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'Perfect Wisdom' is the spiritually charged story of one family's actual encounter with the powerful, supernatural grace of God in the midst of terminal illness.
An autobiography, 'Perfect Wisdom' relates actual spiritual events that occurred during a two year period, and God's message to one family.
The magnificent spiritual wonders described within the covers of this book actually ocurred, before and during the perfectly orchestrated symphony of my father's illness and death.
The day began as any other day, quite ordinary and routine, bringing with it nothing of great significance. Little did I know that was about to change, and that by day's end, and for many days thereafter, my life would be filled with extraordinary events and filled with coincidences that were not really coincidences, but the mighty hand of God, showering me with His grace and mercy, moving circumstances as though they were pieces of a large puzzle, putting the pieces of my life where they belonged. As you read my story, I hope that you will begin to notice the hand of God in the miracles that surround you, hidden in the ordinary circumstances of your own life.
On this particular day, the sky was a light baby blue, filled with clouds that kissed the wind, and a mild southern breeze blew gently. It was a pleasant winter day in the southeast, where the winter seldom brought snow or ice, and birds still glided through warm, balmy skies, fluttering from one tree branch to the next. The sun fell brightly through my kitchen window, and I looked through the glass, smiling to myself, and watched the birds dart gracefully from tree to tree in the backyard. It was almost dinnertime, and I turned towards the stove, breathing deeply, inhaling tantalizing smells that lingered in my kitchen. Hot oil sizzled as it hissed and spit against the sides of the pan on the stove, while the blue tinged fire underneath it glowed, saturating the small kitchen with the salted aroma of southern fried chicken. The tops of a dozen biscuits were in the oven, turning golden brown, carrying small pools of melted butter on them, permitting a toasty warmth to wander lazily through the house. As I opened the oven door, it creaked slightly, and the potholder protecting my hand reached in, grasping the hot tray of biscuits, placing them on the counter beside the stove.
And then, suddenly, it happened! It was as though all time stopped, and the curtains of heaven opened, and now, He is here, in my kitchen! He stands before me, and I, alone, before His magnificent presence!
In one sudden, deafening instant, a powerful awareness strikes me, and a luxurious peace and silent stillness enters the room, covering me with incredible love that bursts across my body and into my heart, and then it comes back out again, giving me goosebumps as it travels from my soul, through every cell in my being. Immediately, I fall to my knees, lifting my arms to the heavens, as the pure oil of peace flows gently down them, crawling slowly over raised hair and smooth skin, weaving the heavenly nectar of God's love into one pore and out of another, and every cell oozes with the love of the Holy Spirit of God. I feel the warm liquid of God's love poured in small streams onto the top of my head, running slowly down the sides, leaving a coating of pure peace as it flows, causing wicks of love for Him to ignite like fireworks inside my heart, setting off a combustion of fiery explosions of pure love, and causing streams of joy to run from my eyes, as the Spirit of a Holy God fills me.
The doors of my heart burst open, desiring pure intimacy with my Creator. Elated, my soul reaches longingly across the threshold of the heavens, in loving anticipation of communion with Him. Brilliant explosions of love radiate from my pores and shoot like stars, obtaining profound bliss through the curtain of the sky, as my soul touches His, and I weep with joy!
Closing my eyes, the peace rests on my lips and I smile, drinking in His love, as I await His calling to me. "Your father is going to die," the gentle voice speaks clearly through the silence. . .
"The circumstances in our lives are pieces of a larger scheme of the puzzle of life, and in His Perfect Wisdom, the pieces fit."
Time passed quickly, and as one year left, holding between its covers birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and many tender moments, before I knew it, the next year was before me, with blank pages waiting to be filled in. I enjoyed my job at the hospital tremendously over the past year, and Dad and I often shared lunches together during the weekdays, since he only worked two blocks away at the local health department. The children made good friends in their new surroundings and "the sisterhood" was rekindled. Cherished memories were built, time spent with my parents at family cookouts and dinners, and it was already the beginning of another December. I drove to my parents' home that morning, with the window down, enjoying the lukewarm breeze that tickled my hair, making it dance a slow dance, as strands of it lifted and came back down again softly, carried by the breeze. The birds floated, singing songs to each other, and I looked forward to a pleasant day at work, after first seeing my parents at their home. I pulled into the driveway, and the heat of the sun soaked me in warmth as I got out of the car and walked through their front door.
Hearing Dad whistling a peppy tune in the kitchen, I went to him, putting my arms around his neck and gave him a big hug. "Hi, Dad. I wanted to see you before you went to the doctor's office." A small lump had recently formed on the side of his neck, and Mom made the appointment to get it checked. Dad seemed to be pretty confident that it was just a harmless cyst or something minor, and the kitchen lit up with his positive energy, charging the air around us with optimism.
"Don't sweat the little thing, baby," he confided, winking at me. "I'm only going to the doctor because your mother wants me to. There's nothing wrong with me." His optimism was contagious, and we talked for a few minutes, then Mom came around the corner joining us in the kitchen, and I hugged them both tightly before I left the house and drove to work. The work at the hospital was constant, and my in-basket brimmed over with paperwork. I stayed busy all day, until at last, it was time to go home. After picking up the children, I fed them dinner and then, reaching for the phone in the kitchen, dialed my parents' number.
"Hello." Mom answered, and she didn't sound worried, so I felt sure that the report from the doctor went well.
"Hi, Mom. How did the doctor's appointment go?"
"Well, they did a biopsy on the lump on Dad's neck, Renae, and the results will be back in about a week. Dad's doing fine, and he doesn't seem to be worried a bit," she replied, optimistic, and then told me that the lab tests were being done at the hospital that I worked at. How ironic. Or was it? After talking for a few minutes, we hung up, and every day that passed was another day closer to getting the lab reports. Working at the hospital made it easy for me to find out when the results were in, and the week crept by slowly, before I finally made the call to the lab.
"Hi, this is Renae, in Personnel. Can you tell me if my Dad's test results are in, yet?" I told Dave I'd be calling.
After waiting for a few moments, Dave came to the phone. "Im sorry, Renae. I can tell you that the results are in and are being sent to another lab to confirm our findings. We should know something in another week, but I can't disclose any more information. Wish I could tell you more," he confessed, and putting the phone down gently, I tried to ignore the bright red flag of alarm, waving in my brain. Why do they need to confirm the results? Don't they only confirm if the tests are abnormal? Dismissing any cause for alarm, I reached for the stack of papers on my desk, throwing myself into my work, ignoring the whirlwind that threatened on the horizon of my life. During the following week, the days seemed to pass in slow motion, and each time the phone rang in my office, I pounced on it like a cat on a mouse, awaiting the test results.
Finally, the call came. The results were in and Dad had already been notified, but the lab couldn't tell me anymore. I dialed my parents' number, and whispered a prayer in the silence of my mind. Please God, let Daddy be fine. Please, let him be well. Glancing at the clock in my office, tapping fingers on the desk, I waited for someone to answer the phone, waiting for what I hoped was good news, waiting, waiting, and it felt like hours before Dad finally answered. My heart thumped in my throat, as I asked him about the results. The whirlwind intensified, swallowing me up, as his words came gently through the phone. Cancer. No! I don't want to hear that! You must be wrong! One of the most deadly forms of cancer that exists. Please stop! It was metastasized. What? It had spread and there was no cure. Malignant melanoma. Metastasized. Cancer. No cure. Cancer. No cure. My jaw tightened and gripping pain dripped from my heart, as the words ran through my mind.
"Don't sweat the little things, baby." His words were still filled with optimism. "There could be experimental treatment that the doctors are considering. Your mother and I are leaving for a hospital in Maryland next week, where I'll be evaluated by the oncology department."
Cancer. No cure. Experimental treatment. Maryland. Cancer. No cure. My thoughts were frozen in motion, judgment and reason clouded over in my mind, as his words drifted through a long, foggy tunnel, passing through my ears, bouncing back and forth against the walls of my brain, until I became numb. We talked for awhile longer and then said goodbye, and I left my office, went outside and walked for hours, sad and empty, walking through a thick fog, my heart screaming loudly, fully caught up in the whirlwind, spinning, swirling, intensifying, as it threw me back and forth. My life had been picked up and dumped upside down, and I held on tightly to God to keep from falling, as I remembered the words that came to me in my kitchen almost two years ago.