As I cried out to God this morning to help me process the many changes which have occurred in the last few days, I felt Him prompting me to reach out to one of my best and long-time friends, who recently received a diagnosis that is most certainly changing her world. I wanted her to know I care and am praying for her, so I texted her.
As I shared words to hopefully encourage my friend in some way, it occurred to me that God was also answering my own prayers for help. Then I thought maybe these words might also help others, too.
It is with my friend's permission that I share my text message to her (slightly modified) with you...
"I am thinking today about how difficult it can be to navigate through all the emotions one experiences when trouble comes to our own life and/or the lives of our friends and family. I do find great comfort in knowing that we serve a God who sees it all, knows it all and always has good plans for his children no matter how it might look to us at the time.
I remember how numb I felt when Ethan was diagnosed [with a tumor in his brain**], and how we went around for days just focused on that and couldn't even begin to acknowledge other things were going on around us. I remember God impressing on me from the very beginning this thought: God is always good and his plans for us are always good plans; that God defines what good is because He created good; that if I am having a hard time seeing what is happening as God's goodness, then it is my definition of "good" that needs to change. So I would pray and ask God to show me His goodness in all of this. And He did, over and over again!
God also (as part of the answer to my prayer) gave me a picture that I have always been able to recall and hang on to, since that day. I saw myself on an inner tube moving along on a stream, almost as if in slow motion. Even though there were rapids all around me, I was on smooth water. I realized that God was the inner tube and I was to rest on Him and He would carry me through the difficult days we were facing. It was okay to feel numb and helpless, because I was. All God wanted me to do in that time was simply and completely trust in Him--to let Him carry me.
In all those days, and ever since then, I have never doubted God's goodness, even when everything around me and what was happening to me seemed far from good. Today, even as I write this, I am reminded that this is His word for us all today, no matter what we are facing.
I hope this encourages you today.
** Ethan is my 14 year old grandson, who at the age of 3 1/2, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Doctors did what they could for him and gave him a couple years to live, not knowing that our Good God had other plans!
The tumor is still there, yet hasn't grown. The seizures Ethan has endured over the years have certainly taken a toll. Still, Ethan is very much alive and brings joy to our family in countless ways. He is a constant reminder of God's goodness–which shines brightly through Ethan every day–and for us all in whatever situations and circumstances we may be facing, even when it doesn't feel so good.
Ethan is pictured with his mom, Tasha Roth, during a recent visit to LifeScape, where Ethan lives and attends school.