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It is normal and healthy to question and argue with God. To live on Earth is to witness and hear difficult, sometimes unbearable things, making moments of reckoning inevitable. I had many of these moments while working with child victims of abuse and trauma. I mistakenly believed that God had orchestrated and condoned the abuse that I was hearing about. I felt hurt, even betrayed, but God was my best friend and I couldn’t turn my back on him/her. Instead, we fought. This fighting led me to a place of darkness so deep I was afraid I’d never see light again.

It was my renewed faith in God as creator of all but sustainer of free will that healed me. Up from the grave I arose — emotionally when I healed from secondary post-traumatic stress disorder and physically when I healed from cancer. I believe that those who prayed for me out of love for the Lord created wholeness within me again. I prefer to say wholeness because physical healing happens sometimes, but wholeness and spiritual healing always happen when we turn to God and ask for it.

Much research supports the power of prayer in improving post-operative outcomes in both mortality and morbidity. Cancer survival improves when patients meet in groups to talk about their illness and its impact on their lives. Faith healing happens every day. I should know — survival charts gave me less than a 25% chance of living more than two years.

“How are you, Julia?” friends ask.

“I’m well,” I answer. “I decided to listen to my God and not my doctors.”

While we’re on the topic…