"Bless the Lord, O my Soul, and forget not all His benefits"
It was Good Friday 2004 when I received my healing! It began in this exact spot too! Kleman Plaza, Tallahassee, Florida!!! I had a strange spot on my leg and went to see the dermatologist about some other skin issues and casually asked about the spot while I was in. As it turns out, it was CANCER!!!! An "undefined" cancerous tumor behind my right knee. The doctors really didn't know what to do with it. After a needle biopsy, then cutting me open a week later for a larger biopsy, then sending it off to local labs, then Mayo Clinic, they were still all baffled. So they referred me to Mayo Clinic for surgery! Scary!
Fast forward a few weeks and it was the week of Easter...and our precious middle child's 4th birthday. Much fear of the unknown lingered in my soul. My amazing man took the day off to spend with us to celebrate our child's birthday. We decided to go downtown Tallahassee (which we never seem to find time to do) and explore. We ended up in Kleman Plaza, at the fountain. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. We were just walking around, enjoying the beautiful spring air when my Dad called me to find out if I had heard from Mayo (was waiting to hear what results of biopsy were and when surgery would be scheduled). My Dad kept believing I was healed and standing in the gap for me when I couldn't even do it for myself! He was a chaplain and had about 200 jailers praying for my healing! God can use you anywhere, y'all! I believe this now more than ever!
So there I stood, downtown tally, on the phone with my Dad, who kept saying, "Baby, Mayo hasn't called you yet because you are healed!" You see, I was anxiously awaiting the call to schedule my surgery to get it over with (I was chomping at the bit since the call was days overdue). So..as all good daughters do (ha-ha), I rolled my eyes and said, "Okay, Dad" with the tiniest faith I could muster (which wasn't much, I'll admit!). But my Dad kept on believing! He never gave up. Every time I called him worried or upset, he would tell me the same "You haven't heard anything back, because there's nothing to tell. You're healed! There wont be a need for surgery." Bless him!
Finally, as we were sitting in this field, taking family photos (Yes, Allen was an amazing photographer even then..long before we began our biz), my cell rang! And it was Mayo Clinic!!! My heart skipped a beat and I answered! They wanted me there for surgery in 2 days! What?! I cant even begin to put into words my emotions...relief, fear, anxiety, and hope - all mixed together! I felt like I could now focus on celebrating our daughters birthday, instead of waiting on the dreaded call! (Sometimes, God in all His mercy throws you a bone! He knew the outcome but also knew my OCD brain would not quit focusing on "the call" until I got it. LOL. Isn't He so merciful?! He always knows what we need and want.) So, we finished the day and then prepped for the big day!
It was Good Friday that I went in for pre-op! Allen and I traveled to Jacksonville, Florida the day before and got a hotel overlooking the ocean (because...why not go big? We didn't think we were going home any time soon! he-he) I don't recall sleeping much that night. I recall praying a lot and wondering all sorts of crazy things...like if I had celebrated my daughter's birthday for the last time, if this would be my last time seeing the ocean, last time cuddling with my beloved, etc? No one knew what they would find when they opened me up. All the "professionals" were baffled and most unassuring!
So, finally the next morning, Good Friday (ironic), we headed to the Clinic to meet with the Dr. We had all the pre-op tests done (several hours worth), then finally met with the Dr. Then as she was finishing the explanation of the procedure to Allen and I (how they would cut me open, dig around, take a huge chunk of my leg, and do a skin graft from my other leg, leave a big scar and weeks of recovery - insert sarcasm here - etc.), she asked if I had any questions. Well, of course I had a million! But Allen and I thought to ask the first and most important question! Ready for this?
What were the results of my lab work that was sent off weeks ago?
Yup! I had NEVER received any news of the lab results...AKA the piece of my leg that was cut out, shoved in a tube with some liquid and shipped off to their Rochester branch! She looks at me and digs thru my chart and says "Hmm. I don't see it here!" Let me go look! (Go ahead..GASP! We did! But it gets better so save a Gasp for the end!) She walked back in the room and said,
"Well, you can either go home OR we can open you back up and put some prettier stitches on that leg of yours so it heals with less scaring. The lab results came back showing its just fibrous tissue and nothing more". You see, after the 2nd biopsy (which involved opening up the back of my leg, then leaving it open for days with just a bandage over it, while we waited on results), they had just "butterfly-stitched" me back up, thoroughly convinced that they would be opening me up again soon! So it was kind of messy.
So...Allen and I looked at each other...SHOCKED...and said Good bye! That was it! No looking back! No asking why, no following up with their mistake, no "I'll take the pretty stitch job, please"...nothing! Why? Well, we knew deep down that God had healed me and we were to leave well enough alone! Oh, we did first find the words tho to inform the Doctor that my Dad, a chaplain, had 200 jailers praying for me, and that was in addition to the several hundred family and friends praying for me (and the beautiful lady from my church who came to my house and anointed me with oil, as she prayed over me)! We emphatically informed the Doctor that I was healed because of prayers and faith (not mine, as much as the faith of others). It was as simple as that!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
This is me! Celebrating with my "cheerleader" stance outside of Mayo Clinic! Yes, I was really that little! As soon as we left Mayo Clinic, Allen and I immediately headed to the water park in Jacksonville for an adventure to celebrate our miracle! All healing should end in celebration!!!
So, every year, around this time, God reminds me of what He did for me! 14 years ago, He gave me the most wonderful miracle!!! And my Dad...oh my goodness...where do I begin? His faith that stood in the gap for my lack of faith was such a beautiful gift! Now please don't misunderstand me...I do absolutely believe that we all have to choose to believe in Christ Jesus for our own salvation. Nobody can CHOOSE Christ for us. However, I will always believe now that our faith significantly affects our prayers! My Dads faith, the faith of 200 inmates, of my HUGE family, and of my precious friends, changed my life, and I am forever grateful!
So as we finish up this Easter weekend and we remember what the Lord has done, I felt him urging me to tell my story of His great love and mercy on my life!!! Of course the reminder this morning during our pastor's message to "tell our story to bring God glory" was a helpful reminder too. He-he.
Good Friday and Easter Weekend will always hold a special place in my heart for so many reasons! The least of which is that 1. Jesus is Risen!!! and 2. By his stripes I am healed! (Isaiah 53:3-7)
We hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend and were able to celebrate our Risen Lord!
Allen & Carol