May 27, 2004
Hey guys...just a quick update.
I hope this finds everyone doing well...enjoying the scorching heat, I trust. At this rate, Charlotte will look like Pompeii by August. Maybe not...but it sure is hot. I don't like to sweat.
Alright, enough about me. Speaking of heat, Chad will be finishing his first full week of radiation today. ;) So far, we're looking great. He's gained back all the weight he lost during the high-dose interferon, and is rather hysterical these days. He's always been a funny guy, but he's raised the bar lately. It's our understanding that the radiation becomes more difficult as the weeks pass and the amount of radiation within the body grows. Keep that in your "Chad prayers" and I'll keep everyone updated, of course. It's our understanding that he should finish up with radiation around June 24, at which point he'll meet with the oncologist again and another PET scan will be scheduled. I know I've told you all this before, but a reminder never hurt anyone. The PET will be the first indication that the treatments have been a success! BIG BIG BIG. Prayers are the number one need for the Sullivan Family right now. Healing, strength, and faith...we need it all and look forward to sharing God's glory with all of you when Chad is healed...
Hugs to you all. Until next time...
Last weekend, my good friend Stephen's little brother, Scott, had a terrible accident. He was helping his dad cut some trees down in their yard and one wound up falling askew and it struck him. As I write this, Scott is still in trauma ICU. Prayers are much needed for a brain injury that Scott has suffered. He is still unconscious, but is breathing on his own now. Praise God for that huge piece of progress. I went to visit today and stayed a bit, visiting with the folks that were there at the time. They are basically living at the hospital, and I certainly know what that is like. Exhausting is the first word that comes to mind. As I left, I told Scott's fiance', Emily, to please let the church know if we could do anything at all. "Pray," she said. "Just keep praying."
"We will," I replied.
Since Chad went home, the most difficult prayers that I pray are prayers for healing. To be honest, they go something like this...
"Lord, I don't know what to say. I do ask that it could be your will to heal in a miraculous way here. But, you know I have already asked you for that for Chad, and you took him home to be with you. I've already been to the end of myself praying for this sort of situation, and an earthly healing wasn't in the plan. You're going to do what you have to do, so please just comfort the family and glorify yourself in this situation. Draw them closer to you through this. I trust you. I don't know what else to say. Amen"
Not word for word, but you get the gist.
I live a very simple faith, and a very simple life. If you want to debate Calvinism or apologetics, please don't come find me. I believe God is in control, completely sovereign, His Word is Truth, and He is good. I believe He is for me, not against me. In short, I trust Him. You will see, as I continue to share my emails from Chad's illness, that I truly did attempt to go to the end of myself, mustering every bit of faith that I had, to believe in faith that Chad would be healed here on earth from his cancer. Yet, it was not to be.
I trust my God. I trusted Him, to begin with, because my parents told me to trust Him, and they were trustworthy. They loved me. I knew they wouldn't lie to me or lead me astray. I trusted Him later because His Word, the Holy Bible, the inerrant Word of God, told me to. I had seen my folks adhere to the Word, to treat it as complete Truth, and they had been blessed by that Truth. It was indeed true! Their lives were a testimony. So, when the time came that I had to trust Him to the end of myself...and then beyond...I was able to do it. It's a whole other level of trust to look at your God and say, "I don't know exactly what or where Heaven is, but here is one of the one's I love most in the world. I hand him to You. I trust you with him. Take him...I trust you, Lord." That is big "T" Trust. It takes a lot to get to that moment...
It took nights and nights and nights alone in my room, on my bed, weeping, pouring through Scripture, crying out to God...and day after day of looking for Him, searching for Him in any way I could find even a glimpse of His presence and faithfulness and love. It took time. He gave me time. He prepared me before I had to do it. I see now, He does that with most everything he asks me to do, if I'll just pay attention.
He's sweet like that.
Lately, I seem to be truly coming out of the dark. Finding myself, my new self, on the other side of my life's big tragedy. It's not that I wasn't me before...but I was in the midst of more of a "becoming," I think. I was passionate and desperate and hungry, a little manic at times. The details of the last several years are sometimes a blur. These days, I think I'm more settled and quiet-spirited than ever before. It feels nice. With that, also comes revelations of the past. As I age, I see that clarity is sometimes hard to find in the midst of situations. It's the reflecting where so much truth...big "T" Truth...can be found. It's a rich place to be...the treasures and bounty of a hard season of sowing. The reaping of the harvest is the blessing.
So, today, for Scott's family, I utter prayers of faith on Scott's behalf...still mustering up all the faith that I can to believe in a full recovery for him. I do this knowing they will be blessed and prepared for whatever road lays ahead of them. God is indeed a God of miracles. Why them and not us? I don't need to know. It is what it is, and I big"T" Trust Him. I don't have to struggle to understand everything. I see that now. I don't have to wonder what He's doing or how He's doing it. I Trust Him. He is for me, not against me. I Trust Him. He is working here. I Trust Him. He is good. I Trust Him. I don't understand all He does...I don't want to understand all He does. Who wants a God they completely understand? That is not God at all.
I Trust Him. He is the Truth. I Trust Him.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and
do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
No, I don't always understand. But, He's given me the strength to be big "B" Brave, and I can big "T" Trust Him.
There is big "P" Peace there.