Friday, November 15, 2013
Prayer\prer\n. Words that move the nerve that moves the hand of God
Several weeks ago, Dwight and I were guests at the wedding of a beautiful young woman that I have known since she was a small child. We were invited to “share in the celebration and heritage of their families”. Everything was absolutely beautiful and the pledge and promises in their vows were written by each for the other. Lane’s father walked her down the aisle and Glynn, her stepfather performed the beautiful ceremony in English and Spanish. It was lyrical, it was magical, and a true blessing to witness.
Stepping back in time, not too long after my own cancer battle, Dwight and I had three people on our prayer list that had my heart aching as each were battling cancer for the second time in their lives. The days turned into weeks, then weeks to months and I was not seeing answers to my prayers for them. I was praying for the Lord’s will, but of course wanted His complete healing for all three.
Lisa G was fighting a very aggressive cancer that had metastasized to most of her organs and she was regularly experiencing one major setback after another. She was the only one that I actually did not know. She was young enough to be my daughter. A friend in one of our prayer groups worked with Lisa, a teacher for autistic children. She had asked us to please add Lisa to our prayer list and said we could get daily updates on Caring Bridge, a site for those battling catastrophic illnesses. Lisa’s constant prayer for herself was “for God’s will”. She and her family daily shared their incredible faith with all of us that were “warriors on her team”. They shared their Bible readings each day and Lisa’s words of encouragement for those on “the team”, her ever-changing prognosis and updates from the doctors, facility moves, details of surgeries, testings, and treatments. It was exhausting for the many months of daily trials, victories, fearless fighting, and waiting.
Mike M. was fighting brain cancer. He had battled brain cancer when he worked in Pasadena. Dwight and I had prayed for months to bring Mike and his wife Tammie to the City of Wylie—not them specifically, but people of their integrity and faith. We felt so incredibly blessed when they came to Wylie and we felt Wylie was blessed to have them. During their time here in Wylie, Mike went regularly to MD Anderson for his checkups and during one visit, tests revealed the reoccurrence of his brain cancer. Mike underwent months of testings, surgeries, complications, and treatments. Their resolve was strong throughout their time in Wylie and they were a blessing and testimony of faith to us all.
Glynn M. had two bouts with very aggressive melanoma. I was absolutely devastated for Dorian when she first told me of Glynn’s cancer. They were still newlyweds and I was so incredibly sad that she was having to journey through this fearful battle of loss. She had experienced a very painful divorce and afterwards was an incredible and dedicated single Mom to Lane. When Glynn came into their lives, he was an answer to prayers—their “shining knight” of a husband and father. I had hoped and envisioned Dorian’s life to be a joyful one exempt from anymore pain. They faced their battles with grace and calm that I believe can only be a result of a great and deep faith. Glynn was light-hearted and encouraging that all would be well when I talked to him and his concerns were always for the family, not himself.
Over a period of months, these three remained on our prayer list. And over the months, there was more intense intercession in my prayers for them. I often would be weeping as I prayed for them and their families. Eventually, I could see the Lord’s hand in it all, even though not quite like I wanted. Glynn has recovered and is well. He looks great and he certainly can perform a beautiful and moving wedding ceremony! The Lord continues to bless him and Dorian and those that know Glynn by allowing everyone to witness God’s grace and glory through him. And Mike is in remission and doing well. His doctors advised that he take “early retirement” and we are thankful that the City of Wylie was gracious in allowing Mike to move back home to Alabama and finish out his tenure under a “bridge contract for phone consults on an as needed basis” until the time he was eligible for his retirement. He and Tammie are back home where all the family lives and are doing well.
Little Lisa lost her battle and went home to be with her Lord after many, many setbacks and battles. She and her family were a huge testimony of faith to all of us that were blessed to have been in petition for Lisa and her family. I honestly believe there was more ministering to us through them than we for them. I grieved the loss of this young woman for months, for I truly believed she would get well. She had so much to share and was so loved by so many and it had become a personal battle for us all. I felt as if I had lost a close family member as her fight was a shared journey that I had walked with her for many months.
Months later, on a Saturday, Dwight and I went to an all day conference on “Caregiving for the Ageing Parent”. It was at a church in Rockwall and started very early with a breakfast. The day’s agenda had three breakout sessions for each hour. There were many different topics to choose from and between each session everyone met in the sanctuary before advancing to the next group of topics. In the sanctuary, they would introduce the speakers of the next session’s topics and have drawings for two door prizes. After our lunch break, we went back into the sanctuary and as we were waiting for the introductions and door prize drawings, I leaned over and whispered to Dwight. (NOW I have to explain before I tell you WHAT I whispered, that I tease a lot and can have a “smart mouth” when teasing Dwight and others I know well. And what I whispered to him I did not do and did not seriously mean I was going to do it at all!) What I whispered to him was “Ya know, they have had some really nice door prizes….I am going to pray that we win”. Dwight turned and gave me a withering look to my silly and teasing little shrug. Once they made the introductions for the next session, they made the first draw for the door prize AND it was Dwight’s ticket number! He turned to me in disbelief and I was so embarrassed---so hoping that no one had heard what I had teasingly said about a “prayer”. But wait, there was another drawing and again, I was so bad. The next ticket number drawn was MINE! Now there were probably at least 300 people at this conference and the odds of Dwight and I both winning 1 of 12 of the day’s door prizes was certainly not expected! When he again looked at me in disbelief, I again could not control my mouth and whispered “Well after all, I did say for US to win not just YOU”!
Immediately, I knew what had happened. I looked at Dwight and I asked him, “Do you realize what just happened”? He laughed and teased me right back saying “Yes, I just won a huge basket full of wine and all the accessories, and I’m a Baptist”! I told him then that the Lord was showing me what I knew, but what I had lost sight of and had lamented those months since Lisa had died. I had kept seeking answers to my prayers for Lisa, Mike and Glynn—His will, yet what I truly wanted, was my will—for them all to receive His perfect healing. It was at that very moment of dawning, that I was able to “let go” of the grief I had been experiencing over Lisa’s death. At that time, God was showing me that “YES”, he had heard all my prayers, just as He had heard my silly, teasing little statement about prayer just minutes before. He had answered my prayers for Lisa, as she was NOW WELL--made whole and perfect, was now home and no longer suffering.
…..in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…..Philippians 4:6