A Word of Encouragement to all

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Hi All,

I am new to ActiveRain, but think it is awesome so far. I got introduced to it by my good friend Margaret Rome of Columbia Maryland, and this is my VERY first post.

Since this is my first post, I thought it should be encouraging and uplifting. Hopefully one of you out there who is going through a hard time will find some hope that no matter how things look today, no matter what time of the day it is for you
right now, today will end and tomorrow will come.

I want my first post to thank my Heavenly Father for His deep love, faithfulness, and goodness!

For my first post here on ActiveRain, I am going to share how 26 years ago, my daughter Kathryn was diagnosed with cancer.

It was 1986 and my 2 1/2 year old daughter Kathryn kept getting colds and was always sick. We had taken her into the doctor
on countless occasions, and they kept saying she had a sensitive stomach, she had allergies, she was prone to colds etc..
Ear infections, sick to her stomach, on and on... Finally I got mad at our ped and decided to take her to another doctor because I just wasn't satisfied with the care she was getting. Also, her stomach had begun to become enlarged.

Ok, the new doctor immediately felt that something was wrong, in the process of examining her, he noticed that her abdomen just didn't feel right. He ordered an ultrasound for the following day. While waiting in the office after getting the ultrasound, the doctor told us to take Kathryn immediately to Children's Hospital in Dayton Ohio. She was checked in and more tests were ordered. The following morning we were given the diagnosis of "neuroblastoma" the dr said "this is the silent tumor. You generally don't know about it until it is TOO late.

Kathryn was scheduled for surgery, but the doctor told us that the surgery would not save her life, just prolong it by about 5 months or so. He said that they had to remove a large tumor that was in her abdomen because it was pinching off the blood flow to the lower half of her body and the surgery was urgent because her intestines would die without proper blood flow. Ok, so they take Kathryn into surgery for what they told us would be a 10 hour surgery, and they also prepared us that this was very dangerous procedure and that there was a possibility of losing her in the surgery.

Before the surgery, my Pastor came into the hospital and prayed with us, and also asked if he could pray for the surgeon. The surgeon was fine with it all.

Ok, they wheeled Kathryn into the surgery room. They said the surgery would take 10 hours or slightly longer. The night before her surgery, I "made a deal" with God.. well, as best I could. I said the following "God, if you let my daughter live, I will serve you"... Many Christians would call that a 'fox hole prayer".. I don't know what it was, but I know God heard it!

Ok, 45 minutes into the surgery, the doctor comes walking through the waiting room door. I immediately started bawling like a baby! I thought Kathryn had died on the table.. The doctor says "calm down, your daughter is fine, now while my team sows her back together, I want you to tell me everything you know about this Jesus that you all were talking about before we took her into surgery" He went on to say that they opened her up and her tumor had shrunk to the size of a small tangerine, and it appeared to have closed up into itself because the ct scan had shown that her cancer had metasticized. That means that her cancer had spread and showed "fingers" on the scans, but what they removed seemed to be one hard lump fully surrounded by healthy tissue. They sent the lump to have it checked out by the lab. 

By 12:00 Kathryn is resting recovery. She has a 10 inch scar from side to side right near her belly button, but otherwise seems fine. They scheduled her to have another ct scan in a day or 2 to allow her to somewhat recover from the surgery. Remember this surgery would not save her life, just extend it by 5 or so months. They still maintained that the cancer was in other "inoperable" areas of her body which would eventually kill her.

Fast forward about 4 or so days.. They take her into ct scan again... Guess what... No cancer shows up anywhere!!!
I just got my first lesson on the goodness of the Lord... Well, I have been practically living in the hospital for 2 weeks now, so for the first time in weeks, I go home to take a real shower rather than showering in the hospital, and I know I need to get my mail in and check my house. In my mailbox is a letter (it was a newsletter from our church).. Inside the newsletter is a story how Kathryn Smith is recovering from removal of an abnormal tumor, but all is expected to be fine.. Interesting part of it is that the newsletter was postmarked the day before her surgery... I called the church about that, and they told me that it was an accident that it got sent out. ACCIDENT???? What I have learned about my God is that there are NO accidents.. He has a purpose for everything.

Ok, 4 days later, Kathryn is released from the hospital and is pronounced "cancer free". So much so, that she never even had a single radiation or chemo treatment. She had to to through yearly checkups and a yearly ct scan for the next 5 years all of which were fine. 

Kathryn is now 28 years old, she is married to a wonderful young man (Mark) who is serving our country over in Afghanastan right now (we expect him home in July).

I have shared all around the country how God is still in the business of healing and loving His people, and I am so thankful that He is in charge of my life. He is the reason for every good thing in my life, and even though I have failed on my end of that bargain 26 years ago when I promised Him I would serve Him if He let my daughter live, I still know He loves me and He is always there for me.

Here are the things I hope everyone reading this post understand.

1: God is a good God!
2: He loves you!
3: His plans for you are ONLY good and NOT evil (Jeremiah 29:11)
4: He is NEVER late, always on time, (His clock is not the same as ours)..
5: All who know Him as Lord will spend eternity with Him in heaven..
6: Whatever the diagnosis, how ever bad things may seem, look to God for comfort and believe Him for change!

I hope, pray, and BELIEVE that you know Him too...
I did not take this time to preach at anyone... I was told to post about the things that are important to me, and
my God is the most important person in my life. I would not have my wonderful wife and family had He not put and
kept them in my life.

Blessings to all of my new friends here on Activerain!

Joe Smith
Nebraska Networks 


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Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Million $ Guild Cert Luxury Home KW Land Division

Great job Joe.  Welcome and please feel free to come over to my blog at www.kevinbtolbertpa.com and read all about many topics and take some fresh ideas for blogging.  You may reblog anything you like of mine as I don't mind sharing.

And come to my webinar tomorrow at 10AM PST about BLOGGING for BEGINNERS.  You will find the signup on my blog.

Mar 27, 2012 08:05 AM #1
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hey Joe,

Welcome to AR!  Man what an awesome story to share with us on your first post!  I am always refreshed when I hear about the goodness of God.  Indeed He is an AWESOME Heavenly Father, and He only wants the best for us in every area of our lives.  Out of all the posts I could have read today, your post drew my attention first.  Hmmm...

Best of success to you this year!

Mar 27, 2012 08:20 AM #2
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Welcome to Active Rain.  If this is indication of what we can expect from you in the futrue, we will be so lucky to have an addition like you. I loved what you wrote and on this late Tuesday afternoon it brought a tear to my eye. I am so glad it was a happy tear. i am so glad that Kathryn is doing well.


Mar 27, 2012 08:20 AM #3
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Joe, Welcome to ActiveRain and thanks for sharing this wonderful story about your Kathryn.


Mar 31, 2012 02:11 PM #4
Joe Smith
NeNet - Tulsa, OK
Great SEO Services that you can afford!

Thank you all for the warm welcome to A/R... I really appreciate it! What a far cry from communities like F/B where a post like mine would have gotten flamed... :)


Apr 01, 2012 03:17 AM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Joe- thank you for your time today.  I came over here to read this after our conversation.  There is so much amazing in this post  but the church newsletter was the icing on the cake.  

So glad to see you here. 

Apr 13, 2012 03:14 AM #6
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Joe, this is quite a testimony to our God who can do anything!

Apr 25, 2012 06:07 AM #7
Bob & Bonnie Horning
Mount Joy, PA

I'm speechless and crying. Jesus is so beautiful... especially love how it impacted the surgeon.

May 01, 2012 10:58 PM #8
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