My earliest childhood memory would be my grandmother rocking me in a rocking chair. We lived two houses down from my grandmother’s house until my mom and dad divorced. I was seven years old. My grandmother instilled in me right from wrong and introduced me to a power greater than anything you can imagine, GOD. She practiced what she preached. I first learned to pray after she overheard some expletives that a friend and I were yelling and laughing about, at about the age of four. He taught me what he learned from his older brothers. My grandmother made us each kneel down in a corner and pray to God to forgive us for using such language.
I would give anything to go back in time to those days. I was the typical kid, yes I believed in God, but as a child you don’t think about religion much. I grew to become a teenager and I did the usual things a teen in the eighties did.
I was twelve years old when my dad was diagnosed with Leukemia. I became more involved with our local church. I joined a youth ministry in our Assembly of God Church called the Royal Rangers. The Rangers were similar to the Boy Scouts and we did some of the same things as well as study the Bible. I was voted assistant patrol leader, which was an honor for a boy my age.
I was fourteen years old when my dad lost his battle with Leukemia and it changed my life. I remember that night like it was yesterday. I remember going into the restroom at the hospital and getting down on my knees and praying to God, praying he wouldn’t take my dad. My dad died a few hours later. I became angry at God and I slowly started down a dark road of confusion and sin. If it hadn’t been for my grandmother reminding me of the things God can do, I would have probably been lost forever.
I had several close calls with death through the years and I knew it was the hand of God that saved me. I knew I must have been spared for some reason. The first close call was a car wreck at nineteen years old. I had been drinking, drunk was more like it. I never realized I could have killed not only myself, but anyone on the road that night. I don’t remember what time of night it was but I remember the curve and slamming into a tree at about eighty miles per hour. I should have died that night. The passenger side roof of the car was caved in, if there would have been someone on that side they would not have survived. I think the front of the car or at least half of it was back against the windshield. I hit the steering wheel and bruised my collar bone. I didn’t sustain any other injuries. I got out and walked until I found help.
The second time I came close to dying was in 1993. I went to the doctor for what I believed to be pneumonia. My lung had collapsed and I was rushed into surgery. Some of the lower part of my lung was removed and a chest tube was inserted to drain the fluid. My stay in the hospital lasted almost a month. I was down for several weeks after that. I still didn’t see that God was trying to get my attention.
The next year I married my wife of twenty years and we now have four children.
I went to work for the prison as an officer and my wife attended church in the town we lived in at the time. I worked a twelve hour shift at night and I didn’t get out much. The truth was I didn’t want to go to church. I guess deep down I was still angry with God. One Sunday my wife came home and asked me why I never told her that I had received a calling to be a minister. I was the only one that knew, but I asked her how she found out. She said God spoke to her and told her. I once again ignored God. No matter what the relationship was that I had with God he was always there when I called. I was angry at him, but I never hesitated to call on him in time of need.
I received my share of miracles despite my attitude toward God. The day my son was born, my wife almost died on the operating table. I knew something had happened because they were taking too long to call me back for the procedure. When the nurse finally called me back the doctor had began the procedure. The room was silent and the staff appeared concerned. I was present when my other children were born and the staff were joking around with music playing, but not this time. I knew the moment I saw the doctor’s eyes when he held my son up that something was wrong. He wasn’t crying, moving or breathing. The doctor gave my son to a nurse and another doctor and they attempted to get him to breath. A nurse escorted from the operating room just as another nurse picked up the phone and said “code blue”.
I returned to the waiting area where my mother and my children were waiting. My mother asked if she could see the baby. I told her what happened. I prayed all the way from the operating room. I do not remember how long we waited, but finally the nurse told me I could come back and see my wife and son. He weighed almost twelve pounds. He had some complications, but he survived without any brain damage or physical problems
I worked in the prison system on and off for almost ten years and I promoted quickly to a supervisor position. My doctor advised me to quit the first time due to stress. I went back a couple of years later to a less stressful position. I soon promoted to supervisor again for the higher pay and with the higher pay came the stress.
I began to have health problems so I resigned my position for good. My doctor insisted I have a CT scan and I did not know the severity of my illness at that time so I put off having the test.
I thought it was just the stress of the job and that I would be fine. I decided to stay home and be mister mom while my wife worked. It didn’t last long and I went back to work, but this time I got a less stressful job. I went to work as a computer tech and there was some physical labor involved. The work should not have been as hard or exhausting as it seemed. I kept telling myself I wasn’t sick, I was just getting old. My wife knew I wasn’t in good health. She tried numerous times to get me to go to the doctor, but we did not have any insurance and very little money.
My wife got a job in another city, I quit my job and we moved again. We moved close to family this time. My grandmother’s sister lived a few miles away and we would visit often. She told me one day that I didn’t look well and that I needed to see a doctor. I noticed a large lump on the side of my neck not long after she had told me I wasn’t looking well. My aunt called one day and insisted I go to the doctor. She said she was on her way over to my house to give me the money to pay for the doctor. My wife called and scheduled an appointment.
One night while sitting at my computer desk God spoke to me. God told me that I did not have to go to a Bible College or be ordained by a pastor to do his work. He said that I had resisted his calling too long. God said that it is his will and that I am ordained through him to minister to people. I gave myself back to God that night. I asked forgiveness of my sins and I confessed that I believe in my heart that he, Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. I told God that I do not know what to do. God spoke to me again and told me to research online Bible Colleges. I found a website where I completed classes for free and I received an official legal ordainment on September 21, 2012. I can legally perform duties such as weddings, funerals, etc.
I gave in and went to the doctor because I had known for a long time I had something wrong but I was scared of what it could be. The doctor examined me and I could tell by the look on his face, he knew it was serious. My doctor informed me it was cancer. I had to go to a specialist and then I had to get a biopsy.
On September 24, 2012 I was diagnosed with Terminal Stage 4 Squamous Cell Throat Cancer. The source site was on the base of my tongue, two doctors had failed to find the source site, the third doctor finally found it. The cancer had spread to my left lymph node and tonsil area. I received thirty rounds of radiation treatments and six rounds of chemo because the typical surgery was out of the question. If the chemo and radiation did not work the doctor would have to cut my chin bone down the middle and pull my face open to get to the base of my tongue. He said if the chemo and radiation worked I would still need my left lymph node and tonsil removed.
My wife and I were in the worst financial shape we had ever been in. My wife had lost her job about a week before I was diagnosed. This was the first in a series of miracles and blessings my family and I would receive. If it had not been for God leading my aunt and me answering his calling I would not be here today. My aunt and a few other family members came over and prayed for me after I began my treatments. She anointed the cancer area with oil. She placed her hand on the swollen lymph node area, during the praying I felt as if something reached in my throat and pulled something out. I feel my cancer was healed that night.
During the coming months, my wife and I were stressed out about how we would pay bills and afford to drive to treatments and appointments at UAMS in Little Rock. Little Rock was two hours away. The Lord blessed us with family, friends, churches and a giving community that came forward and helped with some of our finances and others who helped my wife with fundraisers. We would often find boxes of food and other items on our front porch. Some local churches provided Thanksgiving dinner for us, but by December we were stressing again about Christmas for our four children.
The Lord blessed us once again with a couple of different organizations that provided our kids with Christmas presents. My wife and I have always been the family that helped others during their time of need and I never believed it would be me and my family needing help. There are no words to express my thanks to those people and how thankful I am that God sent these people to help us and how thankful I am to have my prayers answered. I think I wore the knees out of my blue jeans from kneeling down to pray for all those months. My prayers had been answered up to this point and my faith was strong. I was praying every day that my cancer would be healed and I prayed that I would not need the surgery. I would lie on the table during radiation praying that the cancer would be healed. There were thousands of people praying, family, friends, people from local churches, and people across the Internet and many others. My aunt Rochelle gave me a prayer cloth from Richard Roberts. It was for a cancer miracle for me. I kept this with me and I now keep this in my wallet.
On February 25, 2013 I had a CT scan and biopsy. My Doctor informed us that no cancer was found in the scan. The lymph node that started at three centimeters was now at eleven millimeters with 10 being normal. The doctor did not have to remove the node and we were cancer free. I had to return for another scan in three months. I said thank you God and the Doctor said, “you’re exactly right”. I got my miracle and my wife and I were in tears. This did not last long before we got out of the office, we received some devastating news from my chemo doctor. He and the radiologist found a mass they called a tumor on my left lung. I had to receive another scan of my chest. The chemo doctor, the radiologist and a pulmonary specialist said they were positive it was lung cancer and they also saw some pneumonia in my lung. We asked the pulmonary specialist his professional opinion and our options. He told us it was the same cancer I had in my throat, but now it was in my lung and it was treatable but not curable. He said with the treatments I could live two to five years, but probably two or three. We were just in shock, angry and I was about to give up.
I wanted to end it all. Then God spoke to me and he said, “Do not walk away from me, because I will never walk away from you”. I placed my hand on my left chest area and I prayed “God forgive me, I am not going anywhere because I still have my faith, please let this be something other than cancer that can be cured”.
A biopsy was performed. The doctor took ten samples, they used a scope down my airway and also a needle through my chest. I remember the doctor telling me, as they took the last sample, “we haven’t found any cancer cells yet”. They did not admit me into the Hospital at UAMS for the pneumonia so I went to my family doctor. He admitted me to Drew Memorial Hospital and treated me. Three days later, after further testing and while I was still in the hospital, they concluded that I had a fungal bacteria, not cancer. A year later I was told the mysterious mass was nothing but a fluid pocket. I had received another miracle.
Jesus Christ still performs miracles today, just as he did when he walked this earth. No matter how impossible something may seem, it is not impossible for God. If it’s God’s will, he will answer prayers and provide healing. You have to pray and have faith and believe that all things are possible with God.
This was written a few years ago. I have been in remission for over five years and I was released from care, to resume a normal life. There have been other struggles in my life after the cancer treatments such as a divorce after 23 years of marriage (God did bring a special lady into my life after the divorce) and my 14 year old daughter was called up to heaven to be with the lord. God continues to bless me and guide me every step of the way.