Lawrence Edward Abell
It was in January of 2012 that Lawrence and I were at his mother's house having dinner with the rest of the family. After sharing a good meal the men seem to always end up in a spiritual “conversation” (actually, a debate , smile ).
However, this time something different occurred. In the middle of our talking about nothing in particular the conversation went to health. I remember tuning in when I heard my husband mentioning concerns he had about his health. He told his family, “I did not think I would live past December of 2011”
Looking back on that day, I truly feel that it was the first of many ways in which the Holy Spirit began to tenderly prepare us (and the rest of Lawrence's family) for
what was ahead.
After several blood tests and bone and CT scans, the doctors confirmed the worst- Lawrence's PSA was up to 279. This signified that it was prostate cancer even without a biopsy. After researching his treatment options, Lawrence decided that he would go to Loma Linda California to receive Proton Treatments.
Over the next several weeks Lawrence and I found ourselves talking about the goodness of God. We felt Him so close to us. We could see God's hand moving in our lives, orchestrating the events and opening doors for us. There was such a peace about us that we could not help but comment on how we felt.
I remember saying to Lawrence one day, while we were discussing God's goodness, that it was my prayer that we would be able to praise God just as much during the difficult times. Little did I know the difficult times were just ahead of us.
Five weeks into the treatments, Lawrence started having stomach problems, having discomfort when he ate or drank. As the weeks went on the pain became worse and I had to take Lawrence to the emergency room. After several test and x rays they discovered that Lawrence had a large tumor in his small bowel and lesions on his liver.
My husband was very sick. The doctors gave him only one treatment option, and that was chemotherapy, which they agreed would only slow the cancer down but not cure it. Lawrence could see the writing on the wall and had already decided that he would place everything in God's hands. We would return home and begin following God's plan regarding diet.
It was on this trip home that the Holy Spirit told me that He wanted me to write down all the events that had and were about to take place. I remember I did not respond, but I thought to myself “ I can do that”. Then, just after telling me to begin writing, He impressed my mind with the title of my journal, it would be “Dying with Jesus, a love story” Immediately I began to question God why He wanted me to give it such a title. I told God, “Lawrence and I are praying for healing. We are expecting healing.” Just then I heard the Spirit of the Lord say to me, “This journey is not about physical death; it is about dying to self.” In that moment, the Spirit shared with; me that we are all dying. Every one of us is on a journey that ends in death. Death is not only a matter of our physical body, but, more importantly for those who are seeking eternal life, it is a matter of death to self. The Holy Spirit made it clear to me that the journey that my husband and I had begun was a journey of complete surrender to God.
How precious was the gift that God gave to us - time away from our daily affairs of work and family, time to bask in each other's love and company. Six weeks God gave us to renew our love for each other and for Him. We had time to rest and to get fortified for the unkown events that laid ahead. Christ says, "For I am the Lord, I change not" (Mal. 3:6) Just how as He drew close to the three Hebrew boys and with Daniel in the lions' den, Christ wants to draw to you and I.
God desires that each of our lives become a never ending love story with Him. Just as He chose to draw close to Lawrence and I during what became the darkest hour of our lives He wants to draw close to you.
In obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I have written down the account of that journey, and it is that journey that I wish to share with you.
Take this walk with Lawrence and me as we experienced the prescence of the Holy Spirit drawing close to us. Let us share with you how tender and loving God truly is and how He desires that your life become a never-ending love story with Him.
The book can be ordered through Brianna's Wings of Passion Foundation. All of the proceeds from the books sold through this website will go to the foundation to help other's who are suffering with loss and grief.
"For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death" Psalms 48:14