Kara’s Collection: Hard

From an article originally posted June 29, 2013…

Last week we passed the anniversary of the Waldo Canyon Fire. Jason and I let the day quietly pass. We still remember—we remember fleeing our home, not sure where we were going. But we also remember landing with friends that are now family, our home not burning, and the shock of it all. It was head spinning, stressful hard. One didn’t rejoice in a home spared as we knew so many were not.

While on vacation this year, even more homes were burned, more devastation. Jason and I watched from vacation in disbelief. No way this could be happening again. Our friends we had run to the year previous were now running away. Jason’s mentor was without a home. We felt so very helpless from where we were sitting. We debated going home, we debated what help we could be. We struggled for peace. We hurt to have others walk a path we know to be very difficult. We offered our home, we prayed, we watched the coverage with grieving hearts.

Now home, I realize what I faced soon after the fire. I see the anniversary of my diagnosis is soon to come. I know because it was right at my birthday. This week we had a new couple to Westside to dinner. They asked us if we had a faith crisis in the midst of our year. It was a very good question. Jason and I both said there was no time for it. Once one is diagnosed, you are whisked from one thing to the next. There were tears, so many tears, but we had to keep going. I also remember reading just at that time from Spurgeon (I can’t find it specifically so this is in no way a quote). The message was, When suffering comes, cling to Jesus. Unbelief may be tempting, but it’s a sin. Fight against it, cling, seek, trust. He is there. Of course being Spurgeon, it was eloquent in ways I am not, a few thees and thous sprinkled in, but the message went right to my heart. So I entered the fight with these thoughts emblazoned on my heart. Faith is given by God, this I know. But I did feel an element of choice in my reaction. I had moments of fear and struggle, but I didn’t choose to look away from Jesus. And Jason and I and an army of community faced my hard head on, and grace showed up.

Then the news came yesterday that a small child in our community may be facing a battle with cancer. A friend alerted me and I called Jason in to where I was sitting. I read him the post. I was undone. The list of people I pray for in this battle is very long, and I never want it to grow. But grow it must. When I rang the bell marking the end of this fight, I remember saying how I never want anyone to know this journey. But if they have to know this journey, I pray they have the community that I have to walk the hard path. I grieve for this beautiful family, and I also know they will be carried. They will know Jesus in a new way. They will be deepened by the hard, blistering waters of suffering. God will be present in a way that outsiders will marvel at. To God be the glory.