Over the last 5 months, Tara and I have experienced comfort and encouragement from many people. It is refreshing when it comes from people who recognize that they are also broken. Who don’t get too spiritual or religious, rather just talk to us. And when they do, they don’t know what to say, so they simply say “I am sorry!” or “What can I do for you?” Who serve us in selfless ways rather than self-gratifying ways. Who help us find life’s joy in the midst of suffering. Who encourage us to do well at what we are doing.
We have learned so much through this and have much still to learn. We are learning that suffering produces joy and faith. In fact I think it is very difficult to live a life of faith without suffering. We have learned that many people suffer in different ways and it is equally difficult and significant for each person, regardless of how it looks on the outside. We have learned how to better serve others who suffer. To not pity them, rather help them to suffer well. To not simply tell them where to find hope and go on our merry way, but to go on a leg of their journey with them.
I may sound like I know what I am talking about. I don’t. It is Tara who is teaching me. She has reminded me that this sickness is no accident. It was appointed to us to carry. And the end result isn’t what matters, rather it is all about the journey. How we depend on God and show him off in the process. That is what matters.
This late night thought is what I will rest on as I doze off to sleep tonight. Thank you to those who are helping us to suffer well, not simply helping us try to end the suffering.
Am wondering if Tara is thinking that you, Jay, are teaching her. The road of suffering has two lanes and travels in both directions. From my perspective, you are both traveling the journey successfully, each in your own way yet together, not taking short cuts or trying to race to the end (as much as you might want to). God bless you both………….
You are so right my friend. It really is all about the journey. I know in my own life I have had times where I have done the journey well and times where I have not. God knows us so much better than we know ourselves. God, please grant us wisdom and mercy for our journeys, that we might always glorify you. Grant us your strength, so that we have to depend on you and not ourselves, lest we forget who made us and keeps us. Thank you for my friends the Maiers. Give them strength and comfort in the days ahead. Thank you for carrying them, when they can no longer walk the path. Wrap your arms of love around them, that they may finish the race well. I ask this in Christ’s name.
You are profoundly teaching me through your journey. I agree with the thoughts above — this road has many lanes. Each has its own insight for others. Thank you for this experience. God is certainly speaking to me through you both.
Thanks, Jennifer. I’m so glad you’re thinking of and praying for Tara and Jay. His blog entries are profound, to say the least. Honest and heart-wrenching sometimes, but always an expression of what the Lord is revealing to them, one painful step at a time. I have to confess that this one, like so many others, resonates with me in the walk I’ve taken—and, well, am still taking, now that I think of it! I used to tell the women’s groups I spoke to that my walk with the Lord began when I was a small child, then grew deeper after I found that Bible in our attic, but the exponential growth in my spirit really began when I was diagnosed with breast cancer! Surprise, surprise….the last thing I would have imagined.
Lots of love….oh, and thank you for the invitation to Princess Cambria’s party! We’ve got it on our calendar!