In 1997. I was working full-time and going to college for Electrical Engineering. I was married to a wonderful man, and we were raising two children, ages nine and seven.
My husband, Arnie, and I both tried to juggle our busy schedules the best we knew how in love and patience. I became weary, exhausted and felt like something had to go. I thought it would be best for my family to quit college. The pressure was becoming too great to keep going at that pace with a heart of excellence to do the very best I could.
Arnie and I were Catholic. We had the mindset that being born and raised Catholic, and receiving the Sacraments was our assurance to heaven.
My best friend invited me to her Non-Denomination Church when I was contemplating quitting college. She wanted to see me saved, with a relationship with God, so I could have peace and strength to finish college. I remember her encouraging me to just come and listen to the band, and let God take all my burdens away. My husband was at a Nascar Race, so she convinced me to come and relax, and give my burdens to God. I remember my heart was touched by the Holy Spirit.
The pastor had an altar call for salvation, and I thought to myself, I’ll say the prayer, and then according to the Pastor, I’m would be saved! I remember leaving that church, buying a bible, but never having the time to read it. When I did read it, it would be a few verses. To me, the Bible was boring.
I finished college in 1999. I was promoted at my workplace, and things were working out great. I continued going to the Catholic Church. We were raising our children in the Catholic faith. Life was good!!
Then, on June 2, 2003, I was diagnosed with leukemia. 99% of my blood was cancer. My entire life came to screeching halt. Devastation upon me and my family. This diagnosis was fearful beyond belief, and my heart broken beyond words. My Grandfather died of leukemia when He was 38 years old. But I was healthy. How could this be? I found myself absent from hope and thought my life was over. I so desperately wanted to see my children grow up! They were fifteen and thirteen years old and they meant everything to me. My entire life passed before me.. the good, the bad, the great times, and the events I would miss because of the leukemia. I had a few thoughts about heaven and hell. Really, where am I going? Is heaven real? I realized I didn’t read the bible, and I never started a real relationship with Jesus. I did not talk to Him. I did not worship Him, I rarely thought about God. I just went through the routine of church. Would I need to know something in the bible? Will God ask me something I need to know about Jesus or heaven to get in? It was a mystery, and I was anxious and not so sure where I was going after I died? At 43, I never thought I would be asking myself these questions.
Two days later, my life was changed dramatically!! I fell on my knees and cried out to God, "God if you are really real, please come into this room!!" I was shocked! I an instant, my family room was warm, and flooded with bright light, and I knew God was in the room. He filled my entire being with his presence, and I heard his gentle, but powerful voice speaking to my heart about Jesus Christ and his love. God is real! I was awestruck! God revealed Himself to me and the veil was removed!
I repented by saying, “I have ignored you my entire life.” Instantly revelation came. He knew everything about me. I had known that, but never read the Word of God. I didn’t even know John 3:16 at that point. The Holy Spirit gave me a picture of Jesus on the cross... bloody, arms wide opened. A knowing came over me about how much He loved me. I knew with my heart that He hung on that cross in my place. He spoke to my heart about forgiveness, and how many hurt people there are in this world. He showed me a picture of the broken, the outcast, the sick, the orphans, and many more.
Another picture came of mean spirited people filled with evil, anger, and bitterness in their hearts. God whispered to me, “I’m waiting for my people to come to me so I can forgive them, love them, and heal their broken hearts." I couldn’t comprehend this kind of love!
I needed to forgive the offenses in my life that were buried in my heart. God set me free from the people who had rejected and abused me. By His amazing grace which was flowing through me, I let go of the past, and He empowered me to forgive, and to see Him with the eyes of my new heart. I was changed, and as the days unfolded I began to realize GOD HAD ORDERED MY STEPS, OPENED THE EYES OF MY HEART, and CALLED ME TO HIMSELF! I WAS EXPERIENCING THIS INCREDIBLE LIFE IN CHRIST.
The next day, I got a phone call from my sister-in-law who is a Christian. She cancelled her appointments that day because God spoke to her about my life and she was to deliver this message to me. Through the message, God revealed to me that I am His messenger and to those who need to hear about Him and His love.
My life was changed forever! I had hope! I was so excited! God wants me to be HIS MESSENGER! I didn’t know any scripture yet, but I was experiencing the presence of God, and receiving God’s call on my life to do His Will. I was so compelled by his love! It was hard to comprehend that three days prior, I was diagnosed with leukemia. Hope was back, and faith was rising in my soul.
I opened up the Word of God, and the Word became alive and powerful. It was not boring! The words were flying off the pages. THE VEIL WAS LIFTED! The Word of God was so fascinating, I couldn’t put the Bible down. I was simply amazed and captivated by the Truth. I started reading for hours a day, and the Holy Spirit was revealing truth, the love of Jesus, and the infallible Word of God to my heart. My mind was renewed with truth, instead of lies and wrong thinking. I was finding treasures in the Word of God! What an inheritance the Lord has given us!
I am in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. He is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. I am boasting in the Lord! Fear left me. Perfect love cast out fear. Day by day God was transforming me. I knew I wasn’t the same. His presence was tangible and I was and am on a journey to know Him and share the Truth about God. The peace that transcends all understanding was flooding my soul.
In the most devastating time of my life, joy was bubbling up out of my heart. I could not comprehend the Word manifesting in and through me. I was helping everyone around me. I was sharing the Word of God. Friends and family were coming to see me, and expecting negative words. They thought I was going to die of leukemia, but all I could talk about was God! He consumed my life. I knew every word in the Bible was absolute Truth. The Lord became my life!
Within a couple of days, I was sharing the testimony of Jesus and God’s Word with doctors, nurses, family, and believers! The Word was living in my heart, and I was passionate to share His radical, amazing love. The Lord gave me many gifts, but the gift to remember the chapter, and verse without memorizing as I shared with others utterly astounded me. Praise God, to Him be the glory!
As the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is hear!" This was a new lifestyle! As I read the Bible, the Word of God was washing over my heart and was setting me free. It was changing the way I thought about life. God was changing my world as I knew it. I had such a hunger and thirst to know Him intimately! I would encounter Him through the Word while I would sit in His presence. He would reveal His nature, His wisdom, and the plan He has for my life in ministry. He was revealing the Great Commission!
I was healed of leukemia! But 9 months after I was diagnosed with leukemia, I was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma, a muscle cancer. This was a terrible diagnosis. They thought that a possible amputation of my leg would stop the cancer. I stood on God’s Word with confidence, and had an assurance of His promises that I cannot explain. Was it a gift of faith?
I knew God was equipping me with the Word. He was anointing me to preach the Gospel, to pray for the sick, and to share the love of Christ everywhere. Praise God! By the stripes of Jesus I was healed!! I have seen God do what man can’t do!! It is remarkable!
Hebrews 1:7 says, God has made his servants to be "Flames of Fire." His Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9) When I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16) Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. (John 15:5) As I abide in the Lord, His anointing teaches me about all things, and things to come (1 John 2:20, Romans 11:29). FOR GOD’S GIFTS AND HIS CALL ARE IRREVOCABLE!