Tara answered some questions for Women’s Bible Study today that I thought I would share with you.
1. How has suffering shaped you as you grow in Christ? On January 30, we received the news that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. We were shocked. Our immediate response was to call on our church (pastors, friends and family) to pray for us. We also sought comfort from the word of God. It was clear to us through our conversations and discovery that this was God’s call on our life. I had to lay my will down and submit to His. My will was for life to continue on as it was. I kind of liked it. His was different.
God is always dealing with sin in my life, including now, amidst the suffering. I felt that this cancer was a special calling and I needed special help, a consecration for the task. “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.” The result of my submission and consecration was peace. I am convinced this is where I am supposed to be. There is peace.
2. What are some of the helpful things you can share about dealing with unexpected trials or suffering? They really aren’t unexpected. At least from God’s perspective. I look back at my life and see many things that have prepared me for this point in time. Our children being independent and able to help. An intentional slow-down of our schedules months before. The pre-existing plan for both of our families to already be here on my surgery date (for Micalyn’s birthday). Jay’s business finally being at a more self-sufficient stage.
This is a God-appointed trial that he has prepared me for. Even a couple of weeks before diagnosis, in my mentor group, I had prayed to be a woman of faith, because I didn’t feel like I had dealt with major struggles/trials in my life. I don’t know if this trial was an answer to that prayer or not, but it certainly is now a reminder to me that God was preparing my heart in advance for this trial.
3. What have you learned about God through your illness? He is faithful. His word is powerful and sharp. He provides for his people through his people.