This aspect of my testimony started in February 2008 when, having been told that there was a lump in my right breast, I had asked for prayers for healing prior to going to do the fine needle biopsy.  My prayer group members prayed and laid hands, and I believed with all my heart that all was well….


On February 21, 2008, I went into the room at Oxford X-ray excitedly, thinking about how I was going to respond when the lump could not be found.  So, when I saw the radiologist frowning, I said:

“Can’t you find the lump?’

You can imagine my consternation, when he calmly replied “Yes, I found it, but it is awkwardly located, so I am trying to figure how best to reach it…”

I screamed mutely, “Lord, this is not how it is supposed to work!“  With difficulty, I fought to regain my composure while the Radiologist did his thing.

On my way out, I looked up toward heaven and said, “Lord, you have to talk to me here – this cuts to the very foundation of my faith!  You say You honour Your word even above Your name, and Your word says ‘Pray, believing’ and that’s what I did!  I know we prayed, and Lord, not even You can question that I believed!  Father, I am confused and I really think You need to talk to me just now, Lord“.

Hearing no answer from the heavens, I continued “Okay, Lord.  Just so there is no misunderstanding, I want it to be clear that You are God: I have no other God but You.  But I still think You need to speak to me if You are not going to honour Your word.”  Again, my request was met with silence.

On Feb. 24th I accompanied my husband, Roger, to Harbour View United Church where he had been asked to preach. We had each met the Minister on separate occasions, and knew him more by reputation than in person.  However, he had asked Roger to preach and, uncharacteristically, I had decided to accompany Roger.  I was usually very caught up in what was happening at our church, so I was not in the habit of going with Roger when he was asked to preach elsewhere.  This time, the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart to go with him, so I went.

It was just before the service was due to start, so as soon as we arrived, Roger was whisked off to the Vestry to meet with the Minister.  I was left to enter the sanctuary by myself, so I moved slowly toward the entrance.  As soon as I entered the sanctuary, I felt the welcoming presence of the Holy Spirit and I whispered to God, “Yes, Lord, I can really worship here!”  Then I remembered that I was still a little miffed at Him for not explaining why He had refused my request for healing without even an explanation (it sounds really presumptuous now, but at the time, that was exactly how I felt).  So I said, “Lord, I am going to put everything aside right now and worship You; but I still think You need to talk to me.

On that note I went inside and really got into the attitude and act of worship. They started off the service with Praise in Worship, and it was more than glorious, more than wonderful, it was absolutely awesome!  So much so that I forgot about my angst with God, and truly worshipped Him!  And I was not alone, for Roger felt led to deliver the message right after the Praise time; even before the lesson had been read!  As a result, he had to explain what his focus was going to be, and it was the story of Lazarus!  Since the Scripture had not been read, Roger gave a short synopsis of the story, and for the first time I saw that the Bible clearly states that Christ had known that Lazarus was dead from the time he got word of his illness, yet he still waited before going to Bethany.   It seemed to be speaking right into my situation, so right there in the pew, while Roger was still summarizing the story of Lazarus, I questioned God:

Father, do you mean to tell me that Christ knew that Lazarus was dead and he still waited, just so that Your name could be glorified?

And this might sound melodramatic, but I heard quite distinctly “precisely.”

So Lord,” I continued, “are You trying to tell me that if You had healed me then (meaning Thursday Feb 21), the doctors would have been able to explain it away and You would not have been glorified?

Again, the answer was quite distinct, “PRECISELY“.

By this time, I was decidedly uncomfortable with the direction that the conversation was taking.  So I quietly said

Lord, I don’t like where this conversation seems to be heading, so could we continue it another time; I need to listen to the sermon.”

There was no answer, but I was led to look at the Minister of the congregation, then I heard the voice again – this time we had a conversation:

Do you see Rev. Dunkley over there?”

“Yes, Lord.”

And do you know that he operates in the office of the prophet?”

“Yes, Lord.” (I knew Rev. Dunkley more by reputation than in person)

“So if he tells you, will you believe?”

“Please Lord, I am not ready for this conversation.  Please, just allow me to listen to the sermon.”

I sat and listened to what has become for me the best sermon Roger has ever preached, about God’s ability to speak life into dead situations.  Afterwards, I felt that Roger should pray for Rev. Dunkley.  Almost immediately, while I was grappling with whether to go and tell Roger what the Holy Spirit was urging, Roger stepped back up to the pulpit and asked Rev. Dunkley to come to the altar so he could pray for him. Rev. Dunkley stepped forward but insisted that his wife join him at the altar.  Roger prayed for the Man of God and his wife and their ministry.

After that, the rest of the service was almost anti-climactic, but they did their best to revert to the order.  However, there was something that suggested that the Holy Spirit had not yet left the place.  I was still basking in the glow of the service and the sermon, so I just could not imagine what else could be in store.

Just before the benediction, Rev. Dunkley invited “the Man of God” to the altar and, given his own stance earlier, I was not surprised that he asked me to come forward too.  So I went, as any dutiful wife would, and was not surprised when Rev. Dunkley started to prophesy over Roger.

The prophesies were consistent with other prophesies that had been given in the past (though not by Rev. Dunkley), so I was at ease, receiving his words with a confirmation in my spirit, when Rev. Dunkley turned to me and said:

And you, Woman of God – the month shall not end before you will get some very bad news, but the Lord says to tell you that the latter days shall be brighter than the former days and though you may be perplexed and distressed and even depressed, He will be with you, for He is working His purpose out; in you and through you …”

Right then and there I knew what the results of the biopsy would be.  Sure enough, that Thursday (Feb 28, 2008), my doctor summoned me to deliver the worst news I could ever expect to hear.  However, it was not as devastating as it should have been because, by answering me, God had prepared me.

This is just a small segment of the many miracles I experienced through my ‘Cancer journey’.  But it proves to me that God will answer when you ask  –  after all, He answered me.  That’s the God I serve!

Michelle Ashwood-Stewart
Greendale United Church