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Jehovah Rapha :: God the Healer

Sermon Series


Jehovah Rapha :: God the Healer

Oct 12, 2022

Jehovah Rapha :: God the Healer

Oct 12, 2022

Life is often marked by significant events.

These are times when you reflect back on how life was before a milestone moment and how life was after. Maybe it’s a celebratory milestone, such as graduating, getting married, buying a home, or the birth of a child. However, the same is also true for the more painful events – a sudden change in a job, heartbreak, the loss of a loved one; or in my case, a medical diagnosis of cancer

Two years after the birth of my daughter, my husband and I were looking forward to hopefully growing our family. One day, while laying down with my daughter, I felt something abnormal in my abdomen. After visiting my doctor and doing some testing, it was discovered that I had a large ovarian tumor. I underwent an extensive surgery to remove the tumor and then I heard the words that no one wants to hear:

“You have cancer.”

My doctor gently shared the devastating news that the tumor was in fact malignant and I was officially diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Nothing can ever prepare you for the pain and anguish you feel when you hear those words. In that one second of being told I had cancer, my life changed forever.Being diagnosed with cancer was not a part of my plan. I feared dying and leaving my daughter and loved ones. I mourned the cancer-free life that I once had, which was now replaced with long hospital stays, grueling chemotherapy, and more tests and pokes than ever imaginable

 I had so much anger for what I was losing. I saw the pain and anguish in my parent’s eyes. I heard uncertainty in my husband’s voice. I hated cancer for causing so much pain in our lives. I remember crying out in prayer, “God, why me?”  But amidst my anger, I remember thinking, “Why not me?” From that moment on, my prayers shifted to asking, “God, turn my pain into a purpose.” 

Around this time, Katherine Wolf from Hope Heals was visiting Hillside one weekend and shared her inspiring and encouraging story of overcoming a catastrophic stroke. During her sermon she said, “Perhaps some detours aren’t detours. Perhaps they are the path.”

The pain of my cancer diagnosis and treatment proved to be a significant redirection and repurposing of my life. It was a period of drawing closer to the Lord, and a second chance at really living and prioritizing what matters. As a family, we dove into the church and became more involved. We came to church weekly, to pray with others and to hear the promises of God. We scheduled chemotherapy appointments so that I could be home on Sundays to attend a gathering. We so badly needed to be in a space of worship so that we felt equipped to storm the week ahead. Cancer wasn’t a detour in my life, it shaped the path.Stories of Jesus’ miraculous healing are woven all throughout Scripture. From Jesus’ healing of the man with leprosy, to restoring eyesight to the blind, to raising the dead to life, God’s word is such a powerful reminder of the miraculous, and I clung to Him and His promises during my cancer journey. 

Healing doesn’t happen overnight, though. It’s not linear, with a defined start and stop. Healing is messy, confusing, and one with advancements and setbacks. There is grace in every setback, and celebration in the progress. While I underwent treatment my family was surrounded by a large community of wonderful friends and family members who carried us through the difficult days. We are still humbled by the generous outpouring of love, support, and prayers we received from around the world, and are forever grateful for our friends and family who stepped up during this time. Treatment was long and grueling, painful and frustrating, but we came out on the other side. I was finally cleared to end treatment and with much anxiety for what was to come, rang the bell at City of Hope to signify my end of treatment. Thank you, Jehovah Rapha, God my healer. Two years after finishing chemotherapy, I again felt something abnormal. Fearing the worst, that my cancer had returned, I saw my doctor, who immediately ordered an ultrasound. I was devastated at the thought of cancer returning, and remember telling my husband I was uncertain if I could even go through treatment again. I was already crying out of fear as the technician started the ultrasound. It seemed like forever before she softly said, “I do see something…” at which point I turned to my husband with eyes full of fear. She continued, “…But it has a heartbeat.”

I certainly had misheard her. A heartbeat? Can tumors have a heartbeat? With the health complications I had ensued, the possibility of having more children was not supposed to have been medically possible.

She turned the monitor towards me and showed me the most joyous sight I have ever seen. There, on the screen, was the perfectly clear image of a tiny heart beating. Only God. The physical reminder of my healing from cancer is present in my miracle second daughter, Charlotte Hope. The grace and power of God’s mercies are present in her every smile, giggle and warm embrace. God wanted her to be a part of my story and healing. I look at her with a flood of gratitude for God’s blessing on my life. I am humbled that on the other side of all the pain and sacrifice of cancer was such a miracle that only God could provide.I am still in awe of his healing. Jehovah Rapha, God our healer. Capable of miracles. 


By Allisa Miller

Allisa Miller

Allisa is an elementary school teacher and is honored to serve her community and others. She loves being Mommy to her wonderful girls and cheering them on as their biggest fan! She and her family are actively involved with Hillside and Level Up Kids Sports, which her husband, Chris, co-founded.

Allisa Miller

Allisa is an elementary school teacher and is honored to serve her community and others. She loves being Mommy to her wonderful girls and cheering them on as their biggest fan! She and her family are actively involved with Hillside and Level Up Kids Sports, which her husband, Chris, co-founded.

Missed The Message?

Jehovah Rapha, God our healer. Pastor Aaron’s message from the weekend pointed us to God’s word as we heard of the numerous stories of suffering and healing found in Scripture. He reminded us that God’s healing comes in all shapes and sizes - and not always how we want it to. Don’t miss this message!