Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Angel Named Ida

Do you believe in angels? Not the little cherubs with the round tummies, chubby cheeks and little wings. I am talking about the ones who wear normal clothes, have average faces, and appear in the regular places. They may not be heavenly beings (or maybe they are), but they bring messages all the same!

Yesterday Rodney and I were at MD Anderson Cancer Center for my three month follow up. I will have these appointments for the rest of my life to make sure that the nuisance isn't trying to sneak back up on me. Thymoma can do that. As much as I try to maintain my focus, I have to admit that the thought of these appointments shakes me up a little.

We had completed blood work and a CT scan and were on our way to my final appointment to get news that would either elate or try to crush me. I ducked into the bathroom to get my game face on and there she was, emptying the trash. She had short tight curls, dark skin, and a blue cleaning uniform. With rubber gloves, she busied herself cleaning the restroom. Not exactly how you expect to find an angel. As I stepped out of the stall I was prompted to thank her for the work she was doing, but before I could speak, she spoke to me. As I stood washing my hands, she asked if I was a Christian. I told her that I had been saved since I was six and that honestly I didn't know how I would have gotten through the past year without God. She asked how my faith has been affected by all I have been through. I told her that I had learned amazing lessons about God in the darkness. I shared with her that I was on my way up to get reports to see if my scans were still clean. She stopped wiping the counter, looked at me and said, "They will be, for by His stripes you are healed."

Now a little background knowledge for you, in case those words are not familiar. That phrase is mentioned twice in the bible. You can find it in Isaiah 53:5 and again in 1 Peter 2:24. I have read it and heard it a million times in my life, I have even claimed it during my battle, but I had never noticed what she told me next. She said to me, "In 1 Peter the verse says, "by his stripes YOU are healed" in Isaiah it says, "by his stripes WE are healed". Isaiah was a prophesy of things to come. 1 Peter 2:24 is for you, for by his stripes YOU are healed. You will be okay, for by his stripes you are healed." About that time some other women entered the restroom. She returned to wiping the counter; I returned to washing my hands. As I dried my hands I asked her name. It was Ida. I told her how happy I was to have met her.  She smiled and wished me a blessed day. Somehow I knew it already was.

I walked out of the restroom, my heart lifted. Her words were reminders of the wonders God has done in my life, the healing he has brought to my body and soul. Moments later, I sat in the doctors office. He smiled as he told me my scans were stable and all looked good. Ida's words played in my my mind, "For by his stripes you are healed." I am grateful for healing. I am grateful for answered prayers. I am grateful for earthly and heavenly angels that show up in unexpected places to bring encouragement. God is good---ALL THE TIME!! (and He is not above showing up in a bathroom to remind you!)

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