Beverley Organ

A few years ago I turned the ripe old age of 50. As the celebrations due to a close, my whole world was turned upside down when my beautiful 22 year old daughter Nicola was diagnosed with cancer.

Like many people, I had kind of ignored God most of my life. It is interesting that when things begin to go wrong in our lives so many of us suddenly remember God! Nicola began turning yellow and our GP told us to get straight to the hospital, as he thought it was something serious. At that point I soon began earnestly praying in my head that she would be OK.

I began frantically contacting every Christian I knew, asking them to pray for Nicola.

As our cancer nightmare began, I felt completely panic stricken. I tried to concentrate on keeping positive for Nicola, who despite being something of a drama queen for most of her life, surprisingly took the diagnosis extremely bravely. Praise God she seemed to have the ability to have a good old cry and then bounce back and cheerfully get on with it.

It turned out that Nicola had cancer of the bile duct and several tumours in her liver. This was extremely rare in anyone under 60! The Doctors did not seem to mention a plan, or whether there was a cure, or chances of survival, and we were too scared to ask.

Nicola was a lively, fun loving, girl with a great sense of humour. She was in her second year of studying Maths and Economics at Bristol University, she had great plans to travel the world and move to London to make her fortune in the financial world and I was incredibly proud of her. It seemed really unfair that this had happened to someone so young and beautiful with so much to live for.

My Mum gave me a leaflet with a prayer on it and asked me to pray the prayer, but I was still not sure I was ready to actually be a committed Christian myself and go to church and live the Christian life.

The following day we were told there was no medical cure for Nicola and the best we could hope for was that chemotherapy could extend her life. We did not dare ask by how long. That was when I realised I needed to do everything I could to get right with God and I decided to pray the prayer my Mum had given me. It was about asking Jesus to forgive me for the bad things I had done in the past and inviting Him into myx  life.

The change in me, after I handed all my concerns over to Jesus, and prayed that prayer, right from the heart, was truly astonishing. A peace came over me, that has honestly never left me.

Soon after that, Nicola also gave her life to the Lord. I have absolutely no doubt God is real, because there is no way Nicola and I could have gone through what we did in our own strength.

We thank God that she hardly experienced any side affects and was out and about with her friends throughout her chemotherapy treatment looking as healthy and beautiful as ever.

We had always believed God would heal her as we had heard many healing testimonies from people who had received miracle healings. This belief gave us hope, which we did not have from the medical world. She decided to tell all her friends that God was her only hope and asked them to come to church with her.

Our hope and faith in God enabled us to really make the most of our last year with Nicola. We laughed all the time and every time we heard bad news we just stood firm trusting in God.

She was prayed for continually throughout her illness, and amazingly whatever symptom we prayed for usually disappeared after a bit of prayer.

When the Doctors told me she was nearing her final days, I still believed God would heal her and told them so in no uncertain terms. She had been well and leading a reasonably normal life, she did not have any pain and certainly did not seem like someone about to die. Looking back I do believe it was a miracle how well she was.

Sadly the Doctors were right and after just a week in hospital she peacefully passed away.

What I find truly amazing is that even though my prayers were not answered in the way I wanted, my faith has remained strong. This is something I never would have imagined would happen.

I miss Nicola every moment of the day, but life is bearable and I am able to function like a normal person and laugh and enjoy things. I have a real peace that she is safe and no harm will ever come to her and I know it is God who is carrying me through.

I imagined the changes expected of me when I became a Christian would be a great sacrifice, but that is not the case, I really enjoy going to church and worshiping God and find that going to church really builds me up, and I actually enjoy reading the bible. It is like a beautiful medicine that helps me to cope with life.

I believe God had a plan and a purpose for Nicola, like he has a plan and a purpose for us all.

Nicola was on fire for Jesus. She took every opportunity to share her faith with anyone who would listen; her friends, her family, Doctors, Nurses and anyone else she happened to come into contact with.

Nicola was concerned about people she met in the Oncology Hospital who may be going through their cancer journey without God in their lives. She often tried to speak to the patients in the beds near her about her faith as she believed knowing God would help them.

Some of Nicola’s friends and family became Christians whilst she was ill and several more have given their lives to Jesus since she passed away.

We have set up an organisation in Nicola’s name and are fund raising to support young adults living with terminal cancer and their families. We also want to share our Christian experience with others going through cancer in the hope that they will also find the comfort that we have found. We have started a website with lots of true stories that tell how knowing God gives us the strength to cope in all kinds of circumstances.

God was waiting for me to invite Him into my life, and when I really needed Him, He was there. He did not reject me because I had done lots of bad things, he sent his spirit to live inside me and keep me strong and bring me through the darkest days I could ever have imagined experiencing with laughter and my sanity and I think Nicola would be absolutely delighted to know about Firm Roots and the great work that Helen is doing.

Thank you.

You may also like to read the testimony by Beverley's daughter, Nicola.