As we near the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, I realize how much I have to be thankful for. If you would indulge me for a moment, close your eyes and think back to when you were a child and there was that friend with the “cool parents” who you could tell everything to. You always wanted to play at their house. If you were having issues with your parents, you could always talk to them.
Or maybe it was a teacher you had in school who especially took time out to make you feel like you were special and you could accomplish anything you set out to do.
Or maybe it’s a special friend that you have now that God put in your life at just the right time and has stuck with you through all of the mess that is life at times.
I want to tell you about someone who is this special to me. I was leading worship in a church in Panama City Beach, Florida when God brought the most amazing woman into my life. I had no idea how to be a worship leader as the job just fell into my lap when the previous worship leader left. She and her precious family came to our church, and even though I was the one in the position of leadership, “she was Elijah and I was Elisha.” She had led worship and held many positions of leadership in churches most of her life. She helped me muddle through not knowing how to do anything as a leader!
As we got to know each other better she shared with me just a bit of the pain that she had endured in her life…that includes spiritual abuse by a pastor who was molesting children in their church to name just a couple. She had been so deeply hurt by religious leaders that she trusted…
She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and my closest confidant for the years that we were both in Florida. Time and the Lord moved us in different directions, her back to Tennessee and me to Colorado, but I bet you’ve had a friend like this. We might not talk to each other for months, but I always knew she was there. And when we did talk, the conversations went on for hours on end!
Do you see a friend like that in your life?
Today my heart is breaking for my friend. I happened on a Facebook Post of hers to discover that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July. I have watched her posts and she loves God and is trusting Him in every one. After 3 major surgeries and 5 months of chemo, last night we spoke via Skype and we cried together and laughed together, but mostly cried. I cried because I am in Hong Kong and could not get my arms around her when she needed to be held. She cried because of the pressures of surgery recovery, chemo, a worn out recliner that was too uncomfortable to sit in for any period of time and a mattress with a hole in it that they stuffed blankets in to make it even with the rest of the bed, made it almost impossible to get comfortable as she tries to control the excruciating pain of cancer and chemo. This doesn’t even touch the $225,000, yes I said a quarter of a million dollars, in medical bills with no insurance. But the thing that really crushed my heart was the fact that she was beginning to despair a bit and who wouldn’t in her circumstances. There are people around her that could help, but aren’t…sometimes it is uncomfortable to be around those that are seriously ill when you don’t know what to do. But this is no excuse to do nothing. Her husband is a hero in my book and hers and is doing his best to take care of her and everything else. A few cousins wanted to have a benefit for her to raise money for the medical bills, but was told by someone that they were “doing fine financially.” Don’t get me wrong. I am not judging the person that did this, but what does this say about the state of the Body? Are we afraid to admit that we need help?
My prayer and hope is to help. If you could remember someone in your life like I described earlier in this post, would you, in honor of them, help me help my friend, Suzanne? I think of the song by Casting Crowns…If we are the Body, why aren’t our arms reaching?
If you would like to give thanks and honor someone in your life, what I want to do is ask you to give a donation of any amount…nothing too small and if you just happen to have a quarter of a mil extra laying around:)…Every donation that comes into God Is Good Ministries for the months of November and December will go directly to her family to pay the regular monthly bills as well as the medical. If you are a regular donor to GIG and only want you donation to go towards the work we are currently doing, please note this on your donation.
I encourage you to copy the blog or the link and send it to the person you are honoring and tell them how much they mean to you and that you are doing it to honor them! I will be posting an edited version of this on Facebook and if you want to copy it and paste it to your page, feel free. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are people out there who care about each other, and I guess the reason I’m doing this is simply because…she would do it for me. I understand if you are unable to give, but please, please, pray for my friend Suzanne Clark and her family. Thank you for helping me hug my friend from Hong Kong!