God answered all the prayers we scratched on a few faded-yellow one inch post-its which we stuck on the side of our mirror. Complete remission for Duwayne (check!!!!!!!); a reliable car to take us back to California, (it broke down about half-way, still, it did get us here on time, so check!); a job with benefits that I would enjoy (check); money to make the trip from Tampa to Los Angeles, pay for rent and for Duwayne to go to law school (check, check, check). These are a few of the things we scribbled as reminders to God and ourselves of the things we needed to begin a new life together. Battered by some really difficult situations over the past three years, we felt needful of a fresh start in our marriage; thankfully, God did not hold back in giving us every desire of our hearts – even the ones unspoken and unwritten.
Now, we’re home.
We have a wonderful home erected on a foundation of many miracles and blessings. The warmth of the love of God in our lives saturates every wall, cupboard and piece of furniture in our apartment because we would have none of it without Him. Nothing good has been withheld from us, so much so that the only ‘deficit’ I can think of in our lives right now is a home church through which we can grow and serve. Over the past year and a half, though, we have been tremendously supported by many believers who may, or may not know each other. If you are reading this post, you are likely to be one of those persons who has prayed for us, encouraged us and helped to meet our financial burdens. So, in fact, there is no real deficit, as we are already connected to a wonderful family of faith.
I can’t tell you ‘the full’ of all we have experienced through this medium, however, I do want to express some of how Duwayne’s illness and healing has impacted me. Last March, while on the last leg of travelling to be with Duwayne in the hospital, I remember staring at the airline magazines in the seat pocket in front of me, thinking and just trying to deal with the shock of his cancer diagnosis and what that meant: was he going to die? I think in that moment, I had thoughts about being at his funeral, unable to cry and becoming mute for the rest of my life. I also pictured myself kneeling at the altar of Church on the Rock (Kingston), weeping uncontrollably because God had taken him from me. I imagined many horrible things and worried about the future. I was even concerned about what to say once I saw him for the first time in the hospital bed…
…and in the midst of all the chaos I felt encroaching upon me, God spoke to my heart. He said, “It’s going to get worse before it gets better, but it’s not unto death.” Those words pierced the shadows in my mind and immediately gave me hope. They were like the desperate, wheezing gasp for air when someone frantically surfaces from deep water – they’re still in deep water, but they can breathe, they can breathe.
At the time and especially during the more difficult times in our ordeal, I took those words to mean:
1. God was with us.
2. There would be times to come when I, again, would think Duwayne was going to die.
3. Duwayne was not going to die in his youth and he was not going to die of cancer.
4. God would heal Duwayne over time, not immediately.
5. God was with me.
Now, one year and five months later, Duwayne is cancer free. Hallelujah. Stage IV Colon Cancer? What’s that? God, in the wonder of His faithfulness kept His promise to me. And that’s what I want to leave with you today. There is much more to be shared about our journey, but for today, remember that God is with you in the midst of all that you are going through. He is nothing less than merciful, loving and faithful to meet you at your point of need. He is not blind. He has not forgotten, though it may feel that way at times. You have to come to a place where you just believe that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. That has been our experience…
…and now we’re here, finally. We’re home. And we’re very thankful.