Anne Graham Lotz’s journey has actually been a difficult one lately: A year ago, 3 years after ~ the fatality of her husband and also six months after the funeral the her famed evangelist father, she was diagnosed through breast cancer.
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But the 71-year-old scriptures teacher and also daughter the Billy Graham claims she has actually refused to give up hope and her faith remains a constant.
“The Christian life is therefore much much more than simply being conserved from hell and is for this reason much more than simply going to heaven—praise God because that both that those things,” she said. “It’s more than simply a checklist that do’s and also don’ts. It’s a partnership that’s vibrant and alive and also it’s enough to bring you with the hardest things.”
After she completed her cancer therapy last week, Lotz is free again to travel for public appearances—including a visit come the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, phibìc Carolina, top top Thursday—as she promotes her latest book, Jesus in Me: enduring the divine Spirit as a consistent Companion.
Lotz, that belongs to a church affiliated with the southerly Baptist Convention however calls herself merely a “follower the Jesus," speak to religious beliefs News service last week about facing cancer, being a widow and also an orphan, and defining the divine Spirit.
The interview has been edited because that length and clarity.
Adelle M. Banks: exactly how are you doing, specifically given your diagnosis of chest cancer last year?
Lotz: ns think I’m law well. Native what the doctor has actually said, there room no actual markers because that this kind of cancer. So ns think lock just finish the treatments and also after five years, if I’m tho clear, they think about it done with. I have actually my critical infusion. Therefore I’m really glad to gain all that behind me. And also I’ll just take someday at a time.
It’s been a rough year yet I tell girlfriend what: The Lord has actually been so faithful. And I look ago on this year and also what stands the end is not the pain and also the suffering and also all that. It’s the blessings of God. He has actually poured the end his blessings to yes, really balance and also take the sting the end of all of that. For this reason I’m an extremely grateful.
How has your belief helped you deal with these various aspects of your treatment?
God has offered me promise after ~ promise transparent this treatment. And also I believe from the really beginning, once I very first heard about it, i felt prefer he speak to me from (the new Testament’s Letter of) James, chapter 5, saying that I would certainly be healed through the prayers the others: "Pray for one an additional that you would certainly be healed."
And therefore I placed it the end on social media, asking world to pray and I thought that if lock did the I would be healed and people rallied. Over there were 10s of hundreds of people roughly the world who were praying because that me, and I think God has actually heard and answered your prayers.
I know there’s a better healing than physical healing and also it’s the resurrection, therefore if ns die and God take away me to heaven, I’m OK through that. But I feel prefer he has actually told me that I’m physically healed at this point.
You wrote that her diagnosis has actually prompted girlfriend to think about the numerous others who are suffering native cancer. Space you hope your endure will increase your ministry?
It already has, and also it’s not my ministry that I want expanded. It’s reaching an ext people come let them understand that if God to be there because that me all v this, he’ll it is in there for them. Occasionally when world have a diagnosis prefer mine, among the an initial reactions is "God, why me?" they feel probably that God’s no blessing them due to the fact that they’re not healthy, or that in some method God is punishing castle or they’ve excellent something wrong. And also I feel choose one factor God permitted me to have actually this is to display them and to call them the cancer is not punishment.
Why walk you decide to dedicate your publication on the holy Spirit to the lonely?
Four years earlier my husband checked out heaven. Ns met him in ~ 17. I married him in ~ 18. He’d to be the facility of mine life for 49 years. And then he’s gone. My family members rallied approximately me. They were so precious. But still, there room times during the day as soon as nobody’s around. As soon as he to be gone, ns realized I’m the one then who will offer counsel and wisdom and be the one that the family members comes to. It’s no a burden, but it’s a an extremely serious responsibility and also so i felt alone in that sense.
When daddy left, of course, and also then ns (was) faced with cancer, with this huge decision: Where execute I go? however I had actually nobody, i didn’t have actually a husband to rotate to, to speak to around it. I didn’t have a dad to run to.
There’s a loneliness to being a widow and also an orphan. Although the testimony in this publication is the I’m not lonely, i feel like world like me might be lonely and I have actually a heart for them. However the divine Spirit is God’s antidote come loneliness. Due to the fact that I have not been alone, and I’ve skilled his constant companionship. Yet I’m not sure I would certainly be as acutely conscious of it if I’d had actually my husband and my father.
How would certainly you sum up very briefly what or who you think the holy Spirit is and also is not?
The divine Spirit is Jesus there is no skin, the invisible Jesus. He’s a distinct, separate human being with his own mind, will and also emotions, but just as Jesus precisely represents God the Father, the divine Spirit exactly represents Jesus. However he’s invisible and he is obtainable to come live in ~ us when we concerned Jesus by faith, confess our sins, ask the to forgive us, to come right into our hearts. Jesus doesn’t come right into us because he’s in a man’s body, living up in heaven, acquiring ready come come back and dominion the world. But he come in, that honors the invitation and also gives us the divine Spirit to live inside of us. Therefore the divine Spirit is Jesus in me, a different person—I desire to it is in clear about that—but he’s the invisible Jesus inside of me.
As friend coped through cancer treatments, how have you faced the next effects, consisting of the ns of her trademark shoulder length hair?
(Laughs) with a wig. Ns remember as soon as the medical professional told me i was gonna shed it, and also I simply shrugged and said, “Hair will thrive back.” all women understand that it’s a hard thing. And also it was difficult when I checked out my hairstylist and also he just had actually to shave me down. But he made it fun. Us joked and also laughed and then he had actually a wig that he placed on me and, and that’s just the means it is. As soon as I walk to the hospital, there are women who are bald, females who room in scarves, women who have wigs, just sort of in a club and also it’s OK. I’m looking forward to my hair coming back but, I’ll just be honest, it has actually come earlier so chop curly. Also my hairstylist can’t execute anything v it. So when you watch me, for right currently I’m put on a wig. That’s OK. It’s simply a an additional thing.
You defined traveling through your daughters ~ above your first trip to the breast cancer center and also praising God follow me the way. How have you uncovered joy in the midst of your cancer journey and does it proceed or is it hard to uncover sometimes?
No, it has continued. It’s never ever left me. And I think some of it needs to do v perspective. If you enter this through your emphasis on the pain and also the suffering and also “Why me?” and “Where is God?” and all that kind of nonsense, then you just go down, down, down.
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But if you get in it concentrated on God—I understand it didn’t record him by surprise. I understand this wasn’t an accident. I know this is part of his objective for mine life. Yet now, Lord, just how do you desire to use it?
Every time I have gone over, there have actually been what I speak to those divine appointments, wherein you feeling God has you over there at just such a time come encourage somebody, come lift increase somebody, to it is in a blessing to somebody. And also I’ve to be blessed. Therefore they’re nearly like tiny mission trips, like tiny ministry trips. Girlfriend look at it, discovering that God is v you, the he has a objective in this and also looking for methods that I deserve to reach out and also can it is in a blessing and encouragement to someone else.