|Book: Finding Peace in the Storms by Yinka Vidal|
|A story of a Chicago wife's struggle with breast cancer and her ultimate
gift to her husband and children - it is the power of faith over fear.
Finding Peace in the Storm: Defeating the Fears of Chronic Illness
A wifes journey with breast cancer
by Yinka Vidal
|SECTION ONE: Discovering Joy in the Storms|
|Lisa Andersons Story: Discovering the Joy of Life|
|Dealing with Death|
|SECTION TWO: Dealing with Lisa Andersons Fears|
|Lisas Sessions with her Therapist|
|Dealing with the Loss of Physical Pleasure|
|Susans Gift to Lisa|
|Lisas Instructions to Susan About her Children|
|Redressing Lisas Decisions|
|Jacob Confides in Susan his Surrogate Mom|
|Enjoying the Journey: Overseas Trips with Lisa|
|Lisa Instructs Susan About Anthony and Other Things|
|Conversation with the Children|
|Susans Marvelous Gift to Anthony and Lisa|
|The Will: Lisas Wish|
|Lisa Andersons Final Ascension|
|SECTION THREE: Lessons from Lisa Andersons Life|
|What is the Essence of Life|
|Helping the Loved Ones with Chronic Illness|
|Our Society- A World of Contradictions|
|Power of Choice: Be Careful How You Make Your Choices|
|Avoid Negative Emotions from Ruining Your Day|
|Will Your Life Make a Difference?|
|Lisa Anderson Personifies Amazing Love|
|Spiritual Applications of Lisa Andersons Story|
|Invasion of PEACE of God Inside Human Soul|
|Why Bad Things Happen to a Good Christian Earthly|
|Why Bad Things Happen to Good People - Spiritual|
|HOPE: When Everything Falls Apart|
|What Happens to Human Soul After Death?|
|Spiritual Ascension of a Christian While Still Alive|
|Final Dance to the Glorious Music of Heaven|
Dedicated to my aunt: Mrs. Rosetta Jumoke (Vidal) Johnson, who died of breast cancer in 1976. If you or your children are able to read this, I want you to know that your disease was what motivated me to look for monoclonal antibody therapy to fight against cancer cells.
I can never forget your love for me. Each time you came to our house, you always gave me presents. Each time I visited you as a teenager, I always admired you because you looked just like my fathers mother. Since then, I have admired women of similar beauty because they always remind me of you. Remember the letter you wrote me while I was in college.
I remember the day you came to visit me while I was at home and still a teenager. You and my mother stood over my bed and both of you were watching me with admiration as I pretended I was sleeping. I heard everything you said about me, revealing how much you greatly admired me. As a teenager, I felt very loved by you.
The news of your death due to breast cancer brought me so much pain over the years, especially when my mother said the cancer was mistaken for a boil. I know now that you are in the bosom of Our Lord Jesus. Another sadness besieged the family when your own daughter died years later of the same breast cancer that took you from us. She died in the year 2000.
Aunt Rose, sorry for such a very short life. I pray that God will look over the rest of the children and the grand children you left behind.
I have carried the pain of your death in my heart for so many years. I hope this book will help me find closure over the assault breast cancer did to you and your daughter years ago.
You are gone but not forgotten! From time to time, I think about you and remember your smiling face and that pretty hat you used to wear to church.
Rosetta Jumoke (Vidal) Johnson, may your soul rest in peace.
Copyright 2013 by Lara Publications Inc.
No part of this book can be reproduced, printed or e-distributed without written permission of the publisher. 245 pages, $8.99 Ebook, ISNB #978-0964-081857.
To my dear beloved wife, Rita Gemeca (Eubanks) Vidal, I thank you for agreeing to become my wife about 32 years ago when I met you at the age of 20 years, just a graduate nurse. I thank God who made our meeting possible because such an encounter was by divine providence, not by accident. You have beautified my life and added to my joy as I journeyed through the difficult puzzles of life. Your inspiration has sustained my motivation to write over the years. Your relentless and unquenchable power to nurture transcends the ordinary. At the time, my earthly garden of love was a garden of decay; you came in and planted flowers. My garden of decay becomes the garden of roses.
I strongly appreciate all the hard work you do around the house, the patience in putting up with me, and the resilience of dealing with all the challenges we faced over the years. Thanks for making us four healthy children: Segun, Lola, Sade and Bolaji. Thanks for teaching each of them how to drive and handling all those domestic affairs I was unable to address. I never look at you as just an ordinary wife obtained by accident. I always look at you as the gift God gave to me when I cried out to him for a wife. Thats the more reason I cherish our relationship over the years. Even when you made me angry, even though I did the same to you many times, I always remember; a wise person will never belittle the treasure placed in his possession. You are one the treasures God gave me. Each time I play the song, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the King of Creation." That was the first song on our wedding day. It always reminds me of the joy of our wedding day years ago when I saw you coming down the church aisle with your dad. The joy of that day has never left me and has been sustained over the years.
Thanks for listening to your mother when she whispered in your ear that I was a nice guy. I understand that was what helped you to make the decision to marry me. Perhaps you may not realize that you are the treasure God sent me. I hope I have done my part to love and cherish that treasure. I hope we share many more years together. The children are all gone and each on their own. Glory to God! The nest is empty, but I rediscover the beauty and the treasure of love God placed between us. Remember when we got married a while ago. Our wedding was dedicated to that song "Endless Love."
I thank you so much in being my partner to share your life with me and to walk with me through the colorful journey of this life. I have learned over the years that the essence of life is the joy we share with others through both the good and the bad times we endured together as a couple. When I stepped on the landmines of life, your passion nursed me back to health. Our relationship has never been a clash of cultures, but an embracement of each other.
Above all, I give thanks to God, the Ruler of all things, for making all these happen.
Thanks for your beautiful and marvelous, love and the wife you have been.
Finding Peace in the Storm
Defeating the Fears of Chronic Illness
A Wifes Journey with Breast Cancer
By Yinka Vidal
Death for a Christian should never be a sad event, but a very joyful celebration of undressing from the physical body and putting on the garment of praise. Jesus already gained victory for us over death. The reason why many people are still weeping at the graveside is either because of the events preceding the physical death of the body, selfishness of human desire to pull back the loved ones, or the lack of knowledge of the joy that lies ahead in the realm of God. How many times do people weep while going on vacation because of the excitements ahead? If the answer is negative, why are people sad when facing the journey out of this world to experience the greatest glory and wonders of God man is yet to see on the other side of human existence?
I was teaching a Bible class prior to church service when this lady, a retired school teacher, looked at me and said, "What you just said pierced me in the soul, as if it was meant directly for me." I was a little bewildered. I could not even remember what I said during the Bible class that touched her heart. Later, some other people said something similar to me. They claimed my words were as if the Lord was speaking to them through me. I was only teaching the Bible class and did not have an idea what these people were saying. I was thinking women sometimes become more emotional about issues of discussion. Later, a couple of male pastors came to my Bible class at different times, and each of them said similar things regarding being touched by the message from the Bible class. The message was not from me, rather from the heart of the Holy Spirit.
In my spiritual journey, I realize that the Lord will open peoples mouth to speak his words. So, I was no different. At times I could not understand where the words were coming from. They were just following through my mouth. I remember Jesus said to his disciples that they should not anticipate what they would say when they were brought before judges. He said the Holy Spirit would speak through them. Although I was not before judges, I believe the Holy Spirit can speak through people as a message to touch the lives of others. I also believe there are some people in life who can easily be influenced by your soul tie to them. Its like a soul-to-soul connection when the words you speak out tend to touch their hearts more easily than others. I have had to witness too many tears of women after praying for them. These people will be attracted to your soul, leading to a soul tie for reasons Im unable to explain. Pastors however, need to be very careful and not confuse this with romantic attraction. This is a spiritual connection inside human soul. The objective of such anointing is to serve others.
This lady, (I will call her Mary) was very excited each time she saw me. One time, I touched her back gently in the church. She jumped without realizing who touched her. When she turned around, she saw me and smiled. Later, she told me that as soon as I touched her, she felt some energy from me hitting her. That was the reason why she jumped. One day, she stood up in the church and announced she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was surprised when she did that before the whole church. A few days later, I visited her at home and spent time praying with her. Early in 2013, she told me she was going to the doctor for a check up and she was scared. A day before she went to see her doctor on Monday, she came to church. I could see fear written all over her face. After the service was over, I went to her, took her by the hand with love, and led her to the altar. I prayed with her for the Lord to replace her fear with peace. I remember after the prayer was over, storms of tears washed down her face. This experience with fear ignited my desire to write this book about the story of Lisa and Anthony, her husband.
I have learned over the years that the greatest moments when we actually embrace life are while we are going through the storms. Perhaps this is Gods way of helping us to appreciate his goodness. Many take God for granted. Some people will even blaspheme God after they are rich and have gotten everything they think they need out of life. They realize later that material possessions do not replace the emptiness in human soul without God. From personal experience, I learn that we hear the voice of God the loudest in the midst of our storms. Similarly, the story of Lisa Anderson is very unique because she found the real joy of life in a very unusual and challenging circumstance in her life. Lisa was married to Anthony. She had a friend, a single mother, Susan Mangelina Henshaw who helped her carry her emotional burden during very difficult times. With great commitment and dedication to each other, both women discovered the values of true friendship, along the very difficult journey of dealing with personal afflictions.
This book deals with death and dying in a different way compared to what people do today. On the deathbed, people act as if they are waiting at the departure airport to jump off the cliff, while the rest of the family members are weeping and wailing helplessly. The story is designed to be entertaining. It is exciting, engaging, funny, riveting, emotionally captivating, and sometimes titillating in the intimate conversations between these two women who became very good friends
In our lifes journey especially when facing with difficult challenges, the greatest enemy to fight is not the devil, but "SELF" due to fear. This book deals with that enemy called SELF. Instead of dying with a broken heart and many regrets, the book takes a person on a journey of celebrating life even when death is eminent. The celebration of life becomes more meaningful, rendering death itself insignificant as we discover the true source of eternal peace and joy. In the end, instead of roasting with anger, bitterness, and a heart submerged in deep sorrow due to unfulfilled dreams and aspirations, the process of dying becomes a joyful celebration. This wonderful peace envelops the human heart, leading to eternal jubilation!
The book does not stop after telling the story of Lisa Anderson and her battle with breast cancer. It goes further to explain the process of finding that inner peace, in the subsequent section while discussing the lessons learned from this brave womans story. Many times we preach to people to find peace in the Lord without telling them how. Some people will search for the source of that peace and never find it. Others will die trying to find that inner peace. This book goes an extra mile into human and God spirituality explaining how to discover that inner peace and joy, even in the midst of the storms.
Discovering Joy in the Storms
Lisa Andersons Story: Discovering the Joy of Life in the Storms
Lisa Anderson was sitting on one of the old church benches in a row of other women. They were waiting to see the pastor in the church office after the two-hour church service. Pastor Gary, as people called him, opened up his office hours after service. Lisa was in a long row of women waiting to see the pastor. Her aristocratic status as the wife of a prominent church member did not work for her this time. She wanted to secretly discuss private matters with the pastor in his office without interference from the gossiping members. She was still dressed in her beautiful pink church outfit. She was wearing her flying fan-like hat decorated with pink lace, hanging over the top of the red hat designed especially for good Christian wives in the church. In spite of Lisas still very evident beauty, a fire was burning within her. She was sitting next to another woman, the wife of another prominent man in the church who was being transferred on the job to another state. The woman was so happy sitting next to Lisa. Her name was Maria. She could not stop talking about how she was glad her husband had been promoted to a new position. He was going to take over an insurance companys office in another state. Maria was so delighted and could not control her excitement while Lisa was thinking about the fear that had engulfed her within prior to coming to church that Sunday morning.
Women in the church have always considered Lisa very attractive. She also loved to brag during her glorious days while showing off her beauty displayed in different womens outfits. She was either bragging about her beauty in order to make other wives in the church jealous, or she was telling other women to stay off her husband because she had it together. Every Sunday, she would arrive a few minutes prior to service when most people were already sitting down. This allowed other wives and women of the church to turn their heads as she walked delicately on her high-heel shoes down the aisle. She always dressed in beautiful bright colors. She would leave a trail of expensive cologne down the church aisle. Lisa knew other women were watching as she walked through the congregation. Her two children usually followed after to her pew position. She was intentionally appealing to other women. Some of them had an envy-love relationship with her. She did not care; she just wanted to be an outstanding wife in the church.
In the past couple of weeks, Lisa had changed her style of outfit from dressing to envy or annoy other women, to dressing to be ordinary. The challenges she faced had started to humble her. She had stopped wearing her expensive jewelries and clothes while avoiding the drama of walking to her pew position. Lisa had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had gone through the surgery and radiotherapy. The last time she visited her doctor, there was a scare the second breast might be going through some changes. On the same day, the doctor told her he was not sure whether the first breast was completely cured because of possible metastasis. This particular Sunday was the day prior to seeing her doctor for a complete workup. In her mind, she was wondering whether she would have to undergo removal of the second breast, or whether it would be disfigured by surgery to be followed by some reconstruction. Fear started to torment her. Her visit to the pastor was designed to calm her fears. Her husband Anthony Anderson attended the same church with her. He was one of the church Deacons. Lisa was not listening to her husband. She thought she had enough of his inspirational messages through the Bible while lying next to him every night. "The Lord will take care of you," he would say in addition to some Bible memory verses while he would fall asleep with the Bible on his lap. In a few minutes, he was fast asleep. Lisa could not sleep, wondering how she would beat this cancer. The fear within her grew day by day.
Lisa was waiting for her turn to see Pastor Gary when a man touched her shoulder from the back. She was the second next to be called to see the pastor. She could not wait. "Lets go home, Lisa," said Anthony with a heavy comforting male voice coming from a man, six-feet-two inches. She knew it was the voice of her husband. What would she do when her husband suggested they go home while other churchwomen were looking on? She did not want to make a spectacle of herself.
"Okay Darling," said Lisa politely. She did not want to make any scene while other churchwomen were looking on. She got up, straightened her dress, and followed her husband as the high heel shoes made a knocking tap-tap noise, faintly down the hall as husband and wife walked out the door. She was a little angry with her husband. Anthony had prevented her from seeing the pastor. They discussed at home that she wanted to talk to Pastor Gary so he could give her some words of comfort and also pray with her. Nevertheless, she obediently followed her husband, who had gotten tired of waiting in the parking lot for his wife for forty-five minutes after the service. Anthony was hungry, and the kids had already gone home in his older son Jacobs car.
"You should have allowed me to see Pastor Gary," said Lisa, sitting next to her husband in the passenger seat while trying hard to subdue her anger.
"Pastor Garys prayer cannot cure you; only Jesus can do the cure," said Anthony, her husband.
"I guess youre jealous!" she snapped.
"Jealous of what? Wasting your time?"
"You know men still turn their heads when they see me."
"If you want, Lisa," said Anthony in anger, "I can turn this car around! You can go see Pastor Gary!"
"Im sorry," said Lisa, looking at her husband sideways with a seductive smile.
"I hate to tell you this. Does it ever come across to you that you make too much of a big deal out of your looks? Youre not the only attractive woman in that church!"
"Thanks for reminding me that God is punishing me with breast cancer!" said Lisa as she started weeping. "Why me, Lord? Why me?"
Seeing his wife weeping, Anthony pulled off the road to a shopping center parking lot about two miles from their home. He bowed his head and started to pray with Lisa. He prayed to God to strengthen her faith and not to trust in man, but to trust in God. After the brief prayer, Anthony took his wife shopping. Lisa was in no mood to shop. But, she accepted her husbands offer since he was paying. They both walked, holding hands, all over the shopping center. She finally bought some expensive cologne at Macys.
Back in the car, Lisa thanked her husband for being so sensitive to her emotional pain.
"How come you never pray for God to heal me?" Lisa asked her husband nicely.
"I do pray secretly for God to heal you," he responded.
"Because youre so terrified of this disease."
"I hate to lift up your hope and have you become disappointed."
"Meaning, you think Im going to die!" said Lisa in amazement. "Is that what youre thinking about?"
"I dont mean that," Anthony said quickly, clarifying his statement.
"So, youre already planning a life without me, huh?" Lisa questioned.
"I know how youve been looking at those womens rear ends in the church! Youre already looking for who to replace me!"
"Lisa, can you stop torturing yourself!"
"Youre the one torturing me, Anthony!" she said, raising her voice.
Both Lisa and Anthony arrived at their home in the affluent area of town. Instead of getting out of the car, both of them stayed in the BMW having a husband and wife talk. Anthony told Lisa that he wanted her cured, but what happened if God had another plan? He explained to her, he had seen so many people in the church with their hopes so high. They hoped for God to heal them or their loved ones of one disease or another. He made his wife understand that by holding on to the possibility of cure, she and her kids might be disappointed. He stressed that she should be at peace with whatever Gods outcome of this disease would be. Hoping for a cure is good, but she continued to set herself up for continuous FEAR. What happened if God did not cure her? Would she still believe in God on her deathbed? What happened if the disease took away her beauty; would she still believe in God? Many times, people set themselves up for a total failure in life because they refuse to follow Gods directions for their purpose. Perhaps God was using the disease to transform his wife. Was she learning the lessons God wanted her to learn and share such lessons with other women in such a situation?
"God is still God, even in the midst of your storms," said Anthony.
"I dont disagree with you," responded Lisa.
"I tell you, living in fear is not a good thing for a Christian," he said.
"I know," responded Lisa.
"Where is your faith in God?" he asked. "Are you going to allow fear to destroy your hope in Christ?"
"I never thought about it that way."
"I have fear too," admitted Anthony.
"Fear of what?"
"Have you heard of erection failure?" he said, looking at his wife.
"Hah! Hah! Hah!" She started to laugh. "Youre so funny!"
"See, now youre laughing at my own source of fear."
"I never heard of such a thing before in my life!" said Lisa as she continued laughing.
"Erection failure? Youve got to be kidding!"
Lisa continued laughing while Anthony was looking at her. He started smiling too as he was watching his wife laughing so hard. They have not made love in over two months. After her breast cancer surgery, Lisa thought she lost her sex appeal because the breasts were very important to her. Those beautiful breasts were part of the physical elegance of her beauty. Consequently, she had been avoiding intimacy with her husband. Anthony was 50 years old, and Lisa was 40 at the time the cancer was diagnosed. He was wondering if he had already lost his masculinity. Some diseases tend to rob men of their masculinity these days. He had been nervous about this without telling anybody. He had learned from some men that once the man loses his masculinity to a disease, some wives start to torture their husbands, constantly demanding sex. Sometimes the wives go elsewhere for satisfaction, rubbing the helpless husbands ego in the dirt.
"Trust me, Anthony, I would never torture you like that!" Lisa said, smiling.
"I no longer worry about such thing anymore," said her husband.
"Im trusting everything to the Lord! I dont have any problem right now."
"Good, Im sorry. I've been so selfish," she said.
"I hate to see those evil days coming, though," he said.
"You just told me not to worry about it, darling," said Lisa.
"Now you see. Everybody has something to worry about," Anthony responded.
"No matter what happens between us, I promised to be a good wife to you," she reassured her husband.
"Thanks for that reassurance."
"I promised never to give something so precious to you to somebody else regardless of your ability to perform in bed," said Lisa.
Both Anthony and Lisa looked at each other and busted into laughter at the same time.
"Thanks!" he said.
"Promised never to rub your pride in the dirt," she said. "Whatever we do for pleasure, we must both agree, no matter what!"
"Okay, if anything happens to you, nobody will ever take your place," Anthony said.
"Ill never marry again!" he said to his wife.
"I dont think thats fair, sweetie," said Lisa. "You can find love again when Im gone," said Lisa. "Im not that selfish, Tony! Somebody has to take care of the children!"
"What about me? Cant I take care of my children?"
"Tony, I want to place them in the hands of a loving mother to join you, nurturing my children."
"You have a point there!" said Anthony.
That conversation between Anthony and Lisa, in their driveway after church was more therapeutic for both of them. They both realized that fear was a demonic spirit they both faced like any other couple from time to time. They decided not to allow fear to petrify and prevent them from enjoying life regardless of whatever situation they found themselves. Life places daily challenges before everybody, including sickness and failure of personal challenges within the family. Making a better person out of each person is part of the purpose of the storms in the life of a Christian. Every day is not going to be like Christmas. We have the choice to suffer due to our negative emotional reactions to the events around us. Many times we tend to worry more about things that will never happen, called the unknown fears. People have suffered in silence for many years over the possibility of some bad events that never happen. What happens if bad things happen to us? The question is, can we learn to trust in the Lord, or do we learn to trust in ourselves and place ourselves in painful emotional bondage for years?
What is the purpose of dying before death comes? Shakespeare in Julius Caesar said, "Cowards have died many times before their deaths.
The valiant will never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come."
The best thing that can happen to a Christian is the worst thing that can happen. "If a Christian dies, he goes to be with the Lord. If he survives, he stays around praising God as a testimony for others."
Although we face many life challenges, just like the eagle rises above the storms, we too can learn to rise above the storms of life and find peace, even in the midst of our afflictions.
Dealing with Death
Should we Christians be afraid of death and stop living because we think the angel of death is one day going to be knocking at the door? Will he be grabbing us against our will, while we are screaming and kicking, or begging for more time? Should we allow fear to dominate the rest of our lives on the way to eternity? Should we allow our golden years to be destroyed by the fears of the unknown? Always remember, Jesus said, he had overcome death for us so we can live an abundant life. Meaning, the physical death of the body is not the death of the soul. When the body dies, the soul stays alive in Jesus and lives forever.
Lisa Anderson in this story struggled for about seven years with breast cancer. Even after that conversation with her husband in the car on the way back from church she lived a couples of more years. Two years prior to her death, when she knew her death was inevitable, she started to write a journal and a diary about her everyday journey with cancer. Lisa wrote in her journal, her lifes journey praising God. Throughout the journal of about 700 pages, Lisa did not write so much about death or dying. She wrote more about her everyday life and how life was so wonderful. On reading the journal, nobody would ever know it was written by a woman dying of breast cancer. The journal was as if a woman was celebrating life. She would write in her journal at the end of each day what she had accomplished for herself, her children, her husband and other people. At the end of each journal, which varies in length from a paragraph to three pages, depending on the day, she always praised God. Lisa would praise and thank God for giving her the opportunity to go to the grocery store, visit her parents, go to church, see the sun rising, talk to her children, be intimate with her husband, clean the house, take a bath in the tub, paint her living room, babysit her neighbors children, visit the park, go on vacation, and more. Lisa did not take anything for granted.
At the end of Lisas journal, when she knew she was going to die, she started to write about the beauty of Heaven. It was as if the Lord opened a portal before her, and she started to see the beautiful things of Heaven unseen by human eyes. Lisa discussed this briefly with her friend who was by her side, and her husband. These moments were detailed in her journals, discovered by her husband after her passing. Lisa also wrote a diary of short, short, comments she entered after the end of each day. She always expressed her gratitude to God. Jesus appeared to have visited with her, making her transition more peaceful than ever. From her entries, Lisa was no longer afraid of death. She did not write about dying as she wrote about living in her journal. She appeared to have been infected with this joy that she described in her journal. Nobody could understand a dying wife filled with so much joy and peace at the end of her life. Lisa Anderson discovered something from the road many people are unwilling to walk. She discovered peace in the midst of the storm, just like Jesus told his disciples when they were in the middle of the storm saying, "Be of good cheers! Its me, be not afraid!"
Anthony, her husband, found something more interesting upon sharing the journal with Pastor Gary. Lisas husband told the pastor that it appeared as though Lisa found peace and serenity in Christ. When she placed her head at the bosom of the Lord, she was infected with this unearthly peace, she discussed in her journal. This sacred peace, which transcended anything in this world, brought Lisa, both joy and solace. She was experiencing Heaven even before she died because she believed in Jesus. On reading the journal, Pastor Gary told Anthony that his wife did not die. He explained to him that his wifes soul came out of her body in great jubilation because she surrendered her life totally to Christ. "She is presently living inside Christ," said Pastor Gary. "He is not God of the dead, he is God of the living," he concluded.
Accepting Physical Death and Embracing Eternal Life
Writing this book has been a little difficult for me because a church members fear prompted me to write this story. In doing so, my pain of yesteryears buried inside my soul over the death of my favorite aunt Rosetta from breast cancer, and that of her daughter 24 years later resurfaced.
As a medical investigative journalist and a preacher, the story of Lisa Anderson becomes more personal. I do not preach death, but life. Part of the problems we have created in Christianity is the illusion that God will heal everybody. From my journey in life and practical experience, this is not necessarily the case. There is no doubt some people will be healed after fasting and praying and using the Word of God as medication. Others will die! Thats a fact. Who determines who lives or dies? When loved ones die after fasting and praying, we believe we have the right to be disappointed in God. However, we forget to realize that we place our hope in the wrong expectation. Life is a gift. Tomorrow is not guaranteed anybody. What we do with that life is our gratitude back to God.
If we choose to surrender to the Lord for his purpose, we find peace in his purpose even if the physical body has to die. Many of the true Christians who have surrendered their lives to Christ find peace as they approach the end of life on this earth. The greatest fear is always expressed in those who do not know Christ and never know their destination after death. Life is a gift from God, according to Psalm 139. Everyday we spend on this earth is a gift. One day, the gift will end even though we want to claim entitlement to life that we do not give and neither do we control. God is the author of life, not man. Once we come to that realization, we go back to the author of life through Jesus and follow his purpose for our life preordained before we were born. If we live a life of purpose as ordained by God, we will experience the greatest joy and peace in life. Our problem is the unwillingness to do it Gods way, bringing us so much pain and sorrow throughout life. The greatest enemy most people do not admit is "SELF" called the human spirit. We just have to do it our way, dipping our feet in the mud of sorrow! In our journey, we have two choices. Either we allow the flesh to lead us into the deceptions of the devil, or we learn to surrender to the Holy Spirit, connecting us to the Spirit of Christ and doing the will of God.
Nobody can control when death comes! But, we can influence our lives for a better tomorrow. Instead of being so bitter about certain things we are unable to achieve or control, we should be glad to be a part of the race on earth. In any race of life, there is only one winner. But in the race with Christ, we can all be winners that is the greatest trophy everybody should strive to achieve. The earthly trophies, no matter how big or how valuable, are useless to us when life ends. Why spend a lifetime attaining trophies that will never last, and lose value after life is over? The greatest gift a person can give to himself is to die to self and let Gods glory shine through him. Achieving Gods purpose is the greatest achievement in life. Gods purpose through us brings us the greatest joy and peace.
Enjoying Life When Physical Death is Eminent
Lisa, the wife of Anthony made a choice never to allow the fear of dying to destroy the rest of her life on earth. She chose to enjoy everyday life like the "mantra" of Joyce Meyer, one of the television evangelists Enjoying Everyday life. If you are going through difficult times, the way you react to those difficult situations may determine whether you are going to enjoy the rest of your life or spend the rest of your life in agony while awaiting death. Pastor Rick Warren was on Oprah Show in early 2013 telling people to replace an addictive behavior with a different thought pattern. He alluded to the fact that the more we think about certain problems in life, the more we empower those challenges. We need to replace the thought process of what bothers us with something else. The way we think affects our emotions. Our behavior is the outcome of our feelings. This is simple psychology. If you want to stop a behavior, stop empowering that behavior by not thinking so much about it, and replace the thought process with something different. The same thing is true with the spirit of fear. This does not mean you leave fire on top of your roof because you want to think about being on vacation. If you do so, the house will eventually burn down. Take care of the situation to the best of your ability, and leave the rest to God. I remember while I was in high school studying for exams. Some of my friends would say after studying hard for the exam, "I have done my part studying hard for this exam; the outcome depends on the blessing from above."
Lisa replaced the thought about death with the thought of life based on her journal. Ironically, she found great joy in life while she was dying. In the end, she did not feel sorry for herself as she had when she found she had breast cancer. She replaced her thought pattern with life, and the Lord revealed the true joy of eternity to her as she ascended into a higher spiritual dimension. We should, however, not ignore the spiritual component of Lisas decision. Instead of depending on human spirit leading her to despair, or allowing the spirit of depression to take control, she surrendered to the Spirit of Christ. By surrendering to Christ, she blocked all other negative spirits away from her, including the pity-me spirit. Lisa went home in great jubilation in Christ! If you want to feel sorry for yourself, just remember, Jesus does not attend a pity party!
So, instead of weeping and wailing over the storms you may be going through, do not allow the unknown fear to render you helpless. The enemy wants to make mockery of your life. He uses fear as his potent weapon. Fear wants to keep you as a prisoner. Anger wants you to hate God. Despair wants to render you useless. Depression wants to drive you to the brink of insanity. But, Jesus wants to make your life praiseworthy before God and man, regardless of life challenges. Dont forget the enemy within called SELF. He is the one that opens the door for the enemy of our soul. Tears may end the night, but joy comes in the morning, according to the Book of Psalms. Some people in the morning may wake up on the other side of life called death. If you have prepared and surrendered your life to Christ, you have nothing to worry about. Prior to your journey across the river of life to the next dimension in eternity, angels will come to welcome you home and make your transition more pleasant than you think. Based on some of what I have experienced seeing some peoples soul in transition, death of the physical body while the soul is in transition into the next dimension, was the greatest joy dying people ever experienced.
Many times we worry about the disastrous effects of the storm for breaking things down and for blowing up buildings and other things away from us. At times the storm will blow other things in our direction. Some storms leave the residue of treasures because the Spirit of God travels in the whirlwind. However, while we are busy weeping, we cannot see the treasures brought by the storms.
My Experience With Death that Brings Joy
For many years when I was a little boy in the church, I attended many funerals as a member of the choir. Nothing in life terrified me as death. For many years when I saw a sunset, it tended to ignite sadness and eerie feelings in me. I could not figure out why the sunset ignited sadness and sometimes depression in me. One day, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the reason why I used to feel so much sadness about sunset. When I was a young teenager, even prior to going to high school, I sang with my friends at the funerals of many church members. On many of these occasions, we were asked to go to the burial, leading the church procession that could sometimes be four miles from the church. At the graveyard, as the casket was being lowered into the grave, it was always over the sunset because most of the funerals were in the evening. I underestimated how much sadness crept and was internalized in me while watching this scene many times. The sadness of watching the casket being lowered into the grave was carved into my soul. I could not tell anybody, and nobody asked me. If I had my choice today, I would discourage children from going into graveyards or funerals except the funeral of their parents. As a child, I was terrified of death! Once this was revealed to me, I was no longer terrified of the sunset.
Things got better for me, destroying the fear of death, after one of our church members was said to be dying. My wife called me on the job, telling me of the press report released in the church that this particular church member was on his last leg to eternity. I was very close to this member. At least once a week, I would speak to him. As soon as my wife called me at work, I stopped everything I was doing. I went to a corner and started to pray, asking God where was this mans soul? I wanted to see where his soul was residing so I could make a decision whether to tell people to be prepared for a funeral, or to keep praying for him to return to his body. As soon as I started praying, I was shown a vision I had never seen in my life. I saw this persons soul leaving his body in great jubilation. The shocking part of the vision was the joy I felt in my heart on seeing this persons soul in transition. The joy I felt was a reflective shadow of the same joy this person was feeling, perhaps greater than mine. When my parents died, I did not experience such a joy, but great sorrow. This time, I believe the Lord was showing me the truth about the joy of transition from life to another life in eternity. As soon as I saw that vision, I called my wife and told her to tell the people that the man was gone to be with the Lord. On Sunday, the pastor was praying that God should bring the person back. I almost started to laugh because I knew the person was gone. What was left was the empty shell, and the physical body was completing its life cycle. The man was gone! The soul was already out of the body. What I saw was confirmed by our pastor, who said at the funeral that this church member was ready to go and had been complaining on his deathbed and questioning why it was taking so long for God to call him home. That was the reason I saw him leaving in triumphant jubilation when the Lord opened the gate of Heaven for his souls transition to eternity.
Why the Romantic Scenes in a Christian Book?
Different love scenes are placed in this book intentionally to embrace and bring "Normal Sex" back into a marriage relationship as God ordained it from the beginning. Granting that a common-law-wife in many cultures would be considered, a second wife. A man having intimacy with his common-law-wife should therefore not be considered illicit. It is very disheartening, however, to learn that sexual perversion is winning the race of sexual expression, even among Christians today. Some popular novels among Christian women, especially wives have raised eyebrows. The women reading such books said, they are the equalizers because men have their visual porn on the Internet, and women now have their mental porn, reading such books! This concept is very dangerous to sex within marriage for many reasons. Lets admit, men cannot compete with womens power of sexual expression.
Over the years and even from the beginning of time, men have tried to control the power of female sexual expression. Consequently men used to be the aggressive gender when it came to sex. The women just surrendered their will power as the men swept the passive women off their feet. In the heat of passion, bras flew off, and panties spontaneously dropped, as these women had little choice in the matter. As a result of the passive roles in bed played by women over the years, they had to face the consequences. During those years, women, including married ones were forced to have sex with their bosses to retain their jobs, and some use sex as bargaining power. Such sex led to many unwanted pregnancies and STDs. In Hollywood, it was celebrated; even by some women, as the casting couch! Things have changed as women demanded for sexual equality in the past 30 years. Today, the pendulum is swinging in the direction of women as they have captivated the power of sexual expression from men. They are presently celebrating their sexual freedom, with or without their husbands. The table has turned; some of the husbands are presently on their knees begging for mercy! There is a rise in married women having boyfriends, or live-in lovers with the husbands approval. In some other situations married women may have female lovers without expecting their husbands to protest especially when the wife may be sleeping with her female lovers boyfriend. With these new arrangements, men are at a great disadvantage, and at the mercy of womens sexual power! In many of these emerging lifestyles, based on studies, women set the rules of involvement with other people. They expect their husbands to abide by the rules and accept their wives multiple lovers. Otherwise, the marriage relationship breaks down! Entering into these alternative lifestyles allows the wives to engage in unlimited exploration of sexual desires far beyond what the husbands are able to deliver. Perhaps a husband may get something on the side, by sleeping with another woman, but the wifes unlimited celebration of her sexuality leaves the husband at a disadvantage. Although this is a minority of couples in such lifestyles, but the emerging increase in the number of couples involvement with this unconventional lifestyle is very frightening. A very wise Christian husband will keep himself and his wife away from such a dangerous sexual adventure. After all, is human life just about pleasures alone?
The question is how do we keep normal sex within marriage as ordained by God? With the emerging of alternative lifestyles in marriages today including unholy sexual adventures, the church needs to start encouraging and discussing true romance, love, and normal sexual excitements between married couples. If we refuse, perversion will take the center stage as the emerging trend. As Christians, we are being forced to abandon the biblical definition of marriage to embrace the unholy alliance between man and his illicit desires! The problem with the church today is hypocrisy. We have sex, but we do not want to admit to it. So, we come to church on Sundays as married virgins while the bedroom is devoid of passion and is ice cold. And the couples romance, needs supernatural resurrection! Even in our response to unholy sexual adventures, we refuse to establish Christian alternatives in dialog for a healthier sex and romance within the institution of marriage. Perhaps we should stop talking about the sin of porn in the church and establish better alternatives for Christian couples to spice up romance without having to need the use of sexual perversions to spice up sexual desires between the couples.
The new trend about the celebration of the female sexuality is currently being expressed in movies. The romance in the movies now displays aggressive women, being the first to initiate sex, and unzip mens pants in many of the love scenes. The women are the ones initiating sex in movies compared to years ago when men were doing the same thing. The rise of sexual perversions is currently popular. One study indicated that up to 60 percent of Christian couples are involved in alternative lifestyle and using B&D for sexual excitements. This report is disputable. However it also underscores the rise of different sexual activities within relationships, such as swinging; polyandry; wife swapping; all kinds of alternative lifestyles, and even homosexuality where women have grabbed sexual power of control from men. This trend has rendered men totally helpless as some married couples have accepted their wives bisexual, or bi-curious relationships with other women leaving their husbands in the cold. Subsequently, the husbands are now begging to negotiate terms with their wives. Such trend is disturbing and can be destructive to the present institution of traditional marriage. The trend now is for women, even the married ones to celebrate their sexuality with vigor, while the more aggressive ones dish out emotional pain to their men for revenge.
In a story, a husband who used to be in executive position lost his job. The wife was promoted to an executive position on her job. The husband became a stay home dad. Once the wife became an executive, she spontaneously acquired a boyfriend. She even brought her younger lover home to meet her husband. The wife believed that whosoever has the job, has money. Whosoever has the money has the power. The husband therefore remained at her mercy. She turned the table on her husband. While he was waiting impatiently in the living room, the wife was busy with her boyfriend in their bedroom. She was determined to punish and humiliate her husband for his past transgressions! He was deeply hurt. Regardless, she was calling the shots! The husband beat her up. She called the police and he was arrested. When she was confronted, she did not think she was doing anything wrong because the husband had a mistress when he was in executive position while the wife said nothing. This time, it was her turn. She did not believe her husband had any ground to complain in reminiscence of his past indiscretions when he was working and in the same position. The marriage ended up in a bitter divorce and the children were caught in between! Many times getting even with a spouse does not solve any problem but making things far worse. Everyday, the greatest enemy we battle stares at us in the mirror. This type of trend brings tears to your eyes in a so-called Christian nation.
The same women now display and flaunt their power of sexual superiority over men. The men just wimped-out. They are too embarrassed to compete with the enormous sexual appetite and energy of some of the women. As a result, the men start to suffer in silence because the cat is already out of the bag. There is no doubt that women have always been sexually superior to men regarding the power of sexual expression and staying power. Many of them can last far longer than an average man. However, wise wives will use such power to sustain a monogamous relationship within a Christian marriage, instead of using such power to tear down the institution of traditional marriage. The next question is how should men appeal to their women not to over-indulge in their sexuality in a society that is currently celebrating womens sexual freedom? What is the lure of sexual perversion when the consequences can be very painful and destructive? Perhaps this dangerous trend within marriage should drive some of the husbands to a negotiation or a bargaining table with their women. How will some of these women listen when there is presently increase in women willing to remain single, while enjoying sex outside marriage? Another group is readily using the service of male escorts for their sexual pleasures. The marriage institution is in big trouble!
On one hand, the book "Mom Porn" is another emotional punch dished out by liberated women against their men. On the other hand, we need to look at the current problems within Christian marriage itself. Many people, like some of the negative reactions within Christianity to book, 50 Shades of Grey, forget that within the church, we do not talk about normal sexual relationships between married couples. With our hypocritical messages from the pulpit, we ignore the present problem of boredom in Christian bedrooms across the nation. And many wives are bored to death in their bedroom. We forget that sex was ordained by God and embraced between loving married couples. How many times has the church conducted seminars about how married couples can spice up their marriage without going in the direction of perversion? If we fail to embrace normal sexual relations within marriage, perversions will become the new norms, as couples are searching for fantasy to get them excited. We also cannot ignore the fact that we live in a super-hedonistic society saturated with sexual images everywhere, and not on the Internet alone.
It will be grossly unfair to place the entire blame on women for declaring sexual freedom. The important point is for such women to recognize the power they have captivated and use it for the betterment of sex within marriage. In many cases, husbands have initiated, encouraged, and in some situations forced their wives to consider unconventional lifestyles that may be detrimental to their relationship. The wives should therefore vehemently reject their husbands desire to lure them into such a lifestyle. The wives should then ask the question. How many husbands will respect a wife who is openly sleeping with another man, or the vice versa? Once a couple has lost respect for each other in a marriage relationship, there is nothing left. How can you respect a husband who prostitutes his wife to other people for his own sexual gratification? People may not realize it, but swinging is a form of prostitution! You trade your spouse to another couple, so you can receive pleasure from the other spouse. Instead of money changing hands, they exchange people for payment! Enter such a lifestyle at your own risk!
How can we ignore the painful realities of a sexless marriage between married Christian couples that attend church on Sundays while their bedroom is devoid of romance and is frozen cold? How can we bring romantic excitements back into such relationships without desecrating the marital bed like some couples are doing today, called swinging, or open marriage? Those questions have to be answered by the pastor of each church in marriage encounter group. Presently, sexual perversions already found ways into churches across the nation, while we refuse to discuss healthy romantic sex between married couples. We are still burying our heads in the sand of sexual abstinence between married couples in the church. Bashing people on the head with the Bible is not going to solve the problem as the devil continues to gain the upper hand in the midst of our hypocrisy!
Early in 2013, I attended a church group meeting. We started discussing about challenges of sins people face today in the church. The issues of pornography came up. Although being engrossed in such visual images may cause disaster in a marriage without a doubt. However, one of the men in the group was very upset because he could not get his wife to be intimate with him. She was always too busy. When she came home, she was too tired. The man was very frustrated and angry. Although one wrong does not justify another, we need to start looking at the reasons why certain things happen within a marriage. Hopefully, by understanding such problems, solutions for such therapy can be designed and achieved. What happens when a wife or husband, especially wives, start to use sex as a weapon, bargaining chip, or as a tool of manipulation of the other spouse? As long as we continue the blame game, pretend that we are saints, displaying our Bible every Sunday; we will never find solutions to the present problems within marriage. Sadly, the traditional institution of marriage itself is presently in great danger of collapsing. It has been under siege for many years! We are now beginning to see the effects. About 30 years from now, the present system of marriage between a man and a woman will start to eventually collapse. The new trend will embrace alternative arrangements and lifestyles, and perhaps discourage the biblical model, and replacing it with many perversions.
Before these evil days emerge, when the institution of marriage may eventually collapse, we need to include normal sex between married couples in Christian books, stories, movies, and clean entertainments. If we refuse to embrace normal sex, perversion will be the norm being currently taught to your children and grand children in schools! We need to stop pretending that we are celibate saints when we come to church on Sunday. If we refuse to take action and save the institution of marriage, perversion will replace normal sex within marriage as the trend is presently emerging. Our children are already paying the price for the new norms. Whatever went wrong in the mind of an 18-year-old beauty queen who decided to feature herself in a sex video placed on the Internet for the world to see? This is every parents nightmare! As parents, we begin to wonder about what went wrong? Something is missing some how that eluded our understanding about teenage sexuality today. Correcting this problem is not going to be easy. Will the church be able to retain the normal remnants leftover after the collapse of traditional marriage? Hopefully, these remnants will sustain the virtues of sex within marriage as ordained by God, between a man and a woman, regardless to societys new norm. May the Lord help us!
At some points, this story discusses human sexuality, the expression of human desires, and the importance of setting limits to avoid unintended consequences even in the midst of crisis situations within a marriage. The beauty of Lisa Andersons story was, despite her afflictions, she did not live a sexually reckless life. In spite of all the challenges she faced, she managed to retain her sexual purity within her marriage. Even when she had to make unconventional decision to fight her fears, she never degenerated into sexual perversion. She retained her Christian virtues.
Dealing with Lisa Andersons fears
Lisas greatest fear had always been who would replace her after she was gone out of this world. Initially, she was jealous thinking her husband would marry and end up making love in her bed with another woman. Thinking about her husband in the hands of another woman terrified her so much. For a couple of days, she prayed while she was troubled. Within, she was fighting a battle she knew she might not win. She started to think that she needed to do something very drastic to conquer her fear of being replaced by another woman. She had always bragged about her beauty of a light-skinned black woman with long hair, married to a successful industrialist with brown skin. Her husband used to think that Lisa was a gift to him from God. That was why he lavished her with so many presents, expensive cars, and beautiful outfits. Lisa never worked a day in her life after she married Anthony. She had abandoned her original ambition to become an attorney after leaving college when she got married. The long sexy and shining dark hair she used to brag about had started falling out due to chemotherapy. She was losing weight, and her behind was started to shrink. She knew black men love women with round behinds. They do not like anorexic women with flat rear ends. Lisa had always been very conscious of her beauty. She knew she needed curves in the right places to keep her husband always interested. She appeared to be losing that battle, too. It was time for drastic actions!
Lisa started a journey into life that took her five years. She did not know how long it was going to take. Her mission was to enjoy life to the maximum even if she had a couple of months to live. She was not going to sit at home feeling sorry for herself while her body continued to disintegrate and her mind decay. One day, Lisa went into her medicine cabinet and threw out all the chemotherapy medications making her sick into the toilet bowl. She flushed them down the toilet. "No more of these poisons!" she shouted as she kept flushing the toilet and some of the tablets kept coming back up.
"Whats going on here?" said Anthony her husband, as he entered the bedroom with the bathroom door opened and Lisa still manipulating the toilet lever, wanting all the tablets to disappear. Annoyingly, some of them still kept coming back up.
"I just flushed all those chemo down the toilet for some wild animals to eat in the sewer!" said Lisa.
"You did what?" Anthony asked again.
"Im sick of taking those poisons," said Lisa. "Tony! Enough! Im tired!" Anthony held his wife and comforted her. Lisa started to weep.
Lisa explained to her husband that she was tired of fighting this dreadful disease. She claimed that the fear the disease was dishing to her was too unbearable. She was going to stop dying and start living again. If all she had was only a couple of weeks, she wanted to enjoy them and stop being afraid. She was determined to crush and conquer all her fears.
Anthony was wondering whether he should force his wife to reconsider her decision so she could start taking her medications again. After pondering this for a while, he wanted to go talk to Lisas parents. Perhaps, her mother could convince her to change her mind about the chemo. Anthony did not want to upset Lisa any more. He decided to respect her choice. Lisa, therefore, started a journey of life that would extend for seven years without any medication or any more radiotherapy treatment. Five years was her intention, but God had another plan she was unaware of.
# Conquering the Fear of Chemotherapy - Lisa Anderson stopped taking her medications which she regarded as poisons to her body. She was not going to take any more radiation either. Although it is not advisable for anybody to stop the treatment of chronic illness, Lisa made her choice. This was how Lisa chose to deal with her situation by making a decision to conquer the fear of both irradiation and chemotherapy. She believed the treatment was tearing her body apart.
Three years into her journey that shocked everybody including Anthony her husband, Lisa regained all her beauty, and her hair grew back and more attractive than ever. She started to get involved with anything and everything she could do for the duration of those five years to enjoy life to the fullest. Her disease was in remission.
Shortly before five years after Lisa had stopped taking her medications, she had a
heart-to-heart conversation with Anthony about her replacement. She realized that she had to let go everything that was precious to her. Trying hard to hold on to those things created a lot of agony for her. She found great peace is just letting go. Lisa was sitting on Anthonys lap in the living room and watching television. She looked at him and kissed him again and again.
"Tony, I just have to let you go!" said Lisa.
"Whatre you up to now?" asked her husband, bulging his eyes.
"I want you to find another person to replace me."
"Are you crazy, Lisa?"
"No! Im for real, Tony."
"You have really gone off the deep end, now!"
"I want you to start dating! I can help you find a nice-looking woman like me!"
"How can you say such a thing to me?" said her husband. Tears filled his eyes. "Thats not fair!"
"I dont want you to suffer after Im gone! Cant you see the obvious?" she said.
"I dont want to see the obvious! Youre giving up on me! And thats not fair!" Anthony said, gently lifting Lisa from his lap and placing her on the sofa next to him. He got up and walked into the bedroom, leaving Lisa in the living room by herself.
A few minutes later, Lisa entered the bedroom. Anthony was sitting at the edge of the bed, quietly sobbing.
"Youre not going to make this easy for me, are you?" asked Lisa, coming closer to him.
Anthony said nothing while wiping tears off his eyes. Lisa put her arm around her husband, sitting next to him. He had his head down. "You cant give up! We can beat this monster! You aint going to die!"
"If I cant talk to you, who should I go talk to?" asked Lisa in a comforting voice.
"You can talk to me!"
"Perhaps I need to go talk to Pastor Gary at the church."
"Okay, Ill listen to what you have to say," said Anthony, wiping tears off his face again and turning to his wife.
# Conquering the fear of finding a replacement wife. Seeing her husband with another woman was the fear Lisa dreaded for many years. Lisa had been a very jealous wife since she had been married to Anthony Anderson. She had tried hard to keep him to herself. The situation in her life compelled her to readdress her jealousy. At this time, she believed she had to unravel that fear, and position herself in a healthier way to start preparing him for life after her departure. She wanted neither her husband nor her children to suffer after she was gone. Within her, she had to take a drastic action to fight the monster of jealousy.
Lisa had a long conversation with Anthony over a week. She was trying to convince her husband she did not want him to lament or grieve himself to death after she was gone. She believed that loving her husband was to let him go, so he would not have to suffer so much after she was gone. She wanted a woman to be in his life to comfort him after her journey was over.
Lisa was trying to deal with the reality Anthony was not ready for. About three months into the conversation, Lisa finally convinced her husband to develop the desire to start dating other women. He accepted her offer but refused to do anything about it, not realizing Lisas offer was genuine. Months later, Anthony was sitting in the living room, watching his favorite sports program. Lisa sat next to him on the sofa.
"Have you considered my offer?" whispered Lisa with a little smile, swinging her head right and left.
"What offer are you talking about?" asked Anthony.
"About getting you a nice and beautiful girlfriend, or a wife-in-training to replace me."
Anthony looked up as if thinking, and then he started to respond to his wifes question.
"I just dont understand," he said. "A couple of years ago, youre jealous I was looking at other women. Now, youre encouraging me to date other women. How dare you?"
"Im trying hard to protect you and the children from a lot of sorrow."
"Sorrow is sometimes good! They call it grieving!" said Anthony.
"Well, I dont want you to grieve yourself to death!"
"Im a good Christian," said Anthony, looking frankly at Lisa.
"If you want to get religious, Ill go there with you," said Lisa raising her voice a little.
"What has this got to do with Christianity?" asked Anthony.
"God the Father loved his Son so much, He had to let him go! The Son, Jesus, suffered to please His Father!" stated Lisa. "Now! What youve got to say about that?"
"Do you want me to suffer?" asked Anthony.
"If replacing me with a very attractive woman will cause you to suffer, go for it!"
"Are you sure about that?" he asked.
"For God so loved the world that he gave His Son, His only one! Lisa loved Tony so much shes willing to let go!" said Lisa. "And get him a new and loving wife!"
"Youre misquoting the Bible," Anthony warned Lisa. "Quoting the Bible out of context! I just dont get it!"
"Im trying to make a point! Im not stupid, Tony!"
"Okay Lisa, make your point!"
"You dont understand, Tony!" said Lisa, raising her voice even louder. "Ive got to confront and conquer each one of my fears, one by one. Do you think this is what I want? Throwing another woman in the bed with my husband? Im not that crazy, Tony! I'm not Sarah!"
"Okay, I get it!" said Anthony. "You're not Sarah!"
"I didnt ask you to have sex with them. Just make friends! Thats all! See other women!"
"Thanks, no problem! Ill start looking as soon as I can," said Anthony, mocking Lisa.
"Look! Youre trying to make this very difficult for me," said Lisa.
"Very difficult to understand," he responded.
"If you dont, then Ill bring a woman home for you. Will that make you feel better?"
"You crazy!" said Anthony.
"Try me! Just try me, Tony!" Lisa shouted.
Although Lisa was trying very hard to convince Anthony her husband to date other women, she was greatly struggling within herself to let go. She was not willing to let go easily. She wanted to hold on to her husband, but she thought it would be the most selfish thing a wife could do to her husband and her children. Lisa was therefore torn between her own selfish desires, and that of the welfare of her husband and children. She did not want him to bury his head in grief after she was gone. By suggesting to her husband to start dating other women Lisa was trying to accomplish a couple of things. First, she was fighting the fear of seeing Anthony with another woman because she had been very possessive for so many years. At this time with her medical condition, she believed such an attitude was counterproductive. By giving him permission made her feel better within compared to him making the decision to see other women. Second, Lisa knew her husband would eventually be looking for another woman to replace her sooner or later. She wanted to be a part of the selection process to avoid her husband from picking the wrong woman. Third, Lisa was concerned about leaving her children in the hands of a woman who would not take care of them and also respect her memory. Her decision was to make friends with that woman whom ever she would be. Fourth, Lisa was fighting hard to let go of her grip on Anthony. The more she held on so tightly to him, the more difficult for her to start the preparation of her peaceful journey out of this world. These problems created great fears in her; she was therefore determined to conquer them one by one.
While still struggling within, Lisa met an older African lady who came from one of those West African countries. She came to visit her son who was married to a white lady. They had six children. Lisa saw the lady playing in the park with her grandchildren. She went to question this older African lady why her son had so many children. She suggested four would have been enough. The African mother explained to Lisa that having children is so important in African countries that a mans riches and social position are worthless if he has no children. She explained that some husbands take drastic measures to be sure their wives get pregnant if they cannot do it themselves. In many of those situations, society tends to look down on a man who cannot make his wife pregnant. Secretly, a husband begs another man to come into his house and make his wife pregnant. The other man will come into the house through the window or through the back door, where the neighbors cannot see him. The wifes face will be covered. She lays in bed with her legs open in a semi-dark room. The man too, is blindfolded, and led to where she is lying in bed, ready. A younger man is usually selected for such intervention. He is slowly guided to touch her private area, playing with her hair. He plays with it until he can feel her wetness while he is also excited. He climbs on top of the blindfolded wife. He does his business. After he finishes his deposit into her, he is secretly let back out. Such an intervention can involve a couple of trials until the wife gets pregnant. Once she is pregnant, the process ends. The wife does not know who the man is, and the young man does not know whom he impregnated. The husband or relatives who selected the young man must be sure the man is very potent and disease free. The husband, or the family of the husband will then reward him handsomely through a second party for his help once the wife gets pregnant.
In the case of a wife unable to get pregnant, the husband, according to the African traditional customs has the right to divorce his wife. When this happens, it brings a lot of shame to the wifes family. As a result, the wife will go and find a younger woman for her husband to sleep with, just as Sarah did in the Bible with Abraham. The wife makes the choice, not the husband! The pregnant lady eventually becomes the mans second wife. The only traditionally ethical thing for a husband to do instead of divorcing a barren wife is to get the second wife to carry babies for them. This is the only reason in African countries, even among Christians today, that a man can have more than one wife. In other religions like Islam, men are allowed to marry more than one wife.
Lisa told the African lady that today, people do artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood by another woman to carry a baby for a barren family. She told Lisa that legal issues could complicate things, even today, and bring shame to the family seeking a child. It was better done naturally and in secret, she explained; otherwise adoption may be another option.
After Lisas conversation with the elderly African lady, she was more determined than ever to get her husband a replacement wife. She was wondering whether her illness might not allow her to stay alive for many more years. Within her, she was thinking that if a man can be so desperate to make his wife pregnant by asking another man for help, she too should be able to be desperate enough to help her husband find a replacement wife. She had to start preparing for the obvious. Still, the struggle was within Lisa. Seeing another woman with her husband bothered her so much. This was one of the demons she had to conquer in order to realize her objectives. Rationalizing the issue to get Anthony a wife to replace her was one thing, but actually living through the process proved more difficult than she had ever anticipated. She kept telling herself that was the right thing to do, but it was not easy. Seeing her husband with another women terrified her. She was therefore determined to fight the demon of jealousy within. At this point Lisa determined within herself that if she really loved her husband, and especially her children, she should help find him a replacement wife.
One evening, Anthony called his wife to the living room to announce to her he had a lady in mind to date. He was asking Lisas permission to go on a date. Actually, Anthony had nobody. He just wanted to test how Lisa would react, whether she was going to be jealous. To his surprise, Lisa jumped up for joy. Her hope was dampened when Anthony told her he was just kidding. At that moment, Lisa became very furious. She revealed to her husband that the doctor had only given her less than a couple of years to live. She did not want to make life difficult for her husband and her children after she was gone. She wanted her husband to select a woman to replace her. She wanted to be involved in the selection process, however. Lisa believed her encouragement would help her husband find another mate. She wanted Anthony to have a wife that would not abuse her children after she was gone. It would give her much comfort that she wanted so badly. Lisa wanted to crush that fear of seeing Anthony with another woman. She had to learn to deal with this raging jealousy in her before it was too late. She could never imagine seeing Anthony with another woman. This conflict was driving her crazy. It was the fear she had dreaded for years. Now, she had to confront it. She also wanted to hand over certain things in the house to a woman who was to replace her. She was afraid this woman might erase her memory. At that moment Anthony had the misconception that Lisa had accepted to lose the battle over her breast cancer. Within Lisa, she was concerned for the welfare of her husband and her children after her departure.
# The story of Lisa Anderson continues. While narrating this story, I want to be careful to avoid progressive morbidity in the story that may lead people to sadness and depression. This lady did not want her story to be told in a depressing way. Telling the story in a more exciting way, showing different snapshots of Lisas life, its like a movie, as she worked hard to conquer her fears one by one. This can be very helpful to others dealing with terminal illness. Everybody is going to die someday! The battle was not going to be easy for Lisa. As her journey continued, her battle over the cancer was not as difficult as her battle to let go certain things in her life, especially Anthony, her husband. She also continued to write a diary of events and a journal. The diary was in form of short sentences about her everyday events. The journal was a long explanation of the fears she was fighting, and of dealing with the conflicts within her.
After Lisas breast cancer diagnosis, she anticipated living for another five years, but she ended living for seven years. She spent those years fighting the fear of death. After those long years, she was no longer afraid to die. In the bedroom one day, Lisa started to feel weak she was not as strong as she used to be. At times, her strength would come back; every day was different for her. She knew the end was coming. She sat on her husbands lap again, and started making suggestions in terms of who to replace her. This was not easy for her, but within, she felt compelled to discuss this with Anthony, who was very reluctant to discuss the issues.
"Catherine had been divorced about a year," asked Lisa. "Do you want to go out with her? I can approach her for you!"
"Catherine?" Anthony asked.
"I can help you arrange a date with her. Ill set you up with her!"
"No, she is not my type," he responded.
"How about Melissa, the tall blonde, sitting behind us in church? Her doctor husband ran away with his secretary."
"Im not crazy about blondes."
"Years ago, you couldnt stop looking at them!" Lisa raised her voice a little.
"Just looking at somebody doesnt mean she is a potential candidate for a wife," said Anthony.
"So, youd rather screw her than date her?" asked Lisa. "You heathen!" She got angry.
"I just answered your question, Lisa."
"Are you ready to date or not?" asked Lisa.
"No! No! No!" said Anthony. "Would you please leave me alone?"
"I know it! I know it! This is going to be very hard for me," said Lisa.
"Can I find my own date later on?" he asked.
"Absolutely not! Im in control of this!" Lisa yelled jumping to her feet. "I determine whom you date, when you date, and when you get it hard!"
"Im in charge of this! Ill see to this process from the beginning to the end! Do you hear me?" she yelled.
"Yes, mother," said Anthony mocking her.
"Do you have a secret lover?" Lisa whispered in his ears with a seductive voice.
"No! Youre the only one in my life at this time!"
"Are you going to accept my offer, then?"
"Okay," he said as if accepting his wifes terms and conditions.
Lisa continued to give her husband, different choices of women to pick from. Anthony was not in the mood to discuss his wifes replacement. But Lisa was not ready to let him off the subject. She was determined to start the process of finding her husband a replacement wife. Within her, this process should help her to conquer some of her inner fears. However, Anthony was unaware of his wifes struggle within.
"How about Melanie, the 25-year-old skinny, tall medical student sitting across the aisle in church from us?" Lisa asked.
"Too young! Had no experience!"
"Okay, I think youll like Susan Mangelina Henshaw, nickname, "Angel." She had some experience! She got a round bubble behind like a typical black woman. Just a little bigger than mine! She is biracial with long dark hair. Shes very attractive and not fat, just round! She just got divorced about a year ago. Shes only 35 years old! Shes a high school teacher!"
"Howre you sure she isnt dating?" asked Anthony.
"I met her at the store a week ago! She is really single with two kids."
"I dont know," he said.
"She got all the accessories you always love in a woman. She has this walk causing her behind to gyrate slowly, with the bubble buns bouncing against each other! She got waves on her hips! Goodness Tony! You would love her! Shell drive black brothers crazy! She has long jet-black hair down to her waist, very attractive with big prominent eyes, moderately thick thighs, big perky breasts, 150 pounds, five feet, nine inches. They dont make them any better or hotter than that! Boy, shes flaming hot!" Lisa started laughing.
"Thanks for the statistics!" responded Anthony.
Lisa noticed Anthony was a little interested when she started talking about Susan Mangelina Henshaw. They used to be close friends and went to the gym together until her divorce. She used to wear shorts when she came to pick Lisa up for gym. Lisa noticed Anthony used to look at her with lustful eyes. Single women who used to be married quickly lose most of their married women friends after divorce. Many of the married women try to protect their husbands from attractive divorced women like Susan. They could be dangerous sources to attract a lustful husband to bed. So, Lisa stayed away from Susan, like other married women in the neighborhood, after her divorce. Now that she needed a replacement, she had renewed her friendship with Susan. Lisa invited Susan to the house, and they became very good friends again. Lisa was a wife on a delicate and unconventional mission. Her intention was not to leave the woman who would replace her to chance. She was determined to influence her husbands choice. She was determined to control the entire process.
One Saturday, Lisa secretly invited Susan to join her and her husband in a picnic at a park close to the house. Susan was going to bring her two kids, 10-year-old Liz, and eight-year-old John. Lisa had discouraged any of her children from joining them at the picnic. She told her children it was just a married couples picnic. Lisas intention was to get Susan and Anthony talking. She wanted Anthony to start getting used to Susans children as well. Secretly, Lisa had confided in Susan, her friend, that she would be a good comfort to her husband after she was gone. On this particular occasion, Lisa instructed Susan to dress in a seductive way to attract Anthony, but not to be obvious. She was to wear nice makeup, a low-cut blouse with skin-tight short pants, showing her thighs and curves. Her husband loved black women with pretty moderately thick thighs. Susan had them.
"Do I have a choice in this matter?" asked Susan.
"Are you dating anybody right now?"
"Went out a couple of times, nothing serious."
"Do me a favor! Dump whomever! And work for me!" Lisa instructed.
"Are you fixing me with your husband?" asked Susan.
"What do you think Im trying to do?"
"I dont know!" said Susan. "I never heard of a wife looking for a date for her husband."
"Yes! Yes!" Lisa said emphatically. "I want you to date my husband!"
"Do you have a problem with that?" asked Lisa. Then she looked at Susan. Lisa became tearful and dropped her head. "This isnt going to be easy for me, not easy at all," she said wiping off her tears.
"Okay friend, if this is important to you. Ill give it a try. I cant promise. Anthony may not like me."
"I know my husband! Hes probably more crazy about you than you know. I saw the way he was looking at you the last time you came over to the house. Youre not a bad-looking woman! Besides, you got all the measurements in the right places!"
"Thanks for the compliments," said Susan, smiling. "Im honored and flattered at the same time!"
At the picnic, Lisa left Anthony and Susan to talk. She left both of them alone. The park was so crowded because different events were taking place in summer at this particular time of the year. She asked Susans children, Liz and John, to go with her, leaving the two alone to talk. Lisa walked Susans children through the crowd in the park. Both Anthony and Susan knew Lisa was trying to fix them up. They spent about one hour alone, most of the time talking about the boldness of Lisa in her efforts to be the matchmaker. By the time Lisa came back, she saw Anthony and Susan sitting closer together. When she saw them, Lisa was comforted she was making progress. She believed her plan as a matchmaker was working. Even Susan could not believe what Lisa was saying until she realized that her friend had to let go everything she was holding onto. The more she held those things in her hands, the more she was hurting. That was why she wanted to hand over all her domestic affairs to a woman whom she admired and also believed her husband would find as a potential mate.
A month later, Lisa encouraged both Susan and Anthony to go on a date. Initially both of them were hesitant, especially Anthony. When they saw how determined Lisa was about the issue, both changed their minds and followed Lisas requests. The first time both Susan and Anthony went out on a date, Lisa was so happy and was at peace when they returned.
"How was it?" Lisa asked, smiling as Anthony came back home after dropping Susan off at her home. "Did you kiss her?" She was acting like a big sister who just sent her brother on a date.
"Just like any other date," said Anthony, reluctantly. "I felt Im a high school kid again!"
"So, what happened?" asked Lisa, curiously. "Did you kiss her?"
"Nothing!" Anthony responded. He did not want to tell his wife he French-kissed Susan and also played with her breasts at the parking lot after they left the restaurant. When his hand was going down her panties, she stopped him. For the time being, while sitting at the passengers seat, Susan had allowed her dress to move up a little, showing her upper thighs, making her red panties slightly visible behind the sheer lace pantyhose. Anthony kept looking at them, and Susan noticed how they excited and tortured him at the same time. After the kissing, Susan opened her thighs even wider, making the dark shadow between her pubic area more visible to Anthony. She acted as though she was intentionally torturing him! Susan wanted to find out whether Anthony would like her. Within her, she was a saleswoman on a mission. Her intention was to attract Anthonys romantic interest. That was the instruction Lisa gave her. Sex would come later. She was instructed to first get him interested in her. Susan was supposed to use all her female charms to win Anthonys affection as quickly as she could; otherwise Lisas plan could be in jeopardy.
"Next time, it should get better," said Lisa trying to encourage Anthony.
"I hope so," said her husband. He acted as though he was not as interested in Susan.
"You do this for me! Okay!" Lisa grabbed her husband, shaking him gently, and kissing him.
"Yes, mother!" he said jokingly.
"You need to quit that guilt, Tony!"
"Isnt that easy," he responded.
"Ive technically released you to love again. Cant you get it?"
"Thanks," he said, not sure whether he was doing the right thing.
"So, youre trying to punish me!" asked Lisa.
"How? Because I dont want to go out with another woman now?" said Anthony raising his voice a little.
"Im struggling with this as much as you are," she responded.
"The best way to punish me, Tony, is making mockery of my determination to fight the conflicts within," said Lisa. "I want to get you a replacement wife that will respect me! I dont want any woman coming here to destroy everything I worked for all my life! There are too many gold diggers out there!"
"I dont get it! Just dont get it!" said Anthony.
Lisa explained to her husband that she looked at him as a precious jewel God gave her. She did not just want to hand that piece of treasure just to any woman. She wanted to hand her husband over to a woman that would respect her and take care of her family after her death. Lisa had explained to Susan that her arrangement was what true, selfless love was all about. She said she could not keep her husband from loving another woman after she was gone. That would be very selfish, she stressed to him. She did not believe it was fair for him to grieve himself to death after she died. She pleaded with Susan to please take care of her husband and her children after she was gone.
Lisa also told Susan that she read online about a woman who asked her husband to place the image of her genital on her grave. "How selfish!" exclaimed Lisa. According to the story, this wife did not want her husband to look at another woman after her death. "Evidently, she wanted to continue to punish her husband. What a pathological selfishness!" she said to Susan.
"I want my husband to go on with life," Lisa explained. "I want him to learn to enjoy life again with another woman! Depriving him is gross selfishness!"
"How kind of you," said Susan.
Lisa explained that the wife who wanted her husband to place an image of her genital on her grave after her death was intently getting even with her husband. That was her way of punishing him. She knew he would be seeing other women. His punishment was to place her genital on display for other men to see as the husband would be seeing other women. It was not about her memory. If it was a way to remember her, the image could have been kept in their bedroom or in the house somewhere, not on public display.
After listening to Lisas instructions, Susan started coming to visit Lisa everyday. She stood by her side and nursed her even when Lisa was very weak in bed. As time went on, Anthony started to take a liking to Susan. Once Lisa saw the gradual attractions between Anthony and Susan, she requested Susan to do an STD work up. She gave her the list of diseases she wanted to check out, including HIV, hepatitis, herpes, human papilloma virus, etc. Susan agreed with her. On seeing Susans response to her requests, Lisa appeared to be more comfortable she was making progress in finding her replacement. Susan had been spending so much time in their mansion. She started to help cook, do some house chores, and take care of her family when it was difficult for Lisa to get out of bed. Both Lisa and Susan became closer friends than they had ever been.
Very Important Note
Lisa Anderson stopped all her breast cancer treatments, and she lived many years after she stopped treatments. This is not to suggest in this book that anybody on treatment for any disease should stop treatment. Each person under question should determine what works for him or her, depending on each case and discussions with the attending physician. This is a very critical point. Although Lisa believed this was what worked for her, other cancer patients or those going through chronic illness should make their choice very carefully. A pastor asked me, what should people do when diagnosed with cancer: take treatment or not take treatment? My answer was simple: take it to the Lord in prayer. I believe the same God who created medical interventions will use some form of these interventions depending on the individual cases. Perhaps some patient may not need treatment, but they will be cured through the Lords intervention. Many such healings have been reported. Others may need some form of treatment based on the Lords direction. Consequently, an individual decision should be based on the divine message from the Lord regarding how to handle each case. God is the author of life. He knows the beginning and the end. Enter into your prayer closet, spread yourself before his throne, and pray daily for answers. The Lord will eventually respond to your request. Then, follow the Lords instructions for your case. Be courageous! Do not allow the enemy to win or to keep you in demented sorrow because of the illness. Victory is in your hand through the Lord Jesus!
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