I chose to write this article not because I feel equipped enough, strong enough, or faithful enough, but because God has a perfect plan for this article and He knew I needed this opportunity to challenge my heart. Some of you may know that I was recently married in October, started a new job, moved to a new city, and lost my father. I have been a mess. My marriage, my heart, and my faith took a plunge shortly after I said “I do”. My new season of “wedded bliss” was quite the opposite.
I received a phone call from one of my older sisters – one call I was entirely unprepared for. My sister shared with me that my dad had an MRI, and that the physician had discovered a tumor on his kidney. It was cancer.
God is faithful, but I was beyond fearful. Though I wanted to be filled with faith, I felt very weighted with doubt.
Over the course of the past few months, my dad’s cancer became worse. It spread to his lungs, liver, hips. The doctor informed my dad that he had, at most, one year to live, and that was if the treatment was successful.
In the midst of my dad’s battle with cancer, I began praising, worshipping, and praying with abandon. I began to witness my dad’s faithfulness to our Savior in the midst of his suffering. I witnessed countless people praying together in faith for healing, for restoration, for my family.
Nothing could have prepared me, or my faith for what was happening, or what was about to happen. I was newly married, unprepared, and broken. I told God many times (selfishly) “this is not how I had expected to spend the first six months of my marriage”. My dad didn’t deserve this (cancer). He loved, provided, served, and cherished his family and Christ. The cancer increased, my dad’s faith increased. My heart ached, my family hurt, and my faith frankly, was weak. But against all odds, all my fears, and all of the bitterness I experienced, God said to me, I am here.
“I was blind without trust. I was letting go, but He was holding me saying darling don’t give up for I am here. I know that even if my heart is broken, and my eyes won’t let me see, that He is grabbing me by the hand, lifting me up so I can breathe.” These words are actually lyrics to Kali Westwood’s “I am Here”. These words describe my faith over the last few months.
I am heartbroken to share that my dad passed away in February. My life has been forever changed and my faith forever transformed.
“We live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
My heart becomes alive again when I let the Lord in, when I choose to trust in Him. I saw Him fighting for my heart, I saw He had won my dad’s heart, even when he had all reason to doubt His faithfulness.
He is pruning away the dead, ruined parts of my limbs, renewing my faith, and restoring my withered heart. I am trying now to see this new season of life with fresh eyes and abandon for His name. I want to be faith-filled when I feel emptied. I want to see people the way Christ sees people. I want to inspire kindness. And I want to love with greater depth. The kind of love only faith allows us to experience.
“I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.”
Sisters, I pray that through the darkest hours of our life, we choose faith. I pray that we hear the Father saying “I am here”. You are never abandoned. He is with you always, even through the rockiest days.
My heart is still in repair. And I honestly don’t think that I will ever accept that I lost my dad to cancer. But I will rejoice knowing that my heavenly Father has prepared a place of comfort for him.
I pray that those of you who are feeling abandoned in your faith or alone in your walk, whatever your challenge might be, that you feel comforted knowing that our Heavenly Father sees your needs, and is waiting on the other side of the rainbow to reward your faith. I pray for healing to invade your heart and your faith.