Shaken

Tonight I’m feeling a little shaken.

I have been purposing in my heart to make some changes. To run toward the Lord, to cling to Him, not to seek comfort in the things of this world, or my stinky onion layers. I have been desiring life and joy…determined, focused, excited about the Lies and Truth Bible Study…ready for a new year, a new adventure…excited to see what the Lord has in store for our family and Sufficient Grace Ministries in 2011. I’ve been having a grand time, getting my groove on with the Just Dance 2 game on our Wii. Dancing until I am out of breath, dripping with sweat, and laughing hysterically at myself. Good stuff.

The thing is, we are not in charge. We never know what is waiting around the corner. We may think we are going to get our dance on and wallow in a season of joy, reaping a harvest of the fruit that comes from sowing our tears during the seasons of sorrow.

We think we are ready for one thing.

And, something entirely different punches us square in the face shattering our plans.

I have shared before that watching my mother suffer and die from cancer was a struggle unlike any other in my life. It changed me…for the rest of my time on this Earth. Although I have leaned on the Lord, and felt His comfort and strength. I miss her daily…yet even in my missing, His grace is sufficient for me. I dream my dreams of longing for her…some ending bitterly. I experience her days of suffering like the flashes of a veteran returning from war. And…still His grace is sufficient for me.

Paul speaks in Corinthians of his thorn in the flesh. It was something that wasn’t taken from him…something he struggled with all his days on this earth. Many of us have thorns in the flesh…illness, pain, sorrow, grief, loneliness, depression, physical and/or mental disabilities. We have imperfections, flaws, quirks. Call them what you want.

This afternoon, I heard that one of my dearest friends who has been battling cancer was taken to the hospital. She has endured radiation, chemotherapy, all sorts of procedures and medicines, and other forms of torture to fight the cancer in her lungs and brain and perhaps other places in her body over the past couple years.

This woman taught me how to be a wife, with her sweet, snarky way of telling me how it is. With her straight-talking ways, she drilled into my young, selfish, raised-in-a-household-where-women-were-in-authority mind the importance of honoring my husband and caring for my home…and training up Godly young men. She walked with me through the deaths of my twin daughters, Faith and Grace…and later my son, Thomas. She sat beside us as her husband delivered Thomas’ eulogy under the blue sky with big, fluffy white clouds while the sun shone on our grief-stricken faces. One of a handful of people whose eyes looked upon our Thomas, she saw and appreciated his beauty. Her house was always the best place to have parties…the best food and fellowship. Her special gift has been making her home a haven for all who entered. She can make the best apple pie on God’s green earth. She prays fiercely for everyone in her life…no doubt her prayers helped keep my marriage together through the toughest years. She loves and “gets” teenagers…and they love her right back. When in good health, she visited and encouraged, and genuinely loved those in prison as she helped deliver the gospel to them. Her words are part of the story…our story…shared in the Dreams of You Memory Book. Dinah and I are always saying…”The most beautiful gifts in this life emerge from some of the most difficult suffering. It’s in the hard stuff that beauty is born.” Saying it is much different than walking it.

She is my second mom. And, like my first mom…cancer has stolen much from her. She has toughed it out…much like she toughed out everything else this life has dealt her so far…with a perfect blend of grit and grace. I love her dearly.

And…tonight, she is laying in a hospital bed.

The outcome is uncertain, for now, as far as the condition of her physical body and mind. She has survived much more than doctors expected. And, we serve a God who makes all things possible.

I am trying not to look with my eyes….

Trying not to remember the flashes of the moments I watched cancer steal my own mother’s mind and body…

Praying for my beautiful friend, Dinah, and her beautiful family.

Trusting that the same God who carried my mother and I through those days…will carry Dinah and her family in these days. Knowing that He is faithful.

When my mother was in the hospice center, Dinah sent me these verses:
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
~ Isaiah 46:4

Verses I whispered to my mother as she longed for reassurance of His promises in the last moments of her life…

Tonight, I am shaken…

But my God is steadfast and sure. He is not moved…

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… ~ 2 Corinth. 4:7-9

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-20

When my world is shaking, heaven stands…when my heart is breaking, I never leave Your hands…
~JJ Heller


Please pray…

Comments

  1. Alleluiabelle says:

    Kneeling with you in prayer this night dear one…kneeling with you in prayer for your precious friend Dinah, her family and for you.

    Love you,
    Alleluiabelle

  2. cooperkelly4 says:

    praying here too….♥

  3. Praying….

    Your description of your friend reminds me so much of my friend that went to Heaven three years ago. I felt so cheated that I had to walk the rest of my life without her. I felt cheated that my children would not get to know her…I had waited for so long for my daughter to be old enough to go over to her house, listen to her stories, share with her, soak in her love. That was a bitter pill to swallow. But you are so right…God's grace is sufficient. And her life reminded me that we are just a mist, but that mist can touch the hearts of those close and those on down the road. Her life is shared with my children everytime I run across another "just because" gift she gave me. Her life lives in my testimony and my desire to be a better mother, wife and Christian.

    I am rambling, but you words evoked such emotions from my heart…I will remember to pray, Kelly…

  4. Praying for your friend and for you, dear friend!!

  5. Sarita Boyette says:

    Kelly, I'm so sorry – I will pray for Dinah, her family, and you. I can only imagine how you must feel.

  6. Praying so much for everyone. I watched my own Father battle cancer finally it happened he lost , forever changed , my children I lost forever changed me. Trust even at timess it's hard God is right there with you. I'm battling right now but whatever the outcome God is always there.

    {{HUGS}}

  7. Praying for you and this precious lady today. <3

  8. Michelle Karr says:

    Praying! I am so sorry…

  9. September says:

    Praying for you sweet friend…You will be in my heart all day.

  10. How terrible. My prayers are with you and her.

  11. Praying for your dear, sweet friend! Also praying for you that God would give you the peace that can come only from Him! So sorry to hear this!

  12. Oh Kelly, this post just brought me to tears. I am so sorry for your dear friend Dinah. I will be praying for you and for her. It is so hard to understand this side of eternity.

    On a lighter note….I'm thinking I'm going to have to get this Just Dance thing. :)

  13. Kelly,

    Your post has stirred up so much emotion in me! I lost my very best friend to cancer 4 years ago and my dear precious sister in law this past August.

    It does forever change you and it can be so hard, but like you said, His Grace is Sufficient!

    I love that song by JJ Heller! It speaks volumes to me!

    I will be keeping Dinah and her family and you in my prayers.

    Blessings,
    Karen

  14. I am so sorry Kelly. ((hugs)) I am praying hard. ♥

  15. Praying for your friend Dinah and for you. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  16. Debby@Just Breathe says:

    I am praying for your friend Dinah. I am so sorry. I am also praying for your comfort and strength. ((HUGS))

  17. Crying out to God on behalf of Dinah & family. May God continue to strengthen you & give you peace.

  18. The Writer Chic says:

    Praying for you, Kelly. I'm sure this is so, so hard on so many levels.

  19. I'm sorry to hear about your friend and her struggle with cancer. I hope that she can overcome it. I know that with God it is possible. Praying for her.

  20. So sorry to hear of your friend's illness. Suffering is never easy, especially when your heart has already been touched by it before. Praying for healing and peace!

  21. Jennifer Ross says:

    There are so many wonderful things said and so much love given by this beautiful woman, I don't know what to say that would come close to the sadness I feel for her, her family and you.

    I absolutely loved these words…
    "The most beautiful gifts in this life emerge from some of the most difficult suffering. It's in the hard stuff that beauty is born." …… WOW! Just beautiful.

    I am so sorry that this has to happen and I can just imagine you standing by her bedside and trying not to envision your own mother in the bed.

    I'm so so sorry Kelly.

    Love you.

  22. praying for you. love that last JJ Heller quote. God is so faithful

  23. Crystal Theresa says:

    Sending prayers, Kelly. I'm so sorry I am late (as always), but want you to know that Dinah is in my thoughts, as are you. {hugs}

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