May 5, 2011

Our Hope Endures

This past weekend I went on retreat/work crew weekend with a small group from Woodcreek. During one of our devotional times I was given the opportunity to share my testimony. A lot of what I shared is based on this post I wrote on the 9th anniversary of my dad's death. My journey with the Lord began around the time of my dad's diagnosis and so much of the story is about Him rescuing me from myself... not just from my grief and the years of darkness I faced, but also from the self-sufficiency and pride of thinking I could hold it all together on my own. I had to be broken and humbled before I could be truly healed. But over time God did lift me up and give me a new song. And gave me an opportunity to minister from that place of brokeness.

The timing was good in sharing that story because last week I had a very real reminder of the darkness I once lived in. A man of faith who I love, adore and respect very much has been battling cancer for the last 18 months and we received an email last week letting us know that the doctors felt they had reached the end of the road for treatment. Not only is he a person who had one of the biggest influences on my walk with the Lord, he and his family also walked through my dad's illness and death with us. So to be on the flip side absolutely devastated me.

I was off work today for a doctor's appointment and after I received that email, I knew I had been given the time off to also visit him and his family. So this afternoon I went and spent time with him (although he had already started his decline... I was able to hold his hand and talk with him some) and time with his sweet wife. Reminiscing about stories in his life.

I got home later this evening to an email saying that he passed away not too long after I left them. I was completely broken for his family. But I also know that he is standing in glory at this very moment surrounded by nothing but peace, healing and love.

As I was praying through some of this tonight I was reminded of the song by Natalie Grant called Our Hope Endures. Part of it says the following:

But our Hope endures the worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
Let the earth quake
Our Hope is unchanged

Emmanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient
We never walk alone
And this is our hope

As I sit here overwhelmed by all that has happened today, I also am confident in knowing that my hope has not changed. God is still the God of Victory. And as I pray for his sweet family, I know that rough days lie ahead, but I also know that they serve a God who is near to the brokenhearted and walks through our pits of life with us as our Rescuer and Redeemer. Praying they might feel surrounded by that comfort and hope tonight.

1 comment:

Nicki said...

This post brought me to tears, Laura. Your faith is so strong and so beautiful. I love you so much, and I'm so proud of you. I'm proud to have you as a friend and proud to see you sharing your testimony with so many. Praying the Lord's strength for you today!