40 months...... Does that sound like a long time to you or does it seem like a measure of time that passes in an instant? Or in some strange sense could it possibly feel like both to the same person at the same time??? Yep, I think that's the one I will say best fits me. 40 months since my beloved husband was completely healed of a horrible disease called cancer. I despise it and I despise how we humanly allow the devil to attempt to use it to steal our joy. But through the promises of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, David is whole and healed and cancer free. Not here on this earth, as we prayed for and believed, but in Heaven; he is now truly home.
I've discovered so much about myself, my God, and my joy through this tumultuous journey. I will only hit on a little bit of it tonight. I've learned that God can always be trusted, His ways may not be understood clearly. They just aren't meant to be... He's God after all, we aren't. I've learned how to "hear" the voice of God in my life, and know that it comes in various ways.... Through scripture, through others, through a quiet voice inside of me, through circumstances, He can communicate any way He chooses. It's us that have to learn to hear Him, not the other way around.
I've learned that while going through a tragic situation on this earth, people watch you. They dissect you, they judge you, they learn from you and they may disbelieve you. They form opinions about your situation, your witness and ultimately your God and that's the key point here, people watch to see how you handle things. They draw conclusions from how you act and respond, like that somehow is better proof to them of God, His character, His promises, etc than anything they might read or heard of that happened in the Bible so many years ago.
It's a heavy weight when you humanly realize that your situation is impacting others. People may be forming opinions about God, Christianity, and "religion", which we know is really "relationship", just by seeing how we were acting and reacting to this horrendous challenge. David and I were growing weary towards the end of his battle, he had been hospitalized for another lengthy period and we were both exhausted. God knew it, shoot I cried to Him nightly about it from that stinking hospital recliner. He responded immediately! He lovingly sent a husband and wife from over 2 hours away to hand deliver a message, to come and support us, to remind us that it was about more than us. It was about our witness, about bringing God ultimate glory, about how others would see God through us. We were being watched by believers and non believers and we needed to remember the importance to the advancement of the Kingdom in what they were seeing. This couple had heard from God to reiterate this message and immediately got in their car, drove to St. Joe's in Tampa and delivered exactly what God knew we needed to hear. We were exhausted.... totally spent, weary, and perfect prey for the devil to start scheming and planting his lies. We needed to be reminded that through all this testing and trial, that it wasn't all about us. There was a bigger picture, a bigger plan, a more important mission at stake and that was, how could our story impact and advance the Kingdom here on earth. We didn't get it right every day, some days not even close...some days it was a real struggle to put the big picture ahead of what we were emotionally feeling in the moment, but in those moments the Holy Spirit empowered us to keep pushing onward. To keep our transparency, yet keep it relatable and real. We had to keep repeatedly turning it all over to God and he in return transformed all the ugliness, brokenness, hurt, and fear into a beautiful testimony laced with modern miracles.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT