I was in Vancouver recently. As we drove along the highways in Vancouver I saw the sign for Hope on every overhead signpost. I thought it must be a large city up country. But it is a small town in the Fraser Valley, but if one wants to drive east in BC you will pass through Hope. As you drive towards Hope there are magnificent views of the mountains and the river Fraser.
In October 2008 Brendan and I were speaking at a conference in BC. Canada. On the Sunday afternoon we were driving back to Vancouver along the Fraser Valley. We stopped for a coffee break in this town called Hope. The cafe was known for home cooked pies. Our host said you can get mile high pie here! I wondered what he meant. In the display cabinet was a variety of home baked pies, blueberry, chocolate, banana, summer fruits, apple, lemon meringue and rhubarb.
I chose the biggest, the lemon meringue with a good helping of cream. It was the biggest lemon meringue I have ever seen. Lemon meringue is my favourite. In Canada the vans and the trucks, the rivers, the mountains, the highways and the bridges are big.
Seven years ago I would have been bleeding from my colon and hoping it would go away. Over the next few years I got hopeless for my future. I was slowly dying. Until in 2010 I could not hide the bleeding any longer. I was getting weaker. I was in despair. I was unhappy, in distress, lost hope, lost heart, discouraged, I threw in the towel. I resigned myself that things would not get any better. I felt lonely and rejected, even though I had my family around me. I was depressed and felt misunderstood.
Life was going on around me. I felt left behind. My children were doing well and leaving home. My home was getting empty and so was my heart. My husband was busy with his work. I didn’t feel I was needed any longer. Everyone seemed to think mum will be around forever. I had been strong for everyone one else, but now my strength was failing. What was there for me to do when all the children had left? I was hopeless.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 NIV)
Over the next four months I went through treatment the doctors ordered and my family and many people in the body of Christ prayed for me. God healed me of 4th stage cancer. I am alive to tell others that God heals today. He is not a God far away who does not care. He is near to help us when we cry to him. My hope was gone but God in his faithfulness helped me.
Today, nearly seven years later we were back in Hope. I asked the driver, “Did you know where the cafe is where I can get coffee and “Mile High Pie?” Hope is a small town. We found the cafe easily enough, off the main highway. I checked it out, and yes it was the same place. The cabinet was full of fresh sweet pies. I looked them over and found the lemon meringue! I enjoyed a coffee and pie at ten o’clock in the morning! Other customers were looking at me. In Canada people don’t eat sweet pie till the afternoon.
In the seven years since I was in the town of Hope I have gone through the valley of death. God has brought me through the other side because I grabbed hold of hope in the goodness of God to heal me. I celebrated my hope being restored as I ate the Mile High Pie in the town of Hope.