Do you believe in the power of prayer? Do you believe miracles happen? Do you believe that sometimes (not often) a person is healed and science can't explain it and doctor's don't understand it? Well, let me tell you about my friend Bridget. If you follow my blog you know, cause I posted about it a few times, that a new friend of mine recently discovered that her rare cancer had come back and needed to be treated.
Here is the card I made for her to celebrate her healing!! Imagine how hard this one was... Who makes a sentiment that says 'congratulations on being a miracle!!' I pick scriptures when I don't have the words...
Here is her story as best I can recall it. Bridget, if you read this I apologize in advance for leaving out so many other details that you could have added. I hope I got it 90% right!
Bridget is in human resources at Wegmans thirty something and single. She worked in Virginia and transferred with Wegmans with a small team to open their New England locations. She moved to MA in the fall of 2010 and pretty soon after arriving in Boston received her original diagnosis of her cancer. Lucky her, she was in a state with some top notch cancer hospitals. She was treated at Mass General through a combination of chemo-therapy & surgery. The doctors told her the cancer would come back and they would operate again. That is the kind of cancer it is. They just couldn't tell her when it would come back. Oh yeah and the 10 year survival rate for this cancer is something awful like 30%. yuck. She went through her entire first treatment and started to recover. I met Bridget in the fall of 2011 when she was back to normal and started attending our church.
In April I got a call from Bridget asking for prayers. She had been for her normal follow-up visit and they found a tumor. Her cancer was back only 16 months after she last beat it. I asked everyone I knew to pray. I asked you guys (who follow my blog to pray.) We got the church to pray. And we all rallied around her to offer support - rides to chemo and doctor's visits. We sent cards and little gifts. But mostly we prayed. We prayed for healing. We prayed for wisdom for the doctors. We prayed for logistics. It's what we do. And Bridget endured the treatments. It was hard. She said it was soo much harder than the first time. She was so sick with the chemo.
She prepared for surgery on Monday June 18th. She was scheduled for a double operation. The tumor was large so they planned to have the first surgery to remove it and then immediately afterward a different surgical team was going to come in and re-build the artery where the tumor was removed. She had a pre-operation scan last week and her surgeon called her Friday. Guess what her surgeon told her? The tumor is gone, there is no need for surgery. It took a while for Bridget to process the information. The doctor explained that this is highly unusual. He has never seen this before. He consulted with many other surgeons and cancer treatment experts. He wanted to be sure he wasn't misunderstanding. He consulted with top surgeons in the Boston medical community. Everyone confirmed there is no need for surgery. The tumor was there before, the chemo alone should have minimized it but no-one thought the chemo alone could remove it. It just doesn't happen. They were flabbergasted. And Bridget was overwhelmed. What do you think it feels like to witness a miracle in your own body? What does it feel like to have God answer a HUGE prayer in a HUGE way? So she did what you or I would do. She started telling - everyone! And thanking - everyone.
I missed the news, at first. Bridget sends out text messages to a big distribution list. The text message didn't get to me so I didn't find out about it until Sunday night. I texted her and said 'hope you are doing well and ready for surgery tomorrow... lots of people are praying for you so stay strong.' Well, imagine my surprise to get her text back..... And then, of course I had to call her Monday morning and hear the whole story.
So what do you do on the day you were going to have a double surgery and now have no-place to be? If you are Bridget you go to Cape Cod with your bible and sit in the sunshine and praise God and eat clam-rolls and ice-cream. It was a gorgeous day. I wish I could have joined her! And if you are me, her friend, you tell everyone that you witnessed the power of prayer and encourage them to investigate Jesus Christ and find out how much he loves each and every one of us.
What kind of cancer did Bridget have?
I don't know what kind of cancer it is. It started with a cough and required surgery in her chest area to fix.
How did she do this as a single person?
Bridget's friends and family supported her through both treatments. As a single girl, living far from 'home', she had more than enough people around to help her. Praise God.
Tell me about Wegmans.
Wegmans is a fabulous grocery store and is one of the top 10 companies in America to work for. Yes, it's worth a trip. No, the prices aren't outrageous. Yes, the cafe is worth driving to for lunch. Yes, I almost always buy a soft pretzel and/or sushi when I go there.
Is your card for a challenge?
Yup, the card is using the Make It Monday technique - bordered sentiments.
How do I learn more about prayer, miracles and Jesus?
Find a bible and read one chapter - I recommend the book of John. It is probably about 2/3rds into the book and is a great chapter to learn about Jesus, miracles and the power of prayer. I also recommend the following church/website. The pastor (Andy Stanley) has a way to communicating with people today about what Jesus is all about. Check out the website and listen to messages, read his books or go to his church in Atlanta.
Why did God heal Bridget?
That one I can't answer. But here is what I think. I think God creates each one of us while we are in our mother's womb. I think God loves each one of us as unique individuals but pours out his love on us all equally. I know that in this life we will have trouble. There is evil, death, disease, broken hearts and misery. God does not like these things, but God also does not eliminate these things on earth. He does promise a time and place where this doesn't exist but that's heaven, not earth. I do not believe that Bridget did anything super special to receive this blessing. She is not without sin. She does not have a super faith. She is a pretty normal person who loves God, believes God, follows God and experiences pain and joy. I think some people believe that a big faith or a moral character mean more blessings. I don't believe that. I've seen people with big faith and fabulous morals suffer. I've seen people with no faith and horrible morals thrive. I know the bible says that when Jesus performed miracles on earth he did so to bring people to knowledge of God. So, all I can say is that God must have determined that by healing Bridget, He could use that healing for His Glory and help people know Him and serve Him. If you suffer with an illness, I will encourage you to pray. And if God heals you - tell the world and praise Him. If God does not heal you - praise Him anyway (if you can) and know that God still loves you and has a purpose for your life (even if you still suffer.)
So, I know this post is long, but it's a worthwhile story - don't you think? If you prayed for Bridget - THANK YOU. What an awesome thing it is to celebrate with Bridget. Oh, and please keep praying. Pray that the radiation goes well and the cancer NEVER COMES BACK. Pray that the doctors that witnessed the miracle pause and seek out getting answers for this. Pray that when they seek answers they find truth.
Thank you for visiting my blog today and celebrating with me. I'd love to hear your comments, so thanks in advance for leaving them today.