“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalms 46:10 English Standard Version.
In 2015, I wrote about a citrus tree I’d planted in my small garden. (You can find the story here) My husband, Jay told me it would never produce fruit in such a small space in our garden.
I am happy to announce…he was wrong! Fist pump!
There are huge uh… fruit of some sort growing all over it. I believe it’s grapefruit, but I won’t know until the day it ripens, which for weeks I’ve been monitoring its progress.
“How’s the fruit?” Jay says when I walk in the door from the garden for the umpteenth time.
After several months of this, I contacted a specialist on all matters of the universe, Dr. Goggle and found it takes 11 months for grapefruit to ripen on the vine. ELEVEN MONTHS! I mean goodness gracious, I could die of scurvy before this fruit ripens! Kudos to the citrus farmers out there, I crown you Saints of Patience.
Blessings follow patience I suppose. If you’ve read my previous posts titled Half -Naked and Picking Weeds Part 1-3 (You can find part 1 here:), you’re familiar with my friend Vanessa and her battle with brain cancer. She’s being blessed for her patience.
Since Half- Naked and Picking Weeds was posted, I’ve been sitting with Vanessa in her apartment while she tells me her life story. Her apartment is dark, because her eyes hurt, and I squat at the foot of her bed with pen and notebook. Somehow, we work through her sentences one by one, word by word, and I’m able to understand. (The brain tumor has affected her communication skills.)
These past weeks, her head has been hot to the touch. So much so, one day I placed a cold cloth on it after rubbing it with oil. There was a bump rising up on her skull, along with the anxiety in my gut. Time was running out…or so I thought.
Her mother Joan came into the room, “No Tammy take that cloth off. Jesus is using heat to heal my daughter.” I removed the cloth, remembering my sister’s hyperthermia treatment in Germany, where a doctor heated her body up and iced her brain to fight breast cancer. How ironic, Vanessa’s brain was heating up now on its own.
Last week, my husband and I met Vanessa at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. While we waited for her MRI consult, Vanessa wrung her hands, I reached over and squeezed them in her lap.
“Oh my gosh, I’m just so anxious,” she said.
I touched her head. “You know it’s weird, but your head’s not hot and that bump has gone down. You look good and sound better since the last time I saw you.”
“I know. I feel great,” Vanessa said.
Finally, we were called back to speak with the doctor. The doctor turned from the monitor and asked her, “Are you sure you haven’t received any other treatment?”
“No,” Vanessa shook her head. “I’ve been on hospice.”
“Well, this is incredible. You only have one tiny spot of cancer left. Here,” She pointed to the monitor, “at the base of your brain. You can see, the swelling and the tumor have all shrunk. I suggest you get off hospice and start getting some physical therapy right away.”
Vanessa laughed. Her mother cried. I sat speechless by it all. (Speechless is a word rarely prescribed to me.)
You see, I’ve struggled with this whole cancer thing since my sister’s diagnoses. I’ve been asking God if He ever heals miraculously in the USA. I’ve read of many healings in developing countries where there is no medicine. Although, I’ve prayed for a miracle, I admit my faith is weak when it comes to healing. Sometimes, hopes hurt, and when they’re dashed to bits it takes time to recover. So, we build a wall around hopes and tread the perimeter with caution.
I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way.
Around two months ago, Vanessa was given two months to live. Her tumor grew and swelled her brain to a point where she wasn’t conscious. Two hospitals washed their hands of her and sent her home to be on Hospice, but God had a plan. The miracle comes when there is no other option.
After her MRI, I sped a squealing Vanessa zig-zag down the hallway to the check out. Behind the check-out desk there was a sign on the wall. The sign was incomplete, but I knew it was meant to be noticed.
“Vanessa, look what that sign says.” I whispered in her ear. “It says, Be still.”
She nodded. “Be still and know that I am God,” she said.
Perhaps, that’s why God allowed my tree to produce something to teach me to be still while He brings uh… something to a ripened state. Hmm…Maybe that’s why He’s brought me Vanessa. So, I’ll just wait…and continue praying….and maybe wiggle in my seat a bit.
Perhaps you’d like to share how you struggle with being still, being patient, and letting God. Until next week…
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.