Wednesday, May 01, 2013

What it's all about.

What started out as a Facebook status update soon became the beginning of a blog post. So I have brought it here to share. Unfortunately, it's a bit long-winded, but please stick with me, I pray it will be worth the read.

Please pray with me for my friend and sister, Kari, and her family. This woman is one of my closest friends. She is like my sister, her husband is like my brother, we are like second moms to each others' kids. This family is our second family. Diagnosed in late September with aggressive stage 4 uterine cancer, she has been fighting hard for about 7 months now, and it looks as though the end is coming near. And we continue to pray. We pray for healing, for her family, for her to be comfortable, for so many things.

God *can* heal her, we know this is a fact, but will he choose to do so? Of course we selfishly pray for such a miracle. But regardless of how we feel about his plans, we know that they are perfect. He is perfect. He is the blessed controller of all things. His ways are not our ways. We know and trust that he has a perfect plan, and though we pray for healing, and trust that he can do it, we also know that he may not grant that prayer.

We trust in him, and even if we don't get the outcome that we really want, we will trust that he knows best. We will continue to tell ourselves that truth, even if we don't feel like believing it for a moment. Or for several moments. But we will come back to the truth. We'll be real, and because our human, sinful, selfish nature wants to be mad at him for letting this horrible thing happen to our friend, we will still trust in him and believe that he knows best and has our best interests at heart. We will come back to the truth. 

We could choose to spend our days full of sadness that we may soon lose a friend, but I'm not sure that's the way for us to glorify God in this situation. Feeling sad is fine, but I think we are supposed to also figure out what God is teaching us through this. He's been preparing us for this loss for months now, and has been teaching us how to be selfless and helpful and think of others through hard times.

He wants us to see the truth. The truth is this: our lives are but a whisper, a grain of sand, chaff in the wind. We are nothing; he is everything. We deserve hell; he has given us the gift of eternal life. The truth is, he loves us immensely. The truth is, he desires good things for us. The truth is, he is constantly teaching us, molding us, yearning for us to seek him. Our desire should be to become more like Christ through every. little. thing. that happens in our lives. There is no such thing as coincidence. Every moment of our lives, driven by the choices we make, are filtered through God's hands. He will not give us anything that he hasn't allowed to be in our lives.

So what do we do with this? What do *I* do with this? I can tell you what I have been doing with it. All the while praying for God to heal her, either completely or in part, I've been simultaneously mourning the loss of my sister. I've been trying to figure out whether or not that's complete trust in God, or whether it's simply allowing myself to cope. I think it's both. God knows my heart. He knows how much I trust in his miracles, his healing, and his love. He knows, so I really am not worried about what anyone else thinks about how I've been dealing with this. I just pray that in my sharing about it, I can help someone else cope. Even if just a little bit.

Here's the deal. God tells us not to worry. Philippians 4:6-7 have been verses I've strived to live by for almost 20 years now:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So I take my concern, lay it at the foot of the cross, let the blood of Jesus cover it, and I let. it. go. Of course there are times when that doesn't happen, let's be straight. I'm human, I make {many} mistakes, we all do. But when it comes to this, here's my mindset: I have been commanded not to worry. So I'm not going to spend my days being sulky, sad, mopey, grumpy (or any other dwarf), about this situation. I will mourn. I have mourned. I have moments of despair and sadness. But I will *not* let it bring me down permanently and cause me to believe that God has lost control of the situation.

**Nothing that has happened has been a surprise to God.** 

Satan wants me to believe the lies that I need to make this all about me. He wants sadness and despair to control my life. The blood of Jesus has given me power over those lies, and I will claim that. I will strive to be a positive example for my children, teaching them how to deal with the realities in life. It's ok to feel sad, and to cry, and to mourn, but it's not ok to let it control our lives. God is our refuge and strength, our ever-present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1, most likely a combination of translations.) :)

So as I continue my mourning process, all the while praying for God to miraculously heal my sister so that she can continue carrying on the amazing life she has lead so far, I also continue trusting that God knows best. He *can* heal her, but if he chooses not to, I will trust that he knows what he's doing. No, I don't like it. I don't like the thought of losing a friend, a sister. I don't like the thought of my children losing a "second mom". I don't like the thought of her kids being left without their mom, or my brother without a wife. These people are family to us. And no matter how many times we try to tell ourselves that she'll be going to "a better place", we don't like it.

But, no matter how much I don't like it, my job is not dependent on whether I like what God does. My job, my main goal in life, is to glorify God. My life is supposed to glorify God. Does it glorify God if I'm sitting around, sulking, and selfishly believing lies? I think not. God is not glorified when we let our pride and selfishness rule us. So we trust Him, His power, His majesty, His mercy, His grace, everything that HE is, and we carry on. Blind faith, you say? Maybe. But I'd rather be led by God through blind faith than be led by anyone or anything else. 

Yep. I'm rambling again. It's gotta get out of my head somehow, and this is as good a place as any. I pray that you, the reader, will take something positive from my ramblings. Maybe you're where I am, and you're on the brink of the possibility of losing a loved one - the same one as me, or a different one. Maybe you don't know them, but can just pray for James and Kari's family, and for those of us who are in this situation.

Maybe you have other things that are more pressing in your life, and you'll find some encouragement here. And maybe you and God aren't on speaking terms lately. Whatever the case, I pray that you will see God's hand in your life, that you will see the difficulties in your life as God's way of attempting to bring you closer to him.
Because without him, you won't ever have true happiness or contentment, you'll always be searching for it.
Trust me, you won't find it any other way. If you don't believe me, try it. What have you really got to lose? 

This started out as a quick post to ask people to pray for my friend, and for my family and all of us going through this trial. But you know what? It's not about me. It's not about me at all. God wants me to share this with you, and he wants *you* to see his love for you. That's really what this whole thing is about. God uses stuff like this in our lives to point us to him. It's all about him. Our purpose in life? To Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever. We glorify God by accepting his love, by sharing it with others, by being examples of his love to others.

This is what it's about.

If you're not familiar with my friend Kari's story, please see her CaringBridge site for more info and the latest updates. Please pray for her situation, especially her family, all of whom are so special to us.


  1. Thanks Tami. Your words are true and a good reminder.

  2. That wasn't supposed to be anonymous. It's from Becky E.

  3. Thank you friend for sharing your heart. Trusting in Him, that this day too, is part of God's great design to move us toward His Great ending of this story! Love your heart and so looking forward to getting to know it better. :)

  4. Tami, your words were just what I needed to read today as I'm going through this process. Bless you, my sister. I think they are so well spoken, and important enough I may read them to the kids as well. Love it! Thank you so much.
    James Bennett

  5. What James-slash-Tom said. Love you!