Thank You by Carol

Thank you, VWPC, for your prayers, and being a caring congregation.

— Carol Johns

Carol, a VWPC member since April 2008, is a prayer warrior. She prays all the time, everyday, for others and credits the power of prayer for getting her through her recent year-long bout with cancer. Anyone who knows this tough Sun City resident knows that nothing gets between her and her strong relationship with God.

Carol Johns, serving as liturgist, sings a hymn with the Rev. Randy McSpadden, August 2011.

Q: How did you cope with cancer spiritually?
A: It is a faith story, not a health story. Everyone deals with this disease in their own way, so I may have a completely different philosophy than others. I enjoy my life, and I’m perfectly at peace; but I live by God’s plan and my soul sings of heaven. I was made for the presence of God so I could be diagnosed again tomorrow and I would be fine. I don’t see myself as a cancer survivor, I don’t see myself beating cancer, I have been lifted above the cancer diagnosis. The battle was a ‘growing’ experience. I learned a lot about my faith and myself, and I still marvel at God providing me with such gifted physicians, and the overwhelming kindness of both new friends and old. That part of it has been an inspiration.

Q: When you were sickest, what raised your spirits?
A: Rob playing the piano. Typically, I was in bed. He would play for me and it was peaceful. I describe it as sharing a prayer through the music. Rob worships through music. He has made a CD for me, playing those pieces that mean the world to me.

Q: How did prayer help? How do you pray?
A: Before cancer I would pray, but the more time I spent reading scripture and spending time with Him, I developed a more intimate relationship with Christ. Now it’s like sharing a conversation with Him if He came in and sat down. It’s much more meaningful now.
I pray to God and Christ, and pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me. When I was young, I spent a lot of time in prayer asking; now my prayers are more thankful – the blessings are amazing. I’m overwhelmed with God’s gift of Christ to me. I can’t imagine loving to that depth.
It means everything to me to pray for others because prayer was the most important gift I received during my cancer battle. When I prayed during that time I didn’t pray for healing, I prayed that I would be strong enough to reflect His love.

Q: Who initially inspired you in your faith?
A: My parents. I believe my father, who fought a long and painful battle with cancer, embraced each new day and taught me how to die with grace. My mother’s faith proved strong enough to hold her upright through any circumstance.

Q: What do you enjoy most during our worship service?
A: I cherish the message that Randy brings. We are blessed to have a minister who is so exceptional in the pulpit.

Q: What first attracted you to VWPC?
A: When we first visited, Randy was recovering from a heart attack. Although we had not heard him preach, we were touched by the welcome we received from members of the church. Rob and I were both impressed with a thank you to the congregation Randy had placed in the bulletin. The congregation had continued to pay his salary and he had been touched by the love and support he received while recovering. We were impressed that a little church had been willing to do that. The congregation displayed a welcome that told us we would be accepted and encouraged, and the sermons challenged us to grow in our Christian walk. We had found a church home.

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