“Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven…” By my estimation, I have prayed the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples well over 7,300 times. That did not change when I became sick in December 2020. In fact, I leaned on the Lord’s Prayer as well as my daily reading of God’s word. I start my day in scripture and have done so for the past 17 years.
About three weeks into my illness, I ended up in the emergency room at Mayo Clinic. I was dying, although I didn’t know it at that time. My kidneys were in the early stages of shutting down. I gained 40 pounds of fluid in three days. My liver and spleen were enlarged to the point I looked pregnant. Mayo Clinic did a battery of tests, including blood cultures, bone marrow biopsies, spinal tap and lymph node biopsies. I went home after seven days of poking and prodding only to be called back three days later for removal of several lymph nodes. Then the waiting began.
For those of you who know me, I can deal with facts and can make decisions pretty quickly. That’s the reality in running businesses.  But leave me to speculation and I am my own worst enemy. My family, friends and church family rallied around me with prayer. All wanted to know ” How do you feel?”, normal questions and genuine concern for my well-being.
I have to confess that not knowing what specific illness I had was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. It ate my lunch!
One morning I awoke at 4:30 am. I followed my routine of making coffee and settled in for my daily scripture reading. For some reason, that morning I prayed the Lord’s Prayer first. Normally, I prayed that prayer as I went to bed at night, not first thing in the morning. When I got to “thy will be done,” I stopped. My eyes opened as I looked up and said out loud II Wait a minute, God, what if thy will is not my will?” I am sick. I don’t know what disease I have. I am on an emotional roller coaster.
Out of the chair and on my knees, tears running down my face, hands lifted to the sky, I surrendered whatever this was to God. I had to trust in God’s will for my life. I literally felt the burden of speculation lifted from my shoulders. As I look back at this, it was as powerful as the day I committed my life to Jesus some twenty years ago. After this tearful two hours with God, I got about reading my daily Bible plan. What do you think the first reading of that day was? It was the 23rd Psalm: 11 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Wow was that a confirmation! More tears.
The diagnosis came in early February – Idiopathic Multi-Centric Castleman’s Disease – a rare disease with no known cure. Now, I have the facts and can deal with it. Treatment is chemo every 30 days. The downside to this chemo is that it eradicated my COVID-19 vaccines, so I have no protection from that virus. I stay pretty much locked down.
My faith, church family and prayers from all of my family and friends have stood me up throughout this process. My prayers to God are ” What do you want me to do with all you have taught me through this journey?” His plan for my life on this earth is not over yet.
I want to encourage you that, whatever circumstance you find yourself in, God is walking right beside you. Give it up to HIM! There are many scriptural references in the Bible that speak to this, but I leave you with one:
Psalm 55:22. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
To God be the Glory