Glenda Jones wakes up each morning excited about the day and always has. With a family full of loving relationships, a career marked by success and adventure, and a close relationship with God, you can’t blame her for loving life. Fifteen years ago, as her family was blessed with the birth of one grandchild after the next, you might think her story was winding down. But God had other plans. He was gearing her up for another mission.
Glenda remained positive because she believed it was all in God’s hands.
Glenda and her husband Ken have spent their 54 years of marriage loving God, Texas, and their family and friends. As the patriarch and matriarch of a large family- four children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren- in addition to each owning and operating their own businesses, there has always been much to do. But in 2001, Ken started experiencing symptoms that gave Glenda pause and led doctors to root out the cause through surgery.
That same year, the World Trade Center was attacked and consequently overhauled Americans’ perception of tragedy. In comparison to 9/11, Glenda saw Ken’s health issue as a little blip to overcome. Although the doctors were unsure of what they would discover in surgery, Glenda remained positive because she believed it was all in God’s hands.
As Glenda always does when she feels lost, she prayed and asked God to direct their path.
“Ken was just coming out of anesthesia when the urologist walked in the room and told us, ‘It’s cancer. On a scale of 1 to 5, we estimate he is almost stage four.’ The doctors always told us they thought it was just a bleeding ulcer. When the urologist told us it was cancer, it felt like somebody hit me with a baseball bat. I said, ‘Excuse me a minute,’ And I went out into the hall and just lost it. A nurse approached me and gave me a hug while I cried. Once I got my act back together, I went back in and said, ‘Ok, What do we need to do?'”
The doctor advised them to pick a surgeon and schedule surgery right away. Choosing one surgeon from a long list to entrust with your spouse’s life is no easy decision. She did not know where to start. As Glenda always does when she feels lost, she prayed and asked God to direct their path, to direct them to the right doctor. While Ken was having one of his scans done, she saw a book of the best doctors in the Southwest sitting on the table in the waiting room. She randomly opened the book to a two-page story on a surgeon at Baylor Dallas – he was perfect.
When you lay it all down and give it all to Him, God is so good.
“Ken came out of his scan and I told him God had opened the door. This is who we are going to use. When we got home, I called his office and told them my husband has cancer and has to come in because he’s going to need surgery immediately. But their new patient policy would keep Ken from getting seen for three months. So I hung up and called the urologist, thinking sometimes other doctors can get things done, but his receptionist informed me he was on vacation for two weeks. ‘Is there anything I can do to help out?’ she asked. I doubted she could but I told her everything anyway. She said, ‘I’ll get you in. He’s my doctor.’ God is so good. When you lay it all down and give it all to Him, God is so good.”
Ken got right in and the surgeon removed a foot of his colon. The cancer was very contained and the doctor was confident he removed it all. For the next eleven days, family and friends checked on his recovery by visiting him and sending cards and flowers. But several cards, in particular, stood out from the rest because no one knew who they were from.
Those prayerful cards were never far from her thoughts.
“Before Ken’s surgery, our daughter turned in a prayer request for him back at her church in Tyler. Their church is big on prayer and has a place where you can leave requests. Several people saw our daughter’s request and sent cards to Ken with sweet scriptures. He opened them during those eleven days in the hospital and was just blown away. They were precious, precious cards and were so encouraging to him.”
After Ken completely recovered from surgery, the doctor recommended six months of chemotherapy as a precaution. As Glenda drove Ken to Baylor every Wednesday morning for six months, those three prayerful cards were never far from her thoughts. She knew how important they were to Ken and they touched a nerve with her as well. Then, God laid something on her heart, something she knew she had to follow through with.
When I feel God’s care and His peace, all the chaos around me goes dim.
“I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power and the joy of living close to God, moment by moment, and keeping in communication with Him through prayer. People probably think I’m crazy because I pray everywhere. When you have a big family, there’s always something to pray about. I usually pray about what I’m going to do right then or something else I’m concerned about. I’ll just say, ‘God, let’s talk about this. I need to bring this to You again and place it at Your feet because it’s just breaking my heart.’”
I had always heard God is walking with me always. But I used to get out and face the world and forget all about God. Prayer is like having my Father right next to me, walking with me. There’s a song that says, ‘things of Earth will go strangely dim.’ That’s true. Prayer helps me feel God’s love always. When I feel God’s care and His peace, all the chaos around me goes dim.”
Glenda’s adoration and gratitude for prayer brought her to Pastor Steve’s desk. She explained what happened with Ken and asked him if she could start a prayer room at Lake Pointe. She wanted to spread hope and encouragement to people in her church like others had done for her husband.
Pastor Steve put offered up use of a classroom during the weekend and later designated a special space for a Prayer Room. Currently, Lake Pointe’s Prayer Room is right down the hall from the bookstore and is open to anyone. And on Wednesday mornings, you’ll find Glenda and the Prayer Room Group huddled around a stack of requests, pouring their hearts into each and every one.
Prayer is like living halfway to heaven.
“About six of us meet every Wednesday morning and go through prayer requests. Some come from the request cards (on the back of the seats in the auditorium) or even on a piece of paper that gets dropped in the offering plate. Other requests come from the Internet Campus. We go through everyone and pray over each request individually. Then we send cards to the ones that have addresses and include scriptures that have helped us through difficult times.”
Glenda and the Prayer Room Group have been meeting at Lake Pointe every Wednesday morning for 15 years. The whole group is passionate about serving the church and spreading God’s love, especially Glenda because she knows how it feels to receive one of those special cards. “I want them to know God does love them. He cares. I know because God has taken care of me for 70 years. You really can have a sample of heaven on earth. Prayer is like living halfway to heaven. And there’s nothing better than living close to God.”
Written by Amanda Cunningham