March 7, 2012

Bad news... but there's always good news

I've heard lots of bad news this week. Some is news from afar -- world news, national news -- but several pieces of news have hit closer to home because folks I know and love have been greatly affected.

First, I learned that my husband's uncle died, leaving behind a widow, grown children, and grandchildren. While this was good news for him, as it's the ultimate healing for the Alzheimer's that has afflicted him for so long, it's sad for his family. They already had long been missing the husband, father, and grandfather they used to know, but the death of this man can feel so final to those who remain here. The family is left to pick up the pieces, many of which have been dangling as they have struggled to cope with the destructive nature of disease.

Then I learned that a ministry that has blessed our family is facing a tremendous set back. The men at His Steps Ministries have served our family by helping us with several moves over the last few years, but the biggest blessing has been just to see their hearts. These men have made a commitment to deal with the root of their drug or alcohol addiction through an intensive discipleship program which includes intentionally serving others. Their families have made a commitment to support them and stand by them, even as the men are away from home for six months. We've heard their testimonies and seen their lives change. But this week, a fire at the ministry house destroyed two bedrooms, as well as the possessions of the men living there. The ministry already runs on a shoestring budget and faces other needs, as well. And the men, most already facing financial hardship as a consequence of their addiction, have an additional burden at an already difficult time.

Yesterday, I learned that someone dear to me is facing critical health issues, more critical than we knew. My sweet sister-in-law, Michele, was finally diagnosed with aplastic anemia last summer and was admitted to NIH in Maryland for involvement in a very intensive four-month clinical trial. She has been home for the last few months, still struggling. She returned to NIH a couple of weeks ago for a check up and received the results yesterday. The aplastic anemia has progressed to Myelodysplastic Syndrome, which is basically pre-leukemia. Her doctors have recommended a bone marrow transplant within the month. This means excruciating pre-transplant treatment for her, major logistical planning to deal with traveling from Georgia to Maryland for treatment, other family members being tested as possible donors, and serious financial concerns as her husband used up his leave (as well as leave donated to him) during the fall treatment.

All of this news leads me to my knees. In addition to praying for each of these people in the midst of all they are facing, I am led to be thankful for God's provision in my own life.

I'm thankful that I have a husband, one who is working through all that comes with being underemployed, one who is pursuing the Lord and His timing for the work of church ministry, one who loves me and our children unconditionally, one who is lovingly serving his parents as he can.

I'm thankful that, even in uncertain times, we have always had a place to call home. Sometimes, God has provided this in unusual ways, but we have been safe and, really, quite comfortable. Knowing that this has been only through God's providence helps me to be content.

I'm thankful for my health. While kidney stones are sometimes a thorn in the flesh for me (quite literally), I do quite well day-to-day.

But, most of all, I'm thankful that even if all of those things changed tomorrow, I have the confidence that God cares for me, provides all I truly need, and desires only the best for me. And I pray that this truth will be very real to those mentioned above -- and you -- today.

“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. The was the proof of His love – that He gave that Son, that He let Him fo to Calvary’s cross, though “legions of angels” might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us- not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.”
Elisabeth Elliot


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{My entry to At The Picket Fence's  Inspiration Friday sponsored by Appliances Online and the Beko Fridge Freezers”. }

1 comment:

  1. Hi Suzanne! Thank you SO much for sharing this post with us at Inspiration Friday. You could not have stated it more eloquently, even in the midst of the "bad" there is always "good" to be found. We have a saying in our home, "Even when we are having a hard time finding the happiness in life, we know that we always have JOY in Jesus Christ!

    Heather

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