Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Upon hearing the news about my tumor, two people have looked at me with a question in their eyes and stated with wonder, “You knew.”  

I did.

And I don’t think God would be pleased unless I took the time to write about the simple reasons why I knew my tumor would leave my lung. Some of you, I know, have been following these posts for 4 years. Many of you have begun to read it only in the past year or two and have missed many of the posts I have written explaining why my faith in healing has been strong.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and consider Him your Savior, it is good to be reminded of the truth that is generally withheld from sermons and teachings. The truth is that divine healing is just as much of a promise from God as His peace, grace, and provision. There seems to be a pervasive reluctance among leaders in our churches today to expound upon the promises of God. I’m not sure why. There is so much power in God’s promises, if you have faith in them.

Faith does not mean that you HOPE in the promises. It means that you know God means what He says in His word. Faith is not believing that God can do something. It is knowing He will.

Dick and I have come to know that God is who He says He is. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He is absolutely faithful to providing what is promised. He cannot change (Malachi 3:6). He keeps all of His promises. Every one.

What were these promises that Dick and I have stood on?

There have been specific promises regarding healing. Here are just a few of them:

Ps 103:4-5        He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.

Matt 8:16-17   Jesus cast out demons with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was written by the prophet Isaiah: He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.

Exodus 15:26   I am the God who heals you.

And then, more simply, there are the promises that Christians see in Scripture and can often recite by heart but they are not taken as promises that God will keep. I hear things like: the promises are all relative, they apply to others and not me, if God hasn’t fulfilled this promise by now, He is not going to, etc. So many believers do not stand on them as applying to themselves. They don’t have faith in them.

These are some of the amazing promises our Creator has made to us who follow Jesus Christ:

I Jn 15:14-15   This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.

John 14:13       I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the father. You may ask Me for anything in My name and I will do it.

Matt 21:22    If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer

John 10:10       The devil comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Mk 11:22-23   Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Dick and I learned that there was not one word, even translated from the original Greek, which excluded physical or emotional healing from ANY of those promises. We knew that healing was God’s will because He sent Jesus into the world to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8), and what did Jesus do? He healed everyone who asked him. If healing was not God’s will, Jesus was violating it every time he laid hands on someone and healed them or delivered them.

So knowing healing was God’s will, we knew we could look at any of the above promises and trust that they applied to my cancer. We knew God would be honored by our faith in the promises without wavering. Without faith, the Bible says, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).

We learned we could cast that mountain of cancer into the sea in the name of Jesus and that it mattered.

And so we held fast.

Did I have some days of despair in 4 years? You bet I did. Plenty of them. Satan did his level best to derail my faith in healing. Pain and nausea and fatigue and constipation and inability to function in general takes a toll and I had a few dandy pity parties. Fear would creep into my soul and I would hide inside of it. But Dick refused to come to any party I threw and always set me back on track and we continued to claim our promises. We claimed them when others rolled their eyes as if we were in denial. We claimed them through the pain. We claimed them when the tumors grew. We claimed them when the cancer cells proliferated. We claimed them only because God said it was so.

You will hear the argument that we cannot dictate to God what His will is in this matter. You are right! You can’t. We didn’t ever tell God what to do for us. HE told US what HE was going to do!! We read and believed.

When God hands you a signed check, you need to cash it, not stow it in your desk of doubt.

People are so afraid of dictating to God what they want to happen that they can’t muster up any faith for what He has already promised WILL happen.

Faith is not conjuring up, through an act of your will, a sense of certainty that something is going to happen. No, it is recognizing God’s promise as an actual fact, believing it is true, rejoicing in the knowledge of that truth, and then simply resting because God said it. Faith turns a promise into a prophecy. A promise is contingent upon our cooperation, but when we exercise genuine faith in it, it becomes a prophecy. Then we can move ahead with certainty that it will come to pass, because God does not lie. (Streams in the Desert devotional, Reiman)

Listen up, believers. Listen and believe. The Bible is very clear about how faithful our Lord is:

Ps 145:13          The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all 
          He does.

Num 23:19        God is not a man, that he should lie; He doesn’t change his mind like humans do. Has he ever promised without doing what he said?

Titus 1:2            God cannot lie.

2 Cor 1:18-20    Jesus isn’t one to say yes when he means no. He always does exactly what he says. He carries out and fulfills all of God’s promises, no matter how many of them there are; and we have told everyone how faithful he is, giving glory to his name.

Psalm 33:4        God’s word is true and everything he does is right.

If these verses are nothing more than strokes of a keyboard on thin paper, then the Bible is a  farce. As Christians, we either take God’s Word at face value, and bank our lives on what He says, or we treat it with a sacreligious relativity. It cannot be both.

If God says it, you can believe it.

Even if you have to wait 4 years and 4 months to see the fulfillment.

Cancer makes you desperate. And our desperation led us to the truth of who Jehovah-Rapha, our Healer God, really was. We began to study and read and pray. And we found the promises. We parked our car of stage 4 cancer at the feet of the throne of God and basically told Him, “You have said that you will give us what we ask for if it is in line with your will. We want this tumor to go away. And we believe you will do it someday. We believe it because You said it. And we will wait.”

We chose to believe God’s words.

We chose faith, not hope.

We chose to absorb the truth and to wait.

We knew.

We are neither “lucky” nor “deserving” nor “a fluke.”

We are kids of the King who chose to listen to our Father and believe Him. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014


A blessed Christmas to you!!

We are a grateful family this Christmas!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


How do you behold a miracle?

How do you bow before your Creator, Savior, Healer and say thank you for life? For a second chance.

          What is man that You are mindful of him? Psalm 8:4

How do you wrap your mind around the fact that the same finger which touched vast emptiness and created out of it the stars and the planets and the human race also touched your own lung?

And Jesus said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."(Mark 5:34)

Oh, yes, Lord!

I have held onto faith in His promises for healing for 4 years and 3 months. I have expected it, every CT scan, every PET scan. I knew I would hear the words, “No tumor” someday. I had faith that when God picked up the pen to write the final chapter of this story, that cancer, the devil’s great destroyer, would not be in the last paragraph.

I just did not realize that when the words would be said, I would still be stricken with such awe, such gratitude, such relief, such joy.

Every prayer was heard. The pain, the fear, the frustration, the sickness, the side effects….it is my monument to the greatness of our God.

My primary tumor, doubled in size in August, is “patchy density.” There was NO TUMOR TO MEASURE. My other two new tumors of August are fibrous tissue. There is a small amount of uptake in the scan, but the doctors cannot say whether this is inflammation or cancer cells. We will re-scan in 3 months.

Medical science will not consider this a “healing” because we need to check the uptake in 3 months. Even then, the doctor carefully said, “We can’t ever treat this as if it is gone.”


My God can treat it that way. And His is the only report I listen to.

I will reserve using the word HEALED until the next scan. But as far as I am concerned, this is pretty miraculous for stage 4 incurable cancer.

I received one miracle on November 5, 1991. I should be this blessed to be seeing another one?

All glory and honor to You, Almighty God. This is Your handiwork. This has Your power, Your faithfulness and Your mercy written all over it.

Monday, December 15, 2014


I spent the week moving my mom into a new apartment. From an academic standpoint, it was all wrong. But in real life, it was so right.

In my Master's program for Gerontology, I had two focus areas: sexuality and aging; and death/dying/grief. I know a great deal about the grief process and how to work through it.

For years, when teaching death and dying, I have given the "party line".......research shows that grieving people, especially elderly people, should NOT make any major decisions or moves for 6 months to a year after a spouse's death. Research shows that often, those decisions, made in the middle of emotional angst, are regretted.

My dad has been gone now for 2-and-a-half months. And my mom decided to move. On nearly every level, this might have felt like a knee-jerk decision, and one that we should have cautioned against. But it felt so very right.

Mom had wanted to be on first floor of her complex from the start, but their name came up on the waiting list for an opening on second floor. She had never stopped wanting to be on the first floor. It was easier to walk down to the dining room and she was tired of elevators. The first floor units were designed with 15-foot ceilings, so they feel incredibly spacious.

A unit became available 2 weeks ago, and though it is smaller, it was love-at-first-sight. Their apartment had a north exposure, faced an industrial (and loud) air conditioner, and was dark. Mom's new place has a southern exposure with light pouring through large windows and a patio, and overlooks the lawn with pine trees!

I brought Sam's bed for her----which he has used for 17 years and doesn't even know yet that I removed from his room----but was once Mom and Dad's first bed when they married. I brought the matching bedside table they used. I brought the quilt that Grama had cross-stitched and quilted for me when I was 7 and used my whole childhood. Mom was touched to tears to walk in and see "her" old bed and her mom's handiwork surrounding her. It was like going home to Jamestown.

My brother Chris and I had a corner of items left in the upstairs apartment to comb through and when we went up to take those last few things out and lock the old doors, we both said how almost suffocating it felt in there. There was sadness living in the walls. When you looked into the bedroom, you felt Dad's pain and suffering. It became a place of isolation and grief for Mom (and really, for us all, as we provided the caregiving). Chris and I could not leave quickly enough and turn in the key.

For a 94-year-old to choose and make this move and deal with re-learning where things are in each drawer and cupboard and re-orient herself in the closets is cause for applause. She is meeting delightful women down on first floor.....many widows.....and she is loving sitting and looking at the trees and drinking in the sunshine. The place makes all of us simply smile. When you walk in, there is a new freedom, a new light and airy feeling in your soul. It is a new start.

I have my first PET scan this week since having radiation in September, trying and failing a new chemo drug, and being completely off all medical intervention for one month. I have no idea what is happening in my body. We will know the results on Friday. My faith is unchanged in healing. With every scan, I wait to hear the words, "No evidence of cancer." 

Maybe Friday.

Thursday, December 4, 2014



I wonder if any other Old Testament figure endured the personal anguish that he did.

The favorite son of Jacob, he was hated by his 10 jealous older brothers who conspired against him and sold him to slave traders, then lied to Jacob, saying that Joseph had been mauled by a stray animal.

Betrayed by his own brothers. Thrown into a pit and then sold as an animal would be. I can’t imagine the pain of that familial betrayal.

He was then sold again by those traders to Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Joseph served well under Potiphar, but his master’s wife wrongly accused him of rape one day. A man of impeccable integrity, I cannot imagine how he coped with the pain of false accusation. On top of his personal angst, he was thrown into prison for the alleged crime.

Each time I read Joseph’s story, I am newly amazed at this man’s tenacity, his confidence in God’s providence over his life, and his boundless determination to see good evolve from evil.

His life ended well, as we know. The prison keeper befriended him and learned of Joseph’s divine ability to interpret dreams. After Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh, he was elevated to a place of prominence and given governance over the land and crops of Egypt, eventually saving his entire extended family from starvation during 7 years of famine that he himself foresaw. 

Joseph’s struggles and burdens have shaped him. His pain has taught him lessons. How do we know this?

Baby names. 

In Genesis 41:51 we see that Joseph names his first son Manasseh, which means “God has made me forget all my troubles.” And then he has a second son and names him Ephraim, which means “God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

He forgot the pain and found meaning in it all. Wow.

So profound were those two lessons that Joseph wove them into the names of his first two children.

As I wallow in the land of uncertainty with cancer, wondering if it is still growing, being off all medical treatment, wondering what my real diagnosis is, wondering if I will have to endure more horrible side effects……. I am brought to my knees with thoughts of Joseph.

He teaches me that God will bring enough healing to me someday that I will forget all of the emotional and physical pain of the past 4 years, and he teaches me that God will bring something fruitful, something of value, from this vast and dark expanse called cancer.

On days when I have a hard time believing that, I only need to flip back to that 41st chapter of Genesis and take my cues from one whose adversity more than rivaled my own. Joseph pressed His soul into His Lord and trusted His sovereignty. He endured his pain. He put one foot in front of the other and kept moving two steps forward, one step back. He walked straight through several hells on earth before God showed His hand.

And then Joseph sees the larger picture. He sees how the path of his pain has brought a blessing to his family.

"What you meant for evil, God turned into good." (Gen 50:20)

Joseph’s finest words to his brothers. 

His verbal magnum opus.

His realization that beauty comes from ashes when you trust that the last chapter in a book of suffering and adversity will always be written by the One who makes the ending one of boundless worth.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


So grateful for these two men in my life who love me deeply and encourage me and make me laugh and support me and pray with me and make my life so very rich!!

So grateful that next Thanksgiving there will be 4 of us in the picture, and that our beautiful daughter-in-law-to-be will be adding new sparkle and dimension to our lives!