I can’t believe that it is now 2017 and the holidays are over! Our holiday celebrations were bittersweet. Time with family and friends was awesome as always, but there was a deeper appreciation of our time together and of the deepness of our love for each other in light of my diagnosis. According to the “prognosis” and statistics for my type and stage of cancer, it is likely that this was my last holiday here, but we are all aware that God is ultimately in control of my prognosis and that He has a plan. We are confident that Jesus is the Great Physician and healer. He has a plan for how this fits into His kingdom and how this will show His glory! We are trusting His plan and will continue to ask for healing. We are also watching the ways God is showing up every day, because I believe this whole process will involve multiple miracles.
Let me list some of the ways we have seen God show up so far. Since “the day life changed”, we have been at the hospital for multiple tests and procedures. We have experienced the kindness of many at the hospital, like Joe, one of the volunteers at the Cancer Center that Don mentioned in his blog. He said he loves to work with cancer patients because they are his heroes, as they are going through very tough situations but still come in with a smile. It is easier to smile when someone like Joe smiles and jokes with you through hard times. Joe also gave me a hug and told me he would be praying for me. After this conversation with Joe, I came out into the waiting room where my daughters and Don were waiting. Kristin told me that she took a call on my phone from the admissions office to clarify information for my next procedure. She said when they asked who my emergency contact was, she told them Mel Gibson (some of you know I used to have a crush on Mel :). Andrea told them she had given them Justin Bieber’s name. This caused some others in the waiting room to start laughing. Laughter is great medicine! My daughters always bring me a great dose of laughter!
One day I had to have 3 EKG’s done. The technician said she was paged to do my EKG’s but was busy elsewhere in the hospital, so she called the cardiology office to ask someone else to do it. She said she was surprised that no one answered the phone. She could not imagine that everyone was out of the office, but finished what she was doing and came to do my EKG’s. When she got there, she saw the office was full of other’s who could have done the study. As we began to talk, and I mentioned the Lord, she got a big smile on her face and shared her testimony of trusting the Lord through her breast cancer years before and said she frequently kept a little book in her pocket that contained a lot of the Scriptures on healing. She found this to be very helpful as she read them daily. Then she said, “I actually found one of these books the other day, and put it in my lab coat pocket, but didn’t really know why. Now I know why, I’m suppose to give this to you.” As we continued to talk, we discussed my job at Hershey Medical Center. She was surprised to learn that I am a nurse practitioner at the eating disorder clinic, because her daughter is a patient there who sees one of the other practitioners. I was able to talk to her about her struggles with her daughter. This was an obvious God connection!
I needed to call the benefits office at work as I had a lot of questions about insurance, time off work, etc. I spoke with our benefits manager, Jane Quenzer.
I had a conversation with Jane earlier in this process when I was still trying to get the original tests scheduled and the appointment with the oncologist. She was extremely helpful. God took the connection further during this conversation. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Jane say she was already following my situation on Facebook, as she was a friend of April Walsh. April is a member at Capital Area Christian Church and started a Facebook group called “Prayers and Support for Gail Hamilton”. We are grateful to April for calling many to prayer for me and my family and our church. Not only did Jane know April, but she knows our friend, Buzz Roberts, who leads the Christian Student Fellowship at Penn State Univ. because she attended the fellowship when she was a student. As we discussed this connection, we realized that my husband, Don, was likely the president of the Foundation over these fellowships in the state at the time she was a student! She also knows our friend Amy Shaffer from working in insurance. Jane and I were able to share our faith and hope in Christ during the conversation, and she answered some very important questions! Jane reminded me, “Miracles don’t have to be healing. Souls coming to God are a miracle.” She shared that “God had pursued me and he was relentless.” God wants more souls to be in his kingdom, no matter what it takes! This is not yet heaven. Eternity in heaven is the goal!! Jesus has already won the victory for the battles we fight and for eternal life!
I had a meeting with Rollyn, the Dr. who leads our clinic, my managers (Gil and Lisa) and with Jane on Thursday. They were very supportive and willing to work with me in any way they can. I so appreciate their support and their friendship. Their kindness is also a gift!
Many people in our church, other churches, at my work place, in our community and all over the country are praying for me! There are several who said they never pray, but have decided to pray for me. I received word today of someone who decided to “stop running from God” and committed to pray. Word has spread to people in other countries as well (Ireland, Poland, Bolivia, Haiti, Canada, England, Thailand!) who are praying. What beautiful music this must be to God!! Keep singing people! You know how much I love music! I love hearing all of the harmonies of voices and the different instruments all coming together in a glorious sound. I have always believed that music is a mysterious creation and gift from God – there is nothing else like it – nothing else that touches our soul and emotions as music does. I love praising and worshipping God through music. I know all of the voices lifting prayers to God right now are creating a beautiful song in perfect harmony! Keep singing, keep praying! We will continue to watch for the miracles along the way, as we pray for a miracle of healing and trust God in all things.