I have been thinking of my friend Pearl today. There is a lesson to be learned from her life, and I want to pass it along.
My husband met Pearl long before I did. She was a new transfer student from Taiwan, and he was preparing for his mission. They made friends, and when he received a call to serve in Taiwan, she gave him her family's home address so that he could pay them a visit. Later, after his mission, they still kept in contact. I met her when I signed up to live in the Chinese language housing at BYU. My husband also signed up to live in the language housing. Pearl was the head resident of my house. My husband and I started dating at that time, and were married one short semester later. Because she knew us both, we kept in contact with her, and she often visited us. Even when we lived in China, we still kept in contact with her, and were able to visit with her when she was living for a short time in Hong Kong. She married, but then divorced. I spent many late hours with her on the phone trying to help her through that trauma.
Flash forward a few years to when she lived in the San Jose area. She called to tell us that she had developed breast cancer. For some reason she was terrified of surgery, and didn't want to go through any other sort of chemo or radiation therapy either. She decided to try alternative healing instead. By the time I found out about her cancer, it was already like a stage 4, and had metastasized. She went to Reno to do some sort of alternative healing that was geared around diet. She was there for several months at their center, then I went and picked her up and drove her home.
I have a friend that does a sort of "energy" healing, but I have never been convinced of it's validity because frankly I've known him a long time and never seen anyone healed. But she went to him and asked him to work on her. I don't know if anything he did helped her physically, but it did open the door to some emotional healing. I guess in that respect it was worth the effort.
A year or so went by and I received a call from Pearl. She asked me if I could talk to my energy healing friend and see if he could help her. She said that she now had open sores on her chest from the breast cancer. I never heard from her again.
For me, there are several lessons I learned from Pearl. One is that healing is only part physical, but is also emotional. The other lesson I learned is that early agressive treatment is necessary if you want to survive cancer. If she had followed the advice of her doctors, and had surgery, then cancer treatments, I believe she would be alive today.
A friend of mine called today and told me that her boyfriend has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. She said he has decided to forego treatment, and rely solely upon prayer. While I admire his faith, I told my friend that I believe that God gave medical technologies to man for a reason. I believe that faith, without works is dead. I believe that God expects us to do everything in our power to solve our problem, but that doesn't diminish our ability to have faith. I think this man believes that if he accepts medical treatment, then he isn't showing true faith. I think you can do both. You can believe with all of your heart that God can heal you, AND move ahead with medical treatment.
I just hope that others who might be in this same circumstance will learn the lesson from Pearl. Don't let fears keep you from getting the treatment you need. And don't let your desire to show faith keep you from getting treatment. Maybe the way God wants to heal you is through medicine!