This past weekend I noticed that my heart was heavy for a seemingly unknown reason. I went to visit my cousin on Friday night because I just needed to be around family. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I still longed to be in the presence of my family, but it was impossible because everyone was away on vacation. I just wanted to go home and stay with my parents for a few days. I felt so empty and broken in a very strange way, but couldn’t figure out why I felt tears in my eyes and heart. And then Sunday hit, and it all became clear to me.
One of my best buddies from church was diagnosed with cancer several months ago. Being who she is, she has kept her head raised high, fought like a champion, and praised our God throughout this entire journey. She’s been in church every Sunday when she feels good and continues to be active in life. She has had many good days, but there have also been bad, pain-filled days as well. And yet, no one would ever know the depth of her struggle by just watching her…she’s got so much life in her and she has such a genuine love for God that she finds a reason to thank Him for choosing her to face this struggle. Out of the struggle of cancer, she knows God will do great things!
After going out of town for a quick trip on Saturday, I arrived to church yesterday and discovered why my heart was so heavy. My partner in crime was moved to a hospice center over the weekend. My heart broke, but not a single outward emotion could emerge from me. I just sat stunned not knowing how this could be possible. I had just spoken to and exchanged text messages with this friend last week. How could this be? She of all people doesn’t deserve this path! No answers, but I was left to sit there amazed at her strength…she doesn’t want to burden others with her struggle, so she and her immediate family choose to put ALL of their trust in God and face this journey privately with each other, knowing that God’s will (whatever that may be) is what’s best for them.
I don’t know that my faith could remain that strong, but as I sat on the pew, I was reminded of my own grandmother and her strength. I was encouraged for my friend because when doctor’s had given up on my grandmother’s life and decided there was nothing they could do, God stepped in. I remembered my grandmother sharing with me how a young boy came and prayed with her, and shortly thereafter the tumor that was in her came out and she was healed. Her faith and the faith of others led to her miraculous healing. Not only was she healed, but she lived another 50 years, overcame another bout with cancer, and lived a full life until the very end! That encouraged me because it let me know that the situation with my dear friend may look bleak, but there’s nothing too hard for my God! He can breathe life into any situation and make all things well.
But even if my friend’s situation doesn’t improve, I’m encouraged because her faith has never changed and I’m thankful because God has allowed our paths to cross. This is a friend who can fuss with me and encourage me in the same conversation. She can call me crazy, foolish, and stubborn, all while telling me I’m intelligent, gifted, and essential to God’s kingdom. We don’t often get friends like that, so I’m thankful for this blessing.
As I’ve done before, I ask for your continued prayers for my friend and her family. They’ve got an uphill battle, but we’ve got a mighty God who is able to do more than we could ask, think,or imagine. Life isn’t fair, but God sure is faithful!
Until next time, God’s love and peace!