Laura Schauer’s Thin Place: Friends to the End

LauraSSelf1.jpg

“I heard Mary’s interview regarding her memoir on Moody radio’s Midday Connection. I purchased and read her book, discovered her website, e-mailed her, and have been encouraged by these incidents to begin sharing my story (for the sake of “healing”).”

The above excerpt from Laura’s email, the story behind today’s story, is  a connect-the-dots picture of technology as a tool for good. If you’d like to share your Thin Place story, adding to the positive use of the internet, follow this link.

****

Sitting behind her in service, I heard a melodic voice unashamedly singing out to her Savior. God knew my need for friendship, recently having come to know Him after the tragic death of my childhood friend. My heart longed for pure companionship.

At a Saturday morning prayer meeting we were the only two who guffawed loudly when someone prayed for the missionary, Ricky Raspberry, to bear much fruit. I must get to know this partner of wit.

Our friendship grew as we sought community through Singles Fellowship, determined to seek God with all our hearts. She was an attendant and a singer at my wedding. My daughter arrived; my friend showered us with love and gifts. My son was on his way, at three in the morning, and she came to care for my daughter. She was so disappointed to miss the birth of my third child by two weeks. She was on the mission field.

While she was a missionary we wrote consistently, speaking of God’s provision, His great grace, and His faithfulness. Our lives were cemented.

When she returned home, something had changed. There was a restlessness in our hearts. She began meeting with a man who proclaimed he was sent from God, in Christ’s stead, as an apostle of the Lord Jesus. I joined the offbeat group.

We were taught to recognize God’s authority, not to step out of the boundaries He established in Scripture. Endurance in all things; God will deliver whether it was sickness, rebellion or financial loss. God was bigger than all circumstances on earth.

We were entrenched. Meeting five to seven nights a week, sometimes until three or four in the morning. We were “it” – His body represented on the earth. We had an apostle, a prophet, etc.- the foundations of the New Testament church. We were the “only true believers” in our area. Our hearts clung to these teachings as my friend’s body began to show signs of failure.

After several years, the apostle moved on. He had taught us all he could. We must now continue in the faith and authority of what was revealed to us. The group dissipated, but our friendship remained intact. We spoke to one another daily.

My friend’s health screamed for attention. We fasted. We prayed. We only spoke words of life and healing to one another. We took vitamins, drank minerals, juiced fruits and vegetables, drank healing broths and other concoctions of health only to watch her body become more misshapen. Each fast seemed to increase the malformations, yet we clung to what we thought was right before God. He has healed before; He will heal again.

Her employer told her either go to a doctor or they would dismiss her. Barely able to walk, she gave in and stayed one night in the hospital, receiving a few tests.

I visited her on the “oncology” ward – not knowing what the term meant. Looking at me with her big brown eyes, she said, “I have cancer. The doctor says I have tumors in every organ of my body. He says I only have a few weeks to live.”

Cancer? What? How can this be? God is bigger than this! We have prayed, fasted, and spoke His Words back to Him! We have submitted in all things, lived under and recognized His line of authority!

Tears filled my eyes. She said she was sorry to make me cry.

We continued to fast and pray. She finally succumbed, allowing medication in her body. Hospice was called. The shut down of my friend’s physical life came in full force. Numb to the evidence that shouted death, my heart wanted to see resurrection life, on this earth, for my friend.

The doctor projected weeks, yet my friend pushed on for several months. A hospitable bed was brought in. A catheter was placed, with much pain and agony. “Tell me the Names of Jesus,” she said, “so I may hear His Names!” The Spirit of God quickened my mind for her sake.

Not realizing it was our last night together, I told her death was like childbirth. With pain and anguish you travel down a dark canal, to be delivered into great light and life.

I begged her to let go. No apostle came through the door to raise her up. The heat of August loomed over us. She asked to be stripped of her clothing. There she sat in her distorted shell, yet pure and beautiful in my eyes. My friend whom I loved so much, unmarred by the pangs of childbirth, sat and listened to the Psalms as I massaged her head. I knew God’s presence was there.

,