Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stay (I'm leaving now.....but I don't want to go....)

Earlier this year one of my close and dear friends, Craig, asked me to go with him to minister to a couple who are close friends of his. The wife had been diagnosed with cancer and it was in an advanced stage and there was nothing that any of the doctors could do. Craig and his wife had been ministering to this couple, since sometime in the previous year and asking their friends to lift them and the couple in prayer.

So after a few false starts we eventually got around to visiting Mike and Karen at their small home in Table View. Karen had just been discharged from the hospice as she just wanted to spend as much time with her family as possible. The doctors had estimated that she had month or possibly two left to live. Karen was 37 at the time and her and Mike had a son and daughter aged 5 and 7.

During the drive to Mike and Karen, Craig and myself just kinda prayed and chatted to each other. We just prayed that His Holy Spirit would guide us and give us wisdom and compassion. Karen and Mike had been attending a church which had really been praying hard for them and this church really believed that Karen was going to be healed. Mike and Karen had been clinging to that hope for a few months now. His Holy Spirit inside me just told me to gently tell Karen that she would not be healed. SAY WHAT!!! How could I go tell anyone this and rob them of all hope. It just did not seem to make sense to me at all. The feeling persisted, strangely it was not an unpleasant feeling, it was the voice of truth sitting deep within my soul. I still could not see myself telling Karen that she would not be healed.

When we arrived Mike met us and offered us some coffee. He told us that Karen was really not well at all. She was exhausted and was sleeping. “Phew,” I thought to myself, “We could pray for Mike and the kids anoint the home, grab a quick cup of coffee and then buzz off. Shouldn’t take more than half an hour.” This was going to be nice and quick and easy. So we told Mike the ‘game’ plan. He switched the kettle on and Craig and myself prayed in all the rooms of the house, strangely instead of rushing to be finished we slowed down and we just felt ourselves being gently led through the whole situation. Each prayer seemed to go a little deeper, become a little bit more passionate as we literally felt our hearts soften to breaking point for this family. We asked the children if they wanted prayer and they said yes and we prayed simple direct prayers over them and anointed their foreheads with oil. It was a very special moment.I felt my heart breaking inside but His Holy Spirit kept me composed and in control of my emotions. I could feel and see that Craig was going through the same experience.

Then God woke Karen up! We checked with her if she felt like any company. She said she was okay and told us all to come into the bedroom. We spoke a little bit, Mike had made her some tea and then we prayed for her. In my prayer I told her that she must prepare herself because God might not heal her. We prayed for the Father’s will to be done in her life. She just nodded when I told her this through my prayer. It was a really hard thing to say and do.

When we were finished praying, Craig and Mike went out of the room and I stayed and chatted to Karen for about half an hour. I just spoke about simple things, my family, my dog, my love for Jesus and His love for me, my friends, my faith. After awhile I apologized to Karen ‘cause I thought I was babbling on a bit. But she said it was fine and she enjoyed the conversation. She then asked a rhetorical question, one I will always remember. She said, “Why did it have to come to this before she turned back to God? Why had she turned away all those years before?” There was not really an answer to this but I knew without a doubt that Christ was truly carrying her now. It just felt as if the air around me was thick and heavy with His compassionate love.

I left Karen to rest for awhile and went to get that cup of coffee. Then suddenly within me a prayer started developing. A prayer that Karen would pray and minister to her husband. Absurd!! It’s not gonna happen!! But I prayed inside and yearned for it to happen.Then Karen called us all to come to the bedroom. She told us that she wanted to pray for her husband. Mike sat down on the bed and Karen took hold of his hands and Craig and myself gently laid hands on both of them. Karen prayed for her husband with such love and passion, it was mind blowing, heart breaking and gut wrenching stuff. I cannot really express here the feelings and emotions that stirred Karen’s absolutely scorching prayer for her dearly beloved husband. Somehow His Holy Spirit just kept me together.

Shortly after that we all hugged each other and said goodbye. On the way back home Craig and myself just contemplated what had happened and we thanked God for guiding us and thanked Him that He had given us this opportunity to be used.

PS. Karen passed on about three weeks after this. I couldn’t make it to the funeral. If this was a piece of paper you were reading you would see that it would be stained with my tears. It took me a long time to get around to writing this and then it took me a good few days just to write it.

Stay - Jeremy Camp


Money Makers Guide for Newbies said...

Cancer or any illness is never easy..Very touching story, thank your for sharing, she is now in a better place:) God Bless her

Tamela's Place said...

I cried as i read this. What makes it so hard is that loved ones go on and we are left. May the Lord bless the husband and their children for the remaining years of their lives. While in the earth nothing is eternal only temporary, but won't it be wonderful when we all can live eternally with one another. One day, One glorious day! as we all go home to be with our Father in Heaven and see our loved ones once again won't that be a wonderful day.

Karen is healed now!


Lori said...

Wow, what a story. You are truly blessed for listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sharing this. Keep sharing these times of are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I know this must have pained you deeply to write but I am glad that you were led by the Spirit to do so. I have come to know that when God leads you to do something He will always see you through it. You delivering the message to your friend was a hard thing to do, but you did it by God's power and might. God will always see you through things He asks us to do even when we do not understand why He wants us to do them. But this is when we must simply trust in Him because "His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways." God knows what He is doing. We must simply follow His lead. My heart aches for the loss of your friend, but know that she is Healed and Whole now. She is at peace with the Lord. Rejoice in knowing that you to will see her in Heaven.

Grace and Peace

Sherri Watt said...

What an amazing story. I know it was difficult to do but thank you so much for sharing it!

God Bless you and your ministry!

Scott McQueen said...

Tears, sorrow and joy, God Bless you for being there for them. The good physician:
To heal,
to comfort,

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