Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Had Words with the Big Man

Most of you know my amazing sister from the post Cryin Myself Ugly.

She is incredible, she is strong, she is a fighter, she is faithful, she is very clearly gorgeous, she is alot of things.  But she is also very very sick.  Her body can't seem to catch a break and it is breaking....well...all of us.  Every time her doctors force her into taking a new medicine, or her body requires a new regimen, or she caves in to a new dialysis....the solution seems to backfire and develop a new problem.  Recently we were all very proud of her for taking on dialysis.  It would seem to most that it could not be HER decision to "take it on."  If I had not been there to see it myself, I would not have understood it, but her doctor has told her numerous times, "Sherry, it is time for dialysis.  Your kidney's can no longer function without it."  After which, she would proceed to break into dramatic hysteria in a heap on the floor.  This happened while I was there with her in March.  I followed her to the floor, in tears....the doctor, I believe almost in tears, said, "ok, let's try getting you hydrated and get you back on track and see if we can't postpone it a bit more."   WHAT is that you say?  I could not believe that is how it went.  She was so determined not to give in to what she believed to represent a commitment to being sick, that she convinced her doctor the same.  Well, that came to an end a couple of weeks ago.  She started dialysis.  Against her better judgement.  Everyone was so proud of her.  I was so happy that she was finally going to start feeling good again.  I think all of us, besides her, were relieved that she was on her way to getting her kidney's better and, in theory, her body better.   I knew that dialysis was not going to be fun or easy, but it would W.O.R.K.  And that was good.   And I guess that is the point.  It is working, it is doing its job.  But it is also making her MORE sick.  M.O.R.E sick.

As I am driving around town earlier this week, I get a call.  I look at my phone and the number that pops up is my brother in law's.   Not my sisters.  My heart drops every time.  He does not call to chit chat.   She landed herself in the hospital again this week with a blocked colon.  I don't have to go in to the details to tell you that SUX.  Blocked colon, really?  Breast cancer, moldy infected lungs, excruciating headaches and a failing kidney are not sufficient???  The brother-in-law tried his best to assure me that she was ok, that she was not in pain now and that they were just waiting to talk to the doctor.  I hung up the phone and could hardly see the road ahead of me for the fog of tears that swelled up in my eyes.


That is how the not-so-prayer-like prayer began.  It felt like praying to me.  But I feel certain God would have given it another term.  We were having words.  Well...I was having words.  With God... 

"At this point I am not even asking you to cure her.  I am not asking for an Old Testament miracle.  I am asking for some RELIEF.  For something to go right, and easy for her.  PLEASSSSSSEEEEEE!!  No more sudden new surprise prognosis's.  No more phone calls from the brother in law's number.  No more.  How much longer can I ask you to give her hope and faith and strength in the promise that she is still in Your Will when You keep slapping her in the face like this???"

Yes, that is how it went, my words with God.  And I still, to this moment, don't feel bad about them.  That is when I realized how amazing God is.  I am so very grateful for Jesus and his amazing sacrifice to give me a way to have such an intimate relationship with a God that HAS IT TOGETHER FOR ME.  Even when life feels completely unfair, completely out of control.  I realize that it is out of MY control and that it is not in MY realm of fair.  I am reminded that when the sister and I step back someday, no matter what happens next, and look at the big picture, his hands have been holding her and our family the entire way.  We don't feel his strong palms underneath us sometimes, but we will.  When we can look back.  I know she has seen Him at many many times during her sickness.  In my short time with her back in March we were lucky to meet many angels sent straight from heaven to bless her. We had many "ah ha" moments together. 

Gods plan is always good.  Always.  So, I am trained to step back after my "words" with Him to find the lesson.  Her health has been so perpetually bad, the news so consistently negative.  But Sherry's spirits have been so unexpectedly and unexplainabl-y UP and her faith so strong, that I can only assume that this journey of hers must be planting seeds of faith and hope in lives that we don't even realize.  I know for sure that she has learned alot about her relationship with God, with those around her, with her family, with her amazing friends.  She has had to check her attitude more than a few times.  I know for sure that I have had to pray and search:  soul search, scripture search.  I have had to stretch my faith in God.  Faith is what we cannot see.  That is hard for us, as humans.  But it is imperative, isn't it??  What do those without faith in a God that is sufficient, and good, and right, and in control do??  This I do not know.  We cannot be anxious about things we cannot control.  How do we do that without God? 

That very night, after my words with the big man, at Number 1's insistence, I am reading a story from her Bible.  Yes, you guessed it, about Job.  Read it.  Don't just read it though.  Study his character.  One day, you will be in a state of mind that I was in, feeling angry with God, feeling like God is unfair to those you love...and your child may ask you what mine asked me,

"why didn't God make Him better?  He could do that you know."

Yes, my friends, that is exactly what she said to me.  God doesn't talk to us in this day and age?  I beg to differ.  When approached with that question, in that state of mind, do you take up for your God or do you lay into Him?  Where will your faith and knowledge in Him be?  Will you be ready to help your child understand what God is trying to teach you at that moment?  If you are not armed you will not be ready and you will attack.  My answer?  Not even sure where I found the words, but I heard the message loud and clear, and I think she did too...

"Because, honey, sometimes God knows that there are bigger lessons to be learned than showing off with his miraculous healing hands.  Sometimes He needs someone as amazing and strong as Job to show great grace and faith through suffering so that those around him that are not so strong can have hope."


  1. Amen. What a wonderful, tearful, and yet inspiring Blog. Our God is always in control. The outcome may not be what we want or expect, but He IS IN control. We still pray...feverishly...but we must realize without a doubt that He is in control and that everything happens through Him and His purpose!

  2. Oh Cayce, I felt the same way. I ran an extra mile praying for your beautiful sister that next morning. It breaks my heart what she is going through & it kills me that I can't be close to her to help her out because she has become like a sister to me as well. I even told someone that she was a female version of Job so it's interesting that you read that. I pray for her everyday and her strength inspires me beyond what I ever thought was attainable.

  3. Thank you for your blog so we can feel closer to Sherry as she journeys through this. I very simply, know her from school and enjoyed seeing her at our reunion a couple years ago. Since then we have become FB friends and I am saddened by all she goes through. I am inspired by her wisdom and strength she projects and I am humbled and ashamed of my own petty feelings that I let rule my days. Your sister is an encourager to those she has never even met. Please continue to write her story as we continue to pray up our sister in Christ! Thanks. Dee Dee Huffaker Seals

  4. Gosh... How do I proceed without sounding uncaring?

    In my belief system, God has made no promises that He won't allow suffering. In fact, his plan calls for suffering in many ways.

    Without suffering, who would Christ have referred to when He said "when you do unto these, my people, you have done unto me."?

    And then I think about your situation--a situation that takes place in so many homes around the world. And I say, "Thank God that it's taking place here, in a location where you and your family have access to medical treatment that can relieve suffering and extend life."

    Can you imagine if you were a mother of a similarly ill child in the Sudan? Dialysis, blocked colons, other medical problems--there are no facilities in so many places around the world to diagnose or treat.

    Please understand that I'm not trying bring further angst to your situation. I'm not. What you and your family are going through is agonizing! And I realize that.

    We are not promised action through prayer. What I mean to say is that we are not promised that we will get what we want by asking God for it.

    We as humans are incapable of understanding why God allows suffering.

    We all will suffer; some more than others. And if we try to relieve suffering, then we've done as Christ asked.

    Thank God that we live in a time and a place where pain can mostly be chemically controlled. And thank God that we live in a time and place where illnesses can be diagnosed and treated in some way.

    I will pray for your family's relief.

  5. Hi "Anonymous" thank you for your insight. Though I am not sure you quite read this blog post. The insight God showed me from my words with The Big Man are just what you tried to explain.

    We are all so very thankful that He has carried her in such a way through her suffering. We are so thankful that we live in a place where she gets such amazing care. The blog in general was a reflection of the hope that we can all have in Christ, no matter what our situation is. My blog actually didn't mention "Expecting" anything from God from my prayer. My discussion with God was that I was angry and the point I was making is how wonderful it is that God allows us to be so open, honest and yes, even angry with HIM. And He loves us through it all.

    My understanding of God is exactly what you said..."that we are incapable of understanding why God allows suffering." But just as our example of Job shows us, it is always for His good. We just may not see it today. You might want to read through to the end of the blog. You will see we agree. Thanks.

  6. I cried while reading this. Praying for strength and healing for your sister. And also for grace. We don't know why HE does things like this, but I believe He knows what he is doing, even if it's oh so hard.