Who are your heroes? I want you to think for a moment about someone in your life whom you admire for their spiritual strength. Think of someone you know who has been through hardship or tragedy and yet you’ve been impressed by their steadfast faith in God. Can you think of someone?
Have you ever wondered why they can do that? HOW they can be so strong in the midst of tragedy? I have.
We have some friends who lost their three-year-old son several years ago to a rare form of cancer. Less than a year later, their daughter was diagnosed with another form of cancer. I screamed at God, “How can you make them go through this AGAIN? It’s wrong, it’s mean, and it’s unfair!”
But I watched them. They prayed and cried and screamed, but they never accused God like I did. I couldn’t figure that out. HOW could they be so strong in their faith? Why wasn’t my faith that strong?
You see, I had a near-perfect childhood. I didn’t really have any situations that challenged my faith to the extent that I had to learn to rely entirely on God for anything.
That changed for me in 2008 when I got the phone call that no one wants to get. It was my mom. “Honey, Daddy has a brain tumor.” That rocked my world like nothing else has ever rocked my world. My Daddy is one of my heroes. One of the strongest men I ever knew. I remember falling to the floor and wailing. I couldn’t even cry at first. I certainly couldn’t pray. I just screamed. My world was spinning out of control.
My dad underwent a 12 hour brain surgery to try and remove as much of the deadly tumor as they could. Before he went into the surgery, we were told all the risks. The greatest risk was he’d never come out of it. I knew in those preceding days it was a very real possibility that I was going to lose my dad–and I wasn’t ready.
That’s when God spoke to my heart in His still small voice and said, “Do you believe that I’m in control or don’t you?”
That stopped me in my tracks. Did I? Did I really? Or was all my Christianity so far only so much lip service? I had to decide. Was God sovereign or wasn’t He? Over the next few days, I wrestled with that question, searched the Scriptures, and prayed without ceasing. Then God gave me this verse through a dear friend: Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
I realized then what I’d been doing–anxiously looking about me, looking for hope, answers, the right doctors, the right procedures, the right course. God was telling me to look to Him alone. All that could be done had been …. now his life was truly and only in God’s hands. Before Daddy went in to surgery, God brought me to the place of truly believing He was sovereign. If He was in control, and it was Daddy’s day to die, not the best surgeon in the world could save him; and if it wasn’t Daddy’s day to die, they could operate on him with a Swiss army pocket knife–and not kill him. I learned to trust that day as never before.
My husband Keith and I have been married 24 years and we have two incredible sons, Allan and Austin who are 20 and 13, respectively. I’m a homeschooling stay- at-home mom who would love to actually “stay at home” a lot more than she does. I blog at Good Grief Takes Work.
[Editor’s Note: Join us tomorrow for the rest of Angie’s powerful testimony.]