I’m angry. I am sad. But, I am not without hope.
With each week comes knowledge of more people who I either know personally or I hear about from others who are suffering in ways I cannot begin to imagine. When I hear about those who are suffering sometimes I get angry and sometimes I get sad, but I always stop and say a prayer. It’s the lesson I learned from my own critical situation. While I was fighting for my life, people stopped and prayed in the midst of feeling deep emotion. And, their prayers saved my life. And while I was recovering, their prayers saved my sanity.
As I reveal in my book, my heart since waking from death is soft. All the walls built up over 33 years were gone upon opening my eyes in a hospital on July 30, 2010. Now, I have decided to not allow walls to build up in my heart, so I force myself to feel the real emotion of what is happening. So now, when I learn of people’s suffering, I allow myself to get angry and sad…because it is honest. However, I don’t allow myself to feel despair. I don’t deny myself the gift of hope and I trust in God’s plan even when it doesn’t please me.
This week has been especially difficult. A girl who I was a leader for at my church when I was a freshman in college (she and I are only a few years apart) has been fighting stage four breast cancer for the past few years. Her doctors didn’t catch it in time because she was so young—in her mid-twenties—and they never would have guessed she had something like that. She has done chemo and radiation several times and the doctors told her this weekend that there is nothing more they can do for her. The cancer will now spread until it finally takes her life. She doesn’t want to die, but it is not up to her as the cancer has ravaged through her entire body.
Upon hearing the news I was already sad because I had just found out another friend’s mom was just diagnosed with cancer, so it was all too much for me. I switched from anger to sadness all day long. It was a day of tears and lots of prayers!
I can’t sit still when people I know are suffering. I cleaned the whole house top to bottom. Then, I decided to go visit my young friend in the hospital. I went and she was sleeping and I said to her husband, “I will just go. You let her sleep.” She must have heard me because she opened her eyes and began to cry saying, “I can’t believe you came to see me. I am so happy.” She drew me closer and we hugged so tight. She looked thin and frail, but she sat up and to her husband’s surprise, she got out of bed, put on a sweater and asked if she and I could go on a walk. We walked slow to a short distance, her hand holding my arm for balance, until we sat on a bench. She revealed her pain and her suffering to me as we both cried and embraced more. I was humbled to have the privilege of being in that moment with her. I didn’t try to be strong and hold back emotion. I just tried to be real and feel her pain in order to walk through it with her.
When we returned to her room, she was tired. Her husband stepped out so we could talk more. She would doze off throughout our conversation and when she did, I would just pray. Eventually, I stood up, grabbed her hand and prayed loudly with fervor to the Lord in her little hospital room. Again, she was in and out of sleep and I wasn’t sure if she even heard any of it, and at the same time I knew it didn’t matter. As with my situation, I heard none of the prayers people prayed at my bedside, but God did, so here I prayed with a fiery passion for her comfort, her heart, her soul, and her body.
Her husband returned and I was about to leave when she woke up again. She said to her husband, “I feel so good.” Her husband replied, “Oh, did the nurse finally bring you more pain meds?” She paused, having to think about why she was feeling so good, and replied, “No. Melanie prayed over me and I feel good!”
I honestly didn’t think she was awake for any of it, but that’s the power of prayer. You don’t even need to be awake or even be in the same location as someone for prayers to be heard. When I left her room, I was no longer angry or sad. Those feelings subsided. I was left with hope.
This week I asked those of Facebook and this blog to submit names of people who need our prayers. Let us come together this week to pray for these names specifically. We may not know them and we may not be sitting next to them, but one thing is certain, there is strength in numbers…especially when it comes to prayers said on one’s behalf. Let us pray!
- Pray for Becky who just found out she has cancer.
- Pray for Mary whose cancer has resurfaced. She is now undergoing radiation treatments.
- Pray for Anibal who has stage 4 cancer.
Pray for Miguel who is spiritually suffering and needs hip replacement surgery.
- Pray for Jeff who has PLS.
- Pray for Erin who just underwent a hysterectomy.
- Pray for Michelle who has stage four cancer, has tried chemo and radiation and doctors informed her that they have done all they can do. The cancer has taken over her whole body. Pray for her family who suffered the loss of their son a few months ago and are now facing the loss of their daughter.
- Pray for Jerome who is suffering from many physical ailments and spiritual dryness; he feels abandoned by God as he was abandoned by his own father.
- Pray for Pam who is currently being treated for breast cancer.
- Pray for Jaimie, her mom and her daughter. She is in the process of being diagnosed with MS and her family has suffered greatly for it.
- Pray for Angela, mother of two young children, who has stage four colon cancer.
- Pray for Jennifer who is carrying twins and needs to keep them in her womb for 5more weeks!
- Pray for Laurie’s strained relationship with her daughter.
- Pray for Jan’s sciatica issue. It seems to be getting worse instead of better.
- Pray for Jillian who has brain cancer.
- Pray for Arie who has cancer.
- Pray for Peggy that she would be relieved of chronic back pain.
- Pray for Doris that she can regain the full-function use of her legs.
- Pray for Maria. Her health has seriously declined due to strokes and she is now bedridden and very confused.
- Amy is asking prayers for her family. In 2011, they dealt with 8 deaths in a short period of time in her family. Amy spent the year in and out of the hospital with no answers to any of her health issues. Her husband was fired from his job during her many hospitalizations because his FMLA ran out. He was able to find a new job but was just let go. Now with no work & no health insurance they are really struggling and 2012 met them with 2 more deaths.
- Please pray for Jake. He is 14 and was hit by a car on Jan. 2nd while riding his bike. He suffered severe head trauma and is in the ICU trying to recover. It is believed he will survive but we must pray for a full recovery. He is an adorable young man who deserves a bright future!
- Pray for Anna who suffered major complications during the birth of her 7th child.
- Pray for Sonny who is in prison. He is in need of deep conversion and healing. He has two sons, 4 and 7.
- Pray for Lala and Magdy who both have lung cancer.
- Pray for Rob who has 4th stage colon cancer metastasized to the liver. Although the cancer is supposedly under control right now, he can’t keep food down due to one of the treatments which burned ulcers in his stomach. Despite strong pain killers, he is still not sleeping well from the pain and continues to lose weight.
- Pray for Debbie, who has been in a wheel chair since she was very young; she is in constant pain from rheumatoid arthritis pain. This season seems to be especially painful for her.
- Pray for Kenny who suddenly suffered a bleed in his brain 3 weeks ago and a few days later had a stroke. He has had numerous complications, and is still in the neuro ICU. He is stabilized, and starting to open his eyes and move his arms/legs. He still has a long way to go. Please pray for his brain to continue to heal and for him to become more responsive. Please also pray for his wife and two teenage daughters that the Lord will guide them and give them his peace and patience for the long road ahead.
- Pray for Marie who has stage 4 Colon cancer which has “traveled” to her lung and liver. She is still undergoing chemo (in the form of pills) and the doctors are hopeful to one day go back in to operate to get rid of the remaining tumors. Pray that ultimately she may be cured from cancer BUT also that Jesus may grant her the faith, hope, peace and consolation she needs to deal with every aspect of this disease.
- Pray for 10 year-old Amanda who was diagnosed with Lymphoma about a year and half ago. After a year of treatment she had been found to be cancer free but then the family found out that the cancer came back and this time also spread to her liver. After a recent stay in the hospital, she is now back home and in remission. She still has to undergo a stem cell transplant. Pray that the Lord may cure her of her cancer and that he may grant Amanda and her family faith, hope, love, peace and consolation they need to get through this.
- Pray for all Catholics and Christians of other denominations persecuted around the world.
- Pray for mental healing for Brandon and Frank, both have wounds from their past and their family situations that need God’s healing touch.
- Pray for our Sarah’s Parish Community; it is in the middle of a transitional phase, with parishioners becoming disillusioned, wounded, and misunderstood. That God would shine His true light into the midst of this situation and bring us His truth.
- Pray for Randy, who is struggling with responsibilities of being a husband and father due in part to a mental illness. Please also pray for Randy’s family as they endure his mood swings and unpredictable behavior.
- Pray for Paige, age 9, who has brain cancer. She had surgery in July and had chemo and radiation for six weeks. Now she is on chemo pills and will be going for her three month check up. Pray for good results from the M.R.I. and the doctor’s report.
- Pray for Andrea who is fighting breast cancer with chemo and having a hard time dealing with sickness, losing her hair and depression
- Pray for Brenda who lost her husband suddenly two years ago. Recently, she had a fire at her home. May she find strength in our Lord!
- Pray for sixteen-year-old Jack who suffered a spinal injury while playing high school hockey. He may never walk again.
Blog reader, Joanna shared with me about her prayer ministry for children and adults with cancer and blood diseases. She prays for names from the sites http://www.caringbridge.org and www.carepages.com. This would be a great place to find more names if you, too, wanted to continue to pray for those in need. Here is her current list of people who need prayers.
- Morgan Mitchell/ Neuroblastoma
- Justin Miller/ Leukemia
- Garrett Harper/ Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
- Vinny Gerolamo /Rhabdomosarcoma
- Abby Wilson/ a form of Lung Cancer / Abby is 14 years old and has fought the disease about 4 years
- Taylor Hedrix/ bone cancer
- Rachel Brown/ Ewing Sarcoma
- Xavian Beckett Hall / Neuroblastoma / 4 years old
Dear Lord, we give all of these prayer requests to you and we place them at the foot of the cross—the place where you suffered. We pray for a miracle of healing in each situation. Let your will be done Lord for your greater glory. May the hearts of all those that are suffering feel your infinite love for them and may the Holy Spirit bring them peace. Please send their guardian angels to protect them and keep watch over them. And may the Holy Spirit breathe knowledge and wisdom to all those who care for them. Amen!
Thank you to all who shared about your suffering or who shared about someone you know who is suffering. It is beautiful that we can all join together in prayer for others in need. Let’s make a habit of this!
For those reading, if you have prayers to add, leave them in the “Leave a Reply” section and I will post!
May the Lord guard and protect all of you readers, your families, and your friends and may the Holy Spirit bring you peace!
Have a blessed week!