Spiritual Warfare/The Esophageal Cancer Journey

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The Fifth Gate II – The Mocking Voice Struck

The result of my discovery of esophageal cancer’s low survival history.

It was late night when my husband crawled into bed beside me. I said, “You don’t mind if I read a while longer?”

“No love, I don’t mind, but you will fall asleep like usual.” I smiled at him and put down my book. He knew me well.

He leaned toward me. We embraced. Our lips touched soft and loving. Suddenly the mocking voice struck me with the force of a rattlesnake uncoiling and sinking its venom into my mind. You kiss a dead man, it said.

Trapped inside this waking nightmare, I felt it sink its poisonous words in every cell living beneath my skin. My thoughts recoiled from the assault and somewhere deep inside my head I hid.

I did not recoil from my husband’s kiss. I lingered in his embrace and kissed him back. All my love and passion for him exploded in my heart.

I said nothing to him about the mocking voice.

For awhile I lay awake.  Thoughts swirled around in my head… I  can’t lose him. statistics say otherwise. I hated knowing. I felt like I betrayed my husband.

 When we began the cancer journey and I committed to trust God to help me honor my husband’s request, “You must be brave,” I was unaware the mocking voice was not finished with me.

My nightmares spiritual warfare

to be continued…

bear down on me.  Hard packed wet sand tremble under my bare feet. Seconds later, the stallions divided ranks and thundered by me. I turned to see where they galloped. They stopped a short distance from me. With exquisite precision and unison, they  turned towards me and slowly approached. Curious, I watched. Careful not to bump me, they circled me maneuvering tight flank to flank. They faced me. Nostrils flared as they took great calming breaths enveloping me in a cloud of warm steam. The air cleared. All eyes focused on me. Not a muscle stirred. Quiet, ears alert, they waited. As I turned slowly to look at each majestic face, I heard a familiar quiet voice.

“Whenever you feel the hands of despair reach for you, see these stallions close ranks around you. Nothing can pass between them. I give you these stallions as a symbol of God’s protection against the powers of  despair. Remember, Nothing can separate you from the love of God through Christ Jesus His Son;  not angels, not demons, not the present or the future, nor any powers, not life, not death, nor the principalities of darkness.”   

The day after I related the account of this dream to my sister, a doer, she arrived in my kitchen with a gift, the photograph of the of the stallions posted here on my web site. My sister and I laughed about her fix it now nature, as we prominently posted the photograph  on the refrigerator door, along with the scripture paraphrased above.

In the days and months to follow, and as the intensity of Werner’s race against esophageal cancer escalated, I believe God used this entire experience to prepare me for what lay ahead. I understood, when my coping skills reached their limit, I had an advocate I could trust in the grace of God’s protective shield and sustaining power to keep me standing with Werner.

I never told Werner about the attacks of oppression, the malicious intruder into the kiss, or the mocking voice of death at the front door. I did tell him about God’s gift of the stallions, my and now, our visual symbol of His protection, as we faced this fight together. We thanked Him for the horses.