Faith that is certain
By Amanda Elliott
Faith is being sure of what we hope for. Certain of that which we cannot see. ~Hebrews 11:1
I’ve long claimed this as one of my favorite verses. Long before I actually knew what it meant.
One year ago I felt a lump in my breast. I was pregnant. My husband in treatment for lymphoma.
“There isn’t a world that exists in which YOU have cancer,” my husband said before the biopsy.
On Jan. 8, at 28 weeks pregnant, we found out that we do live in that world.
And any long held ideals and philosophies and mottos and clichés were completely and utterly useless. The enemy had come for me. For our family. For my husband and for our unborn daughter.
The day of the call I remained calm. God had prepared me the day before. Had reminded me of another favorite verse—Romans 8:28. I repeated just portions of it when I hung up the phone from the report. ALL things work together. All. Things. I cried.
The following days were a blur—talk of surgery and chemo and early C-sections. I had learned much from my husband’s journey with cancer and prayed for wisdom. And the Lord answered. We chose chemo, I lost my hair. The tumor shrank to almost nothing. I lost weight and baby Evlyn Anna grew.
She did well on every test every time. No matter how sick I felt, everything about her remained strong. No matter how much it seemed like I would go into labor too early (while my husband was also in chemo), she stayed put.
She was born two weeks after my husband finished chemo. Three weeks before my due date. She weighed more than 8 pounds. And we left the hospital 49 hours from the time I was wheeled into that place in a wheelchair too difficult to walk.
Our living, breathing miracle. A promise. Evidence I could see of prayers answered. God gave me two great miracles as I type this: Healing from cancer (for both me and my husband); Peace in the in between.
Neither greater than the other. Both only possible because of Him. Not the power of positive thinking. Not wishing. Not believing He COULD do the thing.
Faith in Him alone.
Faith not that He could. Faith that He would.
Faith that He was with us. And did not afflict us with these ailments.
Faith that Jesus paid the price for our healing 2,000 years ago at a place called Calvary using the most valuable thing that has ever existed—His blood.
Faith that everything really would work together for our good and His glory. That my good and His glory will always be the very same thing. Faith that He wasn’t just holding my hand in the delivery room when I was so weak I could barely walk. Faith that He was upholding me in the palm of His mighty hand bringing about a supernatural result of an easy labor in spite of my body.
Faith that His Word is living and active. We claimed His Word over every appointment, every IV dripping with chemo, every pain and every hurt. We know God changed our outcome.
Today I type this just ten days after a mastectomy. I asked God for wisdom. (I have a 7 year old and a baby. Another less invasive surgery would have been much easier. I can’t really hold Evlyn for a month.)
But, I knew what He told me to do. When I woke from surgery they informed me that I had a new cancer growing. One that didn’t show on any of the many scans. One that didn’t respond to chemo. If I had the “easier” surgery I would have a new and undetected cancer growing in my body.
Today, as I write, I don’t say lightly that my favorite verse is Hebrews 11:1. I say it with faith. Faith tested by fires we never would have chosen. Faith that truly is sure of what I hope for. Faith that is certain of that which I cannot see.