As I look back on the 11th anniversary of my lung cancer journey, I am reminded again of God's faithfulness to see me through every season of challenge, adversity and pain. Even when the outcome wasn't what I expected, I've seen God answer prayers in ways I could have never imagined.
This past Sunday, as I stood in church and worshipped God with my fellow believers, I thought back to my first time back to church after my surgery. I was weak, but I was worshipping. The depth of my gratitude for life could not be expressed in mere words. God had healed me and set me free!!! I just remembered sitting in service with tears flowing from my eyes. I was so thankful. And today, 11 years later, from a young college student to a wife and mother, I am yet even more thankful.
For those who may not know my story, in 2007 during my junior year at Oral Roberts University, I woke up on Easter Sunday to an awful cough, only to find drops of blood in my hands. I was concerned, but youth will have you like, “Hey, I’m good!" Well, I wasn’t. I went on to church and things just got worse over the next several days. After a trip to ER with a friend, I found out via CT scan that I had a large mass in my left lung that needed to be removed. I’m in Tulsa. My parents are in Dallas. That was a tough phone call...telling them I had to be picked up immediately because I was very sick. They rushed over and took me to Plano for surgery soon after. Half of my left lung was removed to get the malignant mass out. The doctor told me I wouldn’t be going back to school as soon as I’d hoped, but he promised me he would cut me in a place where it would show through my bathing suit. Bible in tow, knives everywhere...anesthesia flowing through my body... waking up to no mobility and no voice. It was more than I anticipated. But God was in the mix. The head nurse, who “just so happened” to have her last day at the hospital while I was her last patient, was a woman of God. She prayed over me and assured me I would be just fine. My parents never stopped believing God for my healing and walked me through the process. I had to relearn how to walk, and my dad would walk me down the hall in my white robe to help me gain my strength back in my legs. Little did I know that two years later he would be walking me down the isle to meet the man who would walk with me into my new seasons as a wife and mother.
Once I finally got out the hospital and heard the birds chirping in the Spring air, tears rolled down my face. I was alive. So many people don’t make it through this, but God’s mercy kept me. So today I give God praise and honor and GLORY for giving me life and turning my April from mourning an illness to dancing at my wedding two years later on April 26, 2009 and then having my daughter on April 25, 2011.
When I tell you God is a Healer, I know this to be true. When I tell you God will make a way where there seems to be know way, I know this firsthand. If you see me living boldly for Jesus and giving everything I am to build my home and raise Godly seed in the earth, this is why. When your faith has been tested and put on trial by fire, nothing can take away the pure gold that comes as a result. Your faith has become YOURS. May we never forget God's faithfulness and cease to give Him all the praise and glory and honor that is due His Name. May we live in such a way that He increases and we decrease. His Name is lifted high and we bow low in honor of His holiness.
If you are going through an illness or dark time in your life and can't see the way out... or maybe you feel like God isn't hearing your prayers and has left you all alone asking "Why me, Lord?", I pray that as you read my story today, you were encouraged and strengthened in your faith.
With Victory and In Remembrance,
Leave Your Beauty Mark