MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

December 19, 2012

Fort Faith: God goes with us through life’s valleys

By Barrett Vanlandingham

As a minister, I have a lot of opportunities to be in the presence of those who are experiencing life’s tremendous joys such as a wedding or the birth of a baby, and the dreaded valleys of life that we all have to deal with sooner or later.

The past several days have been a valley for me and my family.

As my sister, Patti, reached across the countertop in my parents’ kitchen during a recent visit, I noticed a bruise on each of her hands. I asked her if everything was all right, not expecting what she told me since she has always been in good health.

She looked straight at me and said, “No, everything is not all right.” The IV bruises on her hands were only the beginning of a story that would change everything for me and the rest of our family.

For months, Patti has been craving ice. When her daughter (my niece), who is an RN, found out, she said that craving ice is a symptom of low iron!

And while low iron can be caused by a number of things, Patti had tests done and found out only a few days ago some very bad news.

She has stage four colon cancer that has spread through her bloodstream to her liver. At age 52 and no other outward symptoms, Patti and our entire family are still in shock.

Patti is a wonderful wife, mom, and grandma, a dedicated Christian and Bible class teacher, and a very talented CPA in the accounting firm where she is also a partner. She has always been very determined and driven in accomplishing her goals.

The battle of overcoming colon cancer will be no different for her. Patti will continue giving God the glory as the Holy Spirit, who dwells in her body, guides and comforts her each step of the way!

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).”

Patti asked me to pray for healing and for the decisions she will have to make regarding treatment options. I am calling for all of you prayer warriors to help me in this. Patti will appreciate it.

Some of you are no doubt in one of life’s lows, so just know that I am also praying for you, and am calling for anyone reading this article in the paper or online to do the same.

God hasn’t done any miracles lately (that we know of) such as parting the Red Sea. Those were done so that people back then and today would believe in the truth of his message.

But we know he still causes the sun to rise and set. He holds the universe together. I would say that’s a miracle! He also still causes rulers to rise and fall.

He rewards those who earnestly seek him. He provides for our every need, and he still has compassion for those who need his healing. Glory to God forever! Remember to pray always, and have a blessed week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or barrett@ftgcc.org.

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