(Continued from yesterday's post. To those who have just chanced upon this blog, this is an excerpt from my Book, “Gifts of Grace” Book 3, which has a chapter on two friends afflicted with cancer.)
My Friends Sonia and Brenda (Part 2)
Our response was instant and electric:
“Welcome to the group, Brenda!”
“Another one to include in my daily prayers, thanks Brenda!”
“Hi, Brenda! Please delight in reading our sometimes crazy but always interesting exchanges about anything under the sun. Share with us your thoughts.”
Brenda’s first e-mail to us read, “I feel so honored to be a part of this e-group. Thanks for letting me in. I was diagnosed with a cell lung cancer last year, given three to four months to live, but by God's healing grace, here I am—still very much alive.”
That was the beginning of Brenda’s short but regular e-mails. She updated us on her condition. She was now also a faithful prayer warrior for our sick friends. Always, she spoke of her unwavering faith in God.
I e-mailed Brenda privately about the gift of salvation and sent her a Bible plus my books Gifts of Grace 1 and 2. She thanked me privately as well, and shared with me a most gripping story—in two installments. I was moved that she chose to let me in on what turned her life around. Let me summarize it, hoping to capture Brenda’s heart.
When I went through terrible physical pain last year, I was mad at God for allowing me to suffer. I was languishing in Ward 451D and stopped praying. Then one night, I angrily told God, ‘Tonight at nine, let’s talk! I am not a bad person, but everything bad is happening to me!’
At exactly 9pm, I motioned to the chair beside my bed and said, “Jesus, sit here.” All of a sudden, I felt myself shrinking and shrinking and shrinking, until I became extremely insignificant. Then I felt a presence so big it occupied the whole room, the whole hospital, my whole world! It was difficult to breathe; I cried like baby.
Yes, Grace, Jesus came! I did not see Him but He was there. I was so ashamed for my lack of faith! He seemed to say to me—‘Everyone will die on earth. But if people believe in Me, they will live forever. Plant this seed in as many lives as you can. In some, this seed may grow, and in some, it may not—but plant anyway. I could feel His love for me. Then I grew back to my original size and the awesome presence was gone. That night, I slept soundly.
Days later, my complete blood count (CBC) was checked. At around midnight, a resident doctor told me my hemoglobin count was too low—I needed a blood transfusion that minute! On my second bag of blood, however, I started gasping for air. I had to go through a second CBC. This time, I had an abnormally high hemoglobin count!
There was a mistake in labeling the blood samples! My first CBC result was switched with one Juan de la Cruz who had chronic anemia. He died. And I almost died, too! Was I fuming mad! I was brought to a private room where the hospital unit executives were waiting to apologize for the blunder. Hah! I was ready for war. I asked for the Medical Technologist who mislabeled the blood samples.
She came forward, a petite, pale lady who started crying. She held my hand and asked for my forgiveness. I didn’t know what came over me but I embraced her and whispered, “I forgive you.” I told the rest of the group, “I forgive you all. After all, Jesus died for me two thousand years ago so I could be forgiven of my sins.” You could hear a pin drop.
(To be continued in my next blog post tomorrow.)