Updated: Jan 18, 2021
“When someone has cancer, the whole family and everyone who loves them does, too.” - Terri Clark
On July 13, 2020 at 6:21pm I received the phone call I had been boldly praying for over the last 11 months. My sister called to share that her husband’s pet scan results showed no cancer.
The tears of joy came before she could finish the sentence, and after the phone call I immediately worshiped. I cued up the old wonderful hymn “To God Be The Glory” and gave glory and honor due where it was due.
To give context, my brother-in-law Craig spent the summer of 2019 keeled over in pain, going to multiple doc’s appointments with no answers. On August 11 he was ultimately diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma.
Craig of course by far bore the brunt of this diagnosis. But Terri Clark’s quote above IS true. Cancer brings the patient and all of his loved ones on its awful ride. My heart has often felt as though it were walking around outside my body. There were so many days it was with Craig during chemo and hospital stays; with my sister juggling patient care, parenting, running her business, and juggling a million other things; with my niece and nephew as they processed through heavy emotions; with my parents who made so many trips out there to stay for weeks on end; with the dearest friends who physically live near them who cared so well for them.
I made two trips out to the Northwest to help, but when I was back in Chicagoland all I could do was pray. And now after 9 months of chemo and CAR-T therapy, here we are. This, dear friends, truly is a miracle. And miracles are tied to prayer.
Mark Batterson wrote, “Every miracle has a genealogy. Miracles are the by-products of prayers that were prayed by you and for you. And that should be all the motivation you need to pray.”
Indeed, I know for a fact that there were multitudes of people praying for Craig across the nation and even the world. Many I have met and know by name. And many I do not, but one day in heaven I will have the pleasure of thanking them for carrying my sister and her family through prayer and intercession.
I looked back on something our dear family friend and Hope Writer Kristy Wallace so beautifully said:
“God is not a genie-in-a-bottle or a vending machine dispensing out answers to our limited perspective prayer of the day. But I do believe that bold prayers honor God and He honors bold prayers. Prayer changes us. Changes our hearts in all the best ways.”
So many bold prayers were prayed, and on behalf of my family I want to say THANK YOU.
But just as much I want to declare that God is the God of both the valleys and the mountains.
This is a truth our family has read about in the Bible and has fully and intensely experienced for the past year and a half in a number of ways.
Let me assure you that God was just as much there in our deepest darkest times as He is now in our time of celebration.
Dear ones, if you are going through a difficult time, let our family’s story be a testimony of clinging to God during your times in the desert and in your times in the most fruitful gardens. May it be a testimony of bold prayers. Of believing in miracles. And of stating and reminding God that He is who He says He is.
He is the One who can make a way when there is no way.
He is the One who can heal.
He is our Comfort.
He is our Guide.
He is our Strength.
He is a Miracle Worker.
He is our Song.
If there is a difficult situation you are finding yourself in, the best thing you can do is dive into the truths about God. What does He say about Himself? Declare it back to Him as you pray. It strengthens your spiritual muscles and it puts things in motion that we cannot understand this side of heaven.
Waymaker by Leeland was on constant repeat over the last several months. I encourage you to listen to that, but don’t just listen. Attach your heart to its truths and point your affirmations upward toward God.
Such bold prayers can be answered. We do not know if they will be. But we must at the very least believe that they CAN be.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
And finally, Isaiah 51:3 says, “For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”
Join us in thanking God in our time of joy and gladness.
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