• Deborah Collier

    I'm A Survivor

    My name is Deborah Collier and it brings me great joy to be alive and able to share my testimony with whomever will read it. I am a cancer survivor; not just once but twice! Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death”.

    I have always feared receiving a negative mammogram result since I was a teenager and I do not know why, but God has a way of preparing us for our storms before we ever experience them.

    In 2010, my husband and I relocated to Georgia where I had no family members to rely on. Soon as we got settled, I did what I needed first and that was find a great church and join with other believers. What drew me to the ministry that I joined was when the pastor’s wife, Lady Taylor, would get an opportunity to testify, she would tell about her journey dealing with battling with cancer. She was very detailed and open about her experience. I took her issues into my prayer closet as though they were mine; I prayed and praised with her and until this day, we are very close and intentional about our testimonies because we know that they bring strength to others. Through her healing journey, my faith grew stronger in the Lord and I became less dependent on others and more dependent on God. What I realize is when believers testify about God’s abilities and stop talking so much about what the devil is doing, it takes the attention off of the devil and places the focus where it should be, on Jesus - His greatness, His ability to heal, deliver and set free!

    In 2016, I had my annual mammogram and went home feeling great, no fear. One day, it dawned on me that I had not received the results, but I figured if there was any concerns, my doctor would have contacted me so I put it out of my mind. In August 2016, I received a letter stating it was necessary that I have more tests, but I did not panic. I called my four sisters (conference call) who are saved; praying women and we discussed what may be my options if the news was negative; they encouraged me to trust God no matter what, they prayed over their oldest sister (me). I hung up that phone with the assurance that I would live to testify of Him being “My Jehovah Rapha!”

    After I got off that call with those powerful sisters of mine (smile), I had a little talk with Jesus and I told Him some things that I wanted Him to do for me because I believed that I had breast cancer when I received that letter in the mail.

    I heard Lady Taylor’s words ringing in my ears telling her testimony when she told God what she did not want. Because of her experience with chemo and other side effects, I just did not want those experiences if I could avoid them. I ask God to spare me the pain of having chemo and pain caused by neuropathy. I added to my list of don’ts, please enable me to discern who to invite into my inner circle while I’m going through this storm; amen!

    Time arrived for my husband and I to meet with the doctors who seemed sad and hesitant to share my results with me, but my response to them was “what’s the next step!” The option was a mastectomy of my right breast; my husband and I did not hesitate to say yes. I had so much peace through something that I had feared since I was in my teens, but God. It was difficult but not impossible; fainting, so weak until I could not bathe myself, sleeping for days, emergency room visits, blood transfusions, weight loss, hair loss, no appetite, diarrhea, could not take care of my home or my husband, etc.

    God answered my prayer. I did have to receive chemo. The good news is they said I would have to have sixteen rounds, but God allowed only six rounds; God has the final say. In June 2017, I had reconstruction surgery of my right breast.

    As if that was not enough, cancer strikes again, but my scripture this time that came to mind was Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” I did not worry at all. I just started to wonder, pray and journal about what was it that God wanted me to do for Him. He’s keeping me here for a reason and He will reveal it to me through this trial. In August 2019, I had a mastectomy of my left breast and reconstruction in 2020 because of other complications. This time, no chemo was needed.

    As a result of both cancer experiences I have been cancer free for approximately eight years and I will be turning 71 years old in November. I am grateful to God for every year, month, day, hour, minute and second of life. Whatever he decides, “It is well with my soul!”

    I pray to God that this witness of God’s healing power will encourage someone who is going through sickness, physical or mental, to know that Jesus Christ wants you to be whole. The scripture says, Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 Jn 1:2).

    In my closing, God has blessed me with some phenomenal women in my life besides my biological sisters and I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to a woman of God, Evangelist Barbara Johnson, that is not selfish in sharing her platform with other women in ministry, who if it was not for her space, would not be heard or allowed to give a voice to their gifts. She is one of the greatest encouragers in my life. I will continue to pray for her good success in the things of God as her territory is enlarged in Jesus’ name.

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