Monday, December 12, 2011

Can I Tell You About My Dream?

Before I went to surgery, I had an experience un-like any other which I have ever had in my life.  Yes, I have received re-assurance and guidance in my spiritual life through dreams in the past - but this dream was very unusual.  It was just before waking at 5:30a.m. when I saw in a dream as tho there was a framed picture of Jesus hanging on the wall.  This picture caught (more like grabbed) my attention and I could not look away from it.  As I stared at it, I realized that I have seen this picture of Jesus before.  It's of him, sitting on a rock or boulder in the garden with his right shoulder slightly turned outward.  His robe of white was covered by another of royal blue, and then another of crimson/purple as the outer garment.  His beard and hair were black.  The more I focused on this picture the more vivid the colors became ... until He turned and looked me directly in the face and said (without any drama, without any fan-fare, and in a soft but confident voice)  "I'm healing you." 

Oh, I cannot explain to you the power of that moment!  I found my hands coming up out of the covers and myself waking up ... realizing that I had a face-wide grin on my face, smiling ear to ear in the darkness as I heard myself saying, "Thank you, Jesus!  Thank you, Jesus!  Thank you, Jesus!" 

At first I had decided that I would not share this dream because it sounds like a religious fanatic.  I have heard far too many of them in my ministerial career.  Another thing - I felt that the moment was so sacred that I did not want it to be scoffed at.  However, as Frances and I were sitting at the table after breakfast, I felt that I should tell my wife about this dream,  As I was telling her the dream, searching for the right words to explain it, I was overwhelmed with emotion and began to weep un-controllably.  She encouraged me to share this dream with our children when they came to our house before the surgery.  After telling them the dream as best I could, through waves of emotion, I said to them:  "Now.  Understand ... the Lord can heal me before the doctor does surgery.  Then, again, he may be saying that he is getting ready to heal me through the surgery.  But it may be that He is getting ready to give me the ultimate healing which would be that he takes me home to Heaven to live with Him.  I want you children to know that if that is what God wants for me - I am ready!"
Not the exact picture I saw in my dream, but as near as I can find
I remember asking one of the nurses in Pre-op, "What if the doctor opens me up and can't find this tumor?"  She hastened to quiet what she thought was anxiety on my part.  "Oh, No!  You don't have to worry about this.  Your colonoscopy doctor shot it full of purple dye and Dr. Portera will find it.  Don't worry at all."  I did not have time to tell her (nor the inclination) about the dream and that my real question was, "What if God has already healed me and the tumor is already gone?"

I was wheeled into surgery at 6:15a.m. and into my room at 1:04p.m. with visitors allowed into the room almost immediately.  I knew them, conversed lucidly with them all, and remembered practically everything but the actual surgery.  Over the 50 plus years I've served as a Pastor visiting patients in the hospital after surgery - all of them that I can remember were at first a little groggy.  I was not groggy or sleepy in the least.  Next morning I ate a big bowl full of grits and butter and apple-sauce and  drank an Ensure while still attached to the I.V. drip.  I only sufferred the feeling of nausea once - and that was "dry heaves" before I ate any food.  That afternoon I was up and pushing the stand that held the two medical "drips" up and down the hall.  I was asked by the nurses often if I needed a pain pill.  I took very little pain medication beside that which was going into the blood-stream through the I.V. tube.  On Thursday I was able to put on my regular pajamas and walk the halls more freely.  One of the nurses said, "Looks like you are trying to run a 5K marathon race." 

November 22, the Surgical Oncologist, Dr. Portera, had removed three cancerous tumors (laproscopically) from my small and large intestines.  On Friday, the 25th, I was sent home from the hospital on a liquid diet - which quickly gave way to a soft food diet.  On Friday, December 9th, (just two weeks after being discharged from the hospital) I drove myself the 30 miles (one way) to see the surgeon for my first check-up.  I told him that for the last week I have been walking on the tread-mill for 20 minutes per day and racking up .7 miles in that short walk.  Because of my apparent rapid recovery to date, he said, "You may now eat whatever you want to, and do whatever you feel like doing!  Just remember to back off if you start to feel pain in the abdominal area."  However he wanted me to see the "Medical Oncologist", who will lay out a plan for chemo-therapy because the lab reported micro-scopic amounts of cancer found in the lymph-nodes. (One of 22 lymph nodes examined showed cancer.)  I am to see this doctor on December 22nd.

Yesterday, I drove myself to Tellico Plains (48 miles from here) where I attend church.  I normally teach a Sunday School class there every week - but did not try to teach yesterday.  We have a wonderful couple (William and Evelyn Wright) who agreed to take that class while I recover.  I did put on the Velcro belt around my surgical wounds which helped me a lot, but I was tired when I arrived back home.  However, today, December 12, I took Frances to the Post Office, to Olive Garden for lunch and then Christmas shopping at Belks and at Bed, Bath and Beyond!  I still feel good!

My wife was praying and was with me, refusing to leave the hospital until I did.  I have had so many friends in many different places praying for me.  Calls, Cards, Notes, E-mails, and personal visits have been so encouraging.  But - I have to say - Jesus words spoken directly to me ("I'm healing you.") have been most powerful in keeping my attitude positive.  I thank you again for praying for me and believing with me.


jack69 said...

Heck, I've known you were a nut for years, certified, but I've also known you to be one of the most Christian guys I have known. Truthful in every way, no way would I consider this dream anything but REAL. Wonderful testimony to His marvelous Love. I know having Frances' prayers close by was a confort. She is a wonder herself.
We think of you often and are looking forward to seeing you in the near future, hopefully in Florida.

Love you my friend, it is so good to be IN Touch again. Our Love to Frances & the Family.

George said...

Thanks for sharing your dream with us. I have no doubts that the Lord was speaking to you. I'm glad your recovery from surgery has gone well, and I trust that the next steps will go equally well.

Ginny said...

When I started reading this story, I never for a minute thought you were fanatical or any other such thing. I have known quite a few people who have had experiences like this! I am so glad you are doing so very well!!! Your energy level is amazing! Your church is 48 miles away?? Goodness, that would be about an hour's trip! We have three Belks here, but I thought they were only a local chain. What a marvelous Christmas gift you have gotten, from the one who gave us Christmas!! Blessings to you, my friend!

Joyful said...

Praise God for this wonderful report. I love how God came to you and gave you a direct word. You are in good hands!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Wow---what an incredible post, Fred... I have no doubts that Jesus came to you.. We all have to have a strong faith ---and most of us don't... You happen to have that VERY STRONG FAITH...

God is taking care of you.. All of our time on this earth will end when God is ready for us to join him in heaven. Until then, keep the faith ---and good things will happen to you--and to us!!!!

Thanks for sharing. God Bless You.

Jean said...

Thanks for sharing your dream Fred. God does wonderful things. I'm so glad you are doing so well. I know without a doubt the good lord was looking out for you along with your lovely wife Frances. You take care. Jean

Jo said...

Hello Fred, I came through here and read this amazing testimony of the grace of God through His wonderful Son Jesus who has healed you. Praise Him in the highest heaven!No, it's not fanatical. It's necessary for us to speak out more about God's goodness! Wow, what a testimony to anyone wondering if there really is a God out there. Thank you for sharing this and for being so faithful to the Lord. Blessings and good healing to you. Jo PS I sent you a mail through the channels on your profile.

Anita de Castro said...

Através do blog de uma amiga ,vi e li seu comentário tocou me profundamente ,espero e desejo muita saúde

Um Feliz Natal
Ano Novo cheio de esperança


BlueShell said...

Hello Fred, I am very happy to hear that the surgery went well and that you are optimistic. Thanks God. When I read your article I felt a big pain in my heart because last February my husband had a surgery to a colorectal cancer. He was ostomate and must make the stool to a bag; but is already handling with it. He also made chemotherapy and radiotherapy before and after surgery.
Precisely tomorrow we go to Coimbra, to the Institute of Oncology for a routine checkup. Every day I am thankful...I Believe God was nearby every second of our lives.
I pray that everything continues to go well. God bless you and your beloved ones. HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS (you can rely on me to talk if you feel like, OK?.)
I liked his words in Portuguese. Thank you. My written English is miserable but it’s the only one I have got to communicate!!!! LOL.
Oh, and I send a kiss to Jean too!
BlueShell/ Isabel (real name)

(It was nice to share your dream with us,
Thank You!?

Fred Alton said...

Obrigado, Anita! Desejo-lhe um Feliz Natal e Bênção de Deus para o Ano Novo.

Fred Alton said...

Obrigado, Anita! Desejo-LHE UM Feliz Natal e Bênção de Deus par o Ano Novo. Eu fiz isso com a ajuda do "tradutor inbox". Mucho Obrigado.

Dar said...

Dearest Fred,
Prayers really do get answered and God has taken it a step further by showing His Son to you for your good faith. You are such an inspiration. Continue to have wonderful strength and Love in our Lord. Give Frances my love and thanks for staying ever so close to the Love of Her Life.
You are loved and prayed for from way up here in the north.
BlessYourHearts and MerryChrist-mas

Melanie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Fred. I can certainly understand your hesitation to share your story. As a pastor's wife, I too have heard some pretty weird stories over the years!

I will be praying for you and your sweet family as you continue to walk this road.

Immanuel, God with us. Merry Christmas. :-)

Tabitha said...

Thanks Daddy for sharing the dream. It does make you rethink the crazy stoeies you heard.

BlueShell said...

Good Morning Fred. I hope you feel better every day.

I know that chemotherapy makes people have some nausea…my husband had nausea all the time…but it was for a good reason. I can just say: be strong and have Faith in The Good LORD!

BlueShell said...

I wish you a merry Christmas, from the bottom of my heart.
And a very happy new year full of joy, health and harmony!

JDS said...

Although Jesus' words of peace were meant for you, they give me a feeling of peace just hearing about them.

My grandfather had open heart surgery and also surgery to remove cancerous tumors in his bladder, and both times he recovered so fast his doctors were more than impressed. He was a minister and attributed his speedy recoveries to his faith. By the time he went to Heaven, both the heart defect and he cancer were in the distant past.

May you and Fraces have an extremely merry Christmas up there in lovely Tennessee.

~mel said...

Fred and Frances ~ I pray that all is going well with the both of you. I'm popping in to wish you and your family's a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton