A month ago our daughter Amy told us about how her good friend’s aunt was dying of pancreatic cancer. We knew she had limited time and we promised we would pray for her. Amy is close to this woman, she is considered family. I (Lorry) have only met her a few times.
Three weeks ago Amy sent me a text asking me if I would go with her to the hospital to visit this dying woman. Amy reminded me of how she has come with me many times when I would visit and we both know that God gives us courage when we team up together. We made plans but then Phil and I had to travel to Ontario for our good friend Cathy’s funeral.
Last Tuesday at our home Life Group we studied about Jesus words, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, …I was a stranger and you invited me in…..I was sick and you looked after me….” We were encouraged to put in the names of who was in need and who of us would actually provide for the need. In the statement, ‘I was sick, I wrote in the sick woman’s name and I wrote Amy and my names beside and you looked after me.
On Sunday in church Amy received a text from her friend that her aunt was not doing well and could she come to the hospital. Phil watched Amy’s little son Luke and Amy and I went. When we got there we were surprised that her aunt was fully conscious and coherent and they were trying to get her to sit up so that her oxygen levels would go up.
The staff were making plans to help her have a few more weeks to live and would do some new procedures the next day. Amy and her friend left and went for a walk and I was left with five family members. I looked at the sick aunt and she said to me, “I know I have anxiety and this really sucks.” I have experienced panic attacks so I said, “I know about anxiety.”
The medical staff got us to leave the room as they needed to do an x-ray. In the waiting room I asked her sister if it would be alright if I prayed, if she thought her sister would be ok with that. She responded that she wasn’t sure and I said, “well I will just ask her.”
We went back in the room and I asked her if I could pray and she was 100% willing. In my prayer I echoed her words that yes this does suck. That if all we have is this world then life doesn’t make sense. But what a wonderful opportunity to thank Jesus that because of him and his death on the cross and because he rose from the dead we can have life and that he is getting a place ready for us in eternity.
God also gave me words to pray comfort on her precious family and I asked that his presence would fill the room. When I finished praying, I asked this dying woman if she knew for sure that she belonged to Jesus and had his peace. She clearly said “yes.” I asked if she knew she would go to heaven and be with him? Once again she clearly said “yes.” I told her she would be seeing her mom (who died a believer).
I backed away giving Amy room to say her good byes. She told Amy you are going to be ok; you and my niece will be alright. She kept looking over at me as I leaned against the wall; she had a puzzled look, it was like she could see something.
Three hours later Amy received a text saying that she was gone. The family was amazed; they said, “we can’t believe how peacefully she died.” They said she looked to the left of the room and three times she said, “Okay, I know this is it. This is it!” Even though she was down to 5 breaths a minute she didn’t struggle to breathe. The doctor said he was shocked by how quickly and calmly she went.
I have received thanks from the family and the young woman told Amy it is because of your mom and her prayer. Amy said, “my mom’s prayer definitely helped but she went in peace because Jesus came and took her home.”
I am so thankful that I obeyed and had faith to go into that room and pray. I am thankful that Amy asked me to come, we made a great team. Together we were able to bring the love and peace of Jesus to a dying and anxious woman. How wonderful that Jesus came with us and stayed with her and made his presence felt. She did not die anxious and alone.
“I was sick and you looked after me.”