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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)

TITLE: Believe
By terri tiffany


“I hope I can do this.” Dread clouded my thoughts as I reached for my car keys. The drive to the cluster of buildings took ten minutes, long enough for me to question a million times what I was doing. I searched for her white van and not finding it, grabbed the closest parking spot to the entry. Second floor she said – to the right - down the hall. In bright gold lettering, the sign Oncology announced I could follow directions.

My friend has cancer – the kind where her doctor reached over to pat her knee telling her she has six months to live because all the traditional treatments didn’t work. She has the kind of cancer where she sobs into the phone that God will heal her – must heal her - and I agree through my tears but inside I ask the question I’m afraid to voice. Will you really God?

For almost nine months now, I have watched this woman struggle with new treatments and surgeries – then the side effects – followed by highs and lows of test results. “How can I help?” I ask her weekly and her response is always – “pray.” I do the expected things – prepare meals, offer to clean her house and of course I pray. But I want to do more. I want to help like I’ve never helped before and all she asks is that I pray.

And believe.

Kathy is fighting a battle for her life. With five children, a husband and a life yet to live – she needs to believe God will heal her. When the doctor finished patting her knee – she cried out “My God is bigger than this disease.” I wept when she told me. I wept when I doubted.

Her confidence is staggering.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” she apologized as she took a seat next to me in the doctor’s office. Today she needed a friend to help her listen to the doctor’s words and remind him she will win this war despite the shaking of his head. Afterwards she needed a friend to sit with her while the life-offering chemo dripped into veins already scarred from too many needles.

I had never been in a chemo unit before and had imagined all sorts of scenarios. The experience shattered my expectations. Settling back in recliners meant for a family room, we filled the hours with laughter and stories. For another week, confidence would buoy Kathy’s emotions while the drug sustained her health.

We hugged goodbye and I climbed into my Jeep relieved to be driving away from the center without a scar in my arm or sores from tackling a more potent drug than advised.

But I didn’t escape untouched.

I understood better what a brief moment six months of a person’s lifetime can be since we used two hours and they passed in a blink.

Later that day, I reread notes in my prayer journal to remind myself how God answered prayer in my life and in those around me. When I started the diary, I never expected Kathy’s name to take center stage. All along, she has been confident that I, too, believe God will heal her. Today, I found myself finally doing as she asks.

I believe.

God is at work … He has healed my friend’s spirit … and hopefully the disease too. But after spending time together in a room filled with unspoken hopes and fears… I walked away filled with unexpected joy confident in my knowledge that God indeed is at work - in me, too.

Luke 8:50 “Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.” (NIV)

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Angela M. Baker-Bridge07/12/07
Thank you for sharing so honestly. We all know someone with cancer. You made excellent points for us to keep in mind. God bless. Angel
Ed VanDeMark07/12/07
I'm confident this story will be appreciated by many people who need a healthy dose of confidence right now. Our world is full of people suffering silently in their crisis. Thank you for the frank approach concerning our often reality based doubts. Good job.
Benjamin Graber07/13/07
Thank you for sharing this, it meant a lot to me. My Grandmother passed away from cancer a week ago, and I know she's all healed now, in the presence of her Savior.
Dee Yoder 07/13/07
You are so right on with your descriptions of the whole cancer process thing. I went through it with my son's Dad, and my "new" husband is in remission right now. Isn't it funny how the Lord can take something so obviously sad and tragic for us and bring His peace, healing and, yes, joy right smack into the middle? That's our Great God! Thanks for sharing your heart warming story.
Lynda Schultz 07/13/07
Words fail me — this is great!
Sharlyn Guthrie07/13/07
This is a touching and amazing piece! Thank you so much for putting words to a process that many of us have experienced with loved ones and friends. I hope this entry does well.
Jan Ackerson 07/14/07
Very inspirational, and a super tribute to your friend. I so appreciate your candidness with this piece.

The line "her confidence is staggering" threw me for a moment, because I first read it to mean "her confidece is stumbling" (she is losing her confidence) rather than "her confidence astounds me." Probably just me...

Wonderful pacing on this piece...I love it.
Joanne Sher 07/14/07
Wonderful wonderful. I love the pace of this, and the voice.
Lisa Graham07/18/07
Beautifully - and achingly - written. A touching story from the heart, and reminder to us all that the very best we can do for an ill friend or loved one is to pray, for that is the greatest gift we can give - the power of prayer. A friend of mine who recently experienced another triumph on her road to recovery from cancer says the knowledge of others' prayers inspires and encourages her.
Joy Faire Stewart07/18/07
You have perfectly captured the emotions in your writing. I felt I was there going through all of it. It must have been a difficult piece to write. I pray that prayers will be answered.