What would it be like to be told you are going to die within a few months? Most
of us think to a time out into the future where you are full of years and you have
witnessed children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It becomes your
time to pass on to glory and to trust your legacy to the very God you are about
to meet face to face.
But, what if you are young, full of life, with a husband, and a 14 year old daughter? On October 22, 2015 Amy received that very gift. The gift of being told, "You have a rare cancer called Non Hodgkins Large B Cell Double Hit lymphoma which is very aggressive. You have 12-13 tumors some 3 inches long, you are stage 4, and the prognosis is grim." It is a gift because you get the rare opportunity to take full stock of your life and ask yourself big questions like, "Is what I believe about Jesus the truth?" As I slumped over in my chair and shed a few tears in the doctor's office, I watched a woman who was completely unfazed by the news. She looked at the doctor, no change in her disposition, and said...
Okay... what do I need to do?
We will give you six aggressive chemotherapy treatments and attempt to get you into remission
What if it comes back?
Oh it will come back
Six more treatments of chemotherapy but it will not stop the cancer because the cancer becomes more aggressive and out of control
Okay, how long do I have to live?
With your current progression three to six months
Okay, thank you
As I was falling apart, Amy was consoling me! She had perfect peace. A few
days later I asked Amy is she was afraid. Her response was, "I feel bad for you
and Elise, but honestly I am kind of excited. I have
been walking with Jesus and loving Him and now I get to see Him!"
However, Amy did not give in to the cancer. She decided to do
everything she could do to defeat the condition. Amy did not respond in
fear. She knew that God could use the diagnosis for His Glory. The same day
Amy was given the diagnosis she attended a Shakespeare play that Elise
was performing in. Amy was laughing, having fun, and enjoying the event.
The cast members knew about the cancer and took note of her demeanor. They soon found out that it was Amy's
faith that gave her the joy and peace that she was experiencing. That evening was the beginning of many opportunities
Amy had to share her love for Christ to others because of the diagnosis.
Amy's lack of fear and trust in Christ has turned a life threatening
condition into a tool for God's kingdom.
Due to the fact that everyone who is diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins double hit Lymphoma dies from the condition, Amy decided to eventually discontinue medical treatments and pursue natural means. The thought of being continually sick due to the treatments, until death, was not acceptable. Amy had things to do, and she needed strength, so she decided to build her immune system and work towards starving the cancer. She believed if she was to be healed it would resemble the blind man's healing in John, Chapter 9. After Jesus placed the mud on the man's eyes He instructed the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. If Amy was to be healed she felt that she should not remain flippant concerning her health. No more sugar, processed foods, or a lifestyle that promotes cancer growth. More importantly, there were millions of people in the USA and around the world praying for her.
In December 2015, after a two conventional treatments, Amy asked the elders of her church in Marquette, MI to pray for her healing and to anoint her with oil as we are instructed in James Chapter 5. One week later on Christmas Eve. Prior to a concert at Christ Covenant Church in Charlotte NC, the pastor asked if he and his elders could pray for healing. Of course, Amy accepted their offer. Amy searched her heart looking for anyone she may have not forgiven and she asked for forgiveness where she needed it.
On December 30, 2015, Amy had a PET scan to see the progression of the cancer. A surprise to the doctor, but not to Amy, there was no cancer. They encouraged Amy take heavy doses of chemotherapy to insure that it would not come back. This did not seem to be logical to Amy. She had already decided that she would not take any more chemotherapy even if there was cancer present. So she declined and continued to trust God's healing.
It has been over four years since the original diagnosis and Amy is still cancer free while enjoying better health than she had experience for more than 10 years. Although our family experienced loss and severe stress in the early stages of the diagnosis, we say that cancer is the best thing that has ever happened to us. The utter dependence we had on God has transformed our lives. Our relationships are better, our marriage is better, our vision is clearer and God has opened doors to share His love with hundreds of people who listen because of the cancer.
1. The utter dependence on God did not end with Amy's healing. When life
seems to be less difficult, or is going along smoothly, we can erroneously think
we have fewer needs. We are now continually reminded that our need for Christ
is always great.
2. We must draw near to Christ by continually praying and reading His word in order to experience His perfect peace and fearlessness when faced with great trials.
3. God is a good God. Whether we receive healing on this earth or healing through our earthy death, He takes care of our every need. We know Amy's cancer could return and take her life, but that is okay. God remains good!
4. We are to thank God in all things and in all circumstances. (Ephesians and First Thessalonians)
Because of these truths, we consider cancer a gift.