(Written by Wendy Gayle Wright Epps, the more talented writer in my house. For those who long to see the Invisible One)
Many of you know about my mom, (Mary Jane Guernsey Wright) needing fervent prayer for what could be serious health issues, and possibly a recurrence of breast cancer. (She is a 12-year breast cancer survivor).
Many of you prayed for her as she underwent testing Wednesday and Thursday. I just wanted to update all of you, and let you see how great our God is by recounting the many awesome ways God spoke to this situation.
Here is a (only partial) “list” of God’s care, provision, and boundless love for my mom in the last 2 days.
Wednesday, a crucial but dreaded, claustrophobia-inducing test for lung issues was administered by an earthly “angel” of a man who exhibited infinite patience with an extremely fearful patient. He continued with the way-over-time testing despite the fact that he was scheduled to leave at a specific time, and even given 2 opportunities to do so. He chose to remain with my mom, realizing a change in technicians at that point would be very detrimental to her ability to get through the testing process. He was able to coach her through the testing despite her crippling fear. Truly God-sent.
We saw the doctor about the test results almost immediately.
My mom’s fear of a diagnosis of lung cancer was decimated by a diagnosis of only mild, treatable asthma.
Thursday was definitely the most worrisome day of testing because cancer-positve results would likely mean surgery, more radiation, and possibly chemo. The fear of returning breast cancer was debilitating and unbearable.
After an extremely painful mammogram, then an ultrasound, the doctor did an additional exam and more ultrasound.
The final diagnosis?
NO CANCER. Only scar tissue.
And even the health concerns for my dad were relieved. As a 12-year prostate cancer survivor, (yes, Mom and Dad actually went through radiation treatments together),
and at 92, his numbers were very nearly zero, and the other health concern turned out to be medication-related and not problematic at all.
There were also the “little” moments when we felt (and heard) God’s peace and comfort during those days.
As we were heading to the doctor on Thursday, listening to the radio, an older, but favorite, song played,
“I Get On My Knees”, by Jacqui Valasques.
Mom mentioned that she hadn’t heard that song in a long time, and that it reminded her so much of Chelsey, (our daughter in Heaven). We talked about how God seemed to be sending love and comfort and peace through that song at that time, and she remarked that if she happened to hear
“I Can Only Imagine”, she would KNOW God was doing that for her.
(A very personal song to our family, also associated with our daughter, Chelsey, and sung at her funeral).
After the incredible, wonderful news on Thursday, we decided to celebrate by enjoying breakfast at a new restaurant. We sat down, began looking at the menu, and the server came by. Mom mentioned her relief that she had just received a very welcome diagnosis of no cancer, and the server sat down beside her and kind of gave her a little hug and congratulations.
All through breakfast, we talked about all that God was doing for Mom (and Dad), and how the prayers of so many were being heard and answered.
How a Facebook post turned into an opportunity to ask for prayers, and how that gave hope and encouragement at a time of great fear.
And how we should always be watching and listening for God’s messages as proof of His presence in every aspect of our lives, and wondering just how many of those moments we miss.
As we got in the car to head toward a little “retail therapy”,(which, for Mom, happened to be a new pair of blue suede boots!), we heard the unmistakable first strains of that beloved song, “I Can Only Imagine”.
It was as if God reached out His hand and gave yet another unexpected gift to His precious and beloved child. Because that is EXACTLY what He did.
There are (I’m certain) many other God-moments we missed, (the dreary, rainy day on the way to the appointment was transformed into a perfectly beautiful, “bright, sunshiny day” when we left there!), and there will be many more times that we so desperately need them. Others are in situations that, to them, are more painful, or traumatic, or worrisome than these, and God can give them exactly what they need to feel His presence in those moments as well.
He is with us.
He never leaves us.
He is faithful to complete His work in us.
He cherishes us.
His love is unfailing, everlasting, unshakable, boundless…
He tells us so, over and over, in His love letter to us:
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.””
“In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.”
“I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.”
“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
“’Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?”
“In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?”