A Silent Struggle

ImageI’ve been in ministry now for 26 years and I would be more than willing to admit, I’ve seen a lot but I haven’t seen everything.  I’ve worked with unwed mothers, attempting to convince them to keep and put their child up for adoption rather than to abort their pregnancy.  Amazingly, some 26 years later, I find myself on the receiving end of this wonderful gift of adoption three times over.  I’ve worked in the jail ministry where I stood on the other side of the bars of a 13 year old “boy” who was on trial for capital murder and was facing the death penalty.  Only three weeks ago I sat down over lunch with a ninety-five year old friend who bought his farm from President Roosevelt seventy years ago and finally made the difficult decision to move into a retirement community – leaving everything he has known for many, many years behind.  With tears welling up in his eyes, his silent struggle was clear.  Or, a few days later when I sat down with a retired friend who has lost most of his life savings, almost a quarter of a million dollars, taking care of his family.  His silent struggle was overwhelming.  If we open our eyes and we are even the least bit perceptive, we will see people, on their journey of life, who are experiencing a silent struggle.

No one is immune to these struggles and we will all face them at different points in time.  Some handle these struggles well while others, their world is turned upside down and inside out.  I’ve learned a tremendous amount when standing next to people like this – guiding, strengthening and encouraging them to walk a pathway of faith.  Today, as our family finds ourselves in an uncertain situation, some days, it is a silent struggle and some days, you feel as though you are fighting the battle all alone.  As many know, in June, we sensed our youngest daughter Caleigh was struggling with her health.  We adopted all of our children with various special needs.  Along with her specialist, weImage monitored her situation for the next few weeks.  However, only after two months and no longer being able to adequately address her care, we were referred to a pediatric transplant team at the University of Michigan.  Today, Caleigh is under the best care and the best team of doctors in the Midwest.  At this point, there are no easy answers and we are taking each day one step at a time.  We know our God is sovereign over all things and our faith is incredibly strong.  Years of ministry has prepared us for this day.  The bottom line is, our little Caleigh Grace has been nothing but a true gift and blessing from God – to which we are overly grateful.

Along with this struggle come some difficult decisions.  One of those involves our oldest son Seph, who is a freshman at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  When Seph came home for fall break in October, we realized, once again, how close all of our kids are with one another – despite a 13 year age difference from top to bottom.  It has been difficult for Seph to be so far away from home in the midst of this situation.  As with any parent, it was hard to send him so far from home, but the atmosphere and environment which Liberty has to offer is second to none.  He turned down full running scholarships close to home for the opportunity to attend Liberty.  It is difficult when your plans don’t work out as you desire and they abruptly go into a tailspin.  It is difficult when your life is altered and all of a sudden you are walking on a different road – one which you didn’t ask for, but embrace because it is now your life.  Difficult situations require tough choices.  After weeks of working through various options, we’ve made the difficult decision collectively that in December when Seph completes his first semester at Liberty, he will be moving back home to attend classes locally and be closer to the family as we walk through this time of uncertainty.

For about five months, this was a silent struggle we walked through as a family.  Slowly, we’ve been letting those who surround us know what our situation is because of the changes which will take place in our family dynamic.  Our journey is going to be long and some days could be challenging.  As we know it today, there is no cure for Caleigh.  But there is hope.  There is always hope when you have Jesus on your side.  About three weeks ago now, a friend shared with me a song by Kutless titled “Even If.”  There are people who give you advice casually or haphazardly, who have never stood where we stand today.  Then there are others who know exactly what we are facing.  This friend lost their son to cancer a little more than five years ago now.  I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel at a gathering we had to honor his life.  As he shared this song with me, he knows the array of emotions you can feel when you walk this path on your journey because he’s been there and he’s lived out these truths.  Even though there may not be earthly healing, there is still hope and there is still gain.  Here are the words to this powerful song, “Even if.”

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Lord we know your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

You’re still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You’re working all things for our good
We’ll sing your praise

You are God and we will bless You
As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Even if the healing doesn’t come.

Even if the healing doesn’t come and life falls apart and dreams are still undone, we have a strong hope in our Lord and an unwavering faith in His sovereign control.  And in the midst of every step along this journey, we will yet praise Him because our God is good.

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About GrippedByHisGrace

Our home is Okemos, Michigan. Our life is the work and ministry of Jesus Christ. Our worship is of God alone. Our goal is to live a supernatural life.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Family. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Praying for you! What a beautiful girl. I am going to pray Ephesians 3:14-21 for you on my knees as soon as I post this.

  2. Adding your sweet girl to my prayer list. Jeremiah 29:11

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