An amazing story of a woman’s journey of healing from cancer, a little different to the way many others might want to be healed:
By Christine Cain
“Chris, you have cancer.” Not quite the words I was expecting to hear when I landed in Sydney Australia for our annual Hillsong conference on June 27 this year.
It was 9am in Australia, and my doctor in the US had called to give me the results of the Thyroid biopsy I had done before boarding my flight to Australia.
The C word.
That word normally sends fear, dread and terror surging into the hearts of people.
It sounds so final. Terminal.
It seems like everyone, everywhere has known someone, somewhere who has, or has had, cancer.
My own father died of lung cancer when I was 19 years old.
- I saw first-hand how cancer eats away a healthy body.
- I saw what chemotherapy and radiation therapy could do to a body.
- I watched my dad go from a strong independent man to a weak and frail one.
- I watched my dad’s beautiful mane of hair fall out, section by section.
- I drove him to treatments when he could no longer drive.
- I sat in waiting rooms, waiting for him to come out of surgery.
- I watched my dad become a walking skeleton.
- I heard my dad being sick. Ever so sick. Always sick.
- I saw what hope deferred could do to a family.
- I learned what a financial burden endless treatments could be.
- I saw my mother feeling helpless, hopeless, afraid and desperate.
- I prayed desperate, fervent prayers that seemed to change nothing.
- I felt the fear that had taken up residence in our home.
- I heard the word remission spoken two weeks before my father died.
- I lived with faith and hope that he would be healed.
- I saw my mum holding my dad’s body after he died in her arms.
- I watched my distraught brothers try to process life without their hero.
- I felt the disorientation of the loss of the head of our family.
- I went to my father’s funeral.
- I graduated and was not able to celebrate with my dad.
- I walked up the aisle without my father on my wedding day.
- My husband never got to meet my father.
- My daughters never got to meet their grandfather.
- I’ve never seen my father’s face smiling at me when I’ve preached.
- I’ve never been able to call my dad and tell him we rescued another girl.
- I’ve never been able to give my dad one of my books.
- It’s been 29 years since I’ve been able to talk to my dad.
Make no mistake. I was very familiar with the word, cancer.
I am 48 years old and have lived long enough now to know many people who have had, or currently have cancer. I have prayed for multitudes of people with cancer.
Some have lived; some have died. I will always continue to pray that God heals people who are suffering from cancer.
I never expected to be diagnosed with cancer, but there I was, diagnosed with cancer.
Was it stage 1, 2, 3 or 4, I wondered?
Was the growth in my throat cancerous too?
Was it isolated and contained, or had it spread into my lymph nodes?
How on earth could I have cancer?
I was fit, healthy and a faith-filled, preaching woman of God.
Had they made a mistake?
Would I have to get straight back on a plane to America?
Could I handle chemo or radiotherapy if I needed it?
Was this how I was going to go home?
What would happen to Catherine and Sophia?
What about Nick and all our yet-to-be-realised dreams and plans?
What about my responsibilities at the conference?
It was only a split second, but all these thoughts and many more went swirling through my mind. I took a deep breath and answered:
“Leslie, it’s okay. Cancer is not terminal. Life is terminal. I will live every second of every day that God has ordained for me to live on this earth, and then I will go home. The devil has no authority over my life. The blood of Jesus covers me, and He will take me home when He wants me. I don’t know how I’m going home, but like most people, I imagine that death will be the doorway; I just don’t think it’s time yet. I am not afraid of dying; that is inevitable, and I just refuse to allow the word cancer to grip me with fear. Tell me what we need to do. I am at a conference this week that is themed, “No other Name,” and I believe that there is a Name that is higher than the name of cancer, and that is the Name of Jesus. We are on a battlefield, not a playground; it’s time to go to war. You tell me what to do medically, and I will fight this spiritually, and whatever happens, Jesus will have the final victory.”
In one week, I had gone from going to the doctor for a sore throat, to being diagnosed with four separate conditions in the one area of my body that is most used to do what God has called me to do.
- A growth on the right side of my throat
- Vocal cord nodules
- A throat infection
- Thyroid cancer
A lot can sure happen in a week.
I knew a weapon had been forged against me. I don’t believe that sickness comes from God, because God is good and does good; but I know that we are in a spiritual battle and that bad things can happen to good people because we live in a fallen world. The devil came for my jugular, my voice. He wanted to silence me and sent a full-on assault to bombard and overwhelm me. I had received one negative diagnosis after another. It was relentless.
His plan was to fill me with fear so that he could deactivate my faith. Fear cripples, immobilizes and paralyses us. It causes us to pull back from God instead of pressing in to Him and His Word, To speak doubt and unbelief instead of faith. To forget His promises, instead of remembering His faithfulness. To see the facts, obstacles and giants instead of the truth of His Word. To react rather than respond. Fear simply shuts us down, and when we are shut down we cannot fight the good fight of faith.
I had a faith battle ahead of me, and the real enemy was not cancer, but fear.
I was blindsided by a surprise attack, but God was not. I felt many emotions and very vulnerable, but I could also feel God’s Presence with me in a palpable way. This was going to be yet another chance for me to practice what I so often preached to others.
- I had to choose to cover the problem with the promises of God.
- I had to choose to silence the giant with the Word of God.
- I had to choose to see beyond the wall to the victory on the other side.
- I had to choose to walk by faith and not by sight.
- I had to choose to combat fear with faith.
- I had to choose to replace the facts with the truth.
- I had to choose faith warriors to walk through the fire with me.
- I had to choose to saturate myself in the Presence of God.
- I had to choose to devour the promises of the Word of God.
- I had to choose to silence fear, doubt, unbelief and negativity.
- I had to choose to guard my confession.
- I had to choose life and not death.
- I did not know the size of the battle ahead, but I knew it was warfare.
You don’t casually stroll into battle. You intentionally suit up and march in fully armed and covered.
- I still had to mother my children.
- I still had to be a wife to Nick.
- I still had a ministry to keep running.
- I still had speaking engagements to honour.
- I still had a book coming out, called Unstoppable. (Was I prepared to be?)
- I still had the Miracles, Signs & Wonders worship tour coming up with Kari Jobe.
- I still had the Women of Faith fall season starting.
- I still had some speaking on a Hillsong worship tour coming up.
This was one of the busiest and biggest seasons of my entire year. If you had asked me, I would have told you that I had no time or margin to fit in a physical health battle. But battles never come at convenient times, do they? I had to trust that God knew what was going on in my life and that if He brought me to it, He would bring me through it. His grace would be sufficient for me.
So did Chris receive her healing? Read her full story here