Respirit – Week 5 “I Will Not Die From This Disease” By Catherine Lewallen

I think it is time I made a bold declaration. I have been allowing for a “loophole,” which is my death. I have been disguising it as an acceptance of God’s will, but perhaps it is proof of my own lack of knowledge and faith. God requires that we believe we will receive for what we pray (Mark 11:24). I have literally begged for my life. I have shamelessly pleaded that this cancer will not take me from my young son. So now I will start marching forward to meet the Lord and say, “I will not die from this disease.”

I found out this week that I have developed another lesion in my brain. This could easily be construed as a setback. I view it as an indication of work I have to be done. I have made some major realizations about myself since my fight with cancer began. The things I have learned are bringing me to a place of absolute peace and clarity. I am gaining a perspective on things that are truly worth worrying about. Here’s the big news: there’s nothing to worry about! Living 100% for God takes care of everything.

This tumor is also not a punishment. Nor is it evidence that God is ignoring me or incapable of healing me. God’s promise is greater than any “evidence.” I am absolutely confident that it will soon be healed. Jeremiah 30:17 tells me so. “I will restore health to you, and heal you of your wounds.” I am holding God to His word. But, in order to do that, I have to keep mine. He makes very clear requirements of us. Could I possibly expect a king to do so much for me, and not be willing to do some things in return? His commands are not optional. They do not allow for flexibility or my own personal judgment calls. Does He say not to work on Sundays… unless I feel I really have to? Does He say not to lie… except in cases that I find it helpful? Does He say to tithe…only when I feel I have extra money? Absolutely not.

As someone being healed, the Bible gives me some specific instructions. In the book of Revelation (12:11), I am told to overcome “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [my] testimony.” Yes, that means I must share the good news! I must admit, over the past year, I often feel guilty spreading His Word. I don’t feel worthy of such a position. I even said in one journal entry, “I have no authority.” I was wrong. I was given authority through Jesus to do even greater works than He Himself did. Jesus tells us to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” He goes on to describe in Mark 16, verses 17 and 18, the amazing things we mere humans can accomplish when we believe. How is this possible? I have no idea. But I trust Him, so I will try with all my might.

I stumbled upon one of my spiritual gifts early in my illness: writing. By grace, I was given this function. I am but one member of a whole, and each of us has a job (Romans 12:6-8). To honor God, I must be diligent in my job. You may ask how I know this is my gift. I know a lot of people struggle trying to find their purpose in life. First of all, I highly recommend the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Second, it is easy to confirm if you pay attention to the results! I find great pleasure in writing and in researching for future writing. Also, people TELL ME it is my gift. People TELL ME my writing brings them joy or encouragement or inspires them to be closer to God. I am gaining an intimacy with the Lord through my suffering that I believe few people experience, but that everyone desperately wants and needs. So I will continue to write. I will continue to survive. I will continue to believe.

“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17

Editors Note…Catherine’s fight with cancer and the manner in which she has fought it publicly has been an inspiration to many. If you would like some context and a more personal look at her battle you can find it on the Caring Bridge Website Here! We would like to welcome Catherine as one of our contributors and we hope her story can help you along your journey in life.