Much has happened in the last two weeks that I want to share with you. All being to give Glory to our faithful, loving and mighty God.
There is a song that is rolling in my heart and has been for the last several days. It is called Wrap Me In Your Arms. The title of this post is a line from this song. And it is what my life has been embraced in visibly since the 31st day of August this year. Don’t get me wrong, I have always known the Lord loves me. It is just that the experience I have gone through the last two weeks has shouted it from the rooftops. Walk with me through this testimony and rejoice in the fact that God loves us all this much!
I have known for 3 or 3/12 years that I have cysts on my kidneys. The standard Dr.’s practice is to have an ultrasound every 6 months. I did that for a year and a half, got tired of spending money to just hear they were cysts so I was a bad girl and neglected it for the next year and a half. Our insurance changed during that period requiring a new Dr. and a new hospital. An ultrasound was ordered (remember I had been a bad girl) with results coming back on August 31 that said there was a possibility of renal cell carcinoma. They wanted to send me to a specialist, maybe do a biopsy, etc. and we would have just gone along with that. You know, you simply trust your Doctor.
Having some friends who had experienced the exact same thing we called them, told them what’s going on and that we needed to know what are the right questions to ask of the specialist. Let me interject here that we owe them our most heartfelt thanks and a great debt of gratitude that she was so insistent we make that phone call. (And for you Vanna and Jerry we continue to pray most sincerely. God bless you both mightily!)
She promptly told us “You aren’t even going to ask me that question, you are going to hang up, pick up the phone and call Cancer Treatment Centers of America and let them tell you what your options are”. At that point I cried and handed the phone to my husband. Within an hour and a half I was a patient at CTCA. The first twenty four hours were a little difficult emotionally. My husband and I both shed a few tears, got strong, then shed a few more tears. As we moved through the process of signing forms for medical record releases, waiting for phone calls and notifying family and friends we waited for that call to come back of where and when are we going. And when it came we were shocked.
By that afternoon our tickets had been purchased at their expense to bring us to Tulsa for evaluation, diagnosis, possible surgery, etc. Within 6 days we were on a plane to Tulsa. At that point I got scared and I went to God. I said ok you’ve been dealing with something inside of me for the last 6 months about preaching what you practice. Out came the writing “Nothing Else But Faith…..Live it”. From that moment forward I had no doubts or fear or what if’s. The Lord made it very clear to me that I was to walk this positive and that if anyone wasn’t alongside me in this way I was to get them out of the way.
We arrived in Tulsa and were picked up by a luxury car sent by CTCA. We were just in awe. From the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we were taken back to the airport we were treated as if we were the most special people in the world. And we are not.
Walking in the front door you just sense the Lord is there. The first person we talk to, well what can I say – spirit recognizes spirit. From that person to every person we were exposed to our entire time there whether it was a Dr./nurse/or the sweet concierge lady named Norma; they loved the Lord and they shared that. It wasn’t just good old Oklahoma hospitality it was the love of God coming through them and the hearts they carried for the people who came there, be it patient or family member. Even down to the sweetest gentleman named Glen who was just a volunteer that came in to play his guitar for people. I’m telling you today, I didn’t go down there for me. I think the Lord did his miracle in me before I ever even got on the plane to leave Idaho. And when you get there you are busy constantly, yet you are given the opportunity to have conversations with these people that shows their faith just pours out. All of the staff there, no matter what their position, all of the patients and families we encountered were just incredibly amazing. We were almost overwhelmed with the love of God that resided in hearts and in that place.
This is not a Christian place per se but it was built with scripture under the carpet and in the walls. We were told right off the bat that we would be walking in the Word and standing on the promises. My husband and I just laughed because at our home we have scripture on our fence. So at home we are surrounded by the Word, and in Tulsa we are standing on the promises and walking in the Word. How could we not have the result we had?
Wednesday was to be a full day with tests and lots of appointments. For those of you who know me you know obviously the first thing I found was a piano. Right before my first appointment and being a little apprehensive I searched for a piano. God being the faithful God that He is, I found piano’s everywhere. Even right around the corner from my room. There was a grand piano right outside the Clinic door and I had been told I could play anytime I wanted to. I sat down and played. This sound that came out of my hands caused me to choke back tears. The Lord clearly showed me as I played that He was going to use me to minister with this sound. You could see it on the faces of the people walking by and sitting and listening. I was amazed at my God. We went through all of our appointments on Wednesday just in awe of these people who were in charge of taking charge of my care. Tests were ordered for Thursday and again we faced a full day.
Everything on Thursday happened so fast yet I found myself at that piano again. This time there is a group of about 20 seated in a circle by the piano. I asked permission of them to play so as not to interrupt conversations/prayer. They encouraged me to play so I did. Again this amazing sound comes that I can only say is from God. It sure as heck wasn’t me. I finish and we go on about our business. Later that day we saw one of the family members from that group and he thanked us for ministering to them through this incredible sound that had come from my hands. We asked why they were there. They were missionaries from Mexico City and his wife had cancer quite seriously. The shirt my husband happened to have on that day said the name of a town close to us in Idaho on it. They asked if we were from there. We told them we were from that area. He then said that one of the churches in that town supported them and they had just been there asking for prayer. His wife was in an extensive surgery. And her name was Debbie, just like mine. We promised to pray for them and hopefully encouraged and ministered to them. (And Mark if you ever read this, we are still praying.) At that point I knew we weren’t there for this Debbie (me) but for that Debbie and her family. And that ministry was through the sound the Lord brought out of my hands and a few words in conversation. Lord, bless them this day.
We wake up Friday morning and it’s our turn. The first thing my hubby says is not good morning honey, it’s “I feel their prayers”. It was like a weight – yet not a bad weight. We knew how many people were praying for us in so many places and it felt as if they all came together at once and we felt that. The very next thing that happens is morning devotion. I open up good old Oswald Chambers for that day, September 10th. It’s about being ready for crisis. It’s about worshiping in our everyday life preparing us for battle or crisis. The Lord has been speaking to my husband for some time about “preparation”.
My husband said someone put it in better perspective. One of the people on staff there said I poured myself out into others lives and she said at the same time I was on the same level – I was still facing the same things they were. She said “I knew that something was going to happen because your faith was so strong”. It wasn’t that we were going to cause a miracle, our faith was strictly on the Lord and whatever it was we said Lord we love you and we stood on that. I was going to get a miracle. No matter what. That miracle may look different than we all expect. I may get a healing. I get the miracle, God gets the glory. I have to walk it out and come out on the other side. I get the miracle, God still gets the glory. Even should there be death, I still get the miracle of seeing Jesus’ face, and God still gets the glory. I went down there with that attitude.
10 am Friday morning I get my miracle. Can we go home now? Two hours later we were on a plane. One of the things we heard was that I was by no means the only miracle. Stories of miracles, of Doctors praying with patients, surgeons/nurses praying with patients abounded. We witnessed amazing things done through things we saw and heard there. The attitude there is so positive; people walk around in their faith so much incredibly so that the Lord’s presence is palpable. You cannot walk in the door without feeling it.
We don’t understand why one is healed and one is not. We don’t believe there is an ABC formula to step through. Many are not healed and we don’t know why. The point is to have faith in God period and to just live for Him and it is all in His hands. He alone knows the outcome.
I’m not special. I do not have any more faith than anyone else. God has a purpose and plan for every one of us. We just have to walk it. Step by step and moment by moment.
As we got on the plane to leave Tulsa the Lord clearly showed me that Faith is not about the process, it is about the processor. As long as you get to that point without putting anything in front of God you’re ok. And most of you know I’m pretty passionate about my God so what came as the final thing was surprising to me. It was a writing called “Who is this God?”. You can click on the link or read it in a previous post on this blog.
Very simply – put all your faith in Him. Trust Him. Miracles aren’t just for special people; they are for all of us. Just the fact that we take a breath in the morning is a miracle. Praise God for that.
Please know this testimony gives our loudly ringing praises to Cancer Treatment Centers of America but more importantly to the God of all creation who is quite simply, Love. A God who wraps us in His arms of love and where we are changed to give Him glory.