When the phone rang, I thought it was my parents, calling to wish Joshie Boy a happy 7th birthday. Our little family was gathered around the table, laughing and soaking up this golden moment. We were at the end of a long, hard health season for my husband.
It was Momma on the other end of the line and I could tell she had been crying. She had surgery two weeks before, a hernia repair, and they removed some fatty tissue from the area. When Momma had her post-operative checkup, what was supposed to be a routine appointment suddenly turned very serious.
The tissue sample came back as cancer, with undifferentiated cells. The experts in the lab couldn’t tell what kind of cancer from the sample, but it turned out to be very advanced ovarian.
The moment she called was surreal. I rose from the table and wandered into my bedroom, settling on the floor of my quiet walk-in-closet. The party sounds were muffled. The wooden kitchen table was a long way off. The news seemed impossible: she…a non-smoker, non-drinker, with no “female” cancers in her medical history?
Not long afterward, during my devotional time, I ran across the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. As I read it, I felt peace fall on me. Remember the one? When Lazarus was sick, and things looked bleak, Mary and Martha called for Jesus, saying,
“Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.”
When Jesus heard that, He said,
“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:3-4, KJV).
Not unto death. Those words encouraged me and, when I shared them with Mom, she told me that passage had been warming her heart too.
One morning a few weeks later, as I talked with the kids about Mom’s cancer, I told them they were very important in this process, because we needed their prayers. Then we opened the Bible for our scheduled daily reading and turned to the story in Luke 5:17-26.
A paralytic man was brought to Jesus by his friends, but the crowd around Jesus was so great, that they had to lower him down through the roof of the house. They were so sure that Jesus could help him, and they loved him so much, that nothing could stop them from bringing their friend to Jesus for healing. We felt an immediate connection with this story.
I have written my momma’s stories before here, but today I am sharing it over at Three Word Wednesday—you can click here to read the rest of it over there. If you would like to read more about my remarkable Momma, you can check out these posts:
A Herstory of My Mom – farmer’s daughter meets the big ol’ world
A Herstory of My Mom (Momma’s Lessons from Cancer, Part 1) – Momma’s reflections on her lessons from Stage 3C Ovarian cancer (part 1 of 2)
A Herstory of My Mom (Momma’s Lessons from Cancer, part 2) – Momma’s reflections on her lessons from Stage 3C Ovarian cancer (part 2 of 2)
Wisdom is Taught By Kindness – How my husband came to call me “Bible Lady” and other nickname origins
Momma’s Banana Bread – 10 minutes and it’s in the oven! Great with a vanilla latte!