Monday, April 12, 2010

A Widower's Grace for Dreaded News

Dear Reader,
Monday posts deal with the grief process. Today I'm posting an actual letter a pastor sent after he and his wife heard the news about her they'd dreaded. I think it's an example of one of the ways God ministers to us when this time of life approaches. I know God planted special words and verses in my heart to carry me through. How about you? I pray that this will remind you of strength God sent to you.
Family -
Wednesday we had the conversation with the doctor that we were dreading, but knew was coming. The doctor told us there was no more that could be done for Jane. The myeloma had become more aggressive and was growing faster than any chemo drug could control. He wanted to change approaches from fighting the disease to making Jane as comfortable as possible. Jane still wants to fight and is taking a new chemo agent but the doctor doesn't hold much hope at this point.
(He doesn't know Jane is really in the care of her Lord. God's will will be done.)
He said she may live for 4 more months, but he doubted she would live that long. The myeloma might shut down her kidney function, cause internal hemorrhaging, or allow an infection...all of which would be quickly fatal. The main concern now is the pain. Her bones are being attacked by the disease which causes extreme pain. Even though she is taking morphine, the pain is still debilitating. Pray that God would show her mercy and ease the pain.
We are home how and have rented hospital equipment to care for her. She didn't want to be at a nursing home. Hopefully we'll get a routine established which will allow me to care for her and give her comfort.
So many folks have offered to help and pray for us and it is sincerely appreciated. Your prayer will pull us through this difficult time. Our church family's support is beyond anything we could ever repay. Thank you all so much.
We are holding up our missions team in prayer. Jane believes prayer is her primary ministry now.
The day we had this conversation with the doctor, God provided this reminder to the both of us through the writing of Oswald Chambers*:
"Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have
His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father,
He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget,
so why should I worry?
Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you,
but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind
friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He
is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Not even
the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it.
Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him."
We have our confidence in Him.

This letter was written last summer, July 17. Jane died July 31. I'll always remember her as such a good woman, and I'm talking about core goodness--through and through. Energetic, productive, loving. She raised her children well and loved her husband deeply and faithfully. I remember feeling such relief and thankfulness that she didn't have to suffer so much longer, but I always feel a little mixed-up about that since I also felt sad for Dean and the kids. I guess that comes from having my heart fixed on heaven and my feet planted here on earth for now. Heavy sigh . . .
(*My Utmost for His Highest, quote is from the July 16 devotional. By the way, the Wednesday, March 24 post was about this book and the widow of Oswald Chambers).
Please check back each day this week for the variety of topics listed as "Labels" over in the right column of this blog. Also, feel free to comment (Click on comment below) or email me. ferree

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