I was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in a very large Catholic family. I found Jesus Christ as my personal savior in 1971 when I was a junior in high school. and had been lured to a Protestant church that had Christian groups that played music every Friday night. My parents were not pleased with this. I didn’t care I loved Jesus and that was the most important thing to me. God was working in my life even then.
There is a huge difference between religion and a real relationship with Jesus Christ. I went to college where I met my husband Peter who was also a Catholic. We were married in the Catholic Church and had 2 children that we also raised in the church and sent to Catholic schools. I was a Eucharistic Minister and a Lector and Are you seeing a pattern here? I was loosing my relationship with Jesus. I was becoming religious. My father always told me that it wasn’t skin color that separated people it was culture. I was raised in a mixed ethnic household. My husband is Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, and Korean. We made beautiful children together and are about to celebrate or 32nd wedding anniversary. Even though we were different races our religion and basic culture was the same.
I was raised in a Catholic home but many of my good friends in high school were Christians. One Friday a good friend of mine invited me to come to his church on a Friday night to hear his older brother’s band play. They had made the old church into like a coffee house where young people could go on Friday nights to hear music and to study the Bible. That night the band The Brethren played a song called “I wish we’d all been ready and it really touched my heart. Then the youth Pastor Tonn preached about how we could find Jesus Christ as our Savior and be assured that we would go to heaven. I walked up that night during the altar call and I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. He has watched over me since that April night in 1971.
I joined the church and choir and was very active in the church until I went away to college. Because I was a child of God I never wanted to do drugs or get drunk or have sex before marriage. I was a part of The Jesus Freak Movement and though I have made my fair share of mistakes and am so lucky that I serve a loving God. I got married and was really into being a great wife and mother. I kind of put the Lord on the back shelf for a bit so I could be super Mom and wife. We prayed together and I read the Bible a couple times a week but I had lost the closeness that I had had with Jesus earlier in my walk. My children grew up and I was getting ready for the next phase when I found out my mother was ill and I rushed to Seattle to be with her.
My husband told me to take the whole summer to care for her and I did. I took her to her doctors made sure that she ate properly and took all of her meds and then I would take her to the places we went as children. To the beach for lunch and and where she grew up. It was a wonderful time that I was so lucky to have with her. I went home at the end of summer and in the fall I called her for her birthday and let her know that I sent her flowers. She informed me that she was going to die and that I needed to come home right away! I was so fortunate that my daughter went to the Hawaiian school here Kamehameha and she had many friends in the band that had parents that I chaperoned on trips that worked for Hawaiian airlines. When one of my friends that was working saw me she asked where I was going and I told her to pray for my mother that she was dying. She got me on the next flight and put me in First Class. I made it home very quickly and was at Mommy’s side.
The Catholic Priest was there to give her last rites and I asked her if she had asked Jesus to be her Lord and Savior. She told me that she did and that my other sister had prayed with her. I was so relieved that she was going to heaven. Then she asked to see my husband and he got on the next flight to come to Seattle. When everyone was around her she closed her eyes and went home. I knew she was with the Lord yet I cried my heart out because she was my Mommy and I loved so very much!!
After the funeral we went home and I had what I thought was a very bad cold that wouldn’t go away. I attributed it to being in the damp cold of Seattle but I still went to the doctor. He was a good friend so he took an x-ray of my lungs to see if I had Bronchitis or pneumonia. He gave me anti-biotic and I went home.
The next morning my doctor called me and told me that there was a lump in my upper lobe of my right lung and I needed to go to a specialist for a bronchoscopy which is a test that allows your doctor to examine your airways. Your doctor will thread an instrument called a bronchoscope through your nose and down your throat to reach your lungs. The bronchoscope is made of a flexible fiber-optic material and has a light source and a viewing device or camera on the end. I was numb and it wasn’t until I got home that I went to my room and screamed out to the Lord. I was so afraid and lung I knew that lung cancer could mean that I would die. My husband just held me through it all and let me cry out to Jesus. It is strange that it was like i was in remote control and the doctors had taken over. I knew many of them and I was given the best doctors this state has to offer. I went to Queen’s Hospital for a Pet scan a Pet scan is an important cancer imaging tool, both for diagnosis and staging, as well as offering prognostic information based on response. The PET scan lit my tumor like a Christmas tree light.
The next day we went to see our doctor and he had my surgeon there in the meeting to explain to me what they were going to do. I was at the end of stage 2 in my lung cancer so they did not want to wait. I asked him for a couple of weeks to get my affairs in order before going under the knife. I called my family in the mainland and let them know what was happening and my younger sister asked to come to Hawaii to care for me after the surgery. I called best friend and told her and she had everyone on two coasts praying for me.
The morning of my surgery I got up at 3 AM. I had to be at the hospital by 5:00 Am it was going to be a very long surgery. 9-10 hours. I prayed with my husband in the car and then he said goodbye to me and they wheeled me away to surgery. As I was changing into my robe I sat on the gurney and I heard an audible voice say:
“The Breath of Heaven is holding you in His arms”
I looked around the room looking for who said that to me. No one was there. I could see the surgeons on the other side of the operating room setting everything up and I just looked up and said “thank you Jesus!!” You see The Breath of Heaven was one of my favorite songs. It was Mary’s song and I sang it when I was very young. The Lord took something that NO ONE knew about but me and of course Him. Then there was a peace that came over me. It was wonderful and I was no longer afraid. If I lived Praise the Lord. If I died Praise the Lord. The doctors walked over to me and lifted me on to the operating table and I closed my eyes.
The next time I opened my eyes was around 5:00 PM and I was awakening in the recovery room. Dr. Mark my surgeon told me that I was a very lucky woman and that somebody up there and he pointed to heaven liked me. I just told “Yes His name is Jesus!” Then he went on to explain to me what had happened during my almost 11 hour surgery. He told me that my ribs just moved so that he could use the scope and the laser to do my lobectomy. He told me that when he removed the lung and they took to find out what kind of lung cancer I had. (There are 2 kinds. Non -small cell and small cell lung cancer. Non- small cell is a slower moving cancer. Small cell cancer is much more aggressive than non-small cell) I had them both. He told me that he then took out all of my lymph nodes in my chest and he was delightfully surprised that there was no cancer. He said that my tumor when they went to type it the cells started moving and that is why he wanted me to have an MRI to see if it had spread to my brain and a bone scan to see if it had spread to my bones.
So they took me to my hospital room and my oncologist Dr. Ian was there and I was woozy and I called him Dr. Death and he turned around and smiled at me and said “Not today.” He told me that the surgery went well but because of the stage and the small cell lung cancer I would have to have aggressive chemo -therapy. I told him that I wanted to wait for my daughter to come home before I started that. The next morning I had an MRI it was horrible but praise Jesus the lung cancer had not spread to my brain. Then they took me down to the bottom floor to have a full bone scan and the lung cancer had not spread to my bones.
I really didn’t want to stay in the hospital since I had family members that would care for me and I didn’t want to get MRCA. My doctor told me that I could not go home until he removed all of the drainage tubes and my body could function properly on its own. I would also have to be able to walk without assistance. I asked the Lord to help me get through this and I could feel Him with me through all of it. I started walking the halls of the hospital the next morning. I went home 4 days after my surgery which is unusual.
When I got home I got into my bed and opened my Bible and the Lord gave me my life verse that day. It is in the book of John my favorite book.
4 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 11:4
When I read this verse I knew that the Lord had plans for me. I just told Him yes Lord whatever You want I will do just lead me. He has. I was writing a blog and my daughter told me that I should check out Tumblr. I did that 8 years ago and I have never looked back. The Lord has given me a real passion to share His love and saving grace. That life can be really difficult for us but He will be right there with us through it all. The Bible tells us In the Psalm 23:
The Lord is My Shepherd
…3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.… Psalm 23:3-5
Even when we walk through the shadow of death He will never leave us or forsake us. Then He led me to open a Rapture page and another page on Facebook called Escaping the Darkness Jesus is the way. The next month I started my summer of Chemo and it was so grueling!!! But He never ever left me. Not when I was sick and throwing up. Not when I lost all my hair on my body, not when I was so weak I didn’t think I could go on. I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death He was there with me!!! I will never forget the day during my chemo therapy when I was feeling so sick and felt like I couldn’t go on that the Holy Spirit filled me with so much joy that I wept. I just couldn’t contain my joy and I had 2 bags of poison going into my arms. Jesus is so good ALL OF THE TIME!!! You see the Lord never promised us that life would be sunshine and lollipops after we became a Christian. What He did promise us was that we would NEVER have to go through hard times alone. That He would be with us through it all. Maranatha and God bless you all!!!~