by Lisa Stringer | July 5, 2015
Over the last few days Doug and I have noticed an increase in hair loss, a side effect we were told would happen rather quickly. In fact, I met an overcomer who beat cancer that told me she had lost all of her body hair, including nose hairs, by day five. I had mentally prepared myself for the possibility, but spoke life into his body and prayed against it. With each passing day, I believed that the lack of hair loss was a wink from heaven. I guess it was, it could have happened sooner.
I was intentional about not mentioning my observation to Doug, I would just clean it up and try and convince myself that this was the normal hair loss any of us have. I continued to pray that the chemo would only destroy the bad cells and not the good ones, hence not causing him hair loss. He is a trooper and not scared to face himself in the mirror; I on the other hand love his hair and want it to stay right where it’s at!
Last night (Friday, July 3rd) he noticed the hair and asked if I thought he was losing it. I did not look at him, I just answered yes as quickly as I could and kept as positive as possible. In his courageous style, he simply said, “Bummers.” I left him alone to finish his business and I heard him say, “My hair is everywhere, I’m sorry.” This is a sad reality for many cancer patients. When you are walking through a battle of this sort, it is not about vanity, it is about appreciating the little things in life. Unnatural hair loss, taking a shower on your own without having to protect a PICC line, feeling under par, having to limit your diet to unpleasant medicinal drinks or diets, are all not normal and non-negotiables.
I made my way to bed as it was well after midnight and we had an early day of ministry. After only a couple hours of sleep, Doug wakes me up to share a revelation he had. Oh the joys of having a night owl for a husband; even a diagnosis of cancer doesn’t slow him down when God’s in it.
This is the revelation he had and a part of what he shared at the 4th of July worship and prayer gathering for America.
He jokingly but seriously said, “The eagle is balding,” referring to himself. The Lord was reminding him that America’s national bird is the bald eagle. When it is weak, it soars higher focusing on the brightness of the sun to regain its strength. The Lord began to minister to Doug’s heart as to where the condition of our nation was; it was disheartened, and weakened. Initially the joke was about him losing his hair, but as God began to give him a download, that quickly changed. The bald eagle, to America, actually represents strength and courage. When the eagle is weakened it flies high, staring right at the sun, as it helps it to regain its strength. God reminded Doug of Isaiah 40:31, “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Doug often reminds us that our life experiences become a life message that is bigger than us. He passionately related the importance of the eagle in America, except he added that when we are weak and weary, we must not give in, but shoot straight for the brightness of the SON. He also related to Hebrews 12:2, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
Shortly after leaving the prayer gathering, we received numerous encouraging messages from people who were touched by the word in season. One person wrote, “The headline in today’s Houston Chronicle is, ‘Nation Unites to Save Bald Eagles.’ How amazing is this in light of Doug saying the eagle is balding! Our God is so good. It was wonderful today.”
For the Stringer family, it was a privilege to have Ashley on the worship team, Doug share and lead us in prayer, and for me to gather with others to worship and pray for our nation. It was a good day.
After enjoying the fireworks from our balcony, a friend called to offer with Ashley’s transportation to church. I mentioned to her that Doug lost, in a matter of hours, a great deal of the hair she saw him with at the prayer gathering this afternoon. I love what she responded with, “It’s only hair. The hair does not make the man, God makes him who he is. The eagle may be bald, but he still soars!!!” She totally got the message.
Douglas, you may become bald by tomorrow, but I know you will continue to soar to the SON, from where your strength comes from; you will soar like never before, with greater strength, power, anointing, and grace. I love you my cancer-beating prince; with or without hair, you will always have my heart.
As Doug shared with us today, and I often hear him say, #SomebodyStillCaresAmerica. He reminded us that we need a heart awakening in the church if we are to have a revival in the land.
Happy Independence Day, America!