Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Lord, The One You Love Is Sick…

On September 12th she endured life-threatening cancer surgery to remove a large aggressive tumor in her abdomen which involved her colon and was attached to several organs. We prayed with her and said good-bye to her at about 7:30 AM and waited through the long ordeal until her doctor came out to speak with us at about 1:30 AM that night. Sixteen hours of radical surgery…during which there were three times when the doctor felt they would be unable to proceed. But somehow…each time (grace of God, of course), he was able to find a way to go on. He told us that night that Tina would probably only have a ten percent chance of living a normal lifespan. She endured all of this in order to give herself the best possible chance of extended time with her daughter, 8, and her son, 4.

Eleven weeks later the cancer was back with a vengeance and with terrible pain. A tumor in her spine caused it to crack. She was back in the hospital. She knew the truth… before any tests were performed. After some radiation to try to relieve some of her pain, she came home under hospice care. Today she was transferred to the hospice facility. I visited with her yesterday. She asked me to pray that the herbal medicines she was taking might work. But she also told me she wanted me to conduct her funeral.

She is a child of God. She considers her two children and tells God it is not fair that she, who wanted nothing more than to be the best mother to her kids that she could, will not get to see them through. What would you tell her? She is not mean-spirited or bitter in any of her questions. But she is real…and she is urgent. We hope and pray for a miracle for her…but we plan for what we most fear. We believe…but, Lord, help our unbelief. We decorate for Christmas…but we’re haunted by a cemetery.

I don’t know what you’re going through…I don’t know what it is that makes you feel that God has set a bulls-eye on you and is shooting at you…BUT, it’s not true! Lazarus lay terminally ill, in spite of the great love Jesus had for him. And Lazarus died from his illness, in spite of the great love Jesus had for him. John the baptizer was beheaded in prison as a young man, while Jesus ministered upon the streets and lanes and fields of Palestine. His sudden and violent death didn’t mean Jesus didn’t love him.

I’m not wise enough to know what to tell Tina…or how to tell her. (I beg your prayers for all of us who attempt to help her any way we can.) But I know some things. I know that none of these tragedies…these terrors…that have come to stay in her young life are to be allowed to convince her that God is angry with her or that He doesn’t love her. As I write that, I feel the tension of it. It’s not very satisfying, I know. I expect Tina to tell me, “Well, you’re not very helpful.” But she doesn’t! She is patient under trial. She is kind to all who visit her. She burns with pain, but she is not consumed. Her faith will see her through. She will trust God with all her cares…the most precious of which are her dear children…yes, she will trust God to do what she cannot. And so will we.


Single Post Navigation

4 thoughts on “Lord, The One You Love Is Sick…

  1. email girl on said:

    Today my heart breaks for Tina, for her children, for her family and for those trying to comfort her and care for her. I’m praying that God give her peace and comfort in this time. I pray that her children will know how much their mother loves them…how much she doesn’t want to leave them. I pray that they will someday grow in faith and remember the strength their mom portrayed in her life’s toughest days and use that as an example for their lives. I believe everything happens for a reason, even when that reason is so hard to see or comprehend…we may never know the reason bad things happen. But even in that belief, I have such a hard time comprehending something like this.

    I don’t think God sits back and says, this one lives, this one dies, this one is going to have a beautiful life, this one is going to live scared. We are His children. Can you imagine being asked to choose which of your children live, which ones die….who lives life like a wonderful dream and who struggles daily to just survive? Can you imagine trying to pick…you couldn’t. I wonder what Gods role really is. I recently heard it explained that God is not making bad things happen, but He is there when they do…and when they don’t…and He is ready for us to lean on Him. He wants to help…like a father does. That sounds good….but I’m just not sure that I’m 100% in support of it. I wish I could understand….I wish I knew what His purpose and His role is. But maybe I’m not meant to. I do think I should listen to my own words though and do some leaning on Him in my own struggles.

    I’m praying for Tina with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. I can’t begin to imagine what pain she is in and what thoughts are running through her mind. I ache just thinking about how a mom copes with the knowledge that she will leave her children and how she prepares for that day. She is in my prayers. Those kids are in my prayers. You are in my prayers. I pray that He blesses all of you with what you need and holds you in the palm of His hand.

  2. I have read this post over and over trying to think of something to write. Something that could comfort Tina in some way … and something that could make you feel more helpful to her. I am blank.

    When my aunt was dying all I could do was listen. All the words I tried to say seemed so empty. We have to hold on to the truth … and it sounds like she’s doing that. She’s accepting the truth of her situation, and the truth of God. That’s really all there is. “The essence of life is you and God.” When it comes down to it … that’s what is real … our relationship with Him is what will last for eternity.

    My prayers are with Tina and with those around her who struggle to find words … who struggle to hold it together … trying to be strong and supportive. I pray for her children and that they learn from the strength and trust their mom finds in the Lord.

    I really just feel like my words are not sufficient … I can’t express what my heart is feeling. So I will continue to pray …

  3. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26.

    That’s what I feel…there are groans that are welling up in my heart for Tina’s situation…an aching that words cannot express. I know that God hears that and understands. He knows…and we don’t.

    I have prayed for Tina and her children and her family. I pray for you too Doug. May God guide each of you…always.

  4. oakesclan on said:

    Dear E-mail Girl, Snack and Sherry,
    I knew already that your hearts were with Tina and all of us who love her. I knew you would be agonizing over what to say and over how to help a dear soul through such severe trial. I knew you would want to be of help. I knew you would be praying. All our options have vanished one by one…medicines, herbs, doctors, therapies, surgeries…these have served their turn without the results we longed for. We know we are not God. We know that we don’t understand. We have questions without answers for now. We are not strangers to tears. Tina lives each day now in pain…weakening…grower thinner and paler. All the love of her dear children, her precious friends and of her Savior Christ isn’t keeping her from moving nearer her departure from us…it seems. Pray for her to be kept in perfect peace in her soul…for her to somehow understand that this terrible journey doesn’t mean that God fell out of love with her…for her to trust on, in spite of pain, questions, and an illness that wouldn’t be denied. Pray that her children will be inspired in this life by the legacy of faith, determination and courage their mother showed in her titanic struggle to stay with them. Pray that Tina will be able to cast all…ALL…her cares on the One Who loves her so and is able to take care of all things, and especially the things she is no longer able to take care of.
    I love you all…for caring…as I knew you did…and would. In your hearts their beats a familiar rhythym…like that of the Galilean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: