Note: 6/15/13 – This post was something I originally wrote and shared on my father’s carepage three years ago 6/15/10 during his cancer journey. I am reposting it here on my blog unedited.
Andrea’s Post – Part 1: “A Time to Weep”
For those of you newer to Gary’s carepage, let me introduce myself just in case we don’t know each other (I know we’ve been getting additional “friends of friends” checking in so the network is starting to spread out – and we are so grateful for your care and support!) I’m Andrea, Gary’s oldest daughter. I’m out at the campground, where the kids and I are camping with Mom (Joanne) and some of the Hutt side of the family for the week. My husband Nate and Dad (Gary) were here for most of Saturday – Monday also. I wanted to share a few thoughts (ok a lot of thoughts!) – so this is the first of a 2 part post.
Ecclesiastes 3 says that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun.” I know I speak for more than just myself when I say that hearing last Thursday’s news, which Dad wrote about in his update, felt like “a time to weep”. Difficult phone calls again, lots of tears, and for me and I’m sure others, similar shocked and overwhelmed feelings like the first diagnosis of lung cancer last fall, and the diagnosis of liver cancer in April. The news just isn’t what we expected or hoped or prayed for. And yet just as quickly as I felt slammed by those gut-wrenching feelings, I also soon felt the immediate prayers that were going up all over the place for our family. I am so amazed at how God uses a community to lift us up in our distress. And even more beautiful is how God planted a few encouragements in my path to lean on before I even got the call. I wanted to share them with my family, but I thought I would put them here to share these blessings with many more. So here are just a few of the things that bolstered me last Thursday, giving light and hope on a very difficult day:
A friend who had a death in the family posted this on facebook earlier in the day:
“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3:17
And when I got the news about Dad, that promise came echoing back to me – I even reposted the verse to my own facebook page.
Another friend had posted this verse on facebook earlier that day:
“I have neither gold nor silver…but I say to you, rise and walk!” and said “I posted it because it’s been on my mind lately…tired of our earthly community selling short the miracles that could be done…”
That also came back to me later that day after hearing about Dad – a reminder to me not to lose faith in miracles!
After sending out a request for prayer, a close friend wrote to share,
“We prayed for you, your family, and your dad this afternoon. When I was praying I kept getting the image of your whole family being contained in a very small, bleak area- like a corner. BUT around you was this wide open space – almost like baseball diamond shaped and that this space was intended for you. Psalm 18 also came to mind and I wanted to share it with you. Especially verse 19: ‘He brought me out into a spacious place, he rescued me because he delighted in me.’ I’m praying this for your father, and for your family.”
I read Psalm 18 that she sent with certain verses highlighted and it blew me away – I encourage you to read all of it too!
Yet another close friend wrote me that evening,
“Before I even knew of your dad’s new diagnosis, I was walking with my devotional book this morning. When I read the following, I prayed it for you (as well as myself): ‘I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light. My Presence with you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Me. Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry. My children tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life. However, worry is a form of unbelief. Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry. But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive. When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to Me. Back off a bit, redirecting your focus to Me. I will either take care of the problem Myself or show you how to handle it. In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me.’”
I was so comforted and touched that God had led her to already pray those words for me earlier that morning – God knows what we will be facing only a few short hours later! Don’t ever think that your prayers for another don’t matter. They mean so much to our family, and we do feel them and find encouragement and strength in Christ because of those prayers and messages of love and support. The carepages messages, the cards you send, all of it lifts us up and we are blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support.
Thank you for using Thursday’s “time to weep” as an opportunity to also make it “a time to heal…a time to build [up]…a time to embrace…a time to speak…a time to love”.
(Andrea’s Post – Part 2: “A Time to Laugh” coming up next!)