Hillsong Church leader and A21 Campaign' founder Christine Caine recently disclosed that she has cancer. Through her blog, Caine shares that during the span of a week, she had gone from having a sore throat to being diagnosed with four separate throat conditions, including stage 1 of thyroid cancer.
"'Chris, you have cancer.' Not quite the words I was expecting to hear when I landed in Sydney, Australia, for our annual Hillsong conference on June 27 this year," said Caine in a blog post on her official website. "It was 9 a.m. in Australia, and my doctor in the U.S. had called to give me the results of the thyroid biopsy I had done before boarding my flight to Australia. The C word. That word normally sends fear, dread and terror surging into the hearts of people. It sounds so final. Terminal. It seems like everyone, everywhere has known someone, somewhere who has, or has had, cancer."
"My own father died of lung cancer when I was 19 years old. I saw first-hand how cancer eats away a healthy body. I saw what chemotherapy and radiation therapy could do to a body. I watched my dad go from a strong independent man to a weak and frail one," said Caine, "...I saw my mum holding my dad's body after he died in her arms. I watched my distraught brothers try to process life without their hero. I felt the disorientation of the loss of the head of our family."
Caine had surgery in August that lasted an hour and when pathology reports came back with no cancerous or precancerous cells in her throat region, Caine says she was grateful but in her selflessness, she knew someone else in her same condition would probably get a different report that day so she prayed for them instead.
She notes that the severity of her cancer above her larynx was undermined by people who would say it was not a big deal but she notes that it became surreal to her the moment she was lying on the operating table with a scalpel at her throat. "Of course the enemy wanted to silence my voice," said Caine. "There was a lot at stake for me. I needed faith and friends surrounding me who were full of faith. Stage 1 or stage 4 cancer was not going to impact the ability of the surgeon to cut my throat ... I wanted to be delivered from this situation, but ten weeks later, I discovered God wanted me to walk through this."
When she first heard the diagnosis, Caine says her mind began to race "down the worst track like a runaway train, and I had to pull it back before it hit a wall and caused irreparable destruction." At the time, she was set to take part in speaking engagements, go on a worship tour with Kari Job and release her new book, Unstoppable.
The Christian evangelist also talked about her recent battle with cancer, which she believes is a result of a spiritual attack caused by mankind's greatest (and longtime) enemy since the fall of Adam depicted in the book of Genesis, Satan.
"I knew a weapon had been forged against me. I don't believe that sickness comes from God, because God is good and does good; but I know that we are in a spiritual battle and that bad things can happen to good people because we live in a fallen world. The devil came for my jugular, my voice. He wanted to silence me and sent a full-on assault to bombard and overwhelm me. I had received one negative diagnosis after another. It was relentless," wrote Caine.
"His plan was to fill me with fear so that he could deactivate my faith. Fear cripples, immobilizes and paralyzes us. It causes us to pull back from God instead of pressing in to Him and His Word, to speak doubt and unbelief instead of faith. To forget His promises, instead of remembering His faithfulness. To see the facts, obstacles and giants instead of the truth of His Word. To react rather than respond. Fear simply shuts us down, and when we are shut down we cannot fight the good fight of faith."
However, Caine then expressed what happened to her after she felt God's presence even during her nearly fatal experience.
"I had a faith battle ahead of me, and the real enemy was not cancer but fear. I was blindsided by a surprise attack, but God was not. I felt many emotions and very vulnerable, but I could also feel God's Presence with me in a palpable way. This was going to be yet another chance for me to practice what I so often preached to others," wrote Caine.