I want to thank those who prayed for my doctor visits on Monday. It was kind of rigorous seeing my oncologist, my general practitioner and my plastic surgeon all in one day but God had a GREAT plan and I could see Him working in remarkable ways. And all my reports have come in – I am doing very well. I’m still in considerable pain from the latest surgery and weakened by it, but my cancer markers are great, praise the Lord!
Here’s a really cool tidbit from the great God stuff of Monday. It turns out I got the day wrong for my oncology appointment! I was due Tuesday, not Monday, but the receptionist said if I could wait, there was time a little later in the schedule for me. If you have read any of my previous medical blog posts, you know that quite frankly, I love my oncologist’s office and God has done amazing things there, so I chose to wait. It was two hours filled with glory.
First there was a woman I’ll call Sharon in the waiting room with me. A few years ago, Sharon had been in a car accident which left her in a wheelchair and later that same year she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Sharon and I hit it off immediately – both of us outgoing women and pretty practical gals about this cancer thing. Sharon is an attorney married to an attorney and is extremely bright and articulate – just one of those women you want to hang out with! She has a very upbeat perspective in spite of doctors through the years telling her she should be, well, dead. Sharon grew up a Christian but no longer practices the Christian faith. When she found out I was a minister, I waited for a more guarded response but I just felt this wash of what God feels for her – love – and I think it showed. Our conversation was open, fun, lively, and very helpful to me. I need to hear from people like Sharon as I form our Cancer Comfort ministry. Although I want us to reach out to believers, I also want our ministry to comfort those who have no faith – Sharon is a great resource and I hope, a new friend!
When I was able to see my oncologist, my doctor asked if a patient she had referred to me for support had ever called me. She hadn’t. My doctor said she really needed support but I’ve found that women with breast cancer can be really private about their disease and their journey. I told the doctor I’d just pray she would call when the time was right.
Well, evidently the time was right. As I walked into the waiting room, I saw an attractive woman sitting and waiting for her appointment. Her hair was short and growing in from chemo like mine. I commented about it and we hit it off immediately. In moments we are comparing our mastectomy stories and laughing about hideous things like surgical drains.
Then from behind the counter we heard our oncologist’s voice say to the woman I’ll call Mary, “Mary, this is the lady minister whose card I gave you so you could call her.” Yep, you got it! This was the very patient the doctor had referred to me for support who had never contacted me. We looked at each other and we both knew we were caught up in a divine moment. You see, God had been listening – to conversations behind doctor’s doors, to tears wept in the night, to fears and pain and need for comfort and support. “What kind of a church do you pastor?” Mary asked. “The kind that loves Jesus and preaches from the Bible and just wants to give away God’s love,” I said. I saw her face relax and her eyes light up. I sat on the arm rest of the chair she was sitting in and put my arm around her and prayed for her right then and there. It was a time when the presence of Kind Savior descended from heaven and rested upon two women who He had brought together in His unlikely but beautiful way and out of His extravagant love. Wow.
Please pray for both Sharon and Mary, my new friends. They are very different people but they are joined together, with me, in something special — something Sharon called the “sacred sisterhood.” I like the phrase. And I like Sharon and Mary.
Today I awoke to that Scripture from Isaiah running through my head that says that those who “wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and rise up above their circumstances and fly high and free as if they were riding on the wings of eagles.” (My paraphrase!) My name wasn’t on Dr. Rhee’s schedule that day, but I was right where God had scheduled me and as I waited, God renewed me. And even more, He lifted me up and along with my new friends Sharon and Mary. He let me fly high on the wings of His Spirit.
What a gift. What a God.
AS ALWAYS, I love to read your comments to these posts. Just click “leave a comment” below and add your comment – I read every one! Sometimes what you have to say is truly a word from the Lord to my heart and to the hearts of others who read the comments! AND be sure to take a moment to read the comments — just click on “comments” — you’ll be blessed, I am sure as are Prince Philip and me!
Love and blessings,
After more than 25 years in parish ministry, Rev. Cathie retired in early 2018 to pursue a quieter life with her husband Philip in the mountains of Central Oregon. Although no longer a leader in congregational life, she continues to follow her calling and passion to minister to those who suffer, especially those with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.