It’s easy to give praise to God when everything is going your way: a promotion at work, a baby, meeting and marrying the love of your life, a new car, and a dream home. It’s good to praise God when we are succeeding in life.
But how does one praise God when all hell breaks out and nothing goes your way? Or worse, your chances of being a mother is at risk, even your very life?
In January 2008, I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Because I’d have to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I was also told I wouldn’t be able to have children.
The diagnosis felt surreal. Me? Cancer? I was shocked and devastated.
As I processed the diagnosis—what to do and what direction to take—the Lord spoke to me to praise Him for healing. As you can imagine, praising God was the last thing on my mind. It seemed random, because we often praise God after the breakthrough comes.
So, after prayerfully considering it with my husband, Az, and committing to praise God, we immediately felt a shift.
The cancer no longer occupied our thoughts, we no longer assumed the worse, but rather, our thoughts were fixated on the good of what God was going to do and He would be glorified.
Praise became the stake in the ground when we prayed. Praise shifted the atmosphere of heaviness. Praise became our weapon of choice when we were in the middle of a storm.
Six weeks later after being diagnosed, friends invited me to a healing meeting with Todd Bentley as the main speaker.
On the second night, Todd Bentley gives a word of knowledge, “there’s a woman in her early 30s with breast cancer. Jesus is touching you right now, come to the front….” my heart starts racing, I immediately respond almost running to the altar call and I feel a sensation going through my body. I fall backwards ‘bang’ without anyone laying hands. I am lying on the floor trembling.
My natural response was to check where the cancer was and sure enough it had shrunk to half the size!!!
I couldn’t believe it, I had to double, triple check. It was exhilarating and I couldn’t stop trembling. As much as I wanted to jump up and down like everyone else who had received a miracle that night I couldn’t stand up I felt pinned to the ground by a weighty presence.
After receiving my miracle, I went back to my oncologist to tell him the wonderful news unfortunately he dismissed it. Then I sought out a second opinion and had another scan it was confirmed the cancer had shrunk.
Then three to four months later would you believe it, the cancer was shrinking—without any medical intervention. Towards the end of 2008 I went back to my oncologist for a follow up and the lump was gone there was nothing to biopsy. I was miraculously healed.
PRAISE GOD FOR HEALING
Two years later, Az and I received another miracle. We were ecstatic to welcome our bundle of joy.
William Seymour was born healthy and strong on 29th September 2010.
But soon after breastfeeding William at six months old, I found a lump the size of a pea and to my dismay the breast cancer returned on the same side. I burst into tears as my doctor confirmed the news.
What should’ve been a time of joy and adventure navigating motherhood for the first time became a year of hell.
Az had to quit his job as a full-time Pastor to care for me and our son because I was unable to physically do anything. We found ourselves homeless and ended up staying with friends who were an incredible support.
September 2011, I was told the breast cancer was at stage 4—a size of a grapefruit—AND I had secondary cancer in my lungs. I was terminal and given a prognosis of twelve months to live. As the words came out of the doctor’s mouth I felt the air get sucked out of the room. I could barely breathe!
All I could think of was my son that I may not be around for his 2nd birthday.
During the turbulent season, Az and I won’t forget some of the most powerful, faith inspired prayer times with friends who prayed and persevered with Az and me trusting God’s word for a miracle. I had sought healing in various ministries even flew across to Bethel Church, USA but despite all of that the growing lump remained in my chest I was not getting better but slowly deteriorating.
The medical route was my only option. I wanted to see my son’s next birthday—all his future birthdays! I wanted to be present for his first day of school, attend his sports events and even meet the love of his life.
The oncologist had recommended chemotherapy first to shrink the cancer then a mastectomy. After having had my first round of chemo, I started to go downhill rapidly. With time against me, I was scheduled for three more treatments of chemo. But unfortunately the cancer didn’t shrink, therefore I was required a mastectomy and a second surgery; a skin graft to cover the large hole in my chest from the mastectomy.
After two surgeries and four rounds of chemotherapy I was informed the cancer was still present in my body.
I was depleted of hope and became despondent. I had lost all my hair, I could barely keep my weight on and I felt like death. How do I get back up? I was exhausted emotionally, physically and mentally from fighting this losing battle against cancer. It felt like the end. I was confused and disappointed. Where was God?? Maybe seeking God for healing was all in my head.
But I couldn’t deny the miracle of when the cancer had shrunk the first time and William was a sign of God’s promise.
But contrary to how I felt, the thoughts of defeat circulating my head and the war in my heart to almost want to give up, I did something I hadn’t done before since my second diagnosis.
I was at my friend’s house with no one around I played worship music and started to raise my hands towards heaven, even though it felt like I was lifting 1000kgs. I couldn’t sing or pray because there were no words left in me, but with a heavy heart and my head hung low. I swayed to the music with tears rolling down my face, I danced.
I began to feel lighter, a sense of relief that this was the right thing to do. I danced and twirled around the room with tears and snot running down. I felt strangely invigorated, bursting with joy and hope for the future.
Eventually, the heaviness in my heart dispelled, and I understood the importance of letting go of reason and letting go the need to understand why all this was happening.
I gave up the right to question God, and instead, I praised Him and felt the tangible peace enveloped me.
This was the most memorable breakthrough I’ve had because of God. The revelation unfolded to me God not only wanted my praises but above all else He wanted my heart, to trust Him.
On July 22, 2013, eighteen months post-surgery, I received wonderful news from my oncologist: the cancer was no longer present in my lungs and chest wall and my blood cells were back to normal. And I have been in full remission ever since.
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, “The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;” That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified
Isaiah 61:3 NKJV
6th January 2012. William and me after my surgery and chemo.