Chris Martin and his son Henry are two of the newest members of Trietsch. Chris has an amazing story of healing from cancer, finding connection to the church, and hearing the voice of God during his recovery. Please join us in welcoming him to the church by reading his story and giving him support and encouragement.
From Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Chapter 8 (J.R.R. Tolkien)
"Here is a grievous hurt and a heavy blow. Alas! For she was pitted against a foe beyond the strength of her mind or body."
This is a scene from this tale in which a brave warrior princess unexpectedly took on a massive and powerful enemy at a critical moment in a huge battle of good versus evil. Her name is Eowyn and she was sent to live in the Houses of Healing in their capital city. The Houses of Healing hold, protect, and care for wounded soldiers. Beautiful, lush, comfortable...surrounded by trees and foliage...lawns and fragrant gardens...this place is of what the protected inner part of the city is comprised. It is a place where their wounded warriors heal physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
I write to you, dear friends and family from a House of Healing (Hollymead). Also, I write to you from a place of joy in my soul! I am now a member of TRIETSCH! To be clear, I am not a warrior princess, but I do have some healing to do. Also, I am a Marine, but my injuries sustained this time around do no pertain to battle. Rev. Clay Horton came to visit me here a few days ago and we performed membership duties in a garden with plenty of trees and foliage and a nice warm breeze. It was a tremendous occasion and I couldn't be happier. I am so very excited to be woven into the fabric of this family (and I thank those who wove my prayer blanket). The Vision, The Mission, The Values...everything here aligns with my life's philosophy. After attending services with my son (he's 6) for nearly a year, I decided I wasn't going to be able to maximize my faith, propel the church's vision or use my spiritual gifts by NOT becoming a member. I also came across scripture that said, "So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the spirit, strive to excel in building up the church." - 1 Corinthians 14:12 - so I humbly accept this charge. 😊
I have to let you know I made that decision in October of 2017. Wait, what?! October of 2017? Yes...that's when I made the decision to join. However, as we all know, life loves roadblocks and challenges to your best laid plans. FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a cancer survivor. I was originally diagnosed with Stage 4 (tonsil, throat, lymph nodes) in January 2013. I received chemo and radiation that year and my treatment was successful. It brought many complications and ER stays, but it was successful. Thanks be to God I made it through that time. Until October 2017. The Big C had returned. The recurrence was in the same area. After my CT Scan and Biopsy, we knew it was serious and that I had to go to the best. This, in all effect, ended my new job I had just been hired to perform (Loan Officer) in September 2017 and threw everything into chaos.
I went to Houston to see if MD Anderson could treat and destroy this cancer once and for all. They said, "Yes. Let's do it. Here's our plan!" We began chemotherapy only and it was working extremely well. We were shrinking the affected areas by more than 50% and even disappearing. We were all thrilled!
Am I missing something, church friends? Have I forgotten something? Yes...my membership. I felt terrible but through our online presence (Facebook Live Stream) I was able to watch services, get caught up on scripture and go through Rev. Daniel's or Clay's or Doug's notes. That Trietsch app really is incredible. I like it almost as much as Rev. Daniel likes khakis. However, I hadn't joined yet and it bothered me immensely. So I reached out and was put in contact with Doug and Clay. I couldn't speak well (affected throat area) but Doug somehow surmised that I wished to join and connected me via email to Clay. I am telling you this because even though I was nearly incapacitated with chemo treatments and traveled down to Houston regularly, there was a way to experience Trietsch that at the least let me have a connection. But that digital thread wasn't strong enough for me.
We got through the holidays and I let Pastor Clay know that I still wanted to join but I was just having the worst time. He then came up with the idea of helping me do it by visitation. He would come to my house and we could talk that way! I was so excited a church leader would do that for me. Until...one night in late January I was admitted to the ER at Medical Center Lewisville. I had suffered one of a Cancer patient's worst nightmares, severe Pneumonia with an infection. I had so much fluid in one lung it had to be drained and I was shut down into what is considered to be like a coma. I was placed on a breathing machine and everyone thought I might not make it through the next few days. The combination of chemo, Cancer and the pneumonia was too much for one body to take. Those doctors and nurses, blessed by God's grace and their own abilities saved my life.
They were presented with a very bad Humpty Dumpty case and were somehow supposed to put me back together again (to even begin breathing on my own was a massive challenge, much less fighting the Cancer after we achieved that). So after all of these amazing physicians and nurses put all of the yolk back in...along with whatever that clear goo is, and glued my fragile shell back into place, I started to recover. This is a FLAT OUT miracle of heavenly proportions. None of them could explain it, but my body decided it wanted to fight back one night. I started breathing on my own. My friends...the heavenly father intervened on my behalf and said, "You're not done yet."
As Eowyn had in Return of the King, I truly "encountered a foe beyond the strength of my mind and body," but God is the reason I was able to get past it. He's the reason I can sit here and type this tale. MIRACLES - believe in them. They are alive and well.
I regained consciousness and started from zero. I felt like a newborn giraffe, struggling to think and walk. But over the next few weeks, into February, I straightened out a bit and began to use my Trietsch app again. I reached out to Clay to let him know what happened to me. I wanted him to know I wasn't a flake and I was serious about joining. I will never be able to explain the level of clarity I felt as far as my purpose in life after "waking up" - it was a rebirth. All I could think was that I needed to go through all of this to reach a new level of enlightenment spiritually. I couldn't stop thinking about God and my new lease on life. I watched Rev. Clay and Daniel and Doug deliver messages that inspired me. I watched the choir sing. I felt the warmth in the room at Trietsch without actually being there.
So we have a human explaining a set of circumstances that he was frustrated with because he felt like it was a roadblock to joining a church. HIS plans were not being fulfilled on his time frame. His, his, his...me, me, me. What I wanted...what I planned. In the middle of this chaos, this storm, was the church all along. Eventually, this became something bigger than just me wanting to join Trietsch. My plans became SMALL. God has bigger plans for me. A bigger story to tell. More light to shine. I was aiming low if joining a church was all I thought I needed to do. His plan was for me to be re-fortified and rebuilt in his image, not mine! A grander scheme was afoot. This was about a closer walk with God. To try to be more like Jesus - humble, patient, studious...calm. To be a LIGHT unto others.
It was as though God watched me go through the struggle of my life to see what came out on the other side.
Rev. Clay came to see me on March 6 at approximately 1115 hours and I'll bet you a denarius he didn't know what to expect. But nonetheless, he came to my House of Healing and sat with me. He put his hand on my shoulder and prayed with me about a myriad of issues. We had a warm conversation about what it means to be a member at the church. So we prayed and I joined. Friends, I felt a wave of joy and happiness come over me when that finally happened. And I realized it was indeed about bigger issues. This wasn't just about signing a piece of paper. it was about THE WALK. My struggles and injuries and time at my House of Healing was to prepare me for what lie ahead. To get me healthy enough to do it. and to ensure I was with the right church family for that support. Also, so that I might help and support others as well.
So this is my first blog in what I hope is a long line of editorial-style writings. I continue to receive treatment and heal. I will defeat this Cancer. I am not done - not by a long shot. I have been served a giant spoonful of humility and patience those two things DO help the medicine go down (M. Poppins). In Return of the King, those who stay in the Houses of Healing are required to rest, above all else. Try not to overdo it. Know your plan...take your medicine dutifully, responsibly. Let the overwhelming peace and tranquility course through your veins, protecting you from ever-present chaos lurking outside the walls.
Oh how fortunate we are, church family, for our strong leadership, our Vision, our Mission...our Values...our Heavenly Father...and our own House of Healing.
From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
"Rest in my radiant presence. The world around you seems to spin faster and faster, till everything is a blur. Yet there is a cushion of calm at the center of your life, where you live in union with Me. Return to this soothing center as often as you can, for this is where you are energized: Filled with my Love, Joy & Peace."