Lessons from My Journey of Healing
Let us pray: "I pray that the eyes and ears of the enemy are closed to everything that takes place here today. Father, I pray that your host of heavenly angels would surround us, and that no eavesdroppers or unclean spirits of any kind could have any place in our midst today."
"I pray that our hearts, minds, souls, wills, and emotions would be turned to You in every way, and that the Holy Spirit would direct everything that takes place here, giving us supernatural ears to hear and eyes to see." (Then everyone said "Amen," sealing this protective decree.)
First I would like to thank my family, friends, and church family for all the love, support, and countless prayers that you have lifted up before the throne in my behalf. Words can't express how grateful I am.
It has not been an easy road. There were weeks that I never got out of bed, times when I could not lift my head off the pillow because I was so weak. I have always been extremely independent, but not this time. There were periods when Tony (my husband) and Jan (my nurse friend) had to take total care of me, bathing me, dressing me, putting my meds and food in my feeding tube. I went two months without consuming more than 500 calories a day, which affected by brain. They had to watch me like a hawk because I was not always rational. I was nauseated 24 hours a day for 4 months. For weeks everything I put in my body including water caused me to throw up. Imagine having a throat that is already solid blisters from the radiation and then when the acid from your stomach comes up in your throat how painful that is.
While it was not easy, It was comforting to know that you all were interceding for me. Thank you.
I was so excited to have the opportunity to share with you the things God has been teaching me throughout this journey. While collecting my thoughts for this testimony, it soon became apparent that there was no way I could share all the things in such a short period of time. So, I asked God to show me what was most important for you to hear today.
As I hit some of the highlights of my journey I invite you to listen for these key points:
1. Believe in miracles
2. Hearing the voice of God "My sheep hear My voice." How can we know God's specific will for us if we don't hear His voice? We have the written "Logos" word of God, the Bible, but it is general not always specific. Specifics that apply to us personally come from hearing the "Rhema" word of God, which is His voice.
3. Faith "Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Faith is an ACTION step on our part.
4. Treasures are found in dark places.
5. Suffering is not always bad, it can be redemptive.
Most of you know my story, but for those of you who don't:
I was working out at the gym five days a week and in the best health of my life. I was extremely excited about leaving on Sunday January 18th on my second trip to Africa. I couldn't wait to see the kids again and especially my little Aaron.
On the Tuesday before I was to leave I found myself in the recovery room hearing the doctor say, "you have stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma in the base of your tongue and 2, 3cm growths in your lymph glands."
I was stunned! How did I get from my exciting international mission work to here in the blink of an eye? I felt like I had been riding in a jet plane with God and someone opened the belly of the plane and "plop", I landed on the ground. It was a surreal experience that I just couldn't digest.
Now, I had to make a decision whether to leave on my 3 week trip to Africa or seek immediate medical attention as was suggested. My heart was broken over the thoughts of not seeing the children. I cried a lot at first, not over the cancer diagnosis but over not being able to go.
That night the Lord showed me a vision of a large wall. The wall looked familiar to me. Then the Lord said, "Nancy you have always figured out a way to go around the walls in your life or climb over them or move them out of the way. But not this time. This time you and I are going to walk straight through that wall together. You will keep your eyes focused on Me and we will walk straight through. This is not your time for Africa. This is your time with Me. This is for My glory.
Confirmation # 1 of my healing:
Fortunately I am blessed to have someone in my life who hears the voice of God and in whom I can trust to bring God's truth to a situation.
Within a few weeks, I received a call from this friend telling me she had been on her face for 2 days crying out to God for wisdom on how she could help me. The Lord gave her words for me which she faithfully wrote down. Incidentally, she is a Journaler - extraordinaire.
The day she brought God's words to me was a pivotal moment. It was then I knew and understood my assignment.
God's words are very personal and precious to me but I strongly believe I am to share excerpts with you. God's words are more powerful than any sermon.
"Nancy will be fine. She is undergoing all this trouble for My sake. It will not make sense now, but later she will hold this ordeal up to me as a living sacrifice. Her ills are not hers; they're Mine. They are a kind of sharing in My suffering.
No one asks why Yeshua had to be whipped and tormented that way, but that was part of His process. He was already Holy, but He needed greater understanding (in His human body) how I suffer.
Nancy's sufferings right now are not her own; they're Mine. I will see her though this. Tell her this is My way of seeing through her, letting My life pour through her entirely. I will fill her body completely with My Spirit. This is her gain, despite the suffering. Tell her to give all this pain to Me, so her suffering can be redemptive.
Most people do not understand redemptive suffering, but this ordeal is an answer to prayer. I will renew and cleanse her, heal her, lift her up she will be Mine and I will be hers. Yeshua understood this. His body was never his own, and yet He needed to understand My heart by being rejected and whipped and left alone up on that cross.
I want her to take this new step with Me, knowing it is for My good pleasure. We will endure the months ahead together, and she will gain, not lose. My glory will be all around her, and My favor will be obvious, despite the circumstances.
I will restore her to wholeness and she will know Me in a greater way, in a way she couldn't have imagined.
(People who are sold out to Me) will opt for certain things because they want more authority in Me. Every time someone overcomes the schemes of the enemy, their power and authority in Me increases. So the enemy loves to stir up trouble, but remember Job: I knew he could handle it (so I picked him). That is the picture. I don't put on anyone a test/trial that is too great. Because of Job's suffering, more will pass the test of (various losses) on earth, more whom the enemy might've destroyed will pass the test.
Remember, always laws are in place - when you pass a test in suffering, others by the law of continuance will pass the test."
(This is the way God explained it. The law of continuance is complex, but picture how when one man broke the 4-minute mile, then others around the world were suddenly able to. The same is true in every field: in science, a major discovery is made and suddenly, at around the same time, that same discovery is made around the world...one person's success alters the environment beyond our understanding and makes it possible for others. That is why God's elect suffer greatly---to help others succeed in their circumstances.)
"No trial is fun, but afterwards the fruit is great. Nancy's going through the circumstances she'll go through will help others she's never met or will meet. In this way her personal victory is greater than anything she can teach or say --- just by experiencing and turning to Me. (We succeed together.)
I will use every circumstance in her life to gain her a better understanding of Me and My Word, My Yeshua. True understanding comes from experience (revelation). I want her to go through what she'll go through with her in a way that will bring her closer to Me.
This is between Nancy and Me. It is for us to battle, to engage, to talk about, etc. It is a vehicle I am using to bring Nancy to another level. I didn't cause it; I'm using it...just as I have used other experiences in her life.
When people want to get closer to Me, I show them all My sides. I have shown Myself to Nancy as a healer - she has known Me in various ways. Now I want to be her companion through her suffering. I do not cause people to suffer illness; this fallen world causes that, but I bring redemption to suffering.
Nancy will pull through. She is battling, but I have ministering angels over her."
That was my 2nd confirmation of my healing. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt because:
1. I believed in miracles.
2. I had heard the voice of God.
3. I chose to step out in faith and (take) Him at His word.
The Scripture says that God's words are irrevocable. If God said it then it is the truth. I chose to step out and stand on His word.
I also knew the power of words. I never said "I have cancer"; I said "I was diagnosed with cancer". I never took on the role of a "cancer patient"; I never said "I am a cancer patient". I knew I was healed from the beginning. But now after His words, my face was set like flint toward the goal and I refused to be moved despite what the doctors said.
In May Tony and I sat in the doctor's office listening to him say, "Nancy you are going to die, you have got to consume 2000 calories a day minimum to just survive the treatment." While in my head I am thinking you guys just don't get it. My Daddy said different and He has more power than you do. In a private conversation with Tony, the doctor said to him that he doubted my will to live. Tony assured the doctor that not only did I have the will to live but that God had promised me complete healing.
On my last radiation treatment the two women who unstrapped me from the table for the 35th time were crying. They said, "Nancy we are so happy! None of the staff believed that you would make it. This is a joyous day."
I had shared the words the Lord gave me with Tony and our son John. They believed at one level but as Tony watched me going downhill it was scary for him because he was afraid he was losing me. But they, just as my friends, only heard what "I" told them. They didn't hear God speak as I had.
I never asked to be healed. However God wanted it was OK with me. But by hearing His voice I knew what He wanted. In my spirit I knew, I never doubted.
After my first round of three high power chemo drugs I had a reaction to the 5FU, causing a week's stay in the hospital. Things were grim. I had no food for 13 days living on IV TPN. My potassium was down to 2!
I had an incredible experience at that lowest moment. I could literally feel the organs in my body shutting down. Then I heard this loud shout from my spirit, "No! God said she will not die so you must turn back on". And then I felt my organs beginning to slowly come back.
If I had not KNOWN God's will for me then I wouldn't be here today. Because the enemy wanted to take me out. It is no coincidence that the cancer was in my throat. Satan was trying to take out my voice so I couldn't continue sharing my faith.
But praise God I am here today, 100% cancer free doing exactly what Satan didn't want.
What can we learn from this experience?
1. Miracles are still happening 2000 years after Christ.
2. God is faithful when we step out. Remember the lady who had the issue of blood in Mark 5: 25-34? When she reached out and touched the hem of Christ's garment, He turned and said "women your faith has healed you". If she had not stepped out and put her faith into action she would never have known her healing. God wants to give us a precious gift but he will not force it on us. He stands there with His arms reaching out but we have to do our part and step out to take it. Action on our part is the operative word.
3. Learning to hear God's voice can mean the difference between chaos, confusion, uncertainty and peace in the midst of the storm. A peace that brings steadfastness and the joy of the Lord.
Be clear that I did not say it prevents difficult times in our lives, because that is part of the Christian walk. But it does prevent UNNECESSARY pain, anxiety and fear.
Yes, you can have joy and peace in the midst of your darkest moment. I am a living example. That is God's promise to us: Isaiah 43:1-3 has been one of my favorite scriptures for years. God says in these verses "when we walk through the rivers we will not drown...when we walk through the fire we will not be burned...because I love you and you are precious to Me".
The peace and joy that comes is really hard to comprehend from a physical perspective. It is like being sheltered up under God's arms. It is so safe, secure and peaceful. As the chaos & uncertainty around you expands He just holds you closer and it doesn't matter. There is such a joy in knowing you are right where you are meant to be, sheltered in His arms.
Please understand that I am not implying in any way that it is wrong to be hurt and angry with God. It is very important to express your feelings to Him. He can handle them. What I am suggesting is don't say stay there, get it up and out and move forward, then the experience will not be as bad.
If we can learn to reframe our experience in those dark places it can change our experience. Reframe is a psychology term meaning to change the picture or change the way you perceive the picture.
Now God says the same this in a different way in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 45; "our treasures are found in dark places". Much like what happens inside an oyster. The constant rubbing of the sand or irritant that enters the shell causes the oyster to produce a substance in an effort to protect its self. Over time in the dark waters the substance turns into a beautiful pearl.
So instead of looking at the picture about how bad it is, change it and search for the treasure for they are many. The precious time I have had with the Lord as a result of this experience, and the things He has taught me are more than worth everything I suffered. I can honestly say that if given an opportunity to go through this again I would be the first in the line, because the treasures far outweigh the pain and suffering!
Besides, it was an answer to my prayers. Some of you may remember me saying after my first trip to Africa, that I saw a level of believing and intimacy with God that I had never seen before and I wanted it. I thought I was a "pretty good Christian" until I got to Africa. I remember lying on a bench in the prayer garden in Mozambique looking up at the stars and crying out to God to be radically changed. I didn't want the status quo Christianity that I saw in the States. I wanted a deeper level of Him. I wanted more. God was so faithful. He answered my prayers.
(Of course if He had ask me how He could answer that prayer I would have suggested a nice three-day spiritual retreat.)
When God is stirring things up in us it doesn't always feel good or comfortable. But just try to remember that is the time He is doing a Kingdom work in you and drawing you closer. And perhaps your experience will impact someone else that will change the Kingdom.
In closing I would like to share one story with you.
After church one Sunday in June 2009 a friend came up to me with big tears running down his face and said, "Nancy you are my miracle." I said what do you mean? Then we sat down and he began to share his story with me.
"For many years I was I was not totally committed to God. I was a believer but had become very attached to the things of this world. I knew God worked miracles but I wanted to see someone I knew healed. I told God if he would answer this prayer then I would give up and turn my whole life over to God. I was like doubting Thomas; I wanted to put my hand in the scar. That day in late May when you walked into our home I told my wife after you left that I knew God had healed you and that you were my miracle", he continued. "I have made a decision to let go of the world and give it all to God." It was at that moment God revealed this was one of the ways that completion of my assignment has impacted the Kingdom.
In second Corinthians 4:17 it says: "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
I never realized how true and powerful this verse was until I had this experience!
In His Grip,
Dr. Nancy S. Martin