Every once in a while you meet someone who just oozes out sweetness. I am blessed with a friend like this. As our friendship grew, my husband said to me once, I bet she’s never gotten angry or said a mean thing in her life! She’s just that sweet.
Just over a year ago, she was experiencing some sudden symptoms that led her to believe that she might have diabetes. Off she went to the doctor to see if this could be confirmed. For whatever reason, she was sent on her way, without any testing, despite her advocating for herself. A few months later, she was delighted to learn that she and her husband were expecting. Unfortunately, her symptoms hadn’t stopped and early in her pregnancy she was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.
At the beginning, she was warned that this may have affected the baby’s development. They prepared themselves for the possibilities of what might lay ahead, but after many ultrasounds they were told the baby looked healthy.
Fast forward 9 months. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. When she delivered, they were surprised to learn of a few health complications that had not been observable on the ultrasound.
Her ears hadn’t formed properly and they weren’t sure if she would be able to hear. She had two small holes in her heart causing a murmur that would need further monitoring. One of the biggest challenges was she couldn’t open her jaw wide enough to eat and had to be put on a feeding tube. The doctors suspected she might have Goldenhar Syndrome so they many examinations of her brain, kidneys spine and eyes. They spent 8 days in the NICU while their precious new baby was being monitored.
The last few months have been saturated with doctor’s appointments, follow-ups, feeding challenges and learning about conditions and treatments. And this is not the exhaustive list.
Remember, how she’s the sweetest thing ever? These things aren’t supposed to happen to those people.
I will confess, I was feeling a little fired up. Why didn’t the doctor test her for diabetes? Then her blood sugar would’ve been under control. What kind of doctor doesn’t test a person? What if… why… If only…
Even before God was impressing the lesson of living forward upon my heart, this friend was already living it out. Let me tell you… I have never seen a person handle a situation with SO much grace! Here are a few things she had to say that left me completely wowed.
I have to remember that this isn’t someone’s mistake. God is completely sovereign. As much as I want to protect her from all the hurt she might face because of these challenges, I know that God will somehow use this in her life.
As you can see living forward with Jesus Christ doesn’t exempt you from pain, hardship, suffering, crying or grieving in this life. I wish it did. It doesn’t make life easy. I really wish it did. It doesn’t mean things will always work out the way you’d hoped. It doesn’t mean life will suddenly decrease in difficulty.
Trusting in God’s presence for your present guarantees you that you will have what you need, if only you will come. Here are just a few promises from God’s word where you can see, there is something He is calling us to do, and much he promises in return:
- “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
- “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
- “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
These literally just scratch the surface of the wonderful promises God has written to us in the Bible. I would encourage you to go and see for yourself all that he has promised us in this life.
I believe that sometimes we spend a bit longer than necessary sitting on the floor crying over our ruined “soup” wondering why God has left us and why He would let this happen.
I haven’t found anywhere in scripture where God invites me enjoy his omniscient view and allow me to see every behind the scenes detail of my life. Yet, he has put out the invitation for me to trust Him with every detail of my life in the here and now.
There is great grace available when there is great need. I’ve seen people walk through such difficulty with such grace that you sit back and think, wow God. If you can get them through that, you can get anyone through anything. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen people walk down tough roads and just barely get by from day to day.
In both cases, there is anger, questioning, crying and mourning. I believe the difference between dwelling on the past and seeing the new thing lies where you choose to set up camp.
My friend and her husband are true portraits of living forward. They are thankful. They love their little girl with everything in them. They completely trust that God will give them everything they need for this journey.
I’m sure they still ask questions. I know they still need strength and wisdom from God. I know they need prayer. Don’t we all? But they are living proof that God is doing a new thing. They are living proof that His presence in the present in enough.