On the morning of November 15, 1981, Emmer Jean Gladney Edwards’ spirit departed her body. Emmer Jean Gladney Edwards is my mom. Her spirit no longer dwells on earth. She now rest in the peaceful presence of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.
How long my mother had been sick, I don’t know. The question you probable want to know is how my mom, a 50 year young woman died. There was a tumor pressing against her kidney, preventing her kidney from functioning. When the tumor was discovered, it was already too large to operate on. That is what the medical staff at Santa Clara Medical Center reported to us.
The reason I do not know how long my mother had been suffering before her death is because I didn’t come around my family often. I was welcome but up until six months before my mother died, I was living a different lifestyle. I was raised in a family with Christian values, my father being a Church Pastor. I was a rebellious kid. From the age of 13 to the age of 23 when I made a change in my life by making a decision that it was time to connect myself to my Creator, abiding by the principles that Jesus Christ taught, and live a healthier, more moral life, I was a recreational drug user. When I was a young teenager, an Evangelist running a revival at the church my father pastored invited me to make a decision to allow Jesus Christ into my life. I told this Evangelist that I wanted to sin some more, that I would be ready to give my life to Jesus Christ when I turned 16 years old. Well when I turned 16, I still wasn’t through with the sin filled life. It wasn’t until I turned 23, that I realized that if I didn’t change my life immediately, chances were my death would come quickly, so I made the change. Thank God, my mother got to see her prayers answered before she left here. She got to see me and my younger brother make the positive changes with our lives that she had prayed for.
I had only been living this Christian life six months before my mother passed on from this life. I had not grasp the principles of using faith to bring about positive changes that one would desire. I had seen Evangelists operating in the miracle ministry using their spiritual gift of Faith. I had witness seeing cripple people that I knew personally be able to get out of a wheel chair and walk. I had witness individuals with uneven feet have their feet even out before my eyes. I had witness my younger sister getting stabbed in the eye with a steak knife and had seen my father put his hand over her eye and pray, remove his hand and no evidence of the injury existed and she was no longer crying. Decades later my sister still sees out of both her eyes and she never went to a doctor because her eye injury no longer existed.
What I learned is that operating by faith requires your faith to be exercised like a natural muscle or just like a muscle without exercise; your faith will grow weak. My father was no longer pastoring a church at the time of my mother’s illness and his faith was not as strong as it had been when he had prayed for my sister’s eyes, decades before. I learned that you can’t wait until a situation was upon you to try to have faith. You have to already have developed that faith. Trying to have faith won’t get the job done. Hope without faith is not enough. I watched and observed as people try to get my mother healed. The doctors had said it was too late for them to do anything when the tumor was discovered. I didn’t live at home at the time, but there were six minor children my father still had to raise, the youngest being seven years old when my mother died.
How did this event change my life? I decided I wanted to become an instrument for Jesus Christ to use to bring healing into the lives of others. It would be nice if I could develop faith and knowledge to be able to be used by God to prevent other young children from losing their mom to illness and prevent a grown man from crying for the first time because his wife of 31 years was no longer beside his side.
In order to prepare myself for a ministry of healing, I study biographies of Evangelists that had a healing ministry such as Smith Wigglesworth. I order tapes from David Nunn. He also had success in the healing ministry. I looked at videos of Evangelist A.A. Allen. He was known worldwide. I had attended his tent revival crusades in Miracle Valley Arizona when I was a kid. I loved listening to Evangelist R.W. Schambach on the radio and in person when he came to town. His famous saying was, “You don’t have any trouble. All you need is faith in God”. That evangelist that I had told I wanted to sin more; well after making a decision to leave that sinful life alone, I became a member of their Evangelist team, running revivals in different communities. I was confident when it came to praying for people that had trouble hearing for their ears to be healed because God’s word states that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. I knew God wanted these individuals to hear His word spoken, so I was confident that He would hear my prayer when I asked Him to heal their ears. During a period of time I was in school studying Biblical Studies, a friend I had just met had a heart attack and when she was in the hospital, had a stroke after her triple bypass surgery. I went to the hospital and prayed for her. The next day her breathing was better and she was no longer paralyzed on her right side. I still study biblical scriptures on healing because people are still getting sick. During this pandemic many of my relatives caught Covid-19 but they all got well without having to be hospitalized. I and my siblings constantly pray for God’s protection over us and our families. I believe that is why all twelve of the children my mother and dad had and their grandchildren are still here.
My mother’s death has compelled me to reach for a higher faith in God in the healing ministry. God brings something good out of even sad situations. This makes me think of the scripture that says, “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose”.