One week after completing treatment for breast cancer, evangelist Anne Graham Lotz reflected on how her physical struggles taught her to listen to God and find comfort in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Last September, three years after the death of her husband and six months after the funeral of her famous evangelist father Billy Graham, the 71-year-old revealed she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
At the time, the Bible teacher said that although the storms were swirling around her, she had "total peace, joy, expectancy, trust."
"I know I am in God's hands. I know also the reason for what I can only describe as a vibrant calm is that I am not only being carried by our Heavenly Father, I am being carried by your prayers," she said.
Just over a year later, Lotz has completed her cancer treatment and is sharing what she learned throughout the process in her new book, Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion.
In it, she admits that before her first chemo treatment, she became “overwhelmed” by the thought of what lay ahead: “I was being sucked into a black whirlpool over which I had no control and from which there was no escape,” she says, according to an excerpt of the book shared by Fox News.
But as she traveled from appointment to appointment, Lotz said she felt the Holy Spirit give her a “sense of purpose.”
“Again and again, I was stopped by other patients or visitors who recognized me, people who said they were praying for me or who asked me to pray for them,” she said.
“I had multiple opportunities to share the Gospel and to pray with nurses, technicians, doctors, and many others who treated me. His whisper changed my attitude from that of being a cancer victim to being on a mission as His ambassador.”
After her sixth chemo treatment, the evangelist began questioning whether she should continue chemo: “The weakness and weariness were debilitating. The side effects were daunting,” she explained.
However, she felt the Holy Spirit confirm to her that she was to continue chemo: “My next and last treatment would be my seventh time! So as much as I resisted the ‘muck and mud,' in obedience to God’s leading, I committed to complete the seventh infusion,” she said.
Those two examples, the founder of AnGel Ministries, said, are just a “few of the Spirit’s whispers to my heart.”
“Would I have made the same decisions without what He had said? Would I have had the same perseverance, courage, comfort, and direction if I had not read my Bible, listening for His voice? I don’t think so,” she said.
“Yes, I would have survived. But like many others, I would have been just guessing my way through life, afraid I would take a wrong turn and very probably doing so. Instead, the Spirit’s whispers have enabled me to live with energetic confidence, making very few costly mistakes.”
Lotz encouraged others to “read your Bible. Every day. Study it. Learn to love it. Live by it.”
“Listen for the whisper of the Spirit, who speaks through the pages of the Word that He Himself has inspired and through the words on the pages, which are God-breathed,” she concluded.
In a September interview with Religion News Service, the speaker and author said that today, she’s “doing well" health-wise."
“From what the doctor has said, there are no real markers for this kind of cancer,” she said. “So I think they just finish the treatments and after five years, if I’m still clear, they consider it done with. I have my last infusion. So I’m very glad to get all that behind me. And I’ll just take one day at a time.”
‘It’s been a rough year but I tell you what: The Lord has been so faithful,” Lotz added. “And I look back on this year and what stands out is not the pain and the suffering and all that. It’s the blessings of God. He has poured out his blessings to really balance and take the sting out of all of that. So I’m very grateful.”