I came to know Christ when I was a child of seven but over the past ten years, what I knew about God has been proven time and time again.
1. God desires to heal us from the inside out.
When I was but three months old, I contracted pneumonia and had to be hospitalized for several weeks. I cannot imagine how my parents must have felt as they watched their tiny baby girl lie in an oxygen tent, struggling to breathe. What I do know is there were many prayers offered up on my behalf. That was not the last time. Throughout my childhood, prayer for healing was the norm and I have continued to do so.
I've seen God do amazing things but I have also learned there is far more to healing than just physical healing. While physical healing is wonderful and should be sought (unless God makes it clear not to), the healing of our heart, mind and spirit is far more important.
I have also learned that God can work through our afflictions just like He can work through physical healings. When I was going through cancer treatment, I literally walked where other cancer victims were walking. I sat beside them in support groups, I sat beside them during chemo infusions, I understood their pain and their fears firsthand because I was "one of them".
More importantly I learned that God really is bigger than any affliction. Whether sick or well, we can be overcomers through Christ!
2. God is our provider.
On December 14, 2012 my husband was abruptly dismissed from the job he'd held for over 27 years. I was no longer working due to health issues and now our major source of income was gone. When you are over 50, obtaining work after losing a job is much more difficult than when you are younger. Statistically, if you are out of work for more than six months when you are over 50, your chances of obtaining full time employment ever again are drastically reduced. It would be 13 months before my husband got full time employment and his pay would be cut by nearly 25%.
On paper, things looked very grim. Our only income was my long term disability and my husband's unemployment checks yet instead of unpaid bills, foreclosure and bankruptcy here's what happened:
- Every bill due, including our mortgage was paid in full and on time.
- We never went hungry, in fact we ate rather well.
- My husband started graduate school nine months after he had lost his job and for the next three and a half years we cash-flowed his education meaning we did not take out any student loans.
We saw a lot of miracles take place during that time. Unexpected money would show up, a free-lance job would pop up just when we needed the money, every item on my grocery list would be on sale, the only necessary repairs during those thirteen months were household rather than automotive and those repairs were covered under our Service Plus Plan so there were no out-of-pocket expenses.
In other words, we truly learned that God is our provider.
3. God really does love us unconditionally.
While going through cancer treatment, I felt (and looked) like a human toxic waste dump. I had no hair and when I say I had no hair, I am not merely talking about the hair on my head. The hair loss that actually physically bothered me the most was uh... located in my nose. You don't know how much debris nasal hair filters until it is not there anymore. I got something called A/C nose because two of the chemo drugs I took, adriamyacin and cytoxen, caused hair loss in my nose as well as elsewhere. What this meant was my nose was always a bit...untidy and I developed a snuffle. Nose drops helped but still, I snuffled. I had to use eyedrops too because of the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows.
Due to chemo my skin got a funny grayish-green tinge to it. Though my nails never did fall off (thankfully), they did become brittle and ridged.
I got a tiny scratch on the back of my right hand right after I started chemo. By the time I finished chemo, I had a horrible-looking purplish scar running across my hand. It looked like a crazy patchwork quilt created by someone who was insane. Thankfully, post-chemo, my body set about to mend it properly and only a tiny white scar remains today.
My chemo treatment was very aggressive due to the form of breast cancer I had and I looked and felt like I had been beaten up, chewed up and spit out. I was a mess and... God loved me.
I will never forget that morning in church during worship when God showed up. Due to weakness and nerve pain in my legs, I couldn't stand for very long and I had slumped down in my seat. As I sang, I felt like God was standing right in front of me and the first thought that came to me was, "I can't let God see me like this!"
I wanted to crawl under the chair but it was too hard to get down under it so like a little girl, I covered my face with my hands and scrunched down into my lap as low as I could. God wanted to know what I was doing that.
When God asks you a question, you must not only give him an answer, you must give him and honest answer. I told God I didn't want him to see me because I was so ugly. Tears ran down my cheeks when I "heard" God's reply. "Don't you know that all I see is my beautiful princess?"
God loves us. He really does! He doesn't love us because we are clever, talented, beautiful, have personality plus, etc. He loves us because we are simply us! He might not love what we say, do or even think but despite all of that, God loves us. He loves us unconditionally.