I recently had a surgical lumpectomy for breast cancer and spent much of the preceding week in prayer to calm fears. I won’t bother you with gory details, but there was a pre-procedure for which I had to be awake that was expected to be complicated. Prior to this, I had done well staying upbeat throughout four months of chemotherapy, tests and other procedures. Why am I freaking out now? I wanted to lay this anxiety on the altar since the surgery was not in my control. I awoke that morning about 98% there.
I arrived at the hospital with visions of good outcomes dancing in my head. I, of course, still took the recommended Ativan beforehand. I mean, I’m not trying to be a martyr here. What transpired during that first preparatory hour in the hospital room was nothing short of amazing to me. I had NOT asked God for any signs, but He was ready to deliver one I will never forget. But first, a little backstory.
A Toddler’s Tale
When I was around 3 years old, I reportedly had an imaginary friend. According to my parents, I talked with him (her?) all day long. This went on long enough time to worry my mother who consulted my pediatrician. He reassured her this is normal, particularly since a new sibling had recently arrived. He advised it would pass and I am told that it did. I have no recollection of this ‘friend’ who I frequently called by name. When I was much older and would find myself in a quandary, my parents would jokingly ask if I had consulted said ‘friend’ to help me. I wondered as an adult whether it had been a spirit guide or other soul keeping me company while I adjusted to the family changes that took away my only-child status. Regardless, I never mentioned it to anyone during my life because it wasn’t very interesting.
The Hospital Room
Several friendly nurses checked me in for pre-op with both my sister and mother present. I am sure my father’s spirit was there, too, though he was quiet as usual. I joked and talked with everyone to stay positive. That’s when one of the nurses said they would be leaving and my personally assigned nurse would take over. “You’ll like her”, she said, “She’s great. Her name is Doonie”.
My head shot up and I looked straight at my Mom. Her eyes were wide. My sister said, “What?!” The three of us looked at each other incredulously. This had been the name of my ‘imaginary friend’! Neither my family nor I ever knew where I came up with this unusual name. I’ve never known anyone then or since to go by such a name. The only two living persons to know the significance of that name were sitting in the room with me. God certainly found a way to get our attention.
Shortly afterwards, the woman of the hour entered the room. Yes, I had given up the role to her. She was originally from the Bahamas and her accent was evident. “Hello, Traci,” she smiled, “I’m Doonie and I’ll be taking care of you before surgery.” I was compelled to tell her the story. She listened, surprised, but said little. For the next twenty minutes Doonie asked questions and entered the required information in my electronic chart. Then she turned to me and said, “Now that the medical business is over, may I pray for you?” For the next five minutes, this amazing prayer warrior boldly asked Jesus to heal me. She asked the holy spirit to enter my body from head to toe to rid or alter the structure of every impaired cell. She acknowledged that medicine is simply a tool. Only God knows how the body truly works because He created it. Therefore, God has the power to restore it to a state of perfect functioning. She asked Him to guide the doctors but to bring full and total healing. At no time during her impassioned prayer did anyone else enter the room. My sister, mother and I had tears streaming down our cheeks when she finished. I give thanks to my Lord and Doonie, the angel He sent. Oh, and the Ativan. Thanks for that, too. At the moment of her prayer all fears disappeared.
I don’t think I have to tell you that medical institutions don’t encourage or train staff to pray to Jesus for their patients unless you are a requested chaplain. So, the fact that she stepped out in faith for me is a gift I will forever treasure. I’m sure it’s no surprise that the pre-surgical procedures went quicker and better than expected. I had no pain, nausea or other symptoms following surgery. The pathology report came back as good, so the worst of treatment is complete! I give the glory to God. I thank Him for Doonie and his entire team of medical angels with boots on the ground.
I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11