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“My name is Tiffany and I serve on the IMPACT195 team as the Operations Coordinator.
I want to share with you that God is with you, especially in the hard times of life. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 it says ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’
The Lord truly has been my comfort in this past season and He has allowed me to bring comfort to others.
On April 11th 2012 I received a call from my mom in Pennsylvania; it was the day before her 61st birthday. She proceeded to tell me that the doctors had found a tumor on her adrenal gland and that she had been diagnosed with stage four adrenal cancer. She said that it is a very rare type of cancer and that chemo and radiation were not going to be effective forms of treatment. Doctors were suggesting that an aggressive surgery would be the best option. She said that with this kind of cancer there is a very slim chance of survival of more than 5 years.
The phone call from my mom left me in complete shock.
She had always led an active life. She played tennis, skied, was a special education teacher and had her own preschool for 15 years. She was also a hard worker and a loving wife and mother. The news completely shook me. I didn’t know how to handle it. I never thought something like this would happen to my family.
I prayed and asked God to heal my mom.
Over the next few weeks my mom got sicker and sicker as the date for her surgery approached. Still praying for a miracle I boarded a plane on May 7th back to Pennsylvania to be with my mom for her first surgery.
My mom’s surgeon was amazing. He actually had worked at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and studied this type of cancer and was familiar with it. During the surgery they removed a football sized tumor, kidney, part of her liver, part of her diaphragm, and a piece of her rib. The doctor told us that if this surgery had been preformed by a different doctor that they probably would not have removed the tumor and just closed her up and said that they couldn’t do anything for her.
This drastic of a surgery required that my mom stay in the hospital for two weeks recovering. She eventually came home and gained strength. She was able to eat on her own and started feeling better. Since she was getting better I felt that it was time to come back to San Diego.
I returned to work and also serving here at Impact. It was difficult but I knew that God was in control and that he was with my mom. Thru all of this my mom had started to pray more and had people from the church to the house to pray for her. She and my dad were reading the bible more too. It was amazing to see my family grow in their relationships with the Lord.
Then on Sunday June 24th at 6am, I got a call from my dad informing me that I needed to fly home. He told me that it didn’t look good. She had been getting worse and was admitted to the hospital the week before but as family we thought she was going to get better. At this point she was not able to eat and was on lots of pain medication. I remember getting up and going online to find a flight home and being in shock again. I couldn’t believe this was happening.
That Sunday morning, I found a flight and booked the redeye that night. I turned on Rock Church’s LIVE service online too and literally listened to all five services that day while I packed and prepared to be away from home, work and Impact for an extended period of time. Marc Millan, (at the time a guest worship leader) had been invited to lead worship. The songs he chose were just what I needed to hear that morning. When I got to the airport that night, as I stood in the very long security line, I looked around. I noticed a guy in the line behind me, who looked a lot like the guy who I had just watched lead worship online all day. I went through security and went to the gate and boarded the plane.
As I got to my seat I looked over and Marc was in the seat right next to me. I asked if he had led worship that day at the Rock and he said yes. He asked me where I was flying and I told him about my mom and he offered to pray. As soon as he finished praying the flight attendant came and asked if we would be willing to switch seats so a small child could sit closer to his parents.
I was so comforted! God had put Marc in the seat on that plane, for that short moment, to pray for me! God was showing me that He was there and He was going to be with me through whatever was coming next.
God had comforted me in one of my greatest moments of need.
That flight & the next week was the most difficult time in my life. My mom was not well and in immense amount of pain. She had four additional surgeries, but each time the condition seemed to worsen. It was so hard to see family come to the hospital to say goodbye to her.
I never gave up hope that God could heal her, but knew it was His choice and that He knew best.
One of the last days of mom’s life, I stood next to her, with my dad. He asked me why God had not healed her. I looked at my dad and told him that maybe God’s healing was taking mom to heaven where she would not be in pain anymore. After I said it, I couldn’t believe those words came out of my mouth.
In the early morning of July 2nd the nurse came into the waiting room where we had been sleeping for the past week to let us know that the only thing keeping my mom alive was the life-support machine and the blood pressure medicine that she was on.
It was time to make the decision I was most dreading. My mom never wanted to be kept alive by a machine so we honored her wishes.
I watched my mom take her last breath.
Through all of this God was there to comfort me and my family. He saw that my heart was breaking for my mom but He provided my dearest friends back at Impact to pray for me and check up on me. Two of them actually flew out to be with me and my family. They helped to setup for the memorial and just be with me during this time. Their presence was an amazing testimony to my family.
Through this past year and a half God has brought just the right the people into my life to allow me to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. They have been His tangible expressions of love and comfort to me when I hurt the most. It has not been easy but God has been with me, truly.
Upon my return to San Diego, there were ten other people who passed away in the circles of those God has chosen for me to minister to. God put me in a position to be a comfort to those experiencing that familiar loss. I was privileged to offer them the same comforts that God had given me in my time of loss.
I want to challenge you that whatever you are going through right now, that God is with you. He wants to be your comfort. And though His plans may not be your plans, He will commune with you and address your questions and concerns in His time. Knowing Him and taking your hurts to Him is a wonderful option – He is the ONLY one who can bind up the broken heart.“