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A diagnosis that became a life-changing wake-up call
My life was changed in so many ways – and not necessarily the way you would expect.
Over the past year, I had been experiencing slowness in the left side of my body, as well as back pain. I had visited a handful of doctors, but no one understood exactly what was going on with my body. Eventually, I visited our family chiropractor. He was concerned and ordered an MRI on my lower back and my brain.
My first response was that all of this was unnecessary and silly. I was a strong man. Three days before I was scheduled for my MRI, I experienced a massive seizure. Thankfully, I wasn’t driving. I had stopped to refuel for the day’s work ahead. I remember as I was finishing up, I felt a strange sensation run up my arm. I tried to call for help, but no sound came out of my mouth. The last thing I remember was a young man running towards me. It was terrifying!
That day was May 6, 2017. From that day on, my life and the life of my family changed forever!
My wife was waiting for me in the emergency room when I came to. She held me and we cried. We prayed together and the spirit of thankfulness surrounded us. This is the day the Lord has made … even this day. Shortly after that, we received the news that I had a brain tumor. Unreal. Disbelief.
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Storming heaven with prayer
I was anxious. I wanted the tumor out! I wanted to go back to work; resume life how it was. I started to pray … to storm heaven! I couldn’t get enough of God’s Word and other spiritual nourishment. Physically, I was a strong man, but inwardly afraid. I started tolike never before! Thoughts of unbelief, doubt and feeling sorry for myself – they all had to go! The chains that bound me to these thoughts started to loosen and break. I battled on! At times I could hear the whole host of heaven cheering me on! The night before surgery, it was all out war. My wife and I prayed together. I fell asleep listening to her reading to me out of the Psalms and Isaiah.
The surgeon had hoped that my tumor hadn’t spread, but unfortunately it had. He was unable to remove all of it. This was extremely hard on my family. I was still in the operating room when they got the news. They immediately prayed and thanked God that I made it through the surgery. My wife took the children out to the hospital’s garden area. They sat there and just cried. And God was there with them and was their comfort. After surgery it was apparent that the left side of my body had been temporarily paralyzed.
Healing from brain surgery and going through aggressive rehabilitation to regain what I had lost was faith strengthening. There was nothing of me left; I had to rely solely on God! I started to taste victory. At times it was like I could physically touch God. I’ve never experienced that in the whole of my life!
When we found out about the diagnosis, I thought possibly they had the wrong guy, the wrong diagnosis. It became clear to me that it wasn’t the tumor or the cancer I was up against, it was the spirit of unbelief and doubt. God could take away the cancer immediately if He chose to. Regardless of what was physically going on in my body, spiritually I would be an overcomer! This is an opportunity to overcome sin in my life and make progress on the way of salvation! So then I can say, yes, I am being held and renewed day by day.
Shortly after I was diagnosed, one of the elder brothers of Brunstad Christian Church asked if he could pray over me. The night before my family and I were going to pray with him, all the spirits of unbelief, doubt and fear came upon me. I was physically sick! I spent the whole night in battle! By morning my body was weak and my spirit was worn out. As I walked into the room where the brother was, all those spirits immediately disappeared! He placed his hand on me and said, “Satan has no more hold over you!” We then had a powerful time of prayer! From that point forward, I have never looked back! You can never be too zealous for God! Never!
I am just now finishing up the first round of treatment. Six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. I continue to press into God’s Word! The love I’ve experienced for the others is amazing! Throughout my life I’ve always felt like I didn’t have much to offer. And now through this trial, I do! Am I thankful for this trial? Yes! I wouldn’t have made this progress on my own – wouldn’t have been saved from sin to this degree. Never! God loves me very much! He had to give me a little nudge. Wake up!
People have often asked me if I have a bucket list. My heart’s desire is to be with my friends and my family. "Just today" is my motto. Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m going to die anytime soon. But when it is my time, I will finish my race full of thankfulness for what God has done in my life! No doubt. No unbelief. Only victory!
Leaving my family is a sorrow. The thought of it hurts. I take each moment to listen to my wife and children and encourage them. Give them that extra hug. Tell them I love them. But the most important thing is to be an example! An overcomer! I recently told my wife, “Don’t be afraid of the future regarding our children. We received them in faith. They have a calling over their life! God is faithful and true! We have prayed for our children before they were born, and we’ll continue to pray for them straight into the kingdom of heaven! So, if it’s God’s will to take me, do not fear for our children’s future!” I’ll be right alongside her praying! What a comfort!
Have I changed in the last few months? Yes! Thankfully! I have tasted victory like never before! I am watchful! I strengthen myself with God’s Word and He helps me! All the things of this world are so dim. There is no time to waste! Before, I was a man who was good by nature and physically strong. I would have loved to live out in the middle of nowhere minding my own business, satisfied with who I was. Thanks and praise be to God that He didn’t allow me to remain the same! What wretchedness! Through this experience, I’ve only seen God’s goodness! He has liberated me! It’s like I’ve been awakened from the dead to live wholeheartedly! I have something to fight for! To run this race like never before! I stand on God’s Word, and His Word alone! Choose today to be an overcomer! If you fall, get back up! God is for you!
Your brother in the battle,
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.