The Truth... What is it?

Another Special Life in Christ

These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the role model!
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!


Beth Robles:

I first heard of Beth at our hospital's weekly breast cancer conference. Then the following e-mail was shared with me:

"Dear Marie: Your words are so encouraging. Thank you so much for the verses. I have felt the Lord's presence so much these past days. Sometimes I feel I have more peace and am getting more sleep than those who are worrying about me!

You are so right about God using this. I have felt such peace that this trial has been carefully filtered through the Almighty's hands and will be used for His glory.  Also, all things work together for the good of those in Christ Jesus, so I believe He has some goodies in there for the rest of us as well! Isn't it amazing He really does allow us to be able to rejoice in our trials! I know this doesn't mean it will be easy to go through in the flesh.

I do have times that I grieve, not only the uncertainties of the cancer, but the changes. Weaning my baby was so hard emotionally. I felt I was severing a special bond and that Daniel felt I was rejecting him. Altering my body physically with the mastectomy and hormonally to go through menopause is something I don't feel like I've been able to comprehend yet. I don't know that we would have had anymore children, but to think I will no longer have a choice, that there will be no more little ones to hold and nurse, is a difficult closure to such a special time in my life.

This all seems so insignificant when I remember what those closures are there to prevent. But I feel like I need to grieve to be able to move on. I know the Lord will walk me through whatever He's planned for me. I've been reflecting on your words of how Daniel will be such a comfort through all this. As I'm going through these closures, I do have a little one to hold and enjoy to ease the pain.

My bone scan and CT scan came back good! Now we are waiting on the PET scan. We meet with Dr. Lambert-Falls on Tuesday. They're recommending surgery as soon as possible.

Marie, I know this sounds like an odd request, and I especially want you to know this is not because Joe and I are in denial, we're fully aware of what most likely lies ahead, but before surgery, we feel we need to check my breast again with another mammogram. We have had the elders and many others pray over us and have asked the Lord for a miraculous healing for His glory. We feel, to demonstrate faith before the Lord in those prayers, we need to do this final test before we go to surgery in case He has decided to work in this way. We know He may chose to heal through conventional medical means or, ultimately, when I'm made perfect standing before Him one day, but Joe has felt it's Biblical, as it states in James,  to start with prayer for restoration. 

I can't tell you what you're prayers have meant to me. You know, the day we were told they thought the cancer was probably invasive, every medical person we had contact with that day was a Christian and prayed for us, down to the lady who took my blood samples! The Lord was right there with me.

Well, I'd better get some sleep. Again, thank you for your prayers and so much encouragement.

Leaning hard on Him,


Beth had her surgery, and sent me the following write-up; and we met in my office a few days ago to further discuss her situation.

"Dearest family and friends,

I don't know how to begin, but to praise our awesome God! I've been home since 4:00 this afternoon, and several hours ago we found this wonderful news from our pathologist awaiting us on our e-mail!

"Dear Beth: Have not had time to call docs...just finished your case. Margins clear; all CIS and no invasion; lymph node was negative. Have a great weekend and I hope that your postop recovery is tolerable. I'm so glad to pass on this good news...I'd have lost money were I a betting person. Ervin Shaw, MD"

We are praising God! We are so thankful for all of you who have prayed and fasted with us and for us. This is quite a journey for us that's not over yet and I can't wait to share individually with you. I know I need to get rest tonight, but I just want to let you celebrate with us and to praise our Father in Heaven. But I'm so excited that I at least have to sum up the last couple of days...

Three days ago, at the start of Succoth, our family had originally planned on camping under the stars in remembrance of how the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob tabernacled  or dwelled among His people, the Israelites, in the desert.

But there was no camping. Joe was holding my hand and driving me to the hospital for a mastectomy. God had different plans for our family this year and this time He would have us tabernacle with Him in deeper ways than we'd imagine.

Four days before going to the hospital, He gave me a vision of comfort, and confirmed it three times. In the midst of all the pain and fear of cancer, impending surgery, etc, I saw myself as a little child being held by her Daddy in a terrible storm at night. He was so big and strong and I was being held close to His chest, under his coat and I could barely see out at the horrific storm and immense danger outside as we walked, but I knew I was completely safe, that the storm could not reach me.

Three days before surgery, as a dear friend held my hand and prayed for me, she prayed I'd be enveloped in God's arms and under His protection.

The day before the surgery, a stranger called me. She'd had cancer, mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. She'd heard of me through a friend of a friend and shared a verse she said had comforted her that was in Psalms, "He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of the night."

The day of the surgery, Joe and I sat in the waiting room before my sentinel node mapping and Psalms 91:6 kept coming into my mind. I had no idea what this verse could be and had my Bible with me, so looked it up. I opened up to it and it was part of a list of things not to fear, "the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, and the plague that destroys at midday." For me, that was cancer. I decided to read the whole Psalm and it was the actual Psalm containing the verse of how He will cover us with His wings and protect us from the deadly pestilence!

One more beautiful thing to share. Then I'll go to bed. Promise!

Joe has been praying before all this began for increased faith, that God would take away his unbelief. Two days before I found out I had cancer, I woke up 4:30 one morning and couldn't sleep. I think this was God, because, believe me, sleep had not been a problem for me for months and getting up early to pray was distant in my past! But this morning it seemed I had no choice and I felt I was supposed to pray. One of three things I felt I was to pray for was Joe's faith to be increased.

Then we found out about the cancer. From the start, Joe felt he should pray for healing, miraculous without medical intervention. But if not, that God would move through the hands of the doctors. He had such faith. We went before the congregation for the elders to pray over me. We told doctors we wanted a second mammogram to see if God had decided to remove the cancer, but it was still there.

So, last night, my second night in the hospital, I'd talked Joe into going home so he could get better rest. I said I was okay. Well, being alone after all this, I wasn't quite as strong as I thought and I shed a few tears.

One of the things I poured out my heart to God over was how Joe had, so full of child-like faith and trust, prayed fervently for a miraculous healing. One morning, after it looked like the surgery was indeed imminent, Joe said that maybe we were wrongly thinking that a miracle would bring God the most glory, when in fact He might get the most glory from us going straight through this difficult trial trusting in Him.

But still, just in case, he prayed for the miracle...

The morning of the surgery, he knelt by the bed and cried out to God, praying that He'd take this away from me. In the waiting room before my surgery, he was still praying for that miracle. All I can say is that my faith on that level paled in comparison. It had paled after we went for the second mammogram which came back unchanged. I was so proud of Joe's faith.

So...I cried last night. The surgery was over, my breast was gone, and the uncertainty of cancer still loomed in the future. I felt a peace God was sovereign, but I hurt not understanding how he would bless Joe's incredible faith. I knew He would, but I hurt so much for Joe because I didn't know how God was going to do it. I remembered as we left for the hospital how he told everyone he was taking his bride to surgery. I envisioned a little child holding his sick little lamb before God and pleading to God for healing, then carrying the lamb away, unhealed.

Then, tonight we received this incredible e-mail from the pathologist. The cancer had not spread out of the ducts! The first time I'd personally talked to him was the day before the surgery when he called to give us MD Anderson's (one of the top breast cancer centers in the U.S. located in Houston) second opinion on my case. He said that he'd practiced for over 30 years and when he saw cases like mine there was at least some invasion of the cancer in the rest of the breast tissue.

This is becoming much too long, so I won't mention examples, but I did get many confirmations that God was pleased that we had prayed for a miraculous healing. And the oncologist, who said she had a "panicky" feeling about my case, ordered a CT scan, bone scan and PET scan, and said she was quite surprised the tests came back clear, was a testimony to some possible preliminary healing.

As Joe, his Mom, my children and I held hands tonight on the floor of our living room and prayed a prayer of thankfulness to our God, I wondered about faith. God seemed to have taken away the invasiveness. But I still had to go through surgery.

God reminded me of Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed. It seems such a mystery. Was that for God's benefit to test Abraham? Or was it for Abraham? What faith he had to have as he woke up that morning, gathered the sticks, walked up the mountain, laid Isaac on the wood, held up the knife, all the while wondering how God was going to do it. God was not being cruel in waiting even though He could have stopped the process at any point.

I probably would have ended it all with Abraham walking up the mountain with Isaac! And I would have ended this cancer journey with the first fervent prayer for a miracle. But each step we take, like Abraham going step by step up that mountain, or a little child learning to walk, quite unsteadily,  towards his father until he falls into his arms, causes our faith to grow stronger.

Joe and I keep saying that although this is so unpleasant to go through in the "flesh," we would never want to go back because of how close we've grown to God and to each other.

Please continue to pray for us. This note from the pathologist, and the fact that he would be so excited for us that he would informally e-mail us with this news before even telling the other doctors, still seems surreal to us. But if this is the way it seems to be, we may be nearing the end of  the "cancer" part of this journey. I may not need chemotherapy or radiation.

Thank you for standing with us through this journey. We are so overwhelmed by the love, prayers, service, and encouragement from all of you.

Joy in Him,


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(posted 12 November 2005)


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