A place to share your faith, prayer requests and God sightings (places where you see God at work through others). Click the headings to see or add to the comments.
Lauren and I were privileged to sit next to a young family of 6 at a busy and crowded airport restaurant in Heathrow airport, London when coming back this weekend from a trip to England. The Dad asked to say a blessing before the family began eating and Mom and the 4 young children all under the age of about 7 bowed their heads and folded hands as Dad said some beautiful words. He said several times "we love you God" - what a beautiful witness by a wonderful family in a public place, a very inspirational and touching moment
He Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed.I saw Christ in our Easter worship today.
This story is written by the wife of a college roommate. She is such a treasure, blessing and inspiration. this story was originally written in celebration for her Relay for Life event. But I had to repost (with permission) as it symbolizes deep faith in trying times, hope when in troubled waters AND God's glory, miracles and love for us. Neal W. DuikerToday.... I share my story. This is only the story of one... SO many still fight! GOD BLESS.“How do you spell that?” I was sitting at home on September 17th 2007 at 2:00 in the afternoon still recovering from my partial nephrectomy done on September 5th when I received a phone call from my doctor at the Cleveland Clinic. I was a healthy 27 year old female with my whole life ahead of me… how is this possible? “You have Renal Ewing’s Sarcoma,” Dr. Gill said on the other end of the line.“I have what?!” I said still confused.“I would have preferred to discuss this in person Heather but because you live so far away I know I said I would discuss this with you now. You have Cancer. It is a very aggressive Cancer and we will need to be aggressive with your treatment.” I was referred to an Oncologist/ Hematologist by the name of Dr. Calvo, who is an extremely intelligent and compassionate man. I later found out just how special he really is by the “extra steps” he took through education of each process, medications, placement of port, emotions of me, my husband, and family. I feel I was sent to Dr. Calvo by God. My Cancer was extremely rare, the 10th diagnosed case in the world at that time and because of that, Dr. Calvo referred a Sarcoma specialist in on my case from the Sarcoma Cancer Center in Ann Harbor MI. When I met Dr. Lawrence Baker he made it clear that he is a “no nonsense” doctor and pretty much gives it to you straight, which is how I prefer it. He explained that Ewing’s Sarcoma is a Bone or soft tissue Cancer that typically affects adolescent males. It was rare I had been diagnosed with this Cancer because I was a healthy FEMALE, age 27, AND the fact it was in my kidney was EXTREMELY rare. I said, “Well, I’ve always liked being different AND getting attention,” hoping he would laugh but ummm… he didn’t. (Again, he was a no nonsense guy.) He explained my treatment would be intense, tough, no fun, and I would receive the “mother of all chemo’s” for the next 9 moths. I would also undergo a radical nephrectomy (which included removing ¼ liver, ½ diaphragm, gallbladder, adrenal glands, and lymph nodes) and because of the rarity of this Cancer we weren’t exactly sure of the outcome. Dr. Baker explained the affects of chemotherapy could be detrimental and I had a 5% chance of survival. Nicholas and I missed the boat on harvesting any eggs so we would need to just take our chances for potential fertilization issues later. “You have quite a battle ahead of you Heather,” he said.I took a deep breath and remember my head spinning as I thought WHY? Was I not a good enough person? Was this my purpose in life? Had I survived all those wrecks on the road only to be cut off by Cancer? I mean I lived the “health advocate lifestyle by eating right and exercising daily. I am an EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST for PETE’S SAKE!!! But I still got Cancer… because it doesn’t discriminate…. But why??? I am 27 years old… not married…haven’t traveled…only ½ done with my Master’s…what’s going on??? I let out a sigh….“I came into this world fighting and I’ve always been tough so I’m not stopping now. BRING IT ON!” This began many prayer filled nights. I was diagnosed on September 17th 2007, planned a princess wedding, got married October 27, went to Mexico for a week, and started Chemotherapy on November 4th. I joke with my husband that the only reason we got married was because I was dying! Lol I can remember thinking what an amazing man my husband is because he still wanted to marry a broken woman. We had no idea what HELL was ahead. Financial, emotional, physical… total HELL ON EARTH is the only way to describe it.
PART II: Neal W. DuikerI’ve always considered my relationship with God to be strong. I was raised in a Christian home and faith was an important part of our marriage. Both Nick and I have been challenged in life before and our faith been “tested” but this situation was totally different.I never thought I would pray over hair until it all fell out and was all gone. I remember being so fatigued from chemo, walking through my house just to get to the couch was exhausting. Nick was going to escape for just a few hours and go to a Bengal’s game so I was going to take a nap. When I woke, I sat up and my hair remained on my pillow. I thought it would fall out slowly so I would have time to adjust…I needed more time…I thought I would have more time!!! It was like ripping off a band-aide and it was gone. I began sobbing just holding my hair clenched in my fists… because NOW it was real and NOW I LOOKED the part of a sick person. I sobbed until Nicholas walked through the door and saw my pain filled eyes and tear stained face. He took my hand and led me upstairs to sit me down. He then took the clippers out of the drawer and began shaving his head and then cleaned up what was left of mine. He placed a kiss on my forehead and said, “Just beautiful.” This was yet another prayer filled night.The “POWER OF PRAYER” took full meaning in our life. Prayer chains across the nation, across the world actually were activated and I actually felt God’s Grace. Months of treatment were horrific and created agonizing pain for me but it also created pain for my loved ones. My sweet mother sat daily by my side at chemo and I watched her sanity and energy drain just as I watched the light from my father’s eyes loose their sparkle. I watch my husband’s bravery try to mask his fear and my sister scramble to clean my house to pass time. I watched my many friends day in and day out show their support by holding fund raisers to raise money to cover the cost of our outrageous medical bills, though they kept coming. I watched my independence leave by needing others to bathe me and clean up my accidents, I watched the stares in public when needing to wear a mask because of infection…. and I felt I was watching my whole world crumbling around me as I slipped away but I was surviving! I do remember walking the halls in the hospital and thanking people, smiling because I WAS still here, and though I didn’t know “why”… I didn’t know what else to do to show gratitude and pray.Finally in July 2008, after infections and bouts with pneumonia, my last round of chemo was finally here but this caused the worse infection yet. There was a point when I was just too tired and Nick sat by my bed. My Momma had taken a rest to get some coffee with Daddy. I looked at Nick with my black eyes, pale face, and oxygen tube, just being cleaned up from a nose bleed, high from my pain meds… and sighed… “I’m so tired babe.”“I know but maybe you can try to eating something. We ARE going to make it through this.” Nick put his head down and though he never said if he was praying… I felt he was because I was too.On September 17th, 2007 I was diagnosed and on September 17th, 2009 I was “Cell Free” for one year. One September 19th, 2009 I ran the WPAFB Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ½ Marathon to celebrate!
FINAL TO THE TRIOLOGY: Neal W. DuikerI can remember when I began back in the gym to rebuild what Cancer had destroyed and looking in the mirror, I didn’t recognize my reflection. My scarf on my head, my muscle atrophied, my skin pale, and I felt pathetic, because I still looked like a “sick” person. I had come so far and I had so far to go and tears filled my eyes right there in the gym. “What are YOU DOING Heather??!! There’s no CRYING in weight lifting!!” Lol (It’s not what you say it HOW YOU SAY IT) “I have come so far! I have so far to go! Bring it on!” Slowly, day by day, I rose up and became stronger. God continued to hold me and allow me to heal both physically and mentally. I feel so awake now. My life, my family, my husband, my friends, my body, my health, even the smells and trees all seem so much sweeter. I can ACTUALLY understand the beauty of rain and snow when I would complain before. When I can feel the sun on my back as I am working in the yard and smelling cut grass is amazing to me. It is almost like I saw in black in white before and now in vivid color. I still struggle with “what is my purpose?” but now I live day by day in appreciation. I have learned to let go of the wheel. I know I am not in control but I want to celebrate the ride loving every minute!!!!PRAISE GOD!