“You have two weeks to live.”
Those were not the words that Hawaii-based artist Vera Kirkpatrick expected to hear after a routine blood test with her doctor. She worked out twice a day and kept herself in peak health.
All of sudden, she needed her husband, a man she had grown distant from in her self-sufficiency.
Looking back, Vera had grown up in an impoverished, fatherless home. “There were six kids. We had nothing,” Vera says in a CBN video. “So my whole idea was, ‘If I’m successful and I have finances then people won’t look at me as a poor orphan. They will see my success.’”
Creating and selling in-vogue art pieces brought her fame and finances. She married, had three kids and moved to Hawaii where she and her husband, John, ran two art galleries. Vera had all the pieces of success.
But she felt John, who adored her, was too controlling, and she contemplated leaving him.
“I wanted to create my own rules, my own world,” she says. “John ended up putting me on a pedestal, and that was good for a while but then I got tired of that. I didn’t want to be molded and shaped. I’m the powerful person. Not ‘we’ but ‘me.’”
But the mulling of separation got cut short abruptly in 2009 when Vera, after skipping doctor’s checks for six years, finally went in for a physical and the doctor ran a standard blood test. He found leukemia.
“What’s Leukemia?” Vera asked when he broke the news. “Wait, is that a cancer?”
“Yes,” he responded. Then he delivered awful news: “What’s worse, I think you have about two weeks to live.”
Oncologist Anthony DeSalvo confirmed the grim prognosis.
“Acute Leukemia, in the absence of urgent treatment, is rapidly fatal,” he says. “It is typically within weeks without treatment you will die.”
Vera turned to the God she knew only superficially.
“Okay God, I’m at a crossroads here. Are you real? Can I call on you?” she prayed frantically. “Are you able? All these stories and all these things were they for real my whole life? Are you mad at me? Will you even listen to me now?”
Her self-made world crumbled. She had achieved success all by herself, and she was proud of it. But with cancer circling, she realized her self-sufficiency was utterly meaningless.
“I’ve been doing everything on my own terms,” she mused.
“I reached out for a life saver and that was God,” Vera remembers. “I went back to my roots, because I wasn’t going to save myself. And you can put your trust in medicine, but the ultimate healing is going to have to be God.” Read the rest: Vera Kirkpatrick Christian artist.