This past weekend, on the morning of May 3rd, 2014, I received an overseas call from a sister in Christ who I had not heard from in approximately eight months. I will call her Sarah in order to withhold her real identity. It’s an awfully long time since we had spoken or seen each other, which made the call all the more welcoming, heart warming and uplifting.
For all that time passed, I wondered what had become of Sarah but I had no way of contacting her. Each time I would ask other persons who knew her if they had any information on how I could get in touch with her, or even to know how she was doing. But each time I came up on what I would consider a dead end.
Nevertheless, I never stopped wondering and hoped that someday, I would hear from Sarah again, simply because of the connection we have and the line of duty that we both share in the work of the ministry.
On the other end of the telephone line, her voice sounded a bit frail as she asked, “Do you know who this is?”
“No,” I responded.
She replied, “This is Sarah. So long you haven’t heard my voice, right?”
Giggles like that of a little teenager could be heard as I said, “That is so true! I’ve been wondering about you all this time.”
We continued to share each other’s story as a way of catching up on the lost time, and it turned out that she had been sick all those months and had even gone to the US mainland for treatment and where she was hospitalized and treated for some time.
At first she told me the doctors did not understand what was really wrong with her. Numerous tests were performed, and at one point, they even had her in isolation and barrier nursed her, thinking that she had a communicable disease commonly known as TB.
Sarah told me the doctors thought they saw a mass on her lungs and for some days, every eight hours around the clock, they took sputum samples from her to run a series of tests. By the mass on her lungs, the thought of cancer even came into question.
Now if you’ve ever been really sick and had to be hospitalized, and have needles stuck into you every eight hours each, you will understand how that must have felt for Sarah. Hearing the doctors say to you also, you have a dreadful disease and not knowing what the outcome would be.
One day she said, the doctors came with great news that her test results all showed negative. TB was ruled out and it turned out that what she really had was a serious bout of Pneumonia for which they then had to treat her extensively with several high doses of antibiotics. Additionally, she said they had to withdraw all the excess fluid from around her lungs through an Endoscopy procedure.
Meanwhile, through the entire ordeal, she told me her faith remained strong! She also said, “I serve a faithful God who I know would see me through. I had praying sisters, who never once stopped praying for me. God is so good.”
Before the conversation ended, I asked Sarah to allow me to say a prayer for her, to which she agreed. At the end of the prayer, it was the first time I heard Sarah laugh during the period of our conversation. I could almost see the beam, the smile and the joy as she began to rise and soar again.
In our thanking and praising God for all that He had done for her and through her, she herself said, still laughing, “your prayer has given me strength to go again.”
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace [healing, hope] was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV
- Were you blessed and inspired by Sarah’s story?
- Do you know of someone who is ill and seemingly wants to give up hope?
Then share this message with them, encourage them with this word and let them know that God is still in the business of healing and that He is the greatest Physician there is. They just need to exercise faith and place ALL their trust in Him.
image courtesy of Anita Peppers