This is Trace, Trace Hoffman. Trace Hoffman Roberts. In high school she became one of my better pals. She was always very soft spoken, loved to run, and had the hairest arms. I am not sure if she liked that or if it bothered her. I know that girls I teach now hate their hairy arms. That was 30 years ago -- I am not so sure we were that worried about arm hair back then - we did not have ALL the stuff on TV to make us so self-conscious. The prettiest one on TV was Farrah Fawcett and well -- I guess --- yes....we did pay attention to that sort of stuff.
I wrote a few blogs back that her cancer had returned. I wrote and shared my heart -- did not want to realize that my pal from 30 years ago would be in the battle of her life.....now.
I did not want to 'deal' with this....she is MUCH too young!
I stay connected as best as I can through her CAREBRIDGE link, as she was updating and sharing what has been going on since March. She dug in and went back to her cancer diet and put ONLY good stuff into her system and she dug her heals into prayer and believing. I enjoyed many conversations with her this past summer - just catching up! In the past month, there has been a turn of events. Her husband is now blogging or updating. She is in the battle of her life.
She had breast cancer back in 2008-09. I did not find out about it until she was in remission and I saw her with her sleeve on ....a sign of a woman that has dealt with cancer. We met in 2009 and chatted and at the time, I was battling a HARD thing and yet....still...her battle was SO MUCH more. I was humbled.
The cancer... it has returned but this time it is attacking her chest and throat. Recently the doctor felt it was best to place chest tubes in her to help drain off the fluid that was gathering up. In reading what Ethan posted and just 'knowing' stuff -- it does not look too good for my high school pal. The 'queen' of our Junior Homecoming! The queen of her home....the mother of her three children...the wife of Ethan...
I am 1400 miles away. Trace and I have kept minimal contact over the past 30 years - here and there. She has her own set of good close friends and so forth and she has family there in Wisconsin too. She does not need to worry about me. She has a sweet husband and she was active in her church. But...I feel like she is just high school-- like the past 30 years have not disappeared and I could pour my heart out to her in a second and she would smile and listen and have GREAT advice.
She is one of the first 'close' people that have battled such a disease sort of 'close' to me ...1400 miles away. I mean -- it hurts to know she is in pain. Anyway, as I said, I have been in prayer and continue to pray but sadly and realistically I had decided to find comfort in the fact that she would soon see JESUS and her final healing would be there.
Now...one part of me says .."did I just write that?"...and the other says, "whoops - delete!". I am being real. I have seen many movies, I read...it was looking one way....
But as I prayed on Saturday and conversed back and forth with another high school pal and as I typed the words, "it looks like God will heal her later"......I COULD hear very clearly -- "who says I won't heal her now?".
Really? Did I hear that?
All of a sudden, the spirit of the living God came OVER me and I sort of felt like I was questioning God...Really? Would you heal her now?
Of course...YES he can.
That came over me at midnight on Saturday and as soon as I got to church on Sunday, and as soon as it was prayer time, I was the FIRST to head to another woman of God that has GREAT faith.......and I said, "God brought my marriage BACK to life when it certainly seemed impossible and many many many many many many and many nights I would sing that song...'impossible is not a word - it's just a reason for someone not to try'....and I stood in agreement with my friend and we prayed for a miracle of healing. I was not going to believe it was impossible. And together we claimed healing and stood in agreement that our friend - 1400 miles away, was going to be healed!
We claimed a miracle. I got a confirmation via a message from Pastor Joel Stockstill on Monday. Later Monday, I saw my 'miracle' baby ..that is another story. I just know the Holy Spirit was filling me with little signs that I could TRUST God in this. These confirmations were for me....to increase MY faith and to continue to believe that HE would heal her.
I began to envision something as I prayed and I could see the cancer snake BACK DOWN her neck and those cells begin to line up and be attacked by the good cells.
There I said it.
I am NOT going to believe my pal is going to be defeated by this cancer -- NOT now...NOT yet. Period.
I am being Stubborn God -- I WANT a miracle. Restore her health, remove those crud and cursed cells - they do not belong in her body -- she is YOURS. Amen.
There I said it.
Today is Wednesday. This happened Saturday -- why have I waited so long to blog and claim this?? to blog this?
...truth be told ...I was still having DOUBT....I wanted just one more sign.....I did feel like if I blogged it and if I was wrong...then I would look like a fool --
I am a fool for doubting. Please forgive me Lord, my spirit is willing but my flesh is still weak.
Today I got an update from her husband. The Oncologist is going to give her DOUBLE the chemo to try and stop the aggressiveness of the cancer, which is making her VERY ill - dry heaves.
I read that and I prayed ....that is OK...let them give her the medicine...she is a fighter and SHE is going to BEAT this....period.
God CAN heal cancer.
God can remove those cancerous cells.
God can give back what the locusts have been taking from her since March and this past month....
She will eat her favorite chocolate again...
She will be at our 30th class reunion next summer....
And I will see her healed on THIS side of heaven and we will spend eternity together as sisters in Christ.
Trace -- I am believing.
Don't give up -- fight -- fight like you never have before - believing God is taking those cancer cells even as I type.
God has NEVER let me down before. Never.
2 Chron 16.9 "for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen whose hearts are fully committed to him"...Trace is committed....
Psm 19.14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer!
Mark 11.24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer...believe that you have received it and it will be yours!