A Real-Life Encounter with God: Kevin and Christy’s Story
A Salt Radio Ministries Exclusive!
I first heard of Kevin Wilson’s cancer from his wife, Christy, who works as a server and tends bar at Ruby Tuesdays. It was September 10, 2016, and she asked me to pray for her husband, who had a rapidly growing knot on the side of his neck. I passed that request along, and we at Salt Radio Ministries began praying for him.
Christy kept me up to date on what the doctors were telling them, and none of the news was good. Kevin’s knot was an aggressive, rapidly spreading form of cancer, but the exact type eluded them.
Kevin went for a full-body PET scan to see how badly the cancer had spread. Christy pressed the docs for a prognosis, “Maybe three months.” They were stunned. Numb. Frightened.
I was at Ruby Tuesdays the next day as Christy was awaiting the results, and you could cut the tension with a knife. It was all Christy could do to hold it together as she worked her job.
And then at about 1:30, Christy came running out of the kitchen, shouting, “My husband’s death sentence has been removed!” The cancer had not spread; it was still localized to Kevin’s neck. Later the doctor would tell her that in all his years of practice, he had never seen this type of cancer stay contained.
And that’s how Kevin and Christy got their first miracle!
It took eight weeks for the doctors to find that Kevin’s lump was stage 4 large-cell, metastatic melanoma. Nasty stuff. We think that melanoma is “just skin cancer,” but no. It can appear anywhere and spread like wildfire: eyes, brain, internal organs, inside your mouth, between your toes, underneath fingernails and toenails, lymph nodes... anywhere.
Now that the type of cancer was known, Kevin could have surgery: eight hours of surgery! They removed the mass, surrounding tissue, lymph nodes, and a muscle from his neck to his shoulder. He was in ICU for a week.
Kevin recovered from surgery and went home. The challenges continued, but so did the miracles!
MIRACLES GREAT AND SMALL
With surgery complete, the next question was whether Kevin’s cancer had spread anywhere else, so he underwent another full-body scan, which this time showed two significant spots on his brain.
Kevin told me, “Two spots, yep. We went straight to the neurologist at Johns Hopkins. He said because of the aggressive metastatic cancer, they are most likely tumors.”
Christy: “I prayed and told the Lord, well, if that’s what it has to be, it is what it is, and we’ll accept that. Please, Lord, ease Kevin’s heart, because he is just panicked about this.”
So, they did a second scan and looked at the spots from a different angle. Then they did a third scan, and the two spots were just one, and that one wasn’t cancer!
Christy: “When I got the news, that was the happiest I’d ever felt in my life. Everyone thought the cancer had spread to his head. We had thought, is he gone? Is this it? Was the doctor right? Had it spread? But it hadn’t! Whatever they saw in the brain, well, it wasn’t cancer!”
Kevin: “And then recently when I had a cerebral angiogram done, it turns out the one spot was just something I was born with, of no consequence at all.”
Then out of nowhere Kevin’s thyroid levels went through the roof! The docs said he’d have this problem the rest of his life, so he made an appointment with a specialist.
Kevin: “But by the time the appointment rolled around, they canceled and sent me a letter to reschedule. By then my thyroid level had somehow dropped back to normal!”
Christy: “I prayed and told the Lord, well, if that’s what it has to be, it is what it is, and we’ll accept that. Please, Lord, ease Kevin’s heart, because he is just panicked about this. And then… it’s just gone!”
But God wasn’t done with the miracles yet. Cancer is more than a physical problem. It affects you emotionally, spiritually, and financially, and God was at work in these areas, too. Here’s an example.
Kevin hadn’t been working since August. The Wilson’s are a two-income family, and with Kevin’s surgery and recovery, over half that income had gone away. They were flat broke. Not only that, Christy’s work got slower, and in winter things like gas, heat, and, electricity cost more.
Christy: “We were always needing money for something. The electric bill was way overdue, and we were to be cut off that day. And that day we prayed, and I went to the mail box, and Kevin’s aunt and uncle had sent us a check from out of nowhere! It was enough to pay the bill! And these are people we don’t talk to! That’s the kind of things that happened to us. You could only explain it as coming from God.”
Kevin: “Yeah, that’s how God talked to us. That’s God talking!”
Christy: “Yeah, God’s showing me! Yes, He’s got this! He’s there! We’re not alone! And it just doesn’t matter what’s going on, He’s there. We know He’s there because of these little things. It wasn’t just about ‘getting’ something, it was getting us through it.”
Christy continued, “And when we got that check I’ll never forget, I got to the mail box, and I was just crying. We had no way to get the money. We were going to have to either lose the car or have no electric.”
It came close many other times, too, and then things like this would happen to them. Out of nowhere they would get a check, or someone would call us and say, “Hey, do you need some money to help out?”
PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH
The discussion then turned to Christy and Kevin themselves, how despite the trials and burdens that cancer had brought to them, they could see how God was changing their lives and drawing them closer to Himself.
Christy began, “I hate cancer! I hate everything about it! But it’s made me a bigger person. It’s changed my mind about everything. And miracles! So many things have happened that couldn’t be explained. So many of these things lining up. Yeah, there are too many to be just a coincidence. It just amazes me.”
Christy then began talking about their 10-year old daughter Olivia, how she’d call out saying, “Mom, I need to pray!” And Christy would say, “Ok, let’s do it! Right in the bathtub? No problem, Livvie! Randomly we’d hear her talking, and she’d say, ‘I’m just talking to God!’ It’s just something she does now. She feels that connection with God.”
And then Christy began to explain how her prayer life has changed. “He reads my mind! I don’t ‘hear’ His voice; I just ‘know’ it. So many times I’ve relied on that, relied on my faith to get me through it, which was different. I wasn’t that way before.”
GO YE THEREFORE INTO ALL THE WORLD
Once he got the “all clear,” Kevin was finally able to return to work, but something deep in him had changed. It was his first week out in his stores, and he felt the Lord lead him to confide to one of his customers about his cancer journey.
Kevin told her, “I thought it was a cyst, and it turned out to be a tumor.” And with that she replied, “Wow, you know, that’s weird that you say that, because I have a cyst that needs to be looked at, and I’ve been holding off. I just don’t want to go. I can’t afford to be out of work”
And Kevin said, “I know where you’re coming from! I gave the same excuses. And I was out of work for 10 months because of my cyst that ended up being cancer. Just get it done.” And she said, “You know what, you’re absolutely right.”
He said, “Something told me to come over and talk to you, and tell you about what went on with me. It’s got to be a Higher Power.” And she said “You’re absolutely right!”
The next week Kevin paid her a follow-up visit and asked if she’d gotten it taken care of yet. “No, but I do have an appointment!”
Kevin: “Things like this are why I feel I went through what I did and I’m able to do what I’m able to do now. God wants me to share a story, and you know, it helps me see the Lord in a different way. Maybe my customer doesn’t pray to God or anything, and now, some stranger out of nowhere is telling her he was fighting cancer because he thought it was a cyst and to get her own taken care of right away. That to me is an eye-opener!”
I asked Christy and Kevin what they would say if they could speak directly to our readers.
Christy: “I thought I knew what faith was, but I didn’t. I thought faith was believing in a creed or doctrine or praying really, really hard. Those are important, but faith isn’t just that. Faith is learning to be happy in the moment, being able to accept however God might answer my prayers, and trusting in Him fully.”
Kevin: “Not only do you need prayer, you need to be positive also, and just have a positive aura about you. That’s a component of faith, too. I think that God responds to the people who are positive in life and how they do things. He responds to our faith.”
Then Christy said, “God’s not there to answer all our prayers the way we want them answered. No, you keep your mind open, pray every day no matter what the outcome looks like. And then accept that outcome, whatever it is.”
We closed with my sharing a meme from the Salt Radio Ministries Facebook group, a paraphrase from the book of Isaiah: “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord (Isa. 66:9).
Christy: “Yes, Amen on that! It’s so true. I mean, it’s been a rough road, but there’s a lot of good that came out of it. So much we’ve learned. It’s horrible to go through it, but a lot of good came out of it, too. And I think the good outweighs the bad.”
She continued, “Kevin and I have gotten closer. Our family has gotten closer. We appreciate the Lord more. We are definitely closer to Him. My relationship with God has grown. For my children it has grown. For Kevin it has definitely grown. “
Kevin: Yes we have! Yes I have!
If you have a story like Kevin and Christy’s that you’d like to share, please send it. Or if you’re going through a situation like theirs and would like prayer, we’d be honored to pray for you. Just email us at SaltRadioMinistries@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you.