“.. Give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes, keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:20-22
In October 2011, I noticed a lump just under my right jaw, near my right ear. It wasn’t painful, and it wasn’t bothersome either. I hadn’t noticed it growing; one day, a workmate just called my attention to it. I had it checked, thinking I might have had an infection of some sort that caused my lymph node to swell. A week after that checkup, my husband and I were blown away by the unexpected result: mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC), or salivary gland cancer.
The moment I received the news, there was that feeling of disbelief that seemed to ask “Did he just say I have cancer?” I’ve heard about other people being diagnosed with some type of cancer, but it never occurred to me that I would get it myself. Looking back now, I am still so amazed how there was an inexplicable peace in my heart that I just could not understand. I knew that it was that kind of peace that Jesus promised would only be from him – the kind that would surpass all understanding. It was as if the Lord was literally holding my hand as the doctor kept talking about possible actions and treatment options we can take.
When we got home, I could not stop looking at my eight-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. In this type of cancer, surgery was treatment itself, and from there, we would know what stage my cancer was. Low-grade and intermediate-grade MEC had a good prognosis, but a high-grade MEC is highly aggressive. If I had the aggressive type, it was possible that I might not even get to see my daughter march on her impending graduation.
Just a few days later, I was scheduled for a surgery that would remove my entire right salivary gland. Very early in the morning, just an hour before the surgery would take place, I was prepped inside a holding area and stayed there while I waited for the procedure to start. I was all alone in that very quiet room of this very big hospital – alone with the Lord, that is. All throughout the week, we just saw the Lord at work at every bend, from the laboratory procedures to the financial provisions, physical strength, and prayer covering. He was just so real in the midst of those tough times.
But in that particular moment, inside the holding area, I felt a warm sensation come over that part where the lump was. It was not a warmth that came from the outside, nor was it coming from somewhere inside me. It was just suddenly there, and at that moment, I knew it was the Lord touching me with his healing hand. My faith flared in full glory. I was confident in God’s spirit because my faith is one that is founded on the Lord Jesus Christ.
As much as I had faith that he is real and that he is alive, that faith became so tangible that it seemed to tell me so loudly that I am healed.
So, I claimed it by faith right then and there in that quiet room, all alone, stripped naked and all. A few minutes later, the surgery took place, and I just slept my way through everything already assured that the Lord has got everything in his mighty hands.
After two days, the biopsy result came, and once again, my husband and I were blown a
way: benign, pleomorphic adenoma. The surgeon kept shaking his head because he just could not understand how it became benign. They compared the newly removed tumor with the first biopsy result I had, and they were puzzled why there were two different findings. As for us, we just beamed with joy because we knew why. The doctor said I was very lucky, but we know full well that luck had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was simply because the Lord did a miracle on me!
It has been a little over four years now, and as I recall that highlight of my life, I am once again floored in humility at how the Lord worked his love and grace in that very tough moment in my life. I had questioned him why and how. There were times when he would answer me, but there were times also when he would remain silent which made it even more difficult. I realize now that it was in the toughest moments when the Lord and his love became more real to me than ever; his silence is never his absence.
I have never been the same since then. It was a tough time that he had to let me go through so that I will be drawn much closer to him. Had he not rocked my boat, I would not have learned trust in its deepest sense. He did it out of his great love for me – tough love.
I grew up reading the Bible and going to Sunday school; I grew up knowing that God is real, but it was during my ordeal with cancer when death also became very real. Did I ever fear? Yes, but I did not fear dying as much as I feared the thought of my children growing up without a mother to guide them, teach them, feed them, take care of them; however, these thoughts were cut short and I was freed from these fears when I focused more on who the Lord is rather than who I am. If cancer is my lot in life, will death be victorious over me or my family? The answer is a resounding NO because Jesus is alive, and he has overcome death. I
t may cause me to be absent in body from my family, but the Lord will take care of my family way better than I ever can.
My quiet time and prayer life have never been the same. The Lord not only healed me physically, but He also healed other areas of my life. I decided to become a stay-at-home mother and wife whose devotion is fostering a household that serves the Lord.
Just a few days ago, our daughter graduated from elementary. That day also happened to be our son’s ninth birthday. I felt a very happy kind of wrenching in my heart as I watched our little girl march up on stage to receive her elementary diploma, with my husband and son right beside me.
My faith in the face of cancer will always remind me that I have a stunning testimony to share. He saved me and I embrace Jesus as supremely sovereign over my life. And I can share this not on the flimsy authority of my memory of the disease, but on the unsurpassed authority of our Father.
“I shall not die, but live,and declare the works of the LORD.”- Psalms 118-17
♡ If you enjoyed this story, I’m sure you’ll love this too → Losing a Loved One to Alzheimer