My kid's bff's mom's thyroids

This morning I woke up and poured my heart out to God in intercessory prayer for my friend Courtney.  She is having surgery this morning to have her right thyroid removed.  She has a growth, and the biopsy was inconclusive.  As I am writing this, they are removing the thyroid, and then they will be able to tell if it contains thyroid cancer.

Courtney's son is my son's best friend.  This fact makes these events strangely familiar.

My daughter's best friend's mom had the same surgery five years ago.  Her mom's name is Terri.

So whomever my youngest son decides to choose as his best friend.  I feel it would only be fair to warn that boy's mother to keep an eye on her thyroid.

I will never forget the day Terri called me to let me know that she needed her thyroid removed.  I vividly remember being outside cleaning the above ground pool when she called.  I stopped and just let my feet be in the water while I let this serious news sink in and quizzed her on the details of her needed surgery and the possibility of thyroid cancer.

The news that Terri could possibly have thyroid cancer was an even deeper sting because of Terri's circumstances.  Terri's husband Sal was in the very advanced stage of early onset alzheimer's.  Terri and Sal were a few years older than me, but he was very young to be at the stage of alzheimer's that he was at.  It was very certain that, unless God performed a miracle, the girls would be losing their dad soon.  The girls needed their mom.

So I was praying to God even as Terri was giving me the details on the phone, begging God to take the cancer off the table.

Terri told me that because of the timing with insurance coverage, she was going to have to postpone her surgery until she had enough cash to pay for her thyroid to be removed.  I had God on three way, and I was telling Him that this was unacceptable.  If she might have cancer in that thyroid, it needed to be removed as soon as possible.

God answered all of those prayers.  God provided the money for her surgery.  And although the thyroid did have cancer, Terri has been cancer free for years.  The girls lost their dad very soon after that surgery, but they have had their mom.

So I remind myself that God can answer my prayers this morning as I intercede for Courtney.

Courtney's circumstances are different than Terri's but also quite sober.  The same week Courtney realized that she had the growth on her thyroid, her daughter Sydney, who was having digestive problems and stomach pain, was given the a diagnosis of pancreas cancer.  Cydney is only 19, and it is extremely rare form of cancer.

Intercessory prayer is not an easy thing.  We are selfish and self-absorbed creatures.  Sometimes we don't take other people's requests seriously.  We hear their requests and weigh the need in our mind before we take it to the Lord.  We decide how much God, how much faith, how much prayer the request needs.

I'm extremely guilty of this in the classes where I teach children.  They raise their hands and ask for things like "my grandpa is sick" and "my dog ran away."  Well how old is your grandpa?  How sick is he?  How long has that pet been gone?  Do you have other pets?

If I'm honest with myself, I do this with adults too.  I see prayer requests on social media all of the time.  Sometimes I drop to my knees, and sometimes I hit like and send up a "Yea, answer that, God."

Sometimes we are just to immature to understand how serious a request is.  I remember when I was just a teenager and an adult friend from church called to tell me about his dad's cancer.  The conversation went on for quite a while, and as he was talking, I got sucked into the tv show that was playing in the background.  Not one of my proudest moments, but my immaturity is my defense.  I had no scope of the seriousness of what this man was going through.

Imagine the maturity and wisdom Cydney will have after God brings her through this trial at such a young age.

Yes, intercessory prayer is hard, but it is beautifully gratifying.  Although we naturally are self-involved, it feels wonderful to pray for someone else and watch God answer those prayers.  We get to be the cheerleader, the wall watcher (Isaiah 62:6-7.)  We get to take our eyes off ourselves and become invested in what God is doing in our neighbors lives.

Can I ask you to do something for me?  Enjoy this worship and pray for Courtney and Cydney.  Pray that the thyroid will not contain cancer.  Pray God will heal Cydney.  Pray for her surgery on February 12th.  Pray for Courtney's husband Chris.  This is a tough time having both his wife and daughter facing serious illness.

"You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many." 2 Corinthians 1:11

UPDATE:  I received a text from my friend Courtney.  It was noncancerous.  No more surgeries.  No more meds.  Just healing.  God has answered prayers.