A few months ago, while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across this post from a friend. I was so moved as she unfolded her story -- a story of hope in the midst of hopelessness, the gift of Christian sisterhood, the power of prayer, and just what can happen if we boldly reach out when the Holy Spirit tells us to.
Ever since I first read Kelly’s post that day, I’ve wanted to share it with you…
The day I heard the news about my liver I was at the park with the boys, trying to enjoy my day.
Everett wasn’t happy at all, so I just wanted to get out of the house. Once we got to the park, his behavior got even worse, and he threw one of the biggest meltdowns I’ve ever seen. I felt heartbroken knowing I’m his mom, but I couldn’t make it better. To make it worse, he couldn’t even verbalize to me what was making him so incredibly upset.
I felt so alone.
I quickly glanced at my emails and saw the results from my MRI. My cancer had spread to my liver.
It was the worst news I’ve ever received, and I felt sick to my stomach. The news was more than I could handle. I started to feel dizzy and thought I was going to pass out. But of course I was trying to be strong and hold it together for my boys. Everett ran further and further away, and I just gave up running in hopes he would soon come back to me.
I sat on a rock balling my eyes out, and Ethan stood there hugging me.
I can’t even begin to explain the anger and frustration I was feeling. We finally got home. I was talking to God in my head, asking Him why this was happening to me. I told him how I’ve trusted Him through this whole seven-year cancer process, and I didn’t understand why He was ignoring the 10,000 prayers I’ve spoken to him.
I felt like God had just stopped caring for me.
A minute later, a lady from my church called me. She had prayed over me once at Gateway Church, and I instantly remembered who she was. She told me how she had been sitting in her car about to head into church, when suddenly God told her she needed to call me now and pray with me. She had a long list of people that needed prayer, and He specifically choose MY name at that very moment.
She prayed with me on the phone and hit every feeling I was feeling, telling me not to believe the filthy lies of the enemy. And God told her He loves me and has looked over me non-stop each and everyday. Just as I started losing faith, God reassured me that I would be okay. He had her call ME at the scariest time of my life to let me know He cares.
Instantly I felt an overwhelming amount of love and happiness.... my worst day became my favorite day.
I share this story in hopes that through your darkest moments, you know that God is ALWAYS listening. He never stops caring, and He loves each and every one of us with all His heart. There is no love greater than the love of the Father.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” (Prov. 18:10)
“Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” (Isaiah 41:10)
As I read this beautiful outpouring from Kelly’s heart, I felt saturated with awe and amazement. I was so in awe of Kelly’s vulnerability and strength; and so amazed by God’s ability to do immeasurably MORE than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us. (Eph. 3:20)
But what struck me most profoundly was this undeniable reality: God’s powerful intervention into Kelly’s life that day came through someone else’s courageous ‘yes’. A sister in Christ, who boldly said ‘yes’ when God nudged her to pick up the phone and call Kelly.
I’m sure her friend was nervous. Maybe she even questioned herself, wondering if she’d know what to say or how to pray. But she called anyway. What a bold and courageous move! And look what happened...
When Kelly’s friend courageously reached out, God was able to powerfully reach in.
As she prayed with Kelly and spoke truth to her, God reached right in to Kelly’s heart and flooded her entire being with His consoling love, presence and security.
The day Kelly heard the most devastating news, God sent someone to give her the most incredible news; the only news that ultimately matters - that God loves her, He is with her, and He will never leave her.
If you read my recent New Year’s blog, you know my word for 2019 is renew.
I don’t even know the name of Kelly’s friend, but her inspiring witness has renewed a spirit of crazy holy boldness in me! To reach out when God places someone on my heart; to not be afraid to pick up the phone and call someone; and most importantly, to not be afraid to pray with them.
Because when we reach out, God can reach in.
Lord, when You give me the nudge to reach out to someone, grant me the bold courage to say ‘yes’. Yes to proclaiming Your good news. Yes to being Your voice to speak. Yes to being Your heart to love. Yes to trusting that if You call me, You will equip me. Because Your Spirit is upon me, and You have anointed me.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind; to set the oppressed free…