Oh my goodness, it has been forever since I have written anything! I'm sure many of you have forgotten about me or become so frustrated you wish you had forgotten me. Hmmm...let's see some excuses? Well, I can think of many but why bother listing them. The truth is I have basically been in a "funk" lately. Many times I have thought of writing but haven't seemed to be able to find the right words. My "yellow friend" Bryce (who is not yellow anymore!) had his second surgery last week and then had another due to complications the next day. What an ordeal for this young man and his family. He was hospitalized in Portland which placed them all far from home. I went up to visit him after his surgery and was just heartbroken to witness the struggle and continued uncertainty. I visited with him and Kaylee in the hospital room for awhile and then headed for home, feeling completely helpless.
This seems to be something I wrestle with a lot lately. Watching Bryce go through his surgeries and tests, has caused me to contemplate the same old thoughts. I don't really wonder why people struggle with hardship anymore. When my sister was diagnosed with brain cancer that was the only question I asked. Why? Why does a beautiful. loving wife and mother who only loves Jesus more than her family, have to face such pain and uncertainty? After weeks and months of asking this question, I began to rage at my Savior. I don't know if it was even a conscious decision. It just came over me, I was so angy at God. You know, now it's hard even for me to write that, let alone admit that I felt it and that I lived it. But there are lessons to be learned from "falling away". The enemy loves to use the circumstances of life to wear us down and cause us to curse our God. How heartbreaking it is when he succeeds and we give in to the very nature of our flesh. That was me. Thinking that somehow I didn't deserve to have a trial, that my family shouldn't have to suffer. It became an awful downward spiral that sent me searching for my own answers and finding my own way. What an awful pit...
I have learned tremendous lessons since then, because my Savior is an expert at lifting us out of our own self-created pits! The lessons are endless, but one of my favorites is the one from Romans 8:28, that the Lord will use all things for good for those that love Him. That is one that requires some faith. I was sure that some of my circumstances could never be used for good, but slowly I am discovering that indeed He can use them. What is interesting is that illness, tragedy and hardship don't escape any of us. What we do when faced with those circumstances says much about our faith. Unfortunately, when mine was tested, I failed miserably. But I wouldn't trade my lessons for anything. Probably because when you learn them the hard way they tend to stick. But watching Bryce has taught me much more...Bryce never asked "why me?" instead he asked, "why not me?" He found joy in his struggle and considered it an honor that he would be tested. In all of the moments I spent with him and Kaylee throughout his illness, all I heard from him was praise for our Savior. He shared the love of Christ with everyone who crossed his path. He praised his Savior through the rain, the wind and the hail. He stood strong knowing that even if the path led to his death, he would bring glory to God with his very last breath. His testimony takes my breath away. I am amazed at how much this young man has taught me about loving and serving God.
While I was riding in the car with Kaylee one day while I was visiting, a song came on the radio. The song talked about the trials of life, how unfair they can seem and how desperate our flesh is to cling to this life. In the desperation, the writer says, "I know my Lord is sovereign." Don't we always say that? But do we really know it? Is it written in our hearts? I filled up with tears listening to Kaylee sing it with the radio, because she lives it. The words came easy to her as they do to Bryce.
When I got home from the hospital that night, I sat with Thane and cried. I shared with him my fears about my sister's illness that seemed to somehow come crashing back in after caring for Bryce in the hospital. As I cried, he held me and as we sat together, the Lord comforted me, saying..."I am Sovereign. No matter what, I am always there." My deepest desire is that when my trials come again and I am tested, let me be like Bryce. Lord, let me stand in faith, a testimony to your love and a vessel for your Glory!