Sunday, February 19, 2017

Even If...

                Other people are going to find healing
                  in your wounds. Your deepest life
                  message, and your most effective
                  ministry, will come out of your deepest
                                                                          - Pastor Rick Warren, said after his son's suicide

She is hurting right now, and at times her physical pain is
overwhelming. She is suffering, this beautiful friend of
mine. Even though I am praying and praying for her healing, 
I feel such a mix of sadness and helplessness as I see her go through this.

My dear, dear friend Vicky Westra has new physical
complications from her stage four breast cancer, and they
have left her shaken and holding on to her faith for dear life.

If you know Vicky and love Vicky, this latest physical setback 
she is going through may have shaken you to the core. 

It has done that to me.

While I hang on to HOPE, and I won't give up on praying for a positive outcome from all of this pain, a new knowing seeps into my heart.

Simply put...I cannot imagine this world without Vicky Westra in it. 

While I certainly don't know what God's plan is for Vicky, I do know what my plan is for Vicky. 

I am at every turn asking God to heal Vicky completely. I want her here for Rick. I want her here for Nolan and Colton, her sons. I want her here so she can experience life's greatest joys. I want her here at her son's weddings, and I want her here so she can some day be a grandma who dotes on her grandchildren. 

I want her here to take beautiful pictures of sunsets and clouds.
I want her here to go to the beach she loves so much. I want her here to share her amazing wisdom on her blog. I want her here to see Nolan's hockey games. I want her here to have fun with all of her spectacular friends who adore her,

And selfishly, I admit, I want her here so she and I can continue our wonderful friendship.

But truth be told, it isn't up to me. My plan for Vicky may not be God's plan for her.

Just that thought has me on my knees, barely able to breathe.

For the past six years, I have seen Vicky's spirit, and her choice of JOY and LOVE in the midst of some of life's greatest challenges. Knowing Vicky has been life-changing for so many of us who love her. She has changed my life and enriched its depth more than words can ever say.

Vicky is my soul sister, a sister of my heart!

So at once I am begging God to heal her and in the next minute
begging him to ease her suffering. Like so many other 
prayer warriors for Vicky, I beseech God daily to help Vicky and heal her. I want Him to take away this pain that robs her of the life she deserves. 

I want her cancer journey to be:

I want cancer to leave her body. 
NOW, please.

I want her to have a healthy life back again.
I want a happy ending for my dear, dear soul-sis.

I've even been mad at God and asked, "Why her?" Why, when thousands and thousands of us are praying for Vicky's health... why have You not answered our prayers?

I have felt such anguish for Vicky, and it has brought up old questions about how God works. Why, when she could be healed with a touch of His hand, has He not made her well? 

Yet I know and trust God completely. I can look back on my life and see God's goodness manifested in thousands and thousands of ways. 

I can see answered prayers. 
I can see His grace in my life and the life of so many others. 
I know He loves me, and I know He loves Vicky. 

Why then is she not getting better? Why are these prayers not being answered in the way I think they should be? What in the heck is God's plan in all of this?

I have prayed and prayed and prayed for an answer to these questions and yesterday that answer showed up. 

My dear, dear friend Jackie sent me a clip of MercyMe's new song Even If...

The words and music touched my hurting soul. I sent it on to others, and it ministered to them as well. I cried and cried when I heard it because I knew it was the truth, and I knew Jackie sending it to me was an answer to prayer.

I don't know what twists and turns Vicky's life and cancer will take, but what I do know for sure is that the God who made heaven and earth loves my dear friend completely. He is there with her in this suffering. I know for sure that Vicky is surrounded by all of us who love her. What I know for sure is that we will never stop praying.
What I know for sure is that God has a plan for Vicky's life, and He has a plan for mine, too.

Even if this does not turn out the way I want it to for my special soul-sister, Vicky, He is still my HOPE and Vicky's hope too.

Just knowing this gives me the strength to say...
                       "It is well with my soul."... and
                       " My HOPE is You alone."

Here is this remarkable song by MercyMe. May it soothe your soul as well. 

And may I humbly ask a favor...Please keep Vicky in your prayers.

Jackie, thank you, my treasured friend, for all of your love and
prayers. You are truly a gift from God in my life. Thank you for sending this song my way.

God Bless!
Love, Linda


Vicky said...

i'm completely undone. The sheer amount of love I feel- oh sweet one- words simply don't suffice. I made it through a long day of chemo yesterday, and was pumped full of steroids that offered me just enough energy to go to Nolan's game. And while the jury is out- he may have even tapped in one of the goals- or perhaps his stick didn't touch the puck- either way he was celebrated and the team went on to win 6-0 in their first play-off game and I saw the whole thing. And today, I still haven't crashed down from the steroids- so I'm catching up on all that I can- and you dear one- were mighty high on my list!! You are one of my saving graces, times and again, Linda! Love you- deeper and wider every day!

Jackie said...

Your words touch the heart of me.
Our friend Vicky is going through so much with her cancer and the treatments. She is a rock. An absolute rock. And, I have shed tear after tear on her behalf praying to our Lord to give her strength...endurance....and healing.
I am so moved by your words of testimony regarding her steadfast courage and love and joy. She is an angel walking. She truly is.
I send you love too, my dear friend, Linda.
You continue to minister in love and kindness to all who know and love you, and I know for certain that you pray for all who don't know the love and Grace of our Lord. Thank you. Always.
Count me among your forever friends.
Love you....

Jackie said...

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