Three months ago, we got one of those phone calls that you never imagine you’ll receive. I remember my Mom in Law’s words, “It’s not fantastic news.” It actually was horrible, life altering words. She was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. We were on a plane in 3 days and arrived here in Washington to walk through these last months of crisis with her. There have been so many gifts of time and precious memories, but so many painful days full of uncertainty, illness, doctoring, and watching someone we love so deeply live with so much suffering. Sue is amazing. She has a strength of spirit that I have seen in only a few rare souls. She is so special and so wonderful. I am blessed to be her daughter in law. This has shown Dave and I a new depth and reality of life. The impending loss of a parent feels torturous. Watching Mom suffer is almost unbearable at times. It physically hurts and there is a sense of a total helplessness. Really it’s hard to even write about it. That’s why I haven’t . At this point, we are so deeply grateful to be here still. And we continue to ask the Lord when and if we are to go, and for now we are staying. We are asked what our plan is, when we are leaving, when, how??? We just don’t know. And we don’t have a plan. That is hard. But we know that we are to stay. We love where Jesus has us and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Sue is a gift and we want to honor and love her during this season. When the Lord releases us to go back to Soddo we will joyfully go. We are longing to go back and can’t wait to resume our lives and ministry there. But for now, we give thanks for this TIME to love.
…We are settled in the basement in Brown’s Point, WA. We are living our days in a new and drastically different surrender than the exciting, adventurous, fully abandoned way we felt stepping out to go to Ethiopia. This surrender has been deeper. Harder. I’ve thought so many times, how grateful I am that we have positioned our lives in a way where God can say ‘Go.” He can say, “No.” He can say nothing, and we wait. This waiting has drawn on a different level of faith…one where we are demanded to keep our eyes on God. We are required to acknowledge that we really truly have no control. We have no say. God is God…and He is always enough. I am learning to believe in a new way that He really does work in ALL THINGS for GOOD. Though sometimes the fog of our days and realities is so dark that it is impossible to see. So we trust in this precious unchangeable-ness of our great God. “I AM holding onto you. I AM holding onto you. IN the middle of the storms, I’m holding on. I AM.” I love the words to this song…this is our new theme song…not only is he actively holding on– He IS. He always IS. He is here. He is good. He is strong. He is faithful. He is unchanging. There is something to be said when you are in a valley of life when all is change…all is uncertain. We can cherish the sacred gift of his unchanging nature all the more. Jesus is full. He is always the same. I couldn’t be more thankful for Him.
We got word this week that Mom’s cancer is metastatic. How do you even take a step forward to live, after that? How do you keep living…and breathing…and thanking Him? How do you cherish these moments and grieve all at the same time? What I am learning today, is to thank Him for now. Take one step, and keep looking up…trusting that there is more than what my eyes can see here. Thank Him even when you can’t hardly muster the words. Choose to see His grace amidst the storm. I’m learning sometimes there is pain in the Thanks…some offerings are deeper than i knew…
Jesus is so near and I know His love in a new way. I know that He is grieving with us. I know that HE has not left us. I know that He has a bigger plan and purpose and that we can thank Him even when all of this hurts so badly. I know that He has suffered for us. I am humbled by His love. The only thing that actually feels good in this season is worship…we sing. We love. I embrace this little precious life of Selah…I glory in His creation. I love my husband and my kids. I love my family. I love. I thank Him and praise Him for every good gift. And I thank Him for today. It really is a miracle.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.… Hab. 3:17 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 2 Cor. 4:15 ~and this verse…don’t read it too quickly… And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28