…had someone told my husband and I on our wedding day, that in the year of our 25th wedding anniversary we’d lose both dads to lung cancer, I think we both would’ve buckled in grief before walking down the isle.
But I need you to know that if our suffering ultimately encourages other souls around us to know God will help them with ALL things, filling their hearts with love–even when suffering–then I’m confident this will honor our memory of my husband’s father more than anything.
After all, nurturing souls was the core of my husband’s dad, wanting everyone to join him at his celebration party for and with Jesus, in all things.
Just like my husband’s father stood under the cross praying for us the day he married us 25 years ago, I believe in my heart these prayers continue even in heaven, petitioning on all our behalf we celebrate Christ’s love.
God FIlls Our Hearts with Love: Even when Suffering
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~Romans 5:1-5
Grateful God fills our hearts with love. Even when suffering.
Looking into my little daughter’s giant heart while gazing through her grief drenched eyes is simultaneously honoring and heartbreaking.
Honoring because I receive the security she feels in my arms as a gift from our Holy Spirit.
Heartbreaking because I want to snatch the pain from her.
But I can’t.
I can only teach my sweet girl how to navigate grief and trust God to help.
Part of this modeling comes in trusting God for help in unexpected moments of being real.
Just like my sweet girl was real last night, asking for help with her sadness when she broke down in response to a climate change with her grandfather fighting lung cancer, God too wants her to know He’s always there to help. God’s help is never ending (*she lost her other grandfather to the same a few months ago–yes, you read that correctly–lung cancer struck both grandfathers. I hate cancer.).
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
Consequently, this morning while walking my daughter into her school office to provide an update, I literally also walked into an opportunity to model embracing God’s help prompted by being real in a safe, unexpected moment. Once I opened the door and saw dear office personnel I-love-oh-so-much, I had a surprise cry fest right then and there as everyone was starting their day.
It was like the world stopped on it’s axis for a moment. The hustle and bustle of parents and staff prepping for school spun around me as the words of office personnel spoke comfort straight to my heart. It’s as if they were on angelic assignment. For this stop in time–my real–this time in the form of tears in a school office, gave the Holy Spirit a moment to help.
In other words, as my “I’m so DONE with cancer!” tears of grief streamed down my face in our school office this morning, I was also reminded God is continuing to teach me to His grace is so much bigger than me. He pours it on regardless of my expectancy, or not.
Grateful God wants me to expect unexpected Grace.