By Marsha Smith
This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
We were the couple living our dreams. My husband Bryan had a successful masonry contracting business and I worked with The Christian Broadcasting Network. We had a family, the home we always wanted, and life was great. We were so busy with our work that we took little time off to visit loved ones or really talk to each other like when we first married. But time has a way of eluding that thought as it races on.
But then I began to notice a dark feeling I could not shake. I'd be at my desk and suddenly a sad feeling would wash over me, as if waiting for something awful to happen that we could not stop. I mentioned it to Bryan and he simply said, "Pray about it."
And so I did. I didn't really think about it again until we sat in the doctor's office a few days later.
Bryan had been having back pain and the doctor ordered a routine MRI, predicting he'd probably need surgery. After reading the results the doctor said, "Well you won't need surgery." He paused with a grim look. "You have inoperable cancer in three places -- on your sternum, backbone and pelvis."
We stood there together, hand in hand, staring at the MRI. We asked the questions one asks when given this diagnosis. The doctor shook his head. "There is nothing that can be done. It is a matter of months. I will send all the reports to your family doctor. I am so sorry."
Bryan and I walked out into the early winter's night feeling as dark and cold as the night itself.
He was young. We had a child and a grandchild. We had a life. We had plans, hopes and more dreams.
The next morning when I awoke, my loving husband was sitting by our bed staring at me, tears rolling down his cheeks. "I do not want to leave you," he cried. We wept together that morning, canceling work and all appointments. We talked as we had not talked in years -- not so much about the future, not about all the things we usually talked about -- finances, dreams, and plans. We talked about our love, about the memories we shared, about our family.
Our family doctor called in a cancer specialist. We called all the churches we loved so dearly and put Bryan's name on prayer lists all over the country -- and we prayed with a fervor we had never known.
A month passed. A myriad of tests were done and doctors seen.
One night my faith-filled daddy called. "I was praying and I sensed it was all going to be all right. And I believe it with all that I am."
Two weeks later we sat before the cancer specialist. He closed the folder on his desk and looked at us. "Well, we have run all the tests. There is good news. There is no cancer anywhere in Bryan's body."
I stammered, "What about the MRI? The other doctors?"
He smiled. "All I know is he does not have cancer. Perhaps the neurologist saw scars from an auto accident years ago. But there is no cancer. Your prognosis is -- you are well."
It has been fifteen years since that day, and still whenever I look at Bryan I am reminded of how all our prayers were answered, and how our lives were changed forever. We focus more on each other and our family. We moved back home to a quiet town where neighbors know neighbors and hearts knows hearts. Our goals changed. We live one day at a time, and instead of planning so much, we simply enjoy the moments.
When I see Bryan playing with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I breathe a prayer of thanks that they know their Papa. Our house creaks at night and there are times when new dress desires do not match my pocketbook, but we are rich.
That one miracle birthed so many other miracles in our lives.