Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Anniversary Gift...

Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of God's words of healing to me.  It was at 11:55 pm on September 11th that the Holy Spirit filled my soul with God's promise.  

As I woke up yesterday morning, I thought it would be special to get myself to the little chapel inside of our big church and thank Him for those words.  Just me and God.  And to enjoy the silence that is within that room that offers no distractions.  But it wasn't going to happen.  I came out of my chemo funk yesterday morning, but that didn't mean I hit the ground running.  It just meant that I could talk without gagging.  And eat a couple of mini pretzels.  But I'll take it!

A few hours later, I received a text from my sweet friend and neighbor.  

"Are you OK with me having a friend of a friend with the gift of healing come over and pray for you?"

"Sure," I wrote back.

She had mentioned that they would come by around 7 pm.  So my Mom and sister cleaned up after dinner and removed all of the wonderful items that often sit on our coffee table.  You know the stuff: packets of morphine, anti-nausea and gag medication, stool softener.  TMI?  Doesn't your coffee table hold such items?  No?  Lucky!  

As I lay on the couch, I heard a knock on the door.  My Mom answered it.  The first prayer warrior had arrived.  Within minutes, another knock on the door.  As my Mom let her in and went to close the door, two more arrived.  As she hugged them and went to close the door, three more arrived. It was just like a scene out of a movie -- you know the one when the parents go away for the weekend and the kid invites a few friends over for a party, and within seconds, the whole high school has showed up?  Well, within minutes, I had twelve prayer warriors packed into our family room eagerly awaiting to pray over me.  Two of whom I didn't even know as they were a married couple from England who just arrived at LAX yesterday.  (Just to clarify -- it's not like they were this random couple who, by chance, just happened to show up at our door.  They had recently met my friends while in Africa on a missions trip and just arrived here as missionaries.)

As I saw each face, my tears started to already flow.  The Mom in me was thinking, "It's a school night!  All of you are Moms -- who knows if your kids have even had dinner yet -- but you care enough to come over and pray for me!"  By the time I hugged them, I had already gone through a dozen Kleenex.  

I started off by sharing that this was the two-year anniversary of God's promise of healing to me.  They didn't know that.   Is God's timing amazing?  Yep.

I then read to them the words in Psalm 21 that God had given to me late that night.  I cried even more.

By then, each one had surrounded me as I sat on the couch.  Hands touching my knees, shoulders, top of my head.  As they prayed and thanked God for my healing, I just sobbed.  

These women we call "prayer warriors" are a breed all unto themselves.   They are sold out for God.  They know scripture like they know the path to and from their kids' schools.  They have mighty faith.  They've seen God do mighty things.  They turn out in numbers to pray for God to do the impossible.  Because they know His track record.

For two hours, they prayed, sang, laughed, and cried with me.  The only word that could describe my feelings last night was "overwhelmed."  I WAS OVERWHELMED!!! 

Was I healed instantly?   Nope.  Did I jump up and down on my couch like Tom Cruise and say, "My abdominal bloat is gone!  I feel amazing!"  Nope.  But I can tell you this -- we thanked Him for his healing that, in His time, will be made clear for all to see.

I had told my family this week that if my cancer journey had started out this rough (pretty sick for the past two months), I don't know if my testimony would be what it is.  But as I write this to you right now, I actually do believe that it would be.  Because I know this diagnosis was an answer to prayer.  
"Use me God.  Use me!"  Uh, He is.  Through treatments that have had no side effects to this treatment that is knocking me to the ground five days a week, I am being used.  And I am still grateful.   And I still have peace. 

Just a real note of honesty:  Donna came by to see me earlier this week.  After throwing up and laying back down on the couch, I looked at her and said, "I'm done."  But I knew as I said it, it was frustration.  I've been on our couch for two months.  I don't even remember what it's like to have a sense of real well-being anymore.  To wake up at 6 am, jump in the shower, and go until midnight.  But we all have our seasons.  And this is mine right now.  I say to God, "I know, I know -- in Your perfect timing.  But could you really hurry it up already?"   

So thank you, Lord, for your anniversary gift.
  And for all the gifts you continue to lavish on me.
And to everyone who filled our family room last night, you OVERWHELMED me with your love for me and for our Lord.


  1. Hi Dear Friend,
    I was at my Bible study last night, and we were praying specifically for your healing at the exact same time you mentioned last night! The people in my group are true prayer warriors also. I shared with them that prayers from people who care are the reason I made it through my own cancer struggle. Ruthie, thank you so much for being all God created you to be, even when you feel crummy! I know you don't like to hear it, but you are such an inspiration to all of us. It really is true, we can't do cancer without God! Love you!

  2. Oh, what an inspiration ! May The Lord fill you with the peace and hope that only He can give. Wishing for you better days!

  3. So amazing. I heard all about it from Mom, and now I have heard about it from you! You have so many Prayer Warriors, Ruthie, but I am so thankful for those particular 12 who were with you on your "anniversary". He sure knows how to put the right people together in a room. Amazing! - Kaley

  4. Oh Ruthie!!! I just have goosebumps reading this. I would have loved to be in that group of prayer warriors...but I can pray from here. I hope I get to meet you someday!
    xo rachel
    P.S. So neat they came on your anniversary!