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This is Good News! A Story from Karen Bartell

I want to share a good news story with you, but it first starts out as a nightmare for me.

In mid-September of 2021, I heard devastating news about my own health. I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. In my right lung was a massive tumour and as a result my lung had collapsed. The cancer had metastasized to my lymphatic system in my chest and was crushing my esophagus and my trachea. It was almost impossible to swallow and very difficult to breathe. The oncologist told me that the cancer had also spread to two of my bones.

I was drowning in the despair of the situation.

I know that God has been so good to us. My husband and I have been believers in Jesus since childhood. Long before this cancer news, we believed in prayer. As I faced this, I cried out to God. I longed to have people in my life that I could share this grief with and have them pray for a miracle with me.

One of our lead pastors, Pastor Jess, started visiting me once a week for prayer and encouragement. She told me about a group at Journey Church called Victors in Christ. I said, “Sign me up!”

On December 30, 2021, I saw my oncologist. She showed me a comparison of my CT scans from September 22 to December 22. The change in my anatomy was remarkable! Her remarks were, “This is surprising, very surprising.” For me, it was miraculous.

The December scans showed no visible tumours in my lungs, my esophagus and trachea were wide open, and the bones affected by cancer were beginning to heal. Right now I can breathe easily again and swallow without choking. Last week I walked 10 kilometres, and, best of all, I sleep through the night. Like Peter’s mother-in-law, I wake up ready to serve my family (Matthew 8:14-15).

I follow all of my oncologist’s recommendations, take all the prescribed cancer medication and have had radiation on my right lung. I am so thankful to God for the medical expertise that He has allowed me to have so quickly and so thoroughly here in Calgary.

One of the things I praise the Lord most for is giving me people who would stand with me in prayer and believe for my healing. Joining the Victors group at Journey Church—praying three times a week on Skype with this group—has literally been a lifeline for me as I have faced this diagnosis. They reminded me that we are not created to do life alone, certainly not in these kinds of traumatic events. I needed the faith of others in this dark time; it was the thing that held me together.

My life is in the Lord’s gracious hands and He deserves all the glory for bringing me through this terrible time. He deserves honour for my healing and my wholeness; I marvel at His goodness. I share this with you to encourage you for the things that you are praying for. Nothing is too hard for our God.

Karen Bartell.

This article is based on a testimony video created by Journey Church. Journey Church is a PAOC church in Calgary, Alta., led by pastors Dave and Jess DiSabatino.

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Photo above courtesy of Karen Bartell.

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