Our friend was having brain surgery. Again. The Melanoma kept insidiously attacking our friend and the three of us were going to visit her and help pass the time until she was taken to surgery later in the day. As we drove, we talked about how each of us had met her, what she meant to us, and reminisced about old times. We talked about how we could be supportive to her. We shared our concerns for her wellbeing, for the ability of the surgeon to remove the cancer that had invaded her brain, and worried about if, when and where it would strike again. Despite our concerns and fears, we would put on a good face. We would be with our friend as she continued to do battle with this destructive disease
When we got to her hospital room, she asked about our lives and what was going on in our world. We shared, laughed and prayed. We talked about taking a trip to Georgia to visit another mutual friend and go to a Women of Faith Conference as a group. We asked her to tell us what her biggest fear was that we might pray that God would allay her concerns and give her peace.
She shared that her only frustration was her inability to ambulate without assistance and kept apologizing to the nursing staff for her dependency on them. The nurses shared with us that they enjoyed helping our friend because of her positive demeanor and kindness to them. Her prayers were that the surgeon gets all the cancer out so she could get on her feet and do the work God wanted her to do. She would like to minister to the youth as she had done in the past. Many had been calling their mentor and praying for healing. One of the youth she had mentored was a 29 year old mother of two who was currently waging war against pancreatic cancer. She wanted us to be spending time with this young mother and shared she’d gladly change places with her if it meant that this mother could be healthy and well enough to care and enjoy her young children.
In the hours before major surgery, our friend was thinking of another’s need and not her own. As she spoke she conveyed an acceptance and peace as to her state of being and a desire to do God’s will.
It was in that moment that I realized that while we had come to bolster our friend with friendship and faith; we were filled with dread and harboring fears for our friend. Yet she who had suffered and lost so much was fearless, faith-filled and already equipped with a sense of “peace that surpasses all understanding”.
We came to make her stronger; but it was she that made us stronger. We came to make her feel better but it was her that made us feel better. As she prepared to fight another battle against cancer; she filled us up with fearless faith. She is an amazing example of Christ using every moment, even in the hospital mission field to minister to those around her.
Blessings, my friend.