The first reaction I had, was no reaction.
The doctor did not declare my life was coming to an end – it was the prognosis given to my best friend and roommate, Monica. I wasn’t in the room when she was presented the ‘official’ news, but she shared it with me very calmly and quietly. I had a million questions that I couldn’t verbalize for a few, very long minutes. Oxygen was being sent to our house that day and I knew we were going to walk out her last days on this earth.
I had seen Monica’s pain increasing over the last few weeks and her stamina decreasing. I noticed she had episodes of breathlessness and maybe I was a little fatalistic, but I never believed there would be treatment options available to her. She was now told she had stage four melanoma. But even with my knowledge of the situation, that prognosis almost made me vomit. Amazing how spoken words can affect the physical body!
What do you do in those moments?
Fight with everything you have? Relent and decide to live as comfortable as possible? Do you call everyone you need to ‘get things right with’? Do those thoughts even cross your mind initially? Well, Monica’s journey was not a normal one as the weapons she had chosen to fight with were food and faith. Neither sound odd but both did not seem powerful enough to cure what she had. At least those were my thoughts back then.
Now, many years have passed, and I’ve gained enough wisdom to know how wrong I was to underestimate faith. God created the world in six days, and yet I questioned whether He could heal Monica. We gloss over sentences like that, God created the world in six days and forget the magnitude of what He did. These are words that should affect us and give us incredible gratitude and joy in every day. What have you accomplished in the last week? Look around you – this country, this world, the galaxies all created by God’s spoken word. Those people you love and those you try to love – God created them. It’s hard to wrap your mind around it, but I watched Louie Giglio’s “Indescribable” and it helped me have a better concept of the scale of God’s creation.
No, Monica was not physically healed and in fact, she suffered a great deal of pain in her last six months.
Along with the pain she also had swelling which began in one leg but due to a tumor blocking her lymph nodes, the swelling began taking over her body causing her extremities to weep (or leak fluid). She was bedridden and dependent on others for everything. Even so, what she did with those months is nothing short of miraculous. As her chosen people watched her physical condition deteriorate, her spiritual condition strengthened beyond what we could comprehend. Her faith (called crazy by many) impacted not only her experience but, more so, impacted the lives of the people privileged to be with her during her journey. Twice she said to me, “Don’t you give up on me”– with the second time being only two days before she died.
If you are facing similar circumstances or if someone you love was just given a bleak prognosis – you know and have felt how everything shifts in an instant.
You can never live in the same world you did just 5 minutes prior to hearing those words. If your world has changed due to similar circumstances, you are not alone! There are many others out there who are currently walking or have previously walked this out. However, and more importantly, God is there for you…He is always there for you. Regardless of the outcome, your relationship with God, your closeness to Him, will absolutely and without doubt, change the journey you must walk out.