This is the post I was hoping to never have to write. Nine months. The time from her cancer diagnosis to her death. Nine months of my dear friend Denise being prodded and poked with needles, nauseated, in pain, throwing up, taking chemo, no appetite, trips to the ER, a flight by helicopter for emergency surgery, more cancer, more chemo, severe acne on her face spreading on her head down her back and chest, more sickness, blood transfusion, fluid building, and finally back to the hospital where God would take her home. Denise knew suffering and we around her a different kind of suffering.
I prayed. I believe God still heals. Sometimes it is indeed supernaturally and sometimes by medical means. Each time I prayed with her, or her husband and I would pray, it just seemed God wasn’t answering.
She battled cancer. I battled faith.
Yet, God did answer prayers:
-He brought her through the emergency surgery that removed the tumor blocking her colon.
-From that, she had overcome Stage IV colon cancer and we also gained more time with her.
-God provided financially through family and friends that supported her at the Dee’s Sheltering Tree Facebook group.
-Her hair loss was minimal until the very end.
And there were many smaller prayers answered. Yet not the one for healing. I asked her on occasion how she was doing with God. Was she angry at Him? I know I have had times of anger. But if she was she never showed it or voiced it to me.
There came a point when I didn’t want to pray out loud with her. How many times can a person take hearing someone voice a prayer when it seemed that God was not at work in their situation?
There is an acronym for faith that I always repeat to myself:
The Bible tells us it is God who gives and takes away (Job 1:21). It is He who holds our life and breath (Job 12:9-10). He knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7) and the length of our days (Psalm 139:15-16).
I continued to pray and walk by faith. My trusting Him meant accepting that God had a different plan. It was time for Denise to have complete healing in His arms. On January 7 that is exactly what God did.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:3-4
To not have these things anymore means they had to exist. We will suffer pain, grief, mourning and tears here but not there.
She battled cancer while I battled faith. We both found victory through trusting Him.