Every Wednesday they pile out of the Deveruex van. They come to ride, pick tasty tomatoes organically grown, and to clean stalls of their favorite mounts. The countdown starts as soon as they leave, for stolen moments of freedom and fun at a little farm in southern New Jersey. They call themselves blessed, but it is me that receives the biggest blessings.
Battling cancer all year, two blown knees, and lymphadema in my left arm, I felt that I was broken beyond repair. Until I had an epiphany!
You are a child of God! You don’t have to live in despair! Claim who you are! God was speaking to me!
“Ok devil, I’m serving you notice! The battle is already won! I’m a child of the most high God! You cannot, will not be able to touch me!” Admittedly it felt good! I got up and started to walk, usually painful beyond belief. This time, I was going to praise God for the healing He promised me the day He died on the cross.
“Thank you Father for my healing! I walk in victory, I speak in victory! I am more than a conqueror through Christ!” Emboldened by faith, I knew that I was learning to live above my circumstances.
That night as I climbed into bed, my husband said, “You aren’t in any pain?” He was so accustomed to me complaining, moaning and groaning throughout my day that he noticed the silence of peace that comforted my heart.
“No, Dan! Do you believe it? God taught me that sometimes I just need to get violent!”
“Yup, violent with the devil! I beat him up so badly by claiming all GOD has for me, that he dare not come near me!” I laid down and a tear of gratefulness welled in my eyes. For the first time in a year, I felt no pain! I was healed, always had been, I just needed to claim what I knew I had!
Another terrible day laid before me. No longer did I see a sweet package to be opened, but a day I had to endure in excruciating pain. I had gone through chemo and I survived it only to have my left knee blow up. Literally it was three sizes larger than my right.
I begged my oncologist to allow me to get my knee “scrapped” because I couldn’t get a total knee replacement. She reluctantly agreed and on July 2nd at 4:00 in the morning I was slated first surgery at University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
But I was still in pain four weeks later, not because of my left knee, but my right knee was just as big from overcompensating for my left. Living a normal life, I could probably drag myself around. If you own a horse farm, own two businesses, and teach at a local university like me than this would be impossible.
My epiphany came birthed from anger. “I’m a child of God! He says I’m healed, well than I’m healed!” I said out loud to myself I was determined to put to death my pain and live in victory!
I got out of bed, tenderly like I always do. I put my shoulders back, grabbed my walking sneakers and took off at 5:00 in the morning. I was going to walk, speak, and think of nothing else but that I’m healed!
It took me 53 minutes to walk two miles, but I did it! The next day 51 minutes, today 43 minutes, and guess what- I’m no longer going to believe the lie that I can’t have life abundantly!
I’m a water-walking-child-of-the-King and if He says it is good than I am!
I refuse to believe the lie of death and destruction! Because WITH GOD I CAN DO ANYTHING!
What are you trying to overcome? Share and I will pray for you!
“Miss Jill, I want to pray!” Luke, the just-turned-seven-year-old-who-grew-one-inch, stood before me. He was part of the six-strong nuggets that lived next door to me
“Great Luke, what do you want to pray about?” I asked.
“I want to thank God, but I don’t know how to do it,” with that he tilted his head, seeking an answer.
“It is easy, just talk to God like you talk to me,” I held my hand out, a signal that we were going to pray.
He bent his beautiful head, “God, thank you for horses, Miss Jill, and Luke (a paint horse that had his same name), AMEN!”
He looked up at me, proud of himself for praying on his own.
As I walked into my home I was struck by his heart that sought Thanksgiving. When was the last time I thanked God for all that He has done for me? Thanks Luke for teaching me a lesson.
My article was published in Renaissance Magazine, July issue.
Check it out!
I had two cancers, one was Invasive and the other was a pre-cancer. One would respond to chemo, the other would need to be surgically removed. I started chemo on October 18, 2017. That was the day that sealed my fate. I was receiving mustard gas, and it took two weeks for me to lose my thick mop of golden blonde hair that was my trademark.
I also learned that cancer tears at your soul. There is a brevity in all of the appointments, in the faces of the patients and the staff that cares for us. Precariously we stand on the precipice of life and death.
Cancer is not what necessarily kills you, but the treatments, surgery, and side effects of these chemicals that they pour into your veins. By the third chemo, I had been in and out of the hospital so many times, that I was a frequent flyer to our little country hospital. They would even call me by my first name before I even registered.
My white blood count was down to a mere 600, it should be 12,000. My liver was shutting down and my gray skin and black eyes staring back at me, confirmed what I knew. I was dying. Right in front of me, I saw a skeleton with gray skin, black circles under my eyes, and it was then that I knew what I had to do. I was going to stop the chemo.
The beauty of knowing the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, meant that I had total peace that He would embrace His child, me. Was my mansion on streets of glory ready to receive me?
My husband was horrified when I told him that I was stopping the chemo. “Please don’t Jill! I need you to live and beat this, you must give the doctors a chance to beat this too. Please don’t stop,” my big burly husband was trying to hide the tears that began to fall.
After fifteen years of marriage, there was something he knew, I was a fighter and resolute in decisions. He knew there was no turning back.
I had lost thirty-five pounds, lost all interest in reading God’s precious Word, praying, or growing closer to Him. It was just too much to bear. What is there to life, if I cannot grow closer to the One that I love with all of my heart?
Darkness was turning to dawn. I felt lighter and brighter in hope that my body would strengthen and spill out these poisons. After three weeks of stopping chemo, I could eat, not that I could keep it down, but I tried.
Funny now, but it wasn’t then. Dan would time everything so that I could get a clean shot to the bathroom after I ate. One time, I did not make it and he carried me to the bathroom while I cried over the mess. By the time I got out of the bathroom, he had cleaned it all up. Grateful for his kindness.
My doctors were very, very mad at me.
“This is your life. why would you stop what can save your life?” she tipped her head back, squinting at this weird subject in front of her that was not going to do everything she told it to do. She was perplexed at this pint sized specimen.
“My life is not here, and it is all well with my soul.”
“Whatever!” I made no sense to her and the disgust was palpable. “I am scheduling all of the tests to begin next week and we will go to surgery in two weeks,” and with that I was dismissed.
Two weeks later I was back in her office as she was going to go over the results, she pushed her glasses back and kept staring at the report. Her lips pursed together, her eyebrows lifting quizzically. Finally after a long sigh, she spoke, “Jill, I just don’t understand, but …………………….”
TO BE CONTINUED…………………………..
The journey that I never wanted to go on was commencing and it was during this time that I learned that a battle was raging, not in my body, but in my mind………
My prayers are ALWAYS for protection. I am an offensive prayer. I try to think of everything that could ever happen and pray against it. Cancer is always my biggest one to rebuke and rebuff. I thought I was covered under the blood of Jesus. I am a believer in Jesus and His healing power, never doubted, not once.
“God, what do you want me to learn through this?” I implored in the early morning hours of August 31st.
“I want you to be able to relate to others, and for them to relate to you,” His still quiet voice spoke into my spirit.
“Ok, God, I want to learn. Please Lord, help me to go through this with your victory and countenance” I said through tears.
What I learned would change my life……