust Him, to know Him, to know I am His and He loves me more than I can possibly imagine. My life verse confirms that I can rest in Him; that He is completely committed to me. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God isn’t saying the path will be without suffering. He says it will be for the good of all believers. So, I am a believer and having cancer can bring glory to God. I can speak of His hope, His promise which I love to tell the hopeless at MD Anderson. I wanted to be prepared for whatever He had in store this appointment. I prayed Father, God Your will not mine, I’m okay with whatever the outcome. I know that You are in control, that You have a plan for me and that if You take me home You will have a perfect plan for my children and husband. You are the giver and taker of life; Your plans are perfect. And I truly believe in Romans 8:28.
On the way to Houston, my husband and I talked about our expectations. He encouraged that this appointment would be no different than all the others. That there would be more tumors and of the existing tumors they would have grown. But I honestly didn’t feel the same. I felt that the news would be either really good or really bad. And bad seemed to be winning. I knew so many were praying for me and I knew God’s will was perfect if I surrendered. But most of all I heard God whisper “My grace is sufficient.” My heart had surrendered to God that yes He has a plan for me and through this cancer was the suffering that brought me to His feet; through my suffering I have grown closer to Christ. Yes, His grace is sufficient and Yes His plan is perfect. But I felt that I faced a pivotal appointment. I knew God knew and this chapter of my life was written and it would be perfect no matter the news and I needed to trust and stand on Romans 8:28.
I melted into Christ’s arms as I entered the hospital for the battery of tests scheduled. My appointment with the doctor was a couple of days away and we prayed as a family continually that the CT-Scan would reveal a miracle. God is so perfect and humorous if you will but watch for it. We sat in the exam room waiting for the doctor. Dr Levin came in and we did our normal greeting of a family hug and he began. I was ready. I was resting in Christ’s arms. He had carried me here and had heard the fervent prayers of His church. He already knew the news; He wrote the chapter. Christ was looking across at my husband and children and knew their future. Dr. Levin said “The tumors are destroying themselves. They are dying from within. The blood supply has been cut off and that is their food supply. There is no new growth.” “What? What do you mean? How, how could this be? Are they dead, all of them? Am I cured, healed? How? I kept saying How, How, How?” Dr. Levin responded with “You’re just Lucky.” Jack and I looked at each other and laughed. Dr. Levin could have used any other word to describe the miracle but Jesus gave him “LUCK”. LUCK stands for Living Under Christ’s Kindness. That’s the only Luck there is.
Christ chose now; Christ wanted me to let go, to have faith in His plan, to trust in Him and to know that He is in control. It’s His story for me and no matter what, Jesus is all we need.
I am also amazed at how shocking and surreal complete healing is. Flying home from Houston the next day I looked out the window and prayed “Father God, I come to you on my knees in complete and utter amazement; that YOU would heal me. I praise You; I give You all the glory for it was You and only You. You are so awesome, so powerful, so mighty, so loving, so constant and unchanging, so kind, so gracious and you are beyond a doubt sufficient. I owe it all to You. And no matter the outcome I am blessed for I know I will some day wake up in Your arms but it’s not today. Today You have plans for me here, right now. Father God, Lord of my life, I give You the glory for when all I had was You I discovered You were exactly who I needed.
I am forever in debt to all the prayer warriors at Central Christian Church, including the Pastoral staff my women’s Bible Study and the wonderful Academy as well as my faithful family, devoted friends and loyal ProHome partners throughout the country. I want to thank each one of you who lifted me and my family up to our Savior so that He might hear your pleas, hear your hearts and deliver me through HIS hands, His miracle. My life was in your prayers answered by our God. And my life continues to be a testimony for His glory, His mercy and His love. Once again thank you so much for faithfully serving Him. All my love through Jesus Christ,