“Father will you please heal me?”
The words I begged in frustration, entering my doctor’s office, awaiting the news of my pet scan and hip biopsy.I believed He could at that very moment, but would He?
I said another “amen” as I quickly wiped my tears off my face and took a deep breath. I proceeded to walk into a room where the doctor was waiting. There, I received the news that it’s stage 4 breast cancer now, and unfortunately the cancer has spread to my left hip.
Right now, I am taking the strongest form of chemo meds out there for breast cancer, yet when doctors biopsied my hip area they found out that my receptors in my hip were negative to the treatment I am currently taking now basically indicating that the chemo that I’m undergoing will not kill the cancer in my hip to the extent that doctors hoped for.
There is also an indication of another small mass on my right rib area.We still have no answers as to what it is. Or if it’s even cancer related.
I’ve come to see why people say, “Cancer sucks.”
Because it really does…I just want my life back. I want to be healed.
To be completely transparent, I feel like this past month I have begged God to heal me. And as my knees constantly hit the floor, I became aware that I felt a pain in my chest when I would say, “Your will be done.”
In Mark 11:24, it says that whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. But that’s all I’ve done… and my cancer is worse.
I am asking in Jesus’ name for healing and I’m asking that it may bring Him glory and I’m believing He will heal me. but I feel as if time is standing still. As if time isn’t moving. The days are so slow.
I had no doubt that God could heal me, but the evidence of what was coming my way was contradicting everything. It is so hard to continue praying when you don’t see a difference in your circumstances. It is so hard to refrain from asking God “Why aren’t You taking care of this right now?”
You see, sometimes we don’t understand why things happen in life. Why do bad things happen to good people? Or why healing on earth never comes to our loved ones.
Sometimes, life hits us so hard it takes a while to get back up. Sometimes, we are so drowned out by the sorrows of this broken and tainted world that it’s hard to see God. We want God to show up and “save the day” at that very second of our pain.
In the month of August, my Facebook newsfeed has been sadly bombarded by the loss of family members. A beloved husband was taken from his wife due to complications with a lung transplant, a father that battled cancer was taken from his daughter, and a sweet mother is eagerly praying for her son to survive a horrific car accident. My heart hurts. The fact that they all prayed for healing and didn’t receive it on this side of eternity, or are still waiting for it. You see, we have all desired to be healed and have all sought physical healing in some way or another. I have believed so much, to the point that I have found myself telling my friends that the next time they see me, I will be cured of this disease, in Jesus’ name. But, God did not bring earthly healing to this husband. And He didn’t bring earthly healing to this father. And right now, there is still a mother begging God on her son’s behalf. It’s hard to think that this could be the will of God in my life. Will God say no to my healing on this side of eternity, as well? You see, praying for healing means that you are investing in hope. In an outcome that is out of your hands. And when your prayers aren’t coming to pass, it causes great fear. Without realizing it, FEAR had crept in and obscured my view, to the point that I hid behind a scenario that was easier to deal with.
It kind of looked like this : Not praying was easier because I didn’t have to face my fear. I just kind of hid behind the excuse that God’s got it. So why tell Him what to do? Right? I would argue with myself that I need to stop asking for healing. Because if it’s not God’s will, I will end up disappointed. My point is, I needed an encounter with God. I needed help. I needed to be rescued from this way of thinking!
It’s about 1:50 a.m., and I’m awakened by small drops of rain hitting my bedroom window. I look over and tenderly stroke my husband’s hand, climb out of bed and proceed to the boys room. When I approach their room, I realize my oldest son is awake. I gently whispered, “Leo are you ok? Why are you awake?” He whispered back, “Mommy, What does heaven look like? With tears in my eyes, I described the wonders of heaven. He continued by reminding me that Jesus died on the cross. He asked why? I said “He did it for you and me.” The infamous, “but why” continued.
Because He loves us. Because we matter most to Him. He was so amazed, and quickly said, “Jesus is a super hero! Does he wear a cape?” I giggled quietly trying not to wake Eli in the bed across from him, and said, “Well, it’s more like a robe. And it’s white.” “Will we get to see Jesus one day?” he asked. I said,. “Yes, one day Jesus will come to get us and take us to heaven.” “And then you will be better right, Mommy?” “Yes , Leo. I will be all better.” Then he responded, “Ok, that’s nice.” At that moment, he turned his head away, tucked his shoulders under the covers, and fell asleep.
Quickly tiptoeing back to my room, I realized I hadn’t felt that pain in my chest anymore, and that God used my three-year-old son to remind me that living for what matters most requires sacrifice. This is what Jesus did for us. 1 Peter 2:21-22 says, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.” God used my three-year-old son to remind me that just as Christ suffered yet trusted the Father, I am to follow in His steps on the road marked with suffering and trust my heavenly Father, even with CANCER.
The truth is that you will have detours on the road marked out for you, but you will never get off of the road. That road was placed there and your destination was already established by God. It is so important to realize that the God of the mountaintop is also the God of the valley. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). The sufficiency of God’s grace is found in that we can endure suffering just as Jesus endured the cross. Jesus didn’t just die in vain. He died for a purpose. I am not going through cancer in vain. I’m going through it for a purpose!
There is no senseless suffering.
At that very moment, getting back into bed, laying my head down, hopeful tears flowed from my eyes. I looked up and said “Thank you, God. Thank you.” I came to realize of how truly blessed I have been to be given another day of life with my family. My perspective changed drastically. All of a sudden, the room lit up from the bright light given off of my phone. As I reached over I saw a sweet reminder alert that said, “Happy birthday!”
It was as if God was saying, “Happy birthday, sweet daughter.”
As I learn more of my diagnosis, I realize how much of a gift life really is, and that my faith isn’t based on how much God does for me, it’s based on how much I trust God. I had been frustrated and complaining while this other wife I mentioned earlier might have been thanking God for every second she had with her husband before he passed. And this daughter might have been enjoying every minute she could with her father even if it was on the third floor of a cancer center. And this sweet mother is still holding her son’s hand as much as she can, as she waits by his bedside for a miracle. The revelation from God was simple.
The fact was that I needed to have my will changed according to His desires, not His will changed according to my prayers. I whispered up to heaven and softly said the words that pained me to say before, but not anymore, “May Your will be done.” God, please help me to let “my” will be changed to “Thy” will. You see, some feel that God will never heal anyone miraculously today. Others feel that God will always heal a person if he or she has enough faith.
But I learned and now refuse to place God in either box. You see, God may remove your suffering, and that will be great cause for praise. But if not, He will use it. He will use anything and everything. So let God mold you and make you, transforming you from glory to glory. That’s the deeper healing. I may not know anything regarding my future, but I do know this, the struggle is real, But so is my God! God is worth trusting and the Bible is worth believing. The world can’t argue when it sees people in pain rejoice in their God. Because when an unbeliever receives tragedy, so does a believer, so that the world can see the difference. That difference is hope, love, grace, mercy. Jesus. Someday, all sickness and death will be WIPED OUT. Revelation 21:4
That precious wife will see her husband again, that sweet daughter will be embraced in the arms of her father again, and this strong mother will hear her son’s sweet voice again and I with so many others will be freed of this disease. Cancer will no longer exist. All of those asking for healing today will have it. The tears of pain will be wiped away; no more suffering no more mourning. But until then, there is a greater healing that needs to be done in this world, and that is the salvation of so many. That is why I write to you today, to tell as many people I can about Jesus through my story. No matter the suffering here on earth, it does not compare to the glory that awaits (Romans 8).
May the Lord give me a taste of the kingdom of God by healing me today! BUT IF GOD SAYS NO, then so be it. He is the one who gives and takes away and I walk into the month of November proclaiming as Job, “Though He slay me yet I will praise him.” So I ask you today, what if we trusted His heart, even when His hand seemingly withholds the very thing we so desire? What if we chose to celebrate all of the previous yes answers He’s given us despite His current no? I think it would change how we respond. I think we would find joy, keep hoping and smile despite what we see. I know how badly you want your yes, but hang in there. Keep hoping. Keep praying. Keep believing. And if God says no, trust that He has your destination in His hands. I’m still here. Which means God is still working. We expect God to move. It’s just not always the way we expect it. But God always moves.
- Jacquelyn Aviles