#99 Returning to God

 Photo by Erin E. Photography

This story is about how God healed my husband, brought good from illness, and brought together two of His children.

In 2010, Chris found a spot—which was melanoma—on his shoulder. It was removed. In 2013, the melanoma spot came back and was again removed. In 2014, he had a scan and the doctor found Stage 4 melanoma widespread throughout his body. The cancer was in his lymph nodes and a golf-ball-sized melanoma was found in his lungs. He was given only a few months to live.

It was discovered that Chris had the BRAF gene. This gene makes it more difficult for his cells to repair the damage of the sun, which led to his melanoma. Of all the specialists Chris could have gone to for care, God led us to just the right one. At the time of his diagnosis, there was an oncologist and researcher at Vanderbilt University who worked with the exact gene that Chris had and even had helped to develop the medication for this genetic problem. Vanderbilt was within easy driving distance from our home (and since this time, the oncologist/researcher has moved to a university much further away from us).

Chris was able to get an appointment with this oncologist/researcher and everything worked out just right for Chris to receive the experimental immunotherapy for the BRAF gene that was causing his problems. Even with the experimental therapy, there was a 92 percent chance that Chris would not live past a year, but it has been two years and still all the cancer is gone with no reoccurrence. The oncologist couldn’t believe it and told us that it is very rare to have complete elimination of the cancer with no reoccurrence. It is amazing. 

We are so thankful to God for Chris’s healing and continued health. We also praise God for how he used Chris’s illness for good. Chris was my first boyfriend when I was 12 years old. We remained friends but walked down different roads. Even though Chris grew up in the church, he went through a rebellious period, a time when there was no openness in his heart. The breakthrough for Chris came in 2013 when the melanoma spot was found again on his shoulder. It was at that time that he began to seek the Lord. He also moved back to his hometown in 2013. I had never left our hometown, and when he returned, I saw the change in him and that he was more open to spiritual conversation. God brought us together and we got married.

We are so thankful for what the Lord has done for us…for healing Chris, for Chris’s transformation spiritually, and for bringing us together. Throughout this experience, God has given us both physical and spiritual strength. There has been so much growth and a new perspective on life. We go to Vanderbilt every four weeks for a checkup and scan. Regardless of the future, we are confident—now more than ever before—of God’s greatness. And we are so thankful to our great God who heals us and brings good out of difficult times.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

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.

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