Today’s Glory Story comes from Madelyn who has just been given an overwhelming cancer diagnosis but the gift of a great sense of God's purpose. She is embracing what lies ahead in a way that is refreshing and profoundly inspiring to me. Many times over the years, I’ve wondered how I would respond if a doctor gave me such news. Have you wondered the same? Since both of my parents are survivors of aggressive forms of cancer, the possibility of receiving that kind of report seems too real sometimes but, thankfully, so does the hope of leading a thriving life after God’s merciful miracles of healing and protection.
Madelyn’s story reminds us that we need not—must not—be afraid of adversity. Hope rises out of adversity because we live on God’s sure promises and can always anticipate the surprises of His love.
I’m 63 years old and have been married for 42 years. Mike and I have one stepson, two sons, two daughters-in-law and three granddaughters. I have been physically active most of my life playing tennis, quilting, roller blading, riding bike, etc.
On December 18, 2013, my husband took me to urgent care. I’d had three days of high fever, chest pain, and coughing with what we thought was the flu. When the nurses took my blood pressure it was 89/54 so the doctor insisted I go to an emergency room by ambulance. I was immediately given IV fluids, an array of tests and then, despite my resistance, a CT scan.
The ER doctor explained that I had a large mass growing on my tailbone and he suspected cancer. I was given an MRI and more blood draws to confirm this. Hospital staff said that I must have had angels bring me to the hospital, as most tests would never have shown this tumor. My pain was in my chest and not in the lower areas of my body. The ER doctor just felt “led” to request the CT scan of the pelvis! (Of course we know it was the Holy Spirit guiding him.)
I was given the oncologist’s contact information and told to call in the morning. We met within a few days and a biopsy confirmed plasmacytoma. Then I had a bone marrow biopsy that confirmed multiple myeloma as well. Mike and I have been in shock because the oncologist said this has been growing in me for a couple of years. I’ve had very little pain and thought my lower back pain was from too much tennis!
I’m sharing the details about how I came to find this out because both Mike and I realized it wasn’t us making the decisions and guiding the doctors—it was God! We’ve had tears, disbelief, and lots of questions. We are gaining wisdom about cancer and medical issues that neither one of us ever wanted to learn. But because I know that God is in this life with us, and as I see how He has directed and orchestrated what we couldn’t have thought to do, then I know God is in the rest of this battle called cancer too.
Madelyn has already started radiation and chemotherapy. And God is already breathing life into her testimony. Consider this excerpt from a letter she shared with family and friends just a couple of days ago:
I had asked the Lord to provide hands that need holding and for me to give comfort to others as I began this journey. Today I recognized a man from Trilogy in the chair across the room from me. I went over to him…he and his wife used to live right behind our house in Trilogy. He has lung cancer in both lungs. He said that if this series of chemo doesn't work, they've given him several months to live. Please add this couple (I used to play tennis with the wife) to your prayers.
I got to hold both of their hands and tell them that the Lord is with them and will provide them with healing and hope however that should happen. They said they believed that too. Their daughter also has cancer!
I see how God has provided for me this opportunity to serve Him, praise Him, and be a witness even when life seems to have handed me a "rough road to walk.” ...Isn't God faithful!?!
The verses that I am reading and praying are from Philippians 4:4-9.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I'm looking ahead and not behind me for today's tests are tomorrow's testimonies.
Madelyn told me yesterday, “I’m actually excited to see the opportunities that lie ahead of us in all this! I feel a new boldness yet gentleness about who God is and how I am His dearly loved child! I am looking to Jesus Christ who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”
One of Madelyn’s family members who has struggled with addiction is encountering God too. She shared her excitement with me saying, “It is absolutely God who is at work in the lives and hearts of the people all around me through getting this cancer! So many things are happening that I can hardly take it all in! Praise and honor to God who provided the way of salvation in Christ Jesus!”
WOW. This wife, mother and grandmother is being called out to unknown waters but she knows Whose child she is and her encouragement comes from knowing God is already doing marvelous things with her story. Though her experiences are fresh and raw right now, her heart is fully yielded to God’s ways and purposes. She and her family will need our prayers.
HEAVENLY FATHER, thank you for showing us how intimately powerful You are in the details of our lives. Thank you for showing us Your mighty hand in Madelyn’s proper diagnosis. Please use her experience to soften and strengthen many in relationship toward You. According to your will, we ask for a miracle of complete healing in Jesus’ name! Put the spotlight on Your power and compassion so that doubters are reassured and skeptics can’t help but turn toward You. Thank you for being Madelyn’s strength, comfort, guide and shield. Let her not be shaken, Lord, and equip he for every good work according to the riches she has in Christ. Give her family peace and joy as they walk through this together. Surround them with supporters who will stand with them as practical and prayerful helpmates. We rest in Your faithfulness, Oh Lord! AMEN