My memoir, CHASING MY FATHER, traces 6-years of transformation and healing after breast cancer and divorce.
I’ve been a churchgoer since I was a little girl, but I’d also gotten trapped in a comfortable existence of worldly success. All my dreams hadn’t come true, but when a good friend lost his 18-year-old son to cancer, I gave up the idea that God was a good god and really loved me. But one year to the day of my friend’s son’s death, I received the news that I had breast cancer, and my life has been changed forever. My transformation wasn’t a straight path and it wasn’t immediate, but over the past eight years, I’ve loved in ways that I could never have imagined, and it was all because God said, “Yes, my child, I can use you in my kingdom, but first you must rest and be healed.”
I invite you to read or listen to this exclusive excerpt from Chapter 4 from my book, CHASING MY FATHER. I’d received a vision from Jesus two weeks before on the night I received my cancer diagnosis and He’d asked if I was willing to die for Him. After much thought, I summoned my courage to respond, “Yes.” For the next two weeks I underwent dozens of test, all that puzzlingly came up negative. Why had He asked me to die for Him if it looked like I was going to live?
Here’s the excerpt from CHASING MY FATHER of my second encounter with Christ:
“The hematoma was still painful and I was grateful that Dr. Cooper would remove it during my next surgery the following week. My tossing and turning was keeping Curtis (my husband) up, so he decided to sleep upstairs in the guest bedroom until things returned to normal. As I was drifting off to sleep Friday evening, the little curly-haired blonde girl reappeared in the meadow in the twilight. A tall man was in the distance, but as the little girl ran, he got closer and closer to catching her. She was laughing and playing in the long shadows when a dark cloud came over the field. Startled, I sat up in bed.
I heard the voice again and the white apparition appeared at the end of my bed, "Did you call me?"
"I thought I heard you call my name."
I felt the cool breeze again and knew who it was standing before me in dazzling white. "Well, now that you are here, I do have a question. Why are all my tests negative? I thought when you visited me last time and spoke to me about Jason dying it was because I was going to die too, in six months. But based upon the medical tests, it appears that I may live a long life after treatment. I had accepted that I was going to die soon and told you that I was willing to die for you. I even made sure that my will was up-to-date and that Curtis' children would be well taken care of. But if I'm going to live a longer life, why did you put me through all that? Why did you ask me if I was willing to die for you?”
The voice was clear, “I needed to know if you are for me or against me. Now that you believe in your heart that you are willing to give up your life for me at any time, you will not die in the next six months. I have work for you to do on my behalf and I need you on earth to be my eyes, my hands, and my feet.”
Tears started to well up in my eyes. I wasn’t crying in relief that I would live, instead I was crying because I felt needed. “Really? What could I possibly do for you?”
“Right now, I need you to heal and get well. Love me and feel my healing power as you go through your next surgery. I will comfort you as you rest in my arms. I’ll let you know when I need you to do something.”
Could I have possibly heard correctly? Could God really want me to rest and heal? I’d been prepared to do anything that He asked, but instead He wanted to delight in me so that I could become whole again.
With that, the apparition disappeared.
I fell back asleep with a new joy, not over living longer, but about having a real purpose in life, whatever that was going to be. As I fell asleep, the same dream started over, but this time I could see the little girl’s face. It looked just like an old photograph of me when I was three years old. As I ran in circles, I delighted in being just outside the man’s outstretched arms. I’d usually wake up just as the man was about to catch the little girl, but this time the dream was different. I began to tire and my running became slower and slower. Just then the man scooped me up into his arms and held me tight as I buried my head into his shoulder.
"Agatha, I love you. I have always loved you. It’s time for you to quit running and rest with me."
Here ends the book excerpt.
I was prepared to work hard for Christ and do whatever He asked, but instead He said, “Right now, I need you to heal and get well. Love me and feel my healing power.”
Could it be possible that Christ was willing to let me heal before I started to work for him? Was it even possible that I could be healed from the shame of a dysfunctional family as a child, or the guilt from bad decisions that I’d made as an adult seeking affection and love? Could it be possible that I could be emotionally healed and learn how to discern both the positive and negative relationships in my life?
Looking back, I realize that that night was the turning point when I knew that I really wanted to be healed of the shame and brokenness of my past, and I understood that my brokenness wasn’t going to be healed overnight.
It’s been a long and continuous journey and I want to thank you, the readers of my blog who’ve inspired me to keep traveling on this path of renewal.
If you’d like to purchase an autographed copy of CHASING MY FATHER, please visit local Nashville bookstores: Parnassus, Landmark Booksellers (Franklin), or St. George’s Episcopal Church Bookstore, or it is available in print and ebooks on-line at Amazon, and iTunes. I also have autographed copies available on my website.
I want to offer blessings for your healing, too. Will you come rest with me?