"I'm sorry, Mr. Fazzina. If your body doesn't respond to the treatments, you'll be dead within months, possibly weeks." The oncologist's words were an ice-cold knife to my gut. This hospital visit would be the beginning of my family's descent into the valley of the shadow of death.
It was summer 2002, and I was 27 years old. The doctors had found a massive, inoperable, cancerous tumor inside my chest. The diagnosis was lymphoma. The tumor was positioned just above my heart, and was larger than my heart. As it grew, it began crushing my pulmonary artery, starving me of oxygen and literally suffocating me.
What do you do when you hear news like this? It's impossible to know what the "right" response should be. I felt a mixture of disbelief, shock and numbness.
The following months were the most challenging and glorious of my life, filled with doctors' visits, prayer meetings, pain, prophecies, medical tests, visions, love and support. Being a Christ-follower since childhood, I knew I was God's child and that He could heal me if He wanted to. It was in this season of my life that God taught me to completely depend on Him.
I remember being alone one night in my hospital bed, literally suffocating. I looked up to heaven and said a simple prayer: "Lord, I know I'm Your child. If You want to take me, I'll go with You." The Bible says that for the believer, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8), and I believe that. I continued, "But if You want to heal me and let me live, I'll do my best to continue to serve You and to share with the world Your goodness, love, mercy and power." I was a broken man, totally thrown onto the mercy of God, praying like Jesus did, "Not my will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:42).
In late December, I went in for my follow-up PET scan. It had been three months since I started chemotherapy, and this was the halfway-point diagnostic test to gauge the progress. The doctors were hoping (and my loved ones were praying) the tumor would be smaller and that the treatment was working.
Well, God really answered everyone's prayers, because when I got the results, the tumor was not just smaller; it was completely gone! When I saw the pictures with no sign of the tumor that had so ominously threatened my life only months before, I looked up to heaven and with tears in my eyes thanked Jesus for His goodness and mercy.
Ironic as it may sound, God used a terrible, deadly disease to bless me abundantly. Here are a few examples:
- My faith in Jesus and the knowledge that He is in control of my life, no matter how bad things look, was made more real to me through my experience. "Head knowledge" was tested and turned into "experiential knowledge."
- The faith of many people around me was strengthened after having witnessed the miracles that occurred during the crisis.
- Many relationships with friends and family were strengthened.
- My relationship with my girlfriend, Sahani, was strengthened. We were drawn closer together in prayer, and it helped to mature us in our relationship with each other and with God. Today we are happily married and so blessed!
I have been honored to share my testimony at many churches, on radio shows, even on Fox News, and on television programs such as The 700 Club and TBN's Praise the Lord. I now host my own radio show called Divine Intervention, on which I interview others who have experienced miracles.
Many other blessings came out of my being ill, but it's enough to say that the same Jesus who walked the Earth 2,000 years ago performing miracles and healing people is still alive today and still doing miracles. He is real, and He wants a relationship with you. I pray that you don't take my word for it, however. I pray you'll take a chance on Jesus, that you'll give Him an opportunity to show you, and that you'll experience Him for yourself. He loves you so much!
Daniel Fazzina is author of Divine Intervention: 50 True Stories of God's Miracles Today and host of the radio program Divine Intervention, in which he interviews intriguing people who have experienced the Hand of God in amazing ways. With a bachelor's degree in communication arts and a professional background in media production, he has hosted radio shows, edited music videos, and directed films and commercials. Daniel's personal testimony of miraculous healings—one from a painful chronic back condition and one from the massive, cancerous tumor recounted here—led him to start the Divine Intervention radio show, which can be heard on its flagship station, WLIX in New York, on various other radio stations across America, and on the Internet at divineinterventionradio.com.