“I don’t expect she’ll make it another two weeks. Her hygroma has grossly increased in size. There’s nothing we can do.”
The words came out of his mouth with as much pain as that with which they poured into my heart. I am so thankful that our doctors have involved their hearts in our journey. They don’t view me or Phoebe as a science project they can easily discard, but rather we have been welcomed into their hearts, into their family prayers, prayed for by their friends.
What doctors do that? I am grateful for God’s provision in giving these doctors to us.
The next couple weeks will be filled with that unpleasant kind of anticipation you feel when you voluntarily walk into a haunted house… you know what’s coming is bound to be scary and will catch you off guard, no matter how “ready” you are for it.
I’m not a person who likes that kind of drama and have made it a general rule to avoid putting myself into situations that lend themselves to be so, unless it’s a play or a movie or something. Drama on stage is good. Drama in life? Eh, no thanks.
But we don’t always get to choose that, do we?
Drama is inevitable no matter how hard we try to avoid it. Not just drama but, oftentimes, heartache. I don’t know a person who’s made it more than a couple of years in life that hasn’t had their heart hurt in some way.
And there is nothing worse than not having hope when your heart has been, or soon will be broken.
But what if you could prepare yourself? What if you were armed with tools to help you cope? Something to help you keep breathing when it feels like all the air has been sucked from the room and you’ve been left there to die? That reminds you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to STAND.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in its place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the fiery arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
And PRAY in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of requests….”
–Ephesians 6:11, 13-18a
You guys, being proactive when we’re well, when life is good and when we are strong is the PERFECT time to build up our strength.
A good friend and mentor of mine said once that it’s important that we exercise and eat well because when we do we’re making deposits into our “health bank”. There will be times when we can’t make those deposits and instead have to make withdrawals…. Pneumonia. Cancer. Broken bones. Giving birth. When our account balance is high because of the deposits we’ve made when we were well, it takes a lot to bring our balance to zero. A lot.
Our heart and spiritual well-being is the same.
What kind of investments are you making into your soul’s wellness account? Are you enjoying the good days? Kicking back and breathing easy? Perhaps you’re taking them for granted? Are you using the energy you have to speak truth into your soul? Are you studying God’s Word? Or, more to the point, have you considered Jesus at all?
We CANNOT make it through hard times like the one my family is facing with Phoebe’s loss or others like cancer or the death of a loved one or endless unemployment or any number of other really hard things without HOPE!
My favorite song of all times says this:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not sing the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
ALL other ground is sinking sand.
Do you believe this? That anything outside of Christ is sinking sand?
Many don’t. Many will call you “crazy” or a “religious zealot” for believing in this man, God in the flesh, who offers this hope that we all crave and cannot attain on our own.
I have been called crazy as well as a zealot because of this faith. I am glad. So has Jesus.
But this crazy zealot has experienced a peace that surpasses all understanding in these unbelievably awful, gut-wrenching circumstances because of Christ alone.
I do not know what tomorrow brings, but HE does. And He’s got it under control…. and if He is in control of it, I don’t have to fret about it. I can breathe a little easier. I can wake up tomorrow morning and know that whatever the day holds, God is already in it and has gone before me. I am not paving the way alone.
I have full confidence that should a miracle not be granted for Phoebe, I will get to see her in heaven. I know this because I know Jesus as my Lord and my Savior and I know that in spite of the enemy’s desire to make me fall and curse Christ because my daughter is sick and will likely die, MY GOD IS GOOD. I will not be moved. My faith will not be shaken. My hope is in Christ because really, HE IS THE ONLY OPTION. There is nothing on this planet that can promise what He can. And those that do? Every one of them is an empty promise.
Emptiness offers nothing for healing.
Emptiness offers no promise of joy.
Emptiness offers no words of comfort.
There is no hope in emptiness.
But in Christ? There is fullness. There is life. There is truth and comfort. There is HOPE.
Even better? That hope is waiting for you. Jesus wants to be YOUR Hope; the One to whom you fall down before when you have nothing left. He wants to be your Comfort, your Strength, your All-sufficient One.
Throughout this journey with Phoebe, Christ has been everything to us. He has shown His love for us through the overwhelming support of friends, family and many, many strangers. He has spoken healing balms of truth to our hearts through His Word, the Bible. We have heard countless words of encouragement, interceding prayers, had meals delivered, people clean for us when I’m unable… the list goes on. I feel more surrounded by Him now than any other time in my life, good or bad. He is faithful and loving and kind and good.
He is my hope.
He can be yours too. Just ask Him!
“Let us hold fast to the confession of our Hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful!”
Photo credit: WithGreatExpectation.com