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God’s Promise - Rainbows in My Car

Updated: Mar 28

Story by Laurie Grathen

I told the first installment of my story of having a rare form of breast cancer in a previous post you can find here. In that post, I mentioned that after I thought I’d finally gotten the all clear and required nothing but follow-up monitoring, I got a call one day from my No-Bedside-Manner surgeon. Here is that story.

I was meeting a friend for lunch. I showered and went into my closet to search for something to wear. I pulled a shirt I don’t remember ever wearing before off a hanger. Hmmm, I thought, I like this. I wonder why I’ve never worn it? It fit, it matched, so I wore it for what I remember being the first time ever.

You might think it’s strange for me not to know what’s in my closet. It was the early summer of 2008, 5 full years past the tornado. I’ve never cared much about clothes, and I don’t like to shop. After the tornado I was given lots of clothes that I hung in my closet or put into the dresser drawers. I never paid much attention to them and because I worked in a jeans and T-shirt environment, I simply didn’t pay much attention to what I wore. I never replaced any of my dress up clothes and I only had one pair of earrings, round gold studs. They went with everything.

Shortly before I was scheduled to leave the phone rang and it was my cancer surgeon. Without preamble, he spit out, “Laurie, I just met with the tumor board here at the hospital and we’re going to send you up to the cancer center at the University of Missouri to see if you need a mastectomy.” What? Less than 3 days before the oncologist had “released” me, saying that the surgery successfully got clear margins and we just need to monitor to ensure the cancer doesn’t return. I hung up the phone feeling shell shocked, thinking about them cutting off my breast(s).

But life goes on and I kept my lunch date. Later, on the way home I was calmer and could think more clearly. As I drove the 15 miles from Lake Ozark to Camdenton, I had time to reflect on what the surgeon said. I knew him well enough to realize that he didn’t really mean I had to have a mastectomy, but rather that the team at the local hospital probably wanted a second opinion from a group of cancer specialist who’ve seen my type of cancer more often. They probably simply wanted to make sure their decision to monitor for the return of the cancer was correct and that, at this time, I didn’t need to have a mastectomy. That made more sense and felt more right to me, so I was calmer as I got closer to home.

But thinking about all of this reminded me of one truth I couldn’t deny. I thought, “I have cancer.” Immediately, I heard the God voice in my head, clear as a bell, say, “Had cancer.”

Rainbows have always had special meaning for me. God once used a rainbow to seal a promise to humanity.

They’d recently put up a new traffic signal in Camdenton, only the third one in town. It was red as I approached it. When I stopped, I looked up and the inside of my car was filled with tiny dancing, shimmering rainbows. I began to cry, working up to sobbing so hard that after the light turned green, I had to pull over into a parking lot because I couldn’t see to drive. Rainbows! A clear sign, to me, from

God, that everything was going to be ok. In those moments I realized that God was showing me His faithfulness, in a way I would understand that the message was clearly from Him. He didn’t speak to me, He didn’t tell me that I was cured, He just clearly showed me that His hand was on me, and that I would be just fine, no matter what happened. Before I began driving again, I pulled out my camera and took a picture of a small part of the inside of my car from the driver’s seat. I wanted to document the rainbows to prove and remember the story I was experiencing.

How could my car fill with rainbows at a time when I so clearly needed a sign from God, whether I knew it or not? The shirt I’d pulled from my closet that morning, having not remembered ever seeing or wearing it before, had some sort of design of sequins on the front of it. Stopped at the new traffic light, facing west, the bright sun shone through my windshield at precisely the right angle to hit those sequins and reflect off them to create the rainbows. God is in every detail of your life, if you know where to look.

I framed that picture and hung it on the wall in my office. Every time I look at it I remember God’s faithful promises to us. His eye is on the sparrow, and He knows the number of hairs on our head. And no matter what happens, His plan is to prosper us and not harm us.

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