Pamela Vandewalker is the Dove-Award winning author of more than forty books and children’s musicals is the creator of TeenyTykes Hub curriculum and devotions; she teams with Dove Award winner, Cherry Garasi and Emmy Award winning, Bobby Smith to offer fun songs and faith songs for your family. Pamela serves a congregation of over 2500 active worshippers as the senior worship producer, coordinates the Kid’s music program with 500 children actively participating weekly.
Scripture and hymns have shaped my life for the good. The stories, scriptures and rich hymn texts that I learned in childhood have served me well through three cancer diagnoses and treatments, the ups and downs of life and given me great joy.
I grew up in a Christian home with lots of music and books. My mother was a church pianist and my father had a gifted, creative mind. He has the patent on the reusable coffee can lid. It doesn’t seem like a big thing now, but back in the day, it was a game changer.
I trusted in Christ at a very young age and the decision to begin a friendship with Jesus was the best decision ever! He has been my companion during single life and is the Provider of my wonderful husband David.
In 2001, my husband David and I began a 20+ year battle with cancer. Over the course of 2 years, I had surgeries, radiation; 6 months of traditional chemotherapy and a 52-week clinical trial chemo. Fear was the emotion I felt but God proved Faithful and helped to develop my cancer battle plan:
- Time in the Word
- Relying on prayer warriors
- Using my hymnal to sustain
One thing I feared most – that extra year of chemo – proved to be a great blessing because the drug that God allowed me to have, Herceptin, is now the standard of care for 1/3 of all breast cancer patients. God used that extra year of deep trouble to heal me and He is using that therapy to heal others. Praise God – my Healer!
During that time, I had a deep understanding that each day could be my last . I established a pattern of seeking to proclaim God’s glory and fame in every circumstance (of course, I fall far short) but seeking is my goal. David and I visited all 50 states in the US and have shared Jesus on five continents because of that understanding.
Along the way God allowed me to receive a Dove Award for outstanding children’s musical as well as share His name through writing for several publishers. Of course, He is the
Joy-giver to allow me to be part of vibrant worship and work with the children at our church.
In 2015, during a cancer check, it was discovered that I had BRCA II positive ovarian cancer; my cancer is genetic. God allowed me to flex my spiritual muscles again: (prayer warriors, the Word, the hymnal) and I went through treatment. A big addition was added to my spiritual muscles: When we pray, God gives us what we would have asked for if we knew everything He knows. I don’t understand why I have the BRCA II gene but I know to trust in my Sovereign God.
Recently, I had a recurrence of the ovarian cancer. Presently, I’m on a PARP inhibitor therapy. PARP is the acronym for one of the proteins found in all of our cells that is part of our cell repair system. My faulty genes are very dependent upon this protein. So, the strategy? Keep PARP away from the cancer cells that are relying on it. The therapy is a pill that has been designed to inhibit the PARP protein.
But I have other genes and even one that I wasn’t born with, but I acquired it when I trusted Christ at age 5. Galatians 3:26 says, “For in Christ Jesus you are all Sons of God through faith.” I am part of Christ’s genes; I’m an heir with Him! And I have a spiritual repair system, ready at hand, a perfect one...the Holy Spirit! The Spirit daily works to make me more like Jesus as He helps me, scanning and restoring my spiritual genes.
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