I have been struggling lately about what to write in a blog. Many of you know that my largest pancreatic tumor has grown. However, on Friday the cancer markers were stable! The tumor growth raises a lot of questions about the continued effectiveness of chemotherapy, as there are not any good options after this regimen. My last blog revealed that I have been fighting negative thoughts, however, I have been trying to concentrate on the heart of God and reading the Psalms. I know I have great hope in our Savior. I know He still has the power to heal. I know He is holding me in His hands and will carry out His plan for me, and I hurt for my husband and family as they go through this with me.
I have been encouraged by many people, as they remind me that they are praying for me on a regular basis. They are also holding us up before the Lord in moments that we need extra strength and encouragement. I continue to hear of people praying for me that I don’t even know. This network is far-reaching and I am so grateful! I am encouraged that so many people pray for me because a friend or family member has shared my story.
The Lord reminded me again yesterday that, although I hear of many specific people who are praying, I may never know who is lifting me, and my family, before the throne. I received a message on our blog site from a young lady named Tina. She agreed to let me share her message below.
You do not know me, although we met December 16, 2016. I was your sonographer.
I have been following your blogs and I have been praying for strength and healing for you. I know that it seems creepy to follow a patient, but I could not get you off of my mind. I Googled you and found your amazing, inspiring blog.
You were my second patient of the day and I had miraculously made it to work on time after breaking down on the highway. I thought I was having a bad day. God surely knows how to put things into perspective.
After scanning you, while holding back tears, I stood behind my doctor crying. You were so young and beautiful, this just couldn't be happening. I reviewed the case with him and did what I consider is the hardest part of my job, to put on that poker face and send the patient on their way. All that I wanted to do was give you a big hug.
I had tried to comment on your blog about a year ago, but somehow my sister was logged into my Google account and it kept signing her name. I think I figured it out now.
I just want to say that you are such an inspiration. I am so happy to see how Christ is working through you. He truly is amazing and Gail's Girls are very lucky to have you.
I will always be rooting for you and praying for healing. I'm sending you love and warm thoughts.
WOW! On the day of my diagnosis, at the first test, the Lord already prompted Tina to be praying for me. You see, as Tina did the ultrasound, I knew something was terribly wrong. With my nurse practitioner background, I knew that lots of time going over certain areas and measuring over and over was not a good sign.
When she left the room to speak to the doctor, I started praying immediately for God’s strength as I knew I was heading into something new and difficult. I had not yet gotten to speak to my family who were waiting for me to go to a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in a couple of hours. I felt alone with the likelihood of very bad news. However, I knew that my God would walk this with me.
Little did I know He had Tina praying for me even before I left their office. Tina was praying as I received the call from my doctor explaining the bad news at a work lunch. I told my co-workers the bad news. Then I left and told my husband and daughters the bad news. All the while, Tina had already started the prayers that covered me that afternoon! Thank you, Tina, for responding to God’s prompting to pray and for your tender heart!
God reminded me yesterday, “You may never know who is praying for you!” He reminded me that He is working ahead of me, and I can trust His plans. Thank you to all of you who have been faithfully praying for me and for my family. You will never know this side of heaven how much we appreciate it. None of us will know this side of heaven all of God’s plans. And when He prompts us to pray, we should be faithful and do so.
I will continue to pray for healing as I feel He is not done with me yet. I would love to be His example to unbelievers and those seeking Him, of His healing power and the power of His love. He has not revealed all of his plans yet, and we will continue to pray and trust.
Many of you know how God has been using me, and my family, through Stadia with “Gail’s Girls.” For those who have not heard, $162,500 was raised in 2017 to support our 25 girls for the next three years after their graduation from the “transformation (training) center.” These girls have gone out into many communities teaching trade skills to other women, transforming their communities through education, hygiene, clean water etc. They are starting home churches throughout southern Asia and many are coming to Christ.
Many healings are being seen there as God is using His healing power to show that He is the one true God, in an area of the world where it is estimated that over 500 million people have never even heard the name of Jesus! In just one area, 25 women and 25 men, who have gone through their training, are already working with 49 new church plants since last spring!
We have committed to continue to work with Stadia (an organization that starts new churches throughout the world) to support these women and empower them to change lives and spread the love of Christ. There are another 25 women who will soon graduate from their transformation center and need support for the next three years. So far for 2018, $24,000 has been raised. The goal is $162,500 dollars to support another 25 women this year, or $6500 per woman. This may be new to some of you. You can go to www.GailsGirls.org to read more and join this movement. Large and small gifts alike will make a difference for those who will be in heaven some day because of these efforts.
Please also pray for their safety as there is much persecution taking place in this region. This persecution sometimes comes from their own families, their communities, and has become more severe from the government.
For those who are already passionate about this work, please continue to pray and support the girls financially. God is doing great things! I do not believe He is done with me yet either. Please join me in this effort. My family and I will also be sending short video clips to those already involved in the ministry to keep you updated on our progress and share particular stories from our girls.
When our 4 daughters got to visit with the girls in Southern Asia in November last fall, one of the women’s main concerns was asking that we not forget them in prayer. They may not know your name and they may never know who is praying for them, but they feel encouraged and inspired that people here are covering them in prayer! God is working ahead of us and ahead of them to fulfill His plans.
I am reminded of a line in the chorus of a song my sister, Julie, wrote – “He’s working upstream ahead of you.” – great reminder!
Psalm 9:9-10 (NIV)
9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 143:8 (NIV)
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.