Do you ever wonder sometimes, just what God is trying to teach you? I do. Many times He teaches me through others and watching them deal with their struggles. I mentioned in an earlier post that my in-loves were going through some medical trials. My father-in-love has been in the hospital, rehab, or skilled care nursing facility since Sept. 17. Left his house that morning to come to the hospital to see his great-granddaughter Caroline who was born that morning and he has not been back home since. It has been a roller coaster of events since then. My mother-in-love, Judy has been back and forth everyday taking care of him and just being near him. She was basically wearing herself out. She has had a bothersome cough since the beginning of October and just chalked it up to being in the hospital where so many sick people were. It got progressively worse and the doctors thought she had pneumonia so they medicated her and told her to stay home and rest. It continued to get worse and my husband (who is a precious son) took her to the doctor where they too agreed it was worse and hospitalized her for the pneumonia. Readers Digest condensed version - Stage 4 cancer. We could not have been more unprepared.
Judy survived ovarian cancer 10 years ago, breast cancer 5 years ago and now this. A completely different kind of cancer all together. She jokes she is trying to get in the AMA journal. We had been focusing all our attention on father-in-love and all this time she was getting more sick. Things turned upside down quickly She did in fact have pneumonia behind the mass on her lung and had to stay in the hospital about two weeks for that to be handled. She has completed two weeks of radiation and has one more to go. Then Chemo starts. She is such an amazing woman. Her faith is such a testimony to us all. She and Gerald have shared the love of our Saviour with everyone they meet in hospital. One of her nurses was a pastor's wife and Judy was able to share so much advice and wisdom with her. Oh, the Providence of our gracious Lord. Astounds me daily. After a particularly difficult evening spent with Judy dealing with the news that the cancer had metastasized, I was getting ready to walk out the door to go to school and the phone rang. It was the hospital which alarmed us, but it was her asking to speak to me before I left. She said, "Michelle, thank you for being with me last night and I'm sorry I broke down. But, I am not going to die from cancer, I am going to LIVE with cancer. And I won't just survive, I am going to thrive. God is in control anyway. Now, you go to school and teach some kids. I love you." Well, I couldn't go to school until I re-applied all my make up from blubbering. Her strength is incredible. My baby girl said one day,"Momma, how much more can MawMaw and PawPaw take?" I had no answer for her except to say, "I don't know sweetheart but we would do well to learn from their example on how to live in the midst of trouble."
My in-laws have devoted their whole lives to serving Christ and sharing Him with others. They still are. Many people believe that Christians should be exempt from trouble. Quite the contrary. The Bible tells us there will be trouble in this life. That is why our Hope is not here.
My husband is such a devoted son. He has been spending his days carrying his mother to radiation and then getting her situated at home, then to sit with his dad to inform him of all that is going on. My sweet man doesn't like for people to tell him thank you for what he is doing. He told me the other day that it is his honor to care for his parents. A joy and privilege he would not forsake for anything in this world. (yes I do thank God for him every day) Through the grace of God my husband's sister is going to be able to come and stay with her parents and care for them. She is a nurse and we are so thankful her job allows her this time.
We don't know what the immediate road holds for us but I do know this. I am so thankful for this family that God brought to me and they are living every day teaching the rest of us how to persevere always and keep being faithful on this complicated road called life. Lord please let me learn from what I am being taught.