Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shaken Faith

I'd like to think that if when something horrible happens to me, my trust and faith will always remain Heavenward. In the few times in my life when I have felt emotionally distraught, perhaps even end-of-my-ropish, I can honestly say I never felt like my Father abandoned me. Others maybe, but not Him.

In difficult, testing times, I asked begged for His help. There may have been some "Why's and even a few "Why me's," but I never felt like He was leaving me to endure on my own.

Quite the opposite - I felt like He was at my side. And we talked. One of my readings today so aptly said "God has the ability to sustain us in the wilderness." Oh. Yeah.

My heart aches right now for a friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been told "if you're going to have it, this is the kind to have," though she's also looking at surgery, chemo, and radiation in her future. Not good news, but not hopeless, either.

And she is a mess. A broken, distraught mess. She wonders where God is in all of this. She thought this was the last thing that could ever happen to her. She's asking "Why me?" She has lost control. (Dare I tell her she never had control)? The plan for her care is up in the air. And she feels no peace, or at least that's what she has articulated to those of us to whom she has confided.

She is lost. Utterly. Completely. Lost.

And that's what breaks my heart - not the cancer.

It seems to me she believes that cancer has a more treatment options than a shaken faith does. But the reality is, the cure for that lost faith is simple and right at our fingertips - at the foot of the cross, in His Word, ready to be placed in our hearts. Firmly. Radically. Sustainably.

So what is a friend to do? What are the words to say? Or must she work through this grief in her own way, her own time, with the little shaken faith she has left? We have talked about God's grace. About God's plans and purpose. About God's answers to our prayers.

Yes, No, Not Yet.

But she feels let-down and failed. Like her faith wasn't strong enough. She feels weak. Like she did something wrong. And now it's too late, in her eyes. Oh, how I long for her to find Him in all of this, rather than push Him away.

I understand well the steps in the grieving process and know that sometimes He brings us to our knees so that the only thing we can do is look up. I pray that her courage, strength, and faith will return with a vengeance to heal this broken heart. And the cancer? We will pray for that, too, knowing God's got her. He doesn't like cancer any more than the rest of us.

I've had many friends and family diagnosed with cancer; some are healed at Home, others are well and cancer-free and living life to the fullest, including my 83 year old mother. I never look at cancer as a surprise anymore - it has been all too common both in my family and in our society. I'm grateful and frankly amazed at the strides in cancer care over the last decade. The God-given wisdom of physicians, the loving care of nurses, the healing power of faith, food, and prayer, and the knowledge that abounds for all to know and use.

Please lift my friend up in prayer for faith, courage, and strength. Let's band together so she sees clearly that the Great Physician will heal her for eternity in spirit and body, and give her hope.

And lest this sound a bit righteous, and like I have it all together, I pray I don't eat my own words someday.

Tea today: Jasmine


Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

I will be praying. What a horrible place to be. God has a plan, maybe her despair will lead her that much closer to him.

Thank you for my bloggy award also. Been a little busy, I will repost in the next couple of days.

Sure hope you are staying warm. We were over 80 again today, felt a little guilty about it.



Gitz 'n Jo said...

I'm so sorry your friend is going through this, and I will keep her in my prayers. Loving her through her grief and reassuring her that you have faith for her even when she doesn't feel it herself are beautiful ways to be a friend.

(side note: I noticed on w/o wax's comments you said you dropped me an email. it's ok if you didn't, but wanted you to know I never got one... just didn't want you to think I blew you off)

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

I wil be praying for your friend. What a difficult time for her. I pray that this will make her faith stronger, and she will find healing of body and soul. She is very fortunate that she has a good friend to help her through all this.

Sherri Murphy said...

Great post!

I feel very bad for your friend. I believe her mental battle is far worse than the physical one she is facing.

I will pray for her, and it's good of you to note that you (we) are not above falling into the same trap oneday. Good for all of us to be reminded.

Beth in NC said...

Cancer is such a scary word. I hate cancer and will be so glad when we never have to hear that word again! I know your friend is terrified and I pray God will use you mightily to bring Jesus into her life. He is her Healer, her Deliverer, and her Hope -- she just doesn't know it yet.

God bless your friend, and bless you as you offer hope.


katdish said...


While anyone who knew me at all might assume that I would never be at a loss for words, when people are hurting and facing battles the seem unsurmountable, often words do not come. The best I can offer is a link to place where there are words more eloquent than I could expess on my best day, and a personal prayer on her behalf:
Words of comfort

Post a Comment