Have you ever had an experience where one bit of information completely changed your life?
That is how 2014 began for me. The first week of January we received a cascading amount of bad news in that our doctor had discovered a mass on Brenda’s lung. Rapid testing afterwards confirmed this was indeed cancerous and had spread to both the brain and lower back.
Since first suspicion, to diagnosis, to telling our family – the news is not getting any better. Our lives have been altered. One minute we were heading in one direction, the next moment we are redirected to an entirely new vector.
So, was God in the previous direction? Is he in the new direction? Answer is that God is in all of it. He is in every aspect of our lives.
What are we learning in this so far? Well, we are learning again that He is in control – not us. We are also realizing how empty it must be for people who have no faith to help endure the stress of a diagnosis like Brenda’s. With faith comes community – a relational cadre of fellow Christ-followers who live out what Jesus said, that Christians will be identifiable by their love for one another. We are startled by how many people are dropped off at the cancer clinic and sit there all alone throughout their treatments until the taxi picks them up again.
God is bringing comfort to us in many ways. Through the presence of our dear family and closest friends. Through expressions of love and concern from people around the world who are choosing to share in our challenge. Through words of prayer from those who really care. And through God’s word and especially the Psalms right now.
So whatever you are doing right now, stop and ask yourself how much of your day are you investing in relationships. For the past two weeks Brenda and I have been together 24/7 making our way through the medical tests and the emotional exhaustion of repeating the story over and over to those who ask. In the midst of all this, despite lots of tears, there is an overarching sense of peace.
We are savouring each moment together and it is like we have been given new lenses to view the world around us. ‘Things’ that can so easily clutter our lives are just temporary. I can see this now, as if a bright spotlight was shining on it. Relationships, on the other hand, last forever. If this is true, then nothing can replace the time we spend investing in the life of another.
Our daughter by marriage, Kristin, established this website where Brenda can journal her journey with God right now. It also allows people who know and love her to write a comment in a guestbook. If you will linger for just a few minutes reading the comments left there you will see how this amazing faith-filled woman I am married to has invested in and mentored the lives of hundreds.
Brenda inspires others to move from focusing on things that are temporal and instead invest in those things that are eternal. How does she do this? By following the inspiring wisdom found in the word of God
As the Bible says, “Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back – given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” (Luke 6:37-38 MSG)
For the next while I am going to use my blog to allow you to join me on my journey alongside Brenda as her adoring husband, BFF and fellow pilgrim. Frequency will be sporadic depending on how things are going here, but the content will be authentic.
Carson Pue is executive director at First Baptist Church in Vancouver. This comment appeared first on his blog. If you would like to join in prayer with Brenda and Carson on this journey, please visit Brenda’s CaringBridge site for more information.
Hi Carson, Brenda (Barb) and you continue to be in my prayers and thoughts. I admire your honesty as you write and I pray that God continues to offer you both great comfort and peace. You are both much loved and admired! You both continue to teach me many things about what it means to love your spouse and your God!
Loving you both…learning with you as you walk some new and unfamiliar trail…always available, to pray, or anything else we can do that you need.
paul and sue