Photo by Jeff Rogers Photography
Jeff has an unwavering faith and a deep love for God. A few years ago he lost his wife of over 20 years to cancer. As he talks of Sally, he smiles and tears fill his eyes. It is clear that he loved her very much.
Yet as I sat across from him at the Starbucks table, his joy and hope were palpable. Sally’s diagnosis had been a surprise. A petite woman, beautiful inside and out, curly hair, dimples, a zest for life, a dancer, and the picture of health. How could she possibly have had a stage four cancerous tumor the size of an orange on her ovary? Her treatment included surgery, then chemo, then radiation.
Right before Sally’s surgery, while Jeff was praying with a friend for her, he had a vision of Jesus walking down the hospital hallway holding Sally’s hand. She was a child, about five years old, and in a hospital gown, but Jeff knew it was Sally. This was such a comfort and reassurance—Jesus was with her.
The treatments appeared to have worked and Sally was better. During this time, God led Jeff and Sally to begin a healing ministry as part of a small Methodist church they were attending. God healed many people through their ministry. But Sally’s cancer came back and though many prayers for healing were prayed for her, she was not healed—at least not on earth. Instead, she received the ultimate healing—in a place of no death, no tears, and no pain.
Six months before her death, while Jeff was praying, he heard the Lord say, “Release her to me.” Jeff knew what this meant and he did release her, but he didn’t stop praying for her and he continued to praise God. Even in this sorrow, God gave Jeff great comfort and hope. The cancer spread to Sally’s liver and she passed quickly. It was a holy moment . . . at home with Jeff on one side and her sister on the other side, praying for Jesus to take her to Him. It happened only three days after their 20-year anniversary—a milestone that was so important to Sally because this was a second marriage for both of them.
In the months that followed, Jeff suffered great sadness, but God brought a kind couple, Matthew and Nancy, to Jeff to minister to him during his grief and brokenness. One night, Matthew, an ER physician, was speaking at a local church and asked Jeff, who is a photographer, to photograph the event. Matthew had been invited to speak by another ER physician, Missy. After the event, Matthew introduced Jeff to Missy. There was an immediate connection. Shortly after their first date, while in France, Jeff took a photo of two trees intertwined and sent it to Missy. He knew that it was God’s will for him to be with Missy. God had orchestrated their meeting and brought them together. Their marriage has been an incredible gift to both of them and they are both profoundly grateful to God. Missy had never been married and knows that if Jeff had not lost Sally, she would not have this gift. She loves Sally too, through Jeff, and can’t wait for the three of them to be in heaven together some day.
God is faithful; He brings good out of pain. He comforts and provides peace, hope, joy, and love.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.