A Sense of Death
I felt a sense of death invading my thoughts for many months. In fact, as I considered it, it went back for years; I just hadn't identified the feeling it until more recent times. I wasn't afraid of dying. I knew without any doubt I would go to Heaven if I died. It was my family that concerned me more than anything. This feeling was likely due to my father's death. I never got to say goodbye to him when I was just 11 years young, because he had been rushed to the hospital and gone into a coma. Back in the mid 1960s, children weren't allowed to visit their friends and family in the hospital. I well remember going to the hospital and my younger sister, just 7 years of age, and I stayed in the waiting room until the adults returned and we left for home. Then, one day three weeks later, I came home from school and learned he had died that very day. What was I going to do now?
"The growth on my arm has changed texture," my wife informed me.
"You better have it looked at by a doctor," I suggested; some concern to my voice.
"Oh, it's probably nothing," she replied.
This conversation we had several times over a period of weeks until she made a doctor's appointment.
The week of her appointment with the Dermatologist, we talked once and awhile about the growth on her arm. I walked to my office in the front bedroom of our home and sat in my rocking chair and prayed.
"It is cancer," I heard in my thoughts, "but they will get it all." I clearly recognized the voice of the Lord.
The rest of that week, until the day of her appointment, I continually told her I wanted to go with her. She always said no because it would be nothing.
By the time she arrived home, I knew the worst. She told me the Dermatologist had decided to remove the growth right then and there. As she was prepped by a nurse, my wife told me she had asked the doctor if he suspected cancer. He admitted that such was his guess due to the color and he didn't want to take any chances by putting it off even one more day.
Our next visit was to an Oncologist; a cancer specialist. He recited the percentages and figures from memory. "The growth," he intoned, "was 1 millimeter deeper than we normally like to see. If it had stopped at 30 millimeters, I wouldn't recommend we do anything but watch things for awhile but my recommendation is two things that should be done. First, I would like to have you go to the hospital for a sentinel lymph node biopsy. They will use radioactive material and inject it around the original tumor wound site. Then a Geiger counter is actually used in the operating room to track where that material goes. That is then where they take the lymph nodes from, that is, wherever the activity is tracked. In short, this procedure will show us your nearest lymph nodes. We then check to see if any of the malignant melanoma spread to your lymphatic system. Secondly, I will have the growth area surgically examined and additional tissue removed. Once that is tested, we will know for certain if the cancer has gone deeper or if it was all removed by the Dermatologist.
"What about cancer treatment," my wife asked.
"We will discuss that after we get the results back from these other two procedures because it may, or may not, be necessary. I just want," the doctor concluded, "to cover all my bases and to be absolutely certain where we are with all of this."
When we got
home that afternoon, I was overcome with sadness so heavy, it felt
psychologically tangible. I had never in
my life felt the impact of words that could exact such cruel devastation which I
felt that day. The percentages and
possibilities of the cancer spreading were spiritually mortifying. I sat in the backyard with our dogs and cried
throughout the evening. I still heard
the voice of the Lord saying, "But they will get it all." Still, the heaviness of the doctor's words rang
in my ears; trying to crush the truth of the voice of the Holy Spirit I had
heard days earlier. I had even been
tuning around on my ham radio equipment one day around this time and heard a
Returning for our second visit to the Oncologist's office, we learned the good news. They had gotten all of the cancer when they incised the wound a second time at the hospital. Additionally, the other tests had revealed that no cancer had infiltrated her lymphatic system. The doctor's recommendation from this point was that my wife consider learning how to inject herself in the stomach 3 times a week with interferon for the next 18 months. This would greatly enhance the possibility of not getting any more cancer for the next 10 years. She opted to do exactly that.
For the next year, my wife was sick, as if she had a bad cold, or worse, the flu, 6 out of every 7 days each week. She worked her 40 hours a week but fortunately, her work station as a medical transcriptionist was at home, connecting to the hospital's computer mainframe over the internet, so she could work and even take time out to rest if need be. Some days she couldn't work but for the most part, she was able to make it each day. She also cooked at least one meal a day and I tried helping out the rest of the time by doing the house keeping and anything else I found to do that might make her life that much less stressful.
We were expecting 18 months of treatment but after 12 months, we sat in his office once again and the doctor said he had just returned from a conference and learned the latest news was that her type of melanoma conditions only required 12 months of treatment and her 12 months were up that day. We went out with friends to celebrate. God was good.
My chest flushed as if instantly sunburn raw. It was another Anxiety attack. I knew what it was. After all, I had experienced them over a 14 year period and at one point they lasted 24 hours a day for several months without ever letting up. Raw, unadulterated fear became my reality and I didn't know why.
This time, after the deep sadness washed over me, I went to my office built on the side of my house, plopped down in my rocking chair recliner, and prayed. "Lord? I'm sick of this. It's been going on for years. Just when I think I'm over it for good, it happens again. Why and from where is this raw fear coming?"
"Death," his answer came, and I heard it, as well as felt it, in my thoughts.
"I know that, Lord, but I still don't know the location and source of the extreme feeling of death tormenting me."
I had begun experiencing the anxiety attacks, my chest flushing, and fear gripping my emotions, after awaking one night when my wife wasn't in bed next to me. "She's dead," a voice said in my thoughts. I was sweating and felt cold. I forced my thoughts to think. Then I remembered. Some nights, she just couldn't sleep well and went and sat in a living room recliner so she wouldn't cough as much and awaken herself. Plus, the nausea was less when she sat up and slept in the recliner.
"That's where she is," my mind confirmed. I still felt the hideous doubt remained. "What if she's dead? Get up and go check on her." I had done such many times, only to discover she was all right but sleeping sitting up in a chair in the living room. This time, I rolled over, and forced myself to go back to sleep; pulling the blankets up around me even though it was summer.
Now my wife
was well. The treatments were over and
live had returned to about normal.
Eventually, through the type of intercessory prayer I do with others, the anxiety attacks became few and far between. Then I began having chronic back pain. Eventually, it became so serious, I couldn't walk without a walker and assistance, I couldn't use my hands to even pick up silverware with which to feed myself, and electrical type shocks would shoot up and down my arms and legs into my extremities. It was finally determined I needed surgery due to spinal stenosis. My C4 and C5 vertebras were fused together through the front of my neck with a titanium plate. I was then turned over, and through my back, a disk was rebuilt with bone material which had been degrading for many years. Two and a half days later, I was released from the hospital and began my long journey of physical recovery. The problem was, the issue of death remained.
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn't afraid of where I might go when I died but I was genuinely concerned about my family and grandchildren. Plus, I felt there was more to do concerning the ministry in which God had appointed me. The Lord has revealed to me, weeks following spinal surgery that the Enemy wanted to kill me.
One night, a few days prier to surgery, in emotional and physical agony, I prayed and the Lord revealed to me it was indeed a demonic attack. He showed me the demon that was lying to me. Lying on the couch, still unable to get into my own bed as of yet, I saw a transparent ball, about the size of a baseball, floating about two feet above the floor. Keep in mind, I am not only totally blind, but the lights were out, and it was about in the morning. How did I see this? In my mind, of course, but it still puzzled me at first. Then I felt it in my spirit. This lying spirit was trapped. I could see him trying to escape. His mouth was moving but not one word escape the transparent sphere in which he was in cased. I prayed against the demonic attack. The surgery was overwhelmingly successful.
Now I sat quietly in the rockingchair recliner as I let my mind focus on my feelings. I had been crying off and on for days and couldn't seem to stop. The sadness was simply overwhelming and although I had experience such emotions many times before, I was, through prayer, unable to locate the source. The anxiety, verging on near panic, was puzzling. I, likewise, could not locate the source.
"Lord? If you don't show me the source of this, I'll never see it," I prayed as I searched my memories for the pain's origin.
"Death." He said again.
Instantly I body slammed into a picture of my father. I say picture because it wasn't a memory. I just saw my father in front of me. I emotionally slammed into him with such force, it seemed truly physical at the time. "Lord?" I complained. "I've been healed so many times concerning my dad, it is ridiculous. How many hundreds of times do I have to go back to my dad before I'm free?"
I was not told until years after my father's death but he lived with perpetual depression and he was on medication for it. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, as a Christian, this was not acceptable. You were, at the least, considered spiritually weak, and at worst, a poor faithless Christian. Plus, such things were never, and I do mean never, talked about among other Christian for fear of ridicule and accusations of sin as the focal problem of your depression, anxiety, and fear.
The Lord said, "Look at your father, Phil."
I did so and said, "I don't see what you see. Let me see what you want me to see, Lord."
Not only did I see it on my dad's face, but I heard it in my thoughts, "If I have to go blind, Lord, I would rather be dead."
I saw it then. An evil soul tie, an unholy covenant, had been attached. A curse of the generations was being passed down through demonic instrumentality and I, too, was the victim. I saw the lie, and although not identical to my current situation, it was the same evil lie of death. I prayed in the name of Jesus, broke the bondage of evil the Enemy was trying to carry out between my father and now me; his son. Although my dad had been gone for 45 years, it was now broken.
Many, at this point, say, "This was all in your head." Well, no fooling. I'm not even a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I figured that out on my own and without your help. However, there was more to it than something psychological; it was spiritual at its roots. Plus, I went one step further and saw the truth as Jesus saw it.
"But how do you know this worked?
I'm happy you asked that question because the answer is simple. I no longer awaken having anxiety. I used to just take naps and awaken with a mild form of anxiety. I would go and get my mind occupied for awhile and soon it would drift away. This time, when I finished praying very specifically, immediately, the anxiety began to lift and within 15 to 30 minutes, I couldn't feel it any longer because it truly was gone. "What if it comes back?" First, when Jesus heals, it is permanent. Therefore, It won't return; at least not due to that situation. On the other hand, if anxiety comes again, I will do the same thing again, and I will be healed again. My mind has been renewed. Now, how about yours?
Safe Place Fellowship