I have been playing with cards since I was actually a kid. I’ve been learning this for a really long time. You know while learning how to become a magician I have developed a skepticism. That’s really where my story starts.
Having become a magician, you understand that there is some kind of scheme or something going on behind the scenes that is ultimately fake or false. The idea of a god seems really silly, it seems really, really silly. It’s like the Wizard of Oz. It’s like the wizard behind the curtain making things happen.
However, one day in college, I was asked to go to church to check it out, so I did. Something happened to me that morning that I couldn’t quite fit into my worldview. It was the way the version of the story that was shared. I began to ask myself the God question. Maybe there is something more to this?
If I was going to believe in this god, if I was going to believe in the Bible, I needed him to make it so real to me.
If I was going to believe in this god, if I was going to believe in the Bible, if I was going to acknowledge who the Bible ultimately points to, which is Jesus. If I was going to acknowledge all these things, I asked God to make this real to me. I needed him to make it so real to me. I needed him to take me back behind the curtain. Sometimes when you pray prayers you don’t fully want them to be answered. Mine was getting ready to be answered.
Here I was, I was 29 years old. I had been married for five years, with a three-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy. I had this really intense pain that started happening in my leg. I was popping ten Advil at a time, trying to make it go away. We decided that it would probably be best for me to go to the ER.
They began to run a bunch of tests on me. The doctor walked in and told me that my white blood count was real high. They wanted to do some more tests. Then another doctor walked in and on his name badge it said TX Oncology, a cancer doctor. He said, “Mr. Munroe, you have leukemia. We have to do something about this right now.” This doctor basically told me I had two months and that I was going to die if we didn’t do anything. They got me down to MD Anderson Cancer Center and they began to run just a battery of tests on me. CAT scans, catheter into my chest, sticking huge needles into my spine; it’s a complete whirlwind.
No matter how hard we hit it, it was going to keep coming back.
The first doctor on call that was going to oversee all of my treatment came in and said, “Mr. Munroe, I’ve got some bad news for you.” And at that point I am going, you mean like worse than cancer bad news? He said the kind of leukemia I had was more rare than what they initially thought. Even if we fought the cancer and got me into remission – this thing was going to come back. No matter how hard we hit it, it was going to keep coming back. There was something they wanted to do, something that could assist in making me completely well and healed.
They wanted to do a procedure called a bone marrow transplant. What they wanted to do was to get me into remission by treating me with chemotherapy. But then find somebody somewhere in the world, whose DNA matched mine so distinctly that doctors would literally take their immune system out of their body and put it into mine. And hope that my body would recognize it enough as its own and it would essentially start growing new white blood cells from an entirely new person. That is like real magic.
So they went and they tested my biological sister, and my own biological sister wasn’t a close enough match. Which was a huge blow to the situation. So then they went into this database that the national bone marrow donor program keeps and they told me that of the 7 million-person database, I had 16 possible matches. Out of those 16 possible matches, they found one perfect match. It was a 19 year old female. We found one perfect match.
We were elated and so excited that there was someone out there who was not only a match but, after being contacted, was willing to give their blood and was brave enough to give me what I needed to live.
They used this terminology like, you will be born a new person, you will be given a new birthday. You will be like a baby inside a mothers womb all over again.
So they began the process and began the chemotherapy. Those first ten days literally destroyed me. As we went through the process, they used this terminology like, you will be born a new person, when we transplant this and put this new blood inside of you, you will be given a new birthday. You will be like a baby inside a mothers womb all over again. I had heard that terminology before in Scripture, [the Bible], so I was thinking that this was kind of weird.
I am literally dying a death, and then they brought that bag of blood into the room, the whole time, this whole process just waiting to get this new blood on the inside of me and they stuck it into my IV. The new blood began to run into my body. The doctors and nurses, everybody involved were hoping my body would accept this new blood. And it did. My body accepted this new blood and it slowly began to build a new immune system and I am completely cancer free today. I am 100% cancer free.
It’s no longer I who lives, but someone else who lives inside of me. When they look at my blood now, when they investigate it, they don’t see a 30-year-old male; they see a 19 year old female. I literally have XX chromosomes living on the inside of me. It was a substitution of blood on my behalf so that I could live again; and so that the deception of my body would die. That to me is really difficult to ignore when I asked God to reveal himself to me. That is very difficult to ignore.
I believe that all of us have a spiritual cancer that’s eating us away on the inside. We are dying and we are begging for somebody to intervene and step in on our behalf.
I believe that all of us have a spiritual cancer that’s eating us away on the inside. When we really take a look at it, we are dying and we are begging for somebody to intervene and step in on our behalf. There is not a question in my mind that the only answer for the human condition is Jesus. My life with Jesus has completely changed as a result of my darkest hour. I am actually thankful for the process I went through. As a skeptic and a magician, I fully believe. I fully believe in not only who God is, but also what He did for me. There is no question in my mind.
My name is Jim Munroe, and I Am Second.