I’m so happy you are here with us today, sitting at our table of friendship! I have invited my friend, Corinna, to join us today as she has an amazing testimony of faith, cancer and trust in God. So, sit back, relax and enjoy reading part 1 of 2 and let your faith arise!
The Story Begins
Welcome to our table of friendship, Corinna! I’m so glad you can be here to share your story with us. Please introduce yourself so we can get to know you.
Hi there, I’m Corinna and I’m glad to be here sharing our story with your friends at the friendship table.
After some challenges in my young life and after much prayer the Lord sent me my wonderful husband some 16 years ago. We have really led a fairy tale love story and I knew that the Lord could and would make beauty from ashes when he finally brought me my heart’s desire. Our love is strong and we do not take it for granted. We begin each day with devotion and prayer as we are thankful for the gift of our relationship. My husband and I are finally retired, after 14 years of running a local Bed & Breakfast and we were beginning to enjoy our retirement.
During the years of working our B&B, I had many health issues, one of which is Fibromyalgia. The other health issues had not been diagnosed though they had me feeling so run down at times. After several years, I began to see a new specialist and was finally diagnosed with Lupus. This was a huge relief as we now had a treatment plan and things were really looking up. It was at this point that we could see the Lord’s blessings and how He had carried us over the years.
Faith and Cancer
Corinna, it was about a year ago that you shared with your friends of the diagnosis that your husband received from his doctor. Can you tell us about that time and what you were feeling? How did your husband take the news? What were the first things you both did?
Well, one day I noticed a small spot on my husband’s shoulder that I had not seen before and I suggested he get it checked. Paul is quite proactive with his health so he scheduled an appointment right away. His doctor made an appointment with a dermatologist but it would not be for several months.
The long wait concerned me and with God’s favour, we were able to see another doctor. God favoured us again with another blessing of an appointment cancellation that allowed Paul to have the suspicious spot removed quicker than originally planned. We weren’t really that concerned as it was tiny, but because it was changing its appearance, we were happy that it was dealt with quickly.
We had gone out with friends one evening and when we arrived home, there was a message from our doctor to call him that night even if it was late. We looked at each other as this couldn’t possibly be a good sign but then again, how could something so tiny be of concern?
Unfortunately, it was horrible news! It was Nodular Melanoma, a very aggressive form of cancer. Though the doctor had removed it all we still wondered if it spread before it was removed. Cancer spreads through the blood and lymph nodes and Melanoma prefers to spread to the brain and lungs as our doctor told us. He also said that had Paul waited for the originally scheduled appointment, he could have been dead by then!
We were quite blindsided to be honest, so as our habit, we prayed immediately.
Our scheduled vacation with friends to visit some Scandinavian countries was coming up soon. Would we have to cancel?
My husband was either in shock or walking in divine faith as he really stayed calm, cool and collected after the initial diagnosis. Granted, he had walked with the Lord some 40 plus years and pastored several churches, yet this was serious!
As for me, I remember feeling concern, worry, fear, anxiety, the whole gambit! I was also very uncertain about going on such a big trip before taking care of his health first.
The doctor said it would take some time to set this all up and asked us if Paul could be very sick in the next year, would we regret not taking the trip? He encouraged us to go on vacation which would give him time to set up what needed to be done.
My husband was eager to go on the trip but I wanted to know the facts. I love to do research and felt prompted to be Paul’s advocate and was able to get the answers I needed before we left. This was another miracle as I was having some issues with short-term memory due to Lupus.
We both knew the Lord was working through me and this brought us great comfort so we pressed in even more to Him. Needless to say, our holiday was more than amazing as we had such grateful hearts and appreciated everything!
We are in the habit of having morning devotions and prayer and now there was a new level of praise and thanksgiving like never before.
Cancer and Trust in God
As you sought further medical interventions, what were you thinking?
After completing my research on his type of cancer I kinda knew what to watch for so I was checking my husband almost daily. A couple of days before we were to fly home I felt a swollen lymph node in my husband’s neck near his cancer site. My heart sunk but once again my husband said: “we won’t panic but to press into God for healing.”
When we returned home our doctor had our medical appointments set up. We experienced miracle after miracle and in spite of the news that Paul now had Stage 3 cancer, we knew the Lord was with us.
We walked in faith as we lived out Philippians 4:5b-7: “…The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Door after door opened for us. The perfect Surgeon, hospital, dates, Oncologist, and the acceptance into a Clinical Trial.
God provided everything needed to fight this cancer.
It was so obvious that it almost made us giddy at times!
Our friends, family, and church lifted us up in prayer to the point we could feel it in a tangible way. It was so comforting for us. Paul often said he felt God’s love through everyone.
A Word from the Lord to Build our Faith
One morning as we had our devotions, we had a word from God to be “strong and courageous”. It encouraged us to press in even closer to Him.
Another day when I was vacuuming, I heard the Lord say to me “Trust me, no one loves Paul more than I do.”
I literally turned off the vacuum to hear where this was coming from when I heard it again, twice, in a still small voice. I knew it was God speaking to me!
I had no choice but to press in and trust Him from this point on. No matter what news would come. No more anxiety, no more fear. Trust, completely and totally.
I truly understood now that we are His children and felt His love in a new and tangible way like never before.
Faith Grew in Leaps and Bounds
How has this experienced increased your trust in God?
Life took on a whole new meaning for us. We had a new joy. Our faith deepened, our trust in God was at a new level.
We understood His promises and we hoped we could now be an encouragement to everyone that would cross our path, especially at the Cancer Agency.
It seemed strange to those who knew us, how could we be staring death in the face yet have so much joy and peace? In fact, someone very close to me said we “should be in the corner crying!”
Yet they could clearly see the opposite. We realized that tomorrow is promised to no one as each day is a gift.
Okay, we are human, we feel, we hurt, and sometimes challenging news or a bad side effect would happen and we would get knocked down. However, in His strength, were always able to get back up and regain our footing. He carried us more times then I can count.
Paul and I also promised to be honest with each other. Especially to share with each other in our morning devotions and prayer. This was especially important as we didn’t want to give the enemy a foothold in our lives. We would share our concerns then lay them at the cross and embrace our day living an abundant life!
Our story isn’t over yet as there’s so much more to say. Will you come back next time to hear how our story ends? I’ll be talking about ‘a treatment day in the life of Paul and Corinna’ as well as sharing the results of the Clinical Trial. It’s exciting!
That’s a Wrap!
Thank you for joining us at the table of friendship, Corinna. I so appreciate you and love you with all my heart, sweet friend. Both of you are in my prayers. May you be blessed today and always as you seek His will for your lives.
Has Corinna and Paul’s story of faith, cancer and trust in God encouraged you? I know it isn’t over yet but I would still love to hear from you in the comments below.
You can slip over to read Part 2, Faith in the Face of Cancer, to read the rest of Corinna’s testimony.
Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible.
Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk.
You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through Women’s Tabletop Friendship.