As I read the comments to Abby's blog, to Mark's and my and my dad's posts, and as I see people or talk to them on the phone, I keep hearing "you are doing so great with all of this", "you have such faith", "you have such courage". Don't get me wrong, I appreciate and am truly encouraged by these words. But this morning as I sit and read the Psalms I am struck by my own humanity, my own flaws and my own inability to handle any of this. It is so big. How do you deal with the truth that an all powerful God would allow a child to suffer? And possibly to die? How do you put to rest in your heart the thought that if God is so loving, why would he take a child from her parents? Or at least allow her to suffer? These are are the things that my heart wrestles with. And I know that I can take these hard questions to my Savior, to the One who may not be able to give me answers I want because I can't understand the workings of the universe and why things are the way they are, but I will take them to Him and He will help me get through them and find peace. And He has. I have heard Him telling my heart that this is not what He would have for Abby, or for all of us who grieve. In the beginning there was a plan for glory and for paradise and we chose to doubt God's goodness and because God didn't want to force us to chose Him, He allowed sin to rock our world. It is because of sin that Abby's body is wracked with cancer cells. It is not because God can't or won't fix it. Now He does have the power to heal her right now, I do believe that. That is the hard thing. Why won't He? Well, He has whispered to my heart through this all the reasons He has allowed this. There is a bigger story than Abby's health and our love for her. It is so key for me to lock into this or I will get bitter and angry at God. And I'm not just spitting out sunday school answers here. God has told me that He will use this whole process of Abby's cancer to bring so many people closer to Him. The desire of His heart is that everyone will know Him and chose Him and therefore be able to be with Him forever. Abby's cancer will shine a light into a dark world in a way that her not having cancer wouldn't. I believe that to the depths of my soul. I have seen it already in more ways that I can even list here. It is amazing how the lover of our souls really does turn all things to good. And as for my "courage" in all this, the only reason I am standing and moving through each day with peace in my heart is because I have had the honor of a personal encounter with my Savior. He has rushed in and comforted when I didn't even have words to say to Him. He is amazing. He is so faithful. He loves Abby more than I do. She is His daughter first. He will take care of her. I pray constantly that He will heal her so she can be with us for many years. But I also know that, like Abraham when he walked to that altar with his precious, only son, that You can be trusted. In my heart I know that I will be okay because You are with me. The verse I am hanging onto in this is Psalm 28:6- "The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in Him and I am helped." Thank you all for reading this. It is good to share my heart with you all. It is therapy. I know you are all praying for Abby and that is so comforting. You all give me strength to run into God's arms.
Thanks for sharing your heart! Your words encouraged me this morning! God is so faithful to meet our needs and He met mine through you. Missing you! Give Abby and Anna hugs and kisses for me.
Even though I don't know you...I have been following Abby's progress because of a relationship with her Grandparents...you truly touched my heart today. You are on the right track and no matter what happens our Lord and Savior will be at your side. Watching a child close to us suffer is one of the hardest things he gives us to do, but in that he grows great strength, trust and peace...just keep running to Him...God Bless you and your family.
Whenever I think of you guys and why God is doing what he is doing, I keep thinking about the Nooma Rain video. Rob says that there may be some day when his son asks him why he made him go through that storm and it would break his heart becuase he would say, "I would not trade that moment for the world. I got to hold you close and say over and over, 'I love you. I love you, buddy. Everything is going to be okay'" God wants to hold you close and keep reminding you of his love. You don't know how right youa are when you say God is going to do things through Abby that he couldn't do otherwise; Becuase of all you are going through, I have really had to consider my own life and God is moving mountains. Thanks for answering the call to be involved in my life, i'm glad I am in yours.
Since this blogsite is, in part, a analysis and commentary of the situation itself I will not feel too out of place entering a theological perspective here. By the way, I sympathize with you immensely about people giving pat Christianize responses to a situation that really hurts. With that in mind I must say that I have cried along with you as I have read all of your family's posts and yes, there truly is an incredible amount of trust and peace in the midst of this storm.
Many people say that "there is a reason for everything" as though all of our experiences in this world are designed especially for us by God himself. I believe that this sounds much better when said aloud than when encountered in real life. Does it strike you as odd that God should love us so much and so greatly desire to be with us that he should send us pain and hardships so that we might be driven into his arms? When humans display such behavior we consider them schizophrenic and in need of mental help.
The Bible is very clear from beginning to end that we live in the midst of a war between God and evil. Such a reality is this war that when we look around us we see the effects of war: physical and spiritual and emotional and mental hardships and maladies. Yet we stand against the forces of darkness and trust in God alone to bring about a finality. . .a justice. . .a healing to all of this.
It is o.k. to hurt, to cry, to be angry. I have joined you in these emotions many times as I have read through your accounts on this site. Our hope is not in the knowledge that God is behind all of this, but rather we find joy in whatever circumstance because we know that he is moved by our conditions. He is moved and weeps alongside us and works through his own creation to overcome for the good of his children. He is moved to move.
You are in our constant prayers and have our ongoing support at your disposal.
Just wanted to let you know that we're praying for you all and thinking about you. Our hearts hurt for you...
Jason and Sarah
Tiff (and Mark too),
thank you so much for your transparency in all of this. Thank you for sharing your fears and doubts that God is not always good. It's awesome to see how someone wathing their daughter going through cancer can be strong in the Lord even when they don't think they are. Thank you for your leadership and your surrender to God's plan for you AND Abby. You are such an example of Godly faith and reckless abandonment. We love you and are praying for you. We are so blessed to be watching you through this. God WILL use this to bring others closer to Him. He's starting with you and our family.
All our love, Bri and Chay
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