A friend was in a car accident.
As I walked through the doors of the hospital to see her, it was familiar.
Several months has passed since Richard’s diagnosis and battle with cancer. The surgery revealed worse news than we thought it would. He went to surgery and, for the next several weeks, he recovered.
I gained 10 pounds from cheesy casseroles and deserts like key lime pie, all hand delivered by friends and family.
A few months after the surgery Richard’s body was healing. His bruises faded quickly, but the internal healing was taking a bit longer. Then we got the good news. Every trace of the cancer was gone.
We decided to take that anniversary weekend that we didn’t get to take due to the cancer.
That’s when another storm whisked out of the blue and knocked us down. We were on the way when Richard said he didn’t feel well. We pulled into a quaint little restaurant, but he didn’t feel up to staying so we brought it back to our hotel room.
Within a short time his body went haywire.
We cut the anniversary weekend short and he slept all the way home. He had another terrible night. The next day he burned with fever.
Babe, you’re going to the doctor.
It’s the flu, Suz. I’m fine.
It’s not. You are going to the doctor.
The doctor took his temp: 104 and rising. His stomach was hard on one side and painful to the touch. The doctor immediately sent us to the emergency room, where we found out that three abscesses had formed within the surgical site and one was about to burst.
If it did the infection could be lethal.
Off to surgery Richard went.
If he hadn’t gone to the doctor, he could have died, they said.
I don’t want to think about that. Yet, as I walked through the doors of the hospital I did think about it.
I noticed all the other people. Some sat quietly. Others paced. Some were on their phones. Some huddled with family members, dressed in various shades of dishevelment. Those were the ones called in during the night, or who got the call that a loved one was in crisis.
Every last person in that room was in a storm.
And that’s when it hit me.
It’s not the storms that leave the greatest mark.
It’s the hands of those who hold you up in the storm.
It’s our privilege to love each other when the winds whip out of nowhere and knock each other down.
Though Chapter Six is about the power of Jesus’ presence in a storm, the presence of God’s people is also a game changer.
We have some hard memories from our time in the storm, but also some beautiful ones.
Friends rushing through the door at the news. Laughter as they told jokes. Tears as they held us close. One friend showing up on surgery day at 5 a.m. just so he could pray with Richard before the procedure.
Do you know of someone in a storm?
Are they alone?
Make a cheesy casserole. Throw in some homemade peanut butter cookies for desert.
Sit with them when there are no words.
Pray with them.
Show them Jesus, and that you care.
I promise you this: It soothes a heart in the midst of a storm.
- Read Chapter Six
- Watch the video
- Answer the discussion question
- Journal or answer the questions at the end of Chapter Six
- Bonus: Call someone in a storm and pray for them. Tell them that you care.
After years of abuse, widowhood, battling Aggressive breast cancer with two sons in high school, followed by ulcerative colitis, high dose steroids with all their effects, removal of my colon, a mass on the pancreas, multiple surgeries, and financial struggles. Yet, through it all, God was faithful and gave me the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Through it all, He taught me that I could trust Him with every detail. During the last surgery back in 2012, it was necessary to rebuild my abdominal wall with “pig fascia”. After all the surgeries prior, the abdominal muscles were either removed to build a new breast or destroyed by subsequent surgeries of the abdomen. The scars on my abdomen formed an upside down cross. The rebuilding of the abdominal wall had required thousands of stitches that were placed–more than a thousand of which were attached to my rib cage. The rib cage is very highly innervated with pain receptors. Then it happened, my IV failed and there was no way to give me anything for pain. As I lay there, in too much pain to speak above a whisper; I pleaded to God to let the pain be eased!! I had to wait several hours for someone to come and put in a special IV called a PICC line because my veins were not very receptive to a new IV. My body trembled. Eyes closed, as I prayed; I realized that my pain was very little compared to My Savior’s pain as the Roman soldiers had flogged him with his flesh being torn from His ribs. Then my prayer shifted as gentle tears formed in my eyes and I said, “Lord, thank you for Grace. Thank you for taking my place. I will bear this pain in honor of your pain as long as You see fit.” It has been through great storms that I have found a bounding steadfast joy, a faith that makes me fearless to face the unexpected storms that come my way, the truth of how much I am loved as God’s Beloved Child, and how precious it is that He would ever consider to share His Glory with such a worm as I by using my using my life, my testimony to bring even one soul to a saving knowledge of Christ. He doesn’t need me to perform His most Glorious Act of leading someone to Christ; but, He chooses to do so. My life, every detail, every tear, every storm; has been etched and allowed by a loving Hand of God’s Grace transforming my heart so I might see Him, clearer in all His Magnificent Glory and find my Hope, my faith, and my Joy in Christ, Alone. Thank you Suzanne for your tender heart of service to the Most High God.
Thank you for sharing your story. You’re a very brave woman.
What a powerful testimony, Effie. May you feel His love and healing touch surround you today.
Such a beautiful testimony to God’s faithfulness to you, Effie, and revelation of your deep love for Him! Thank you for being His faithful witness. God bless you.
Lord, thank you for such a strong and tender testimony of trust.
So. Incredibly. Beautiful. I have watched the video four times already, and still haven’t gotten enough of the magnitude of truth shared within it. I have so much less than “enough” today. Thank you for reminding me to just give Him what I have. Thank you for reminding me that surrendering to Him today with strengthen ME. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not the only one who connects with Thomas in my uncertainty. I’m giving God what I do have today… the good, the bad, the ugly… and entrusting Him with every aspect of it all. It’s all I can do.
Lord, here I am. This is all I have today. It’s measly and shaky and a little embarrassing, to be honest. But I trust your hands.
Suzie, I think one of the best gifts we can give someone is being willing to walk alongside them through their storm. I have often been humbled by those who are willing to do this for me without me even asking. When we can’t keep our own head above the waves, what a rich blessing to have someone willing to help! Loving this series and your videos:)
Thank you, Crystal. One of the reasons I loved those extra 10 lbs I had to fight off like a tiger afterwards is that every pound represented someone who cared. : )
You are so right, dear Suzie. It is our PRIVILEGE to love each other in the middle of storms. Since moving to Des Moines late last year, we just had the opportunity to join a bible study a few months ago. Though we aren’t super close yet, a tragedy happened in the life of one of our members last week and we are doing our best to love her through it. Thanks for this testimony and encouragement to keep being the hands and feet of Jesus. <3
This is beauty for ashes.
Such a thought provoking testimony.
Is this ever true: Our not enough is more than enough when put into God’s hands to multiply and to fill us with what we’re lacking. And God will not disappoint! That has been my experience. He stays true to His promises. Thank you so much for sharing this truth through the book and through the video message.
we’re in a storm, suzie. my nephew is on hospice. any day now is his last here. so I’m praying for my niece, their kids – and I forgot to pray for me. funny how that is. and, yes, the more cheese the better. blessings on your day.
Oh Sue, I’m so close to my nephews and can’t imagine how difficult this is. I pray that today you will find comfort and strength in such great measure.
I’m so sorry.
Sue, I’m praying for all of you to experience Christ’s presence and His peace. May He strengthen you during this difficult time.
My brother-in-law and my niece lost everything in the flood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
I’m praying for them and everyone effected in this disaster.
Margaret, that’s so hard. Father, wrap around his family. Comfort them. Show them your presence today and tomorrow. Thank you that their lives were spared.
I’ve just read your devotion from Proverbs 31 and was so impressed that I clicked over to your blog and read that for today, too! Thank you for such a blessing. God sent me to you today!
Prayers and Blessings,