This is a lesson that mom demonstrated in an incredibly powerful way when I was 19 years old. Mom had been diagnosed with colon cancer in the summer of 1998. We were devastated to the point that I almost didn’t return to Lee University for my junior year. Mom, on the other hand, wouldn’t hear about it. She wanted me to complete my degree and she was worried that any break in my studies would only serve to increase the chance that I wouldn’t go back to school and finish. Reluctantly, I returned.
I got through the fall semester (barely). Music History and first year NT Greek are not courses I advise taking when dealing with any kind of family crisis. Christmas break was low-key, but very enjoyable with family around for the duration. I could tell that the cancer and treatment was taking a toll on mom, but she was determined to beat it, so I returned to Lee for the spring semester.
During my time at Lee, I was a member of the Lee University Campus Choir. Spring semester was the time of year when we would participate in several Winterfests across the country. Winterfest is a large youth conference that is sponsored by the Church of God. This particular year, I think we participated in Texas, Maryland, Cincinnati, Knoxville, and Orlando.
The Maryland event was held in Ocean City which was a three hour drive for mom and dad. They planned to attend.
Mom got very sick right before the trip and about an hour before they were supposed to leave, they decided to not come. Then about 30 minutes later, they changed their minds and decided to go, but just stay in the hotel and spend time with me when services weren’t going on.
The first night of the conference, that’s exactly what happened, but on Saturday night, Mom decided to try to go to the service. She figured she could slip out if need be during the service.
Well, some teenagers from my youth group in Westminster found mom and grabbed her by the arm and brought her down to the front of the stage near my percussion rig during the worship time. The choir had experienced a very powerful time of prayer before the service where a prophetic word had been given that God was going to do something unbelievable that night. We had no idea what that was going to be.
The entire choir knew about my mom’s cancer. We had been praying since I returned to school in August for God to miraculously heal her. That night, God impressed upon the members of our horn section to go to the edge of the stage near where my mom was and play over her.
As they began to do that, the next thing I knew, mom was on the floor with a group of people around her. I panicked. I hopped off the stage to get to my mom and when I got there she was holding her side as if she was in pain. I bent down to try to talk to her and I was a little bit surprised to hear that she was speaking in tongues. (If you aren’t Pentecostal and you’re skeptical at this point, I get it. I can only report what I saw with my own eyes and everything that is about to follow can be verified by multiple eyewitnesses as well as medical reports).
Eventually, mom sat up and the only words that she could get out were, ‘It’s gone!’ The next thing I knew, my frail mother who needed help walking into the convention center was running around the perimeter of the auditorium waving her hat on her finger (she wore the hat because she was very self-conscious about her bald head from chemo). At that moment in time, she had no medical documentation to back up her claim, but she was convinced that God had healed her and she was worshipping God with all she had.
To make a long story short, within two weeks, the medical documentation was there. Where 7 tumors had been inside of mom’s colon, there was now no trace of even a single tumor and no evidence that any had ever been there. God had completely healed my mom and I believe her willingness to worship before she had her healing was a catalyst in God showing His miraculous power.