Ok, so I try not to preface because usually it’s unnecessary, but I feel like I should let you know in case you don’t already just who Chris Tomlin is. He is a Christian mega-celebrity. The Beyoncé of contemporary Christian music. The Sandra Bullock of worship music. The Taylor Swift of worship leaders in America (minus the pettiness. Well, I guess I don’t actually know his level of petty, but I’m assuming it’s lower than me and TS’s.). And I, little old me, got a personalized video message of encouragement from him! (See below).
All that said, I had a pretty cool experience this week. As my “cancerversary” is right around the corner and we have had some pretty big life changes lately, I’ve found myself more pensive than usual. I’m having a hard time declaring my gratitude to God for his powerful healing in my life from cancer because survivor’s guilt keeps me from proclaiming His healing glory. And the fact that he used a missionary who prayed over me as a vehicle to showcase that power? It’s all so wild and unbelievable, and yet being healed from stage 4 terminal cancer is my truth. Even if just for now. I mean, I’m already almost 3 years past my oncologist-given expiration date and that’s pretty hard to shake. Am I boasting? Well, maybe, but Paul feels me on this:
So at the risk of sounding like a braggart again, stay with me because I think this is kind of cool. When I was very very sick a few years ago, I wanted to go to Creation festival but couldn’t. I had been in 2009, and besides being introduced to a little-known up-and-coming rapper named Lecrae, I also got to see Chris Tomlin as he lead worship. His set is firmly embedded in my memory (even with as much of my memory I’ve lost through radiation and seizures) as a very worshipful and powerful time. Declaring God’s glory and proclaiming His goodness with thousands of others. Just awesome.
So fast forward a few years. I’m literally dying. My physical body is failing. I’m mentally prepping for death for myself and prepping my kids for my death and that this time they are 2 & 4. I bought a burial plot and have asked for an evangelistic service with an altar call. And amongst so many other supportive and ridiculously amazing people in my life, I have a beautiful and kind-hearted friend who works at the Creation festival. I message her and tell her, if it’s in any way possible, could she please just tell Chris that his song “Angel Armies” was one of the most healing songs for my weary soul. It reminded me of God’s power and, at a time when I was powerless to change anything in my own life, it soothed my weary heart to hear that God is still in this.
This is what I got in return:
Ok, I’m not deluded enough to think that some people are better or more important than others, but that was pretty cool!
I had a lot of feelings about this, but mostly I just had to smile at the naive thought that I, a dying person, would somehow get to see Chris Tomlin again in this earthly life. He was so sweet, but so naive. I wouldn’t be seeing him and I knew it, but I so appreciated that kind gesture!
And here I am as of a few nights ago. Seeing Chris Tomlin live and absolutely breaking down and ugly crying during “Angel Armies”
It’s a weird, amazing, wonderful, guilt-ridden, triumphant, and awe-inspiring benchmark in this journey. I have so much more I want to say, but for now I’ll say thanks to Mr. Tomlin for his faith that we would, indeed, see each other in the future (even if I was just a face in the crowd – I’m more than ok with that).
Life is crazy. Cancer is terrifying. But God is steadfast and He is good. Always.