Here I sit in my quiet space while the fire and my Christmas tree are lit before me. The glow that is emitted from them both doesn’t compare to what is radiating from my heart this night. The overflowing emotion that has spilled out in a torrent of joyful tears in the past week is Gratitude.
Perhaps you’ve followed along here with the news that my mom was to have major surgery the day before Thanksgiving. I didn’t share any details beforehand, but now that it’s behind us, I must share the background story so you’ll get a glimpse into the reason for my grateful heart.
In late September, my mom had Colitis that sent her to the emergency room. While doing a scan, a mass was found. A biopsy was taken at that time. A couple weeks later I went with her to two appointments where the doctors dismissed the colon issues and were very somber about the mass. The biopsy had come back inconclusive, leaving them very concerned about this softball-sized tumor. The next step was an appointment set for her at a cancer center for a consultation.
Hearing the words “Mass” and “Cancer” is enough to make anyone quiver, and I felt my own emotions shaking like the leaves that were hanging from the tree branches on that autumn day. However, my mom was confident and calm, resting in a sovereign God who has her life – and her death, in His hands. Peace emanated from her life and reminded me of Philippians 4:7 – “the peace that passes understanding.”
The oncologist told her the mass must be removed, spite her age. He explained that both ovaries would also be removed. He went on to say that this is a tough surgery for any woman, and would be especially so for my mom, a woman in her early 80’s, but that he felt she was strong enough to endure it. A surgery date was set for early November, but after several “events” happened with her, the date was set back to the 27th. She would be in the hospital seven days, and possible rehab after that. Now we had two months to think about this.
Two months to wonder what the mass was.
But also two months to PRAY for God to intervene.
I say this, not from pride, but as a testimony to my great God – the Lord would stir me in the middle of the night and I would feel so compelled to go to my place of prayer and pray. I poured out my heart before Him as Scripture compels us to do. I admitted that I was fearful. I would have to confess my worry. Then I also rehearsed some verses on prayer that I read, such as ~
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
I prayed for a miracle. I knew that every doctor was sure it was cancer, but I began pleading with the Lord to remove it, knowing that “nothing is too hard for Him!” I know that God hears the cry of His children and is very near in a time of trouble. These verses are reminders that a person’s healing won’t always be here on this earth – God may choose to “deliver us from our trouble” by taking us home. Ultimate healing is promised every believer, but sometimes God heals here. We see that evidenced over and over in God’s Word. That was the answer for which I was praying. I’m leaving out so much as to why I was asking God for that, but it wasn’t just my own love for her…God knows the deeper reasons. I was also seriously asking for God’s will because I know that what He chooses to do is always what is best. I knew that I could trust Him with the outcome.
Then came the surgery day. While my mom was away with the medical staff, my family was gathered in the waiting area. We stopped to pray in the middle of the surgery.
After a two-hours in the operating room, the doctor came into the consultation room to comfort us with the news that she had done well during surgery and that they removed the mass and the ovaries…and that the mass was
We rejoiced and then we stopped to pray and thank God for His touch in her life.
That night after I returned to my parents home, I found a place to bow on my knees before the Lord to give Him thanks in private. This is how I had come to Him over and over again in those two months. I would be remiss not to do the same in order to thank Him for hearing my prayers. I am nothing. He is everything.
I acknowledge Him – my omnipotent God for His gracious kindness towards us. If God had allowed the cancer, He would still be good. One day each of our lives will end and He knows when that time will be. But for now, I know that He has ordained that my mom be given more days to serve Him and love Him.
He’s given me this day to praise Him, and I will!
The seven day hospital stay was a mere four day stay, and no rehab afterwards! She was home Saturday night and has been recovering remarkably well, again, all because of a powerful God!
Through this whole trial, I have come to a greater love and longing for prayer. How can I live one day without communing with God, sharing my heart, giving Him my burdens and watching what He can do? Oh, may I never forget the blessing of watching Him do the exceeding things that only He can do, all because we prayed.
Let me end by thanking many of my dear readers here who were praying for my mom’s surgery. How that touched my heart!
Next week I’m going to address the subject that may be on your heart as you read this post – What About When God Doesn’t Answer Our Prayers?
With a grateful heart,