Friends

Job 2:4-5 (GW) Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! Certainly, a man will give everything he has for his life. But stretch out your hand, and strike his flesh and bones. I bet he’ll curse you to your face.”
I recently received, what some would say is, bad news about my health. Honestly, when I heard the news it was not good timing for me because I was busy with a major fundraiser for the non-profit that I work for. I was already stressed with my big event taking place in just two days. Frankly, I did not have time to be stressed by the news from my doctor. I ask if I could council with her after the fundraiser and she said yes.
I called my husband, children and some of my closet friends with the news and told them not to worry because I wasn’t worried. I promised to follow-up with them after my next visit to the doctor.
The night before my big event a very close friend of mine called me. She and her husband have friends in high places and they had made a phone call to a very reputable surgeon friend of theirs. The surgeon had agreed to see me the day after the fundraiser. I was overwhelmed with their love and concern for me. And this is where God’s work through His people began.
I had the dreaded C word. Cancer. My diagnosis was Superficial Melanoma and surgery was necessary. I was on the phone again with family and friends sharing the news and continuing to tell everyone not to worry, that everything would be ok. I honestly, trusted that God was involved and His will would be done. I really was not worried.
My surgery was last Thursday and I have been on bedrest, which is very difficult for me. What has amazed me through this whole process from getting my diagnosis to after surgery is the response by my friends.
You see as a pastors wife, it is my job to care for others. I have been doing that now for about 27 years. My husband and I have been blessed to be pastors of small to medium churches for most of our life in ministry. God sends us a lot of new Christians who aren’t your typical church people with typical church talk or church celebrations. Some years Pastor appreciation month comes and goes and there is no celebration for us. Some years birthdays and anniversaries, marriage and church, go unnoticed and uncelebrated. This is not a complaint by any means. Just a reality that I had come to accept in our ministry.
For the last three days, since my surgery, my husband and I have been overwhelmed with the kindness from our friends. I have cried every day, not from the pain but from the joy that others care about us. They have shown their love by calling, texting, facebooking, mailing cards, and bringing food. My friend and boss ask her pastor to come in and anoint me with oil and pray for me before surgery.
What I have realized through this process is that no matter what happens to me physically, I can trust God. Like Job, I do not have to curse Him because of my physical ailments. The devil lost, again! I can trust God because I know Him and I love Him. I can trust Him because even though He can not be here physically to care for me He sends His children on this side of eternity to do it for Him. My friends have been Jesus to me. Their kindness in words and deeds have inspired me to be a better person and do even more for others. My heart is bursting with love.
Through this whole process I have trusted The Lord for His healing. I pray for His will in my life and place the final outcome in His hands. For those of you who may be struggling with a crisis in your life, whether it is a death, a divorce, a health issue, a financial issue or something legal etc, I encourage you to surround yourself with Christian friends. I can now testify from a personal standpoint how important it really is. With my friends, I can survive whatever the devil sends my way. It may be hard but my load will be lighter and more bearable because of them. THANK YOU AND MUCH LOVE TO MY FRIENDS and FAMILY who love me like Jesus!!!!
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