• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Bump In The Road Blessings

Six years ago today I went to a surgeon for a consultation on a mammogram. I was not worried about it because I was healthy and my mom had always gotten call backs. By the time of my appointment Mike, Mom and Sarah were with me. Ivey was in school.

As God would have it, the nurse went to our church. When they continued removing lymph nodes and the room was quiet I could see the look Mike and the nurse exchanged. It was not good. Sarah finally left the room looking upset. Finally, I was told to go to a room and Dr. Bebb would come talk to me. On the way there I passed out. When I came to I was on the floor, Mom and Sarah were in chairs and Dr. Bebb was on the bed! He told me this would be the hardest year I had ever had. He said I had breast cancer and that I would have the most aggressive chemo they make and you are only allowed 6 treatments and I would have all 6. He said I would have a double mastectomy and total hysterectomy and not sure what else. Then I would have the maximum amount of radiation they can give. It was in my lymph nodes and he would call me the next day with the stage when the pathology report came back. He said he was not sure if it was in my bone or brain.

The ride home reminded me of leaving the hospital when my dad died. Stunned. No words. Several friends came over. It was like I was at my own death. When we got home Sarah had taped a note on my bathroom mirror, "Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3: 5" (It remains on my mirror.) That night Mike held me and we cried wondering if I had a month. They said I had probably only had this 6-8 weeks and it was aggressive. I told him all the things I needed for him to know about my girls and what he would need to do if I was not there.

The next day Dr. Bebb called and he told me I was stage 3 but we still would not know for two weeks if it was in my bone or brain. Dr. Bebb prayed with me, quoted scripture to me and then said, "Jill, now is the time to gather the elders of your church together to lay hands on you and pray for you." As much as I did not want to be in front of people (yes, I even thought of that!) I wanted to be obedient and that was scripture. Our assistant minister, Margaret, was extra special to our family and she had cried with my mom when she heard my diagnosis. I called her and told her what Dr. Bebb said. She said we would do just that.

Within that year my family had lost my dad, Mike's mother, Mike's dad had been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma and Mom had a major back surgery among some other stressful events. I had to fight for my family. The next day when I got to church my closest friends and my girls and their friends were there! I had told Margaret I needed prayer and to share it all. I had no secrets. After the last song Margaret told everyone they could leave if they needed to but we were going to do do something a little different. She announced my diagnosis and I could hear the shock as everyone took a breath. Then she told them the stage and that we did not know yet if it was in the bone or brain. She also told them what my doctor said. James 5: 14, "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord." She explained that to be an elder you have to believe that Jesus Christ can heal.

The entire church came forward and laid hands on me. Margaret anointed me with oil and prayed over me. Then I prayed in the microphone and told God I love Him and he knew I wanted to be healed and be with my family but I also told Him not my will but His will be done. I thanked Him for how He would use this for His glory. I knew the ultimate healing would be with Him. I will forever believe I was healed that day. And the peace that came over me was unlike anything I could ever put into words.

A few weeks later Mike picked and sang "Even If The Healing Doesn't Come" by Kutlass at church. Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes all we have to hold on to Is what we know is true of who You are So when the heartache hits like a hurricane That could never change who You are And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come And life falls apart And dreams are still undone You are God You are good Forever faithful One Even if the healing Even if the healing doesn’t come

Lord we know Your ways are not our ways So we set our faith in who You are Even though You reign high above us You tenderly love us We know Your heart And we rest in who You are

That is how we felt. Like I always say, it always comes back to trust. And that is why I call this blog, A Bump In The Road With Many Blessings. Six years out (woohoo) and you can see the bigger picture. First of all they did not think I would see five years. God has used so much of that tough year and continues to. I still have people tell me what that service meant to them. When I asked Margaret if I could use her name in this blog she said, "I often mention you to people who are dealing with cancer....One of the biggest blessings I have been blessed to be a part of." I am stronger. Mike is stronger. Our marriage is stronger. Our girls are stronger even if they don't see it yet. My mom is stronger. Some of my doctors and hospital staff are stronger! And the icing on the cake? I fell deeper in love with the Lord to a level I did not know possible. I love life like never before! I enjoy life like never before! And I love and enjoy life because I KNOW how precious life is! Hebrews 13: 5, "...God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Whatever you are going through, look for the blessings! They are there!


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