Comfort across the Miles

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“Comfort across the Miles,” Ensign, Apr. 1999, 62

Comfort across the Miles

We were living in Hilo, Hawaii, when my doctor found a lump in my breast and sent me to Honolulu for a biopsy. My mother and several of my aunts had had breast cancer at a very early age, so I was frightened that I might also have the same disease. I had prayed for comfort and had contacted my family on the mainland, but I was so discouraged that nothing anyone said or did cheered me up.

After my husband settled me in the hospital in Honolulu, he returned home to care for our four children. Medical procedures and tests kept me occupied most of the day, but they were completed by afternoon. I walked out to a balcony overlooking Pearl Harbor and struck up a conversation with a fellow patient.

The tropical sun shone on the shimmering waters as we watched the ships, but I was engulfed with fear and worry, so I saw none of the beauty. Then as I sat there, something wonderful happened to me. It seemed as if the black clouds of gloom parted and an immense shaft of sunlight coursed through me. I was filled with warmth and peace and something more—an assurance that my fears were groundless.

I spoke to the other woman on the balcony and announced, “I don’t have cancer!” She looked at me, startled. I couldn’t find the words to explain, so I said again, “I know I don’t have cancer!”

I was so relieved and happy that I slept soundly for the first time in days. The next day when the biopsy showed no cancer, I was the only one not surprised.

I called my family to tell them the good news. That’s when I learned that my entire extended family had fasted the day before, then gathered for a special prayer. Their prayer for me ended at the same time I’d felt the light break through my darkness and fill me with assurance. I am grateful that my despairing spirit was restored to peace by the power of prayer and that the Lord comforted me because of the united prayers of my family, who were gathered together so many miles away.