I Choose Joy – Guest Post by Rebecca Gertner

My daughter, Tara, sent me these words via Facebook. The original author is Rebecca Gertner, who lost her husband to cancer earlier this year. I was so moved by her story that I asked permission to repost it as a guest writer on my blog. I was touched. I hope you are too. If you want to follow Rebecca, you can reach her at “I Choose Joy” on Facebook.

I didn’t get what I had hoped for. What I believed God could do wasn’t what God chose to do. So where does that leave me? Well, it pretty much leaves me right where I was- full of hope for my future.

When Luke was diagnosed, our hope was purposely built on the truth that God could do anything. For a while it seemed like Luke was going to recover and life would go back to normal. Then as the paralysis set in, I watched as Luke’s body presented conflicting information for my mind to ponder on. Many of you are aware of the bright hope I had that God would redeem Luke from the illness and we would have an amazing testimony as a result. And maybe some of you are wondering how I can go from such hope for healing to carving out a new life for my kids and I. I might even dare to say that some of you may feel that my hope was in vain and that my faith for my future isn’t sincere.

In light of those thoughts, let me explain the workings of my heart. My hope for healing wasn’t in vain and Luke truly is redeemed. My prayers and pleading for Luke’s healing centered on an earthly point of view; but God, in His wisdom, decided that earthly healing wasn’t good enough. Luke is now healed in ways he never could have been here on earth. Luke is free from not only cancer, but the fear of cancer. If God had healed him here on earth, Luke would have daily battled fear of the cancer’s return. Although healed, Luke would still live in a world where pain, tears and sin prevail. It would have been a partial, temporary healing. And what had I been hoping for? Well, in all actuality, I had been hoping for complete healing…which is what God did.

The second way my hope wasn’t in vain is that it taught me how to live and I am reaping the benefits of the discipline that remaining hopeful in a dire situation required. Before Luke went home to glory, I would wake up each morning full of sad thoughts. I had to train my mind to think “God can do anything!” instead of “life is terrible.” Both of those statements are true, but only one of them is helpful. Only one of them can infuse you with strength, and since Luke needed around the clock care, it was vitally important that I allowed God to fill me with His strength. With hope firmly placed in God, Luke and I were able to spend those last few months dreaming of great things rather than simply waiting for him to die. We laughed, we sang, we had joy.

Hope, when placed in God, will never truly disappoint. When we hope for the things that God has promised liked freedom from sin, joy and perseverance through tough times, we never hope in vain. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrew 10:23 Regardless of your circumstance, hope in Christ is your answer!

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