NOW is the time to pray

My amazing friend Debora, who knows pretty much everyone in Tallahassee, is having a PET scan today. At 1:30 actually. I think in the past she got her results faster (maybe immediately, but that might have been a different type of test) than I have but we’ll see. So please, please devote a minute to praying for her accurate test results to show that all of her stage 4 breast cancer has disappeared.

Debora prayed for my miraculous healing then was diagnosed with the same thing just three months later. A ton of things have happened since then, and we have been amazed at how the Lord used her journey to draw others close to Him.

With that said, I know she was healed and I want this PET scan to show it. I know, we should be content in all circumstances. And God doesn’t heal everyone. And we all have to suffer. But do you know what else? Jesus healed all who came to Him. And He told His disciples to go out and heal the sick (Matthew 10:8). Are we bigger sinners than the disciples? Probably. Well, we might be better than Judas. Sometimes. But sin is sin, and there is only one Holy Spirit. It’s the one who came down as a dove and rested on Jesus. Then at pentacost the rest got it. So…was that Holy Spirit more powerful than the one we have today? NO. Did He care about healing back then but change His mind? NO. Did He love the people from back then more than He loves us today? NO. NO. NO.

James 5:14-16
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

I wasn’t healed because I deserved it. He did it so all could see His glory. How He answers prayer. How He provides hope in a hopeless world. I want everyone to get to share that hope and joy that comes when you get to share His miracles. There is nothing like it. I can’t think of a better day than October 9, 2013 for Debora to get to do that. And for all of us, who have prayed without ceasing for her, to get to hear it.

A few other little things–I was honored at the Cards for a Cure event that is a fundraiser for the TMH Cancer Center. It was so cool. We had a lot of friends there which made me so happy. And it made the small talk, etc. much more fun. Before my little speech they showed a video that I’ll put the link to here. It’s on Facebook so if you aren’t a member and it doesn’t let you see it tell me. Cards Testimony Video

I don’t have time to brag about all the awesome stuff God has allowed me to witness lately, but it’s a lot! At that event there were 450 people, mostly those I didn’t know, gathered there to fight cancer. And they all got a brochure with my story, saw the video, and applauded when I gave a speech that said God was the hero of my story. It was a secular event so I was surprised I didn’t get booed off the stage, let alone to have people clap! And tons of people approached me later and said it was so brave of me to say that. I guess in their world it takes more courage to share the truth than I was aware. It was SUCH a huge blessing, I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

The last thing is that a few weeks ago I missed noting an important day on here. I feel really awful about it. It was Mesothelioma Awareness Day. You know, breast cancer gets a whole month of press and everywhere you turn you see something pink to raise awareness. People with Mesothelioma just get one day and who even noticed it? It was September 26. Apparently most people diagnosed with it get just 7200 hours to live. That’s 300 days. The man who sent me the information about it said his wife is a rare survivor of it. So, please check out this website and keep that awful disease in your prayers.

I love you all. Seriously. I do.

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Tests

Got the PET scan results today…no cancer! It’s been at least a year since I had any evidence at all of cancer. I knew I was healed of the life-taking disease last Groundhog day (who knew that was a real holiday?!), but there was still a bit of minor cancer in my original tumor. The scan I had around last Memorial day though showed no cancer cells at all. And it’s still gone a year later. He did it, He kicked Satan and his disease out of my body and replaced it with healthy, viable cells (Deuteronomy 7:15).

Remember when Dr. Litton, the special expert I saw at MD Anderson, told me I would never be cancer-free for even a day? Me too. That was a lie from the destroyer, meant to blast any hope we had left into tiny shards that would poke at anyone whose path we crossed. But God Almighty turns all things the enemy intends for evil into good. That bad news is now part of my testimony, which I will continue to share at every opportunity. The testimony that cries, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)

Around this time last year I got to share my story when the Ride for Hope gave me their “Hero for Hope” award. It was an honor to share what God did amongst a secular group, and it was really cool to get that award. It is a great group of amazing people and raises funds for the TMH cancer center. That event will be held this weekend and they need volunteers. If you live in Tallahassee and have time, please volunteer! Or if you are a bike rider jump into the race! You can get more info at http://therideforhope.com/

If you are reading this, even if I don’t know you personally, thank-you for supporting my family and me through thoughts, prayers and shares. I had a deadly disease that by all accounts could not be cured with medicine. Now it’s gone. God did that. Because so many of us asked and believed He would do it. He did it for His glory, so that all would recognize His awesomeness. If you don’t see it now, you have your reasons. It doesn’t matter what those are, they all boil down to you being closed off to the Holy Spirit. All of us have those moments; for some they last seconds, for others a lifetime. The truth is that we all have a chance to open our hearts and accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Doing that will take us down a path to spending an eternity with the Lord. But most of us won’t go that way. In many ways it’s easier not to believe and follow God. But if we don’t we will suffer because of that choice forevermore. I pray that this experience God has involved me with will be the catalyst many need to decide to take the narrow path toward the Lord. 

“Enter through the narrow gate.<span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

PET scan and Ballet

I had a PET scan on Thursday. Dr. Crooms sent me because it’s been a year since my last one. The one last year was the first PET scan I had ever had with no cancer at all. I haven’t gotten the results yet but know they will be clear. This will mark one year without any evidence of disease. During the test I had no nerves. I felt like an old pro, I wait for the results without a hint of fear. This confidence comes from God (2 Cor 3:4) and is one of the hugest internal improvements I’ve had since the start of this journey with cancer.

Abigail has the confidence from the Lord, too. I was reminded of it this weekend at her dance recital. I can look back on the day I was healed as the best news I’ve ever received, but as for best experiences ever, it pales in comparison to watching Abi do ballet. Her first recital was this time last year and I felt the same both times. Watching her dance with the grace of a five-year-old brings up every emotion I have felt since I had her. Her sweet smile brings me peace and joy. As she gallops across the stage I remember the ups and downs of bringing a child into the world to love, trying to carry her through the difficult times, and seeing her land seamlessly on her feet after all she’s endured. All my prayers about her not having to lose her mom were answered and nothing hints that she’s had to become wise beyond her years. Instead she exudes love. She shines like the brightest star, not like someone with doubts, who looks over her shoulder for danger, someone who fears taking a deep breath. She poses with the grace of a young lady who is entirely secure and for that I am extremely grateful and motivated. There is nothing more perfect than watching her dance and I know the Lord enjoys seeing His child perform, too. I know that we who struggle with adversity are hurt but not destroyed (2 Cor 4:9), and we should all strive to dance for Him as though we too were happy five-year-olds.

2 Samuel 6:14, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord.”

God has been so amazing to us…always! He answers prayers, looks out for our best interests, and changes our hearts to line up with those interests. How great and majestic is He? How He loves us better than our earthly fathers! How He aches with us, yearns for us, sees through us. He is the Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth and all good things. He is to be feared not because of what He can do to us but because of His awesomeness! Everyone gets a chance to draw close to Him. Your chance is now.

Updated Prayers for today, Monday and beyond

In case anyone on here is a prayer warrior (I know the answer to that!), there are some upcoming important events for a few of the severe illnesses I’m following. I have been trying to not give away as much identifying info as I did in the past so that’s why I’m just using initials:

Today (Thursday) from 6-7 pm we will be praying for DP. She is undergoing chemo and was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer a few months ago. She has an upcoming CT scan and Friday is her chemo day. There is a specific prayer we’re all praying for her. If you want to join in, email me and I’ll forward it to you. Please pray that she will believe not just that God CAN heal her, but that He WILL heal her. Pray for her continued comfort and ease of treatments, and that she will enjoy every moment and blessing around her.

“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith and DO NOT DOUBT, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe you WILL receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Mth 21:21-22.

Monday we will be fasting and praying for AA.AA has a really crummy case, too. Six years ago she was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer called endometrial stromal sarcoma. I think there were only 300 cases then or something. It was Stage 4 upon discovery, but she was miraculously healed. When I was first diagnosed, everyone from church told me about her, as the example of how one could be healed. Well, a tumor recently returned and Dr. Crooms removed it (Dr. McAlpine is her other amazing local doctor, woohoo!). There are no tests and very little treatment for this rare condition. Her youngest daughter is 13 now, and this fear of recurrence is the last thing she needs. The last thing anyone needs. I’m particularly saddened by it because the return can make AA lose confidence that she was ever healed in the first place. She is getting another opinion from MD Anderson next week. They’re obtaining her slides and reviewing them that way, so we don’t know Monday is it. But it’s a good day to petition the Lord, in unity, for her true, final healing. There is some debate about whether it is low or high grade, so she would like us to pray that it is low grade. I will be praying for her confidence and peace as she trust the Lord with her health, and that there is no evidence of any sort of disease in her, forevermore.
An elder from church is also a doctor, and he blogged about AA. All the details are here, ipressontothegoal.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html

Phil 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 minds in Christ Jesus.”

A young lady named JH was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, and felt the Lord guided her away from the traditional treatments. She has no children but desperately wants them, so she had her eggs frozen and recently began a clinical trial for a non-chemo drug. She is having a CT scan on July 26. I don’t know what day she’ll get the results so that’s the day I’ll be praying especially hard.

James 5:14-16, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has GREAT POWER as it is working.”

Please pray that all these women will have supernatural peace and belief that God is in control. Pray they will boldly push aside any doubts that they will be healed, and instead embrace the opportunity to be a part of His glorious plan–a plan that involves their true hope, full healing, and awareness of His glory. Pray they will live as though they have already been healed, the way Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. Pray they will persevere in the face of odds, and they would be protected from the evil one who comes to destroy them. Pray this experience will strengthen, rather than ruin them, mentally and physically.

There are three other cases to pray about, but I don’t know what they have coming up so I’ll wait to post them. For the most part, I don’t think it matters when you pray for someone, but if we’re joining together for the common purpose it feels right to do it at the same time. “For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them” Mth 18:20

Whenever I set aside specific times or days to praying for something like that, I fast from food and entertainment when possible. Once in awhile fasting from food makes me very sick, so I take that as a sign to eat. The idea is to stay as focused as possible on the thing you’re praying about. Also, when the disciples couldn’t drive out a certain demon, some Bible translations say Jesus replied, “this kind can only come out by prayer and fasting.”. Some versions don’t say the fasting part, so I imagine there’s controversy in the original Arameic term. But, I figure we are called to fast at times, and if there is a chance that some situations are dire enough to require fasting, it wouldn’t hurt. When I give up a lot of things like that I’m also more attuned to what God wants, so I pray more in synch with Him.

“When you fast, do not look somber like the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Mth 6:16

PET Results and Whatnot

I guess I never got around to reporting my most recent PET scan results–ALL CLEAR, hooray! At this point it’s not exactly a surprise because I already knew I was healed. But it is great, great confirmation!

I am still praying about having radiation and taking the Tamoxifen. These are expected by my healthcare providers but I have a hard time doing it while knowing I’m healed. However, the more I pray, the more I believe God wants me to keep it up. So, we’ll keep praying and planning  on it. The short version of the reason to do it is that these things keep the cancer from coming back. I just have a hard time with God wanting me to do it, because that hints again that there’s a chance it will come back. But I felt the same way about finishing chemo and He showed me some other good reasons to go through with it, such as the people I got to speak to because of it. 
There’s a fundraiser this weekend called the Ride for Hope (www.therideforhope.com). They are going to recognize me tomorrow because I’m supposedly a “Hero for Hope”. I am still wrapping my head around this. It is one of the nicest things man has ever done for me, but I’m just accepting the honor on God’s behalf. 
It will be a great chance to tell people about true Hope, the God of Hope. Hope that is more powerful than circumstances. The great Hope that opens more doors than any man can. The Hope that saw me through this mess, and will see anyone else through theirs. No matter how bad it seems. Or even how minor the situation can appear to other people. God gives this hope freely, we just have to ask. And believe. He will give anyone hope, the only problem is that it doesn’t always look the way we want or expect it to. I think it can be really scary to hope in things we do not see because it’s giving up control. But if you do it right, it’s exhilarating to release that control, especially as it’s a perceived notion anyway–none of us really have control, we just think we do.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13 
Romans 8:24-25, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
That took a different direction than I originally intended. But it’s all true so maybe someone needed to read it. Blessings to you all!

Love

I know a lot of you have been waiting for an update and I really appreciate the prayers and concern. It turns out we won’t find out what the PET scan showed until Thursday. I thought waiting that long might kill me, but it’s not so bad. The truth is that in the grand scheme of life, God’s plan, and PET scans, it doesn’t matter. God could choose to use that as a demonstration of His power and love, or He could use it to show that we need to cling to Him harder, pray more. Love more. Because above all else, God is love. He has been forever, and will be for always.

I think I forgot about love lately. I’ve been increasing my efforts to be really present with the kids and Yaacov, so there have been times that God hit me over the head with it. Like the other day when Naomi was napping. I normally try to rest at that time so Abi takes quiet time but instead we sat outside on a blanket, enjoying the beautiful day God created, and talked about important 4-year-old girl issues. It was so much more meaningful and memorable than anything else I could have done. 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” God made that day. That child. Gave me the time to enjoy it. Yes, God is love.

Tomorrow!

I was in a Bible study this morning and the speaker mentioned 2 Thessalonians 3-4, “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.” She posed the questions, “How has your faith grown lately? What evidence is there that your faith has changed?” My iniitial thought was that my faith has grown a ton and the evidence is all the people who’ve been moved by this situation.
Then God reminded me that none of that is true. I am depending on Him because I HAVE to. I don’t have the luxury of choosing to trust Him or the doctors, because the doctors are telling me they have nothing worth trusting. I mean, I want to trust Him anyway, but I can’t say I definitely would if the situation was different. And the truth of all this ticks me off. Even though I’m physically doing well, I still feel like I’m going through hell. I’m furious at myself that I still can’t get it together. Still haven’t learned what I need to. Still am not the Christian I should be. Not the woman I should be. Not the mother I should be. Or the wife. The chef. Even the housekeeper.

If this journey doesn’t get me where I need, what will it take?  I will keep trying no matter what. 2 Thess 3:13, “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”

On another note, I’m really excited for tomorrow’s PET scan. No matter the results, it’s in God’s hands and I trust Him fully. But I still can’t wait to see what happens. Thankfully His awesomeness does NOT depend on my awesomeness, and it never will.
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