Sunday, December 14, 2008

An Inspirational Story...

This past week my sister-in-laws family had a tragedy. My sister-in-law's brother had his new bride, of less than a year, pass away due to colon cancer. She was only 25 years old, and seemingly had her whole life ahead of her. I remember when Greg and Tera found out about the cancer, because she had just received a call from her brother and told us about it at Jacob's Lake, while we were driving up to Aspen Grove this summer for vacation. That was just 4 months ago. In that short time, their family has been through so much watching their new sister struggle through this illness, and I'm sure feeling helpless for their poor brother who struggled along with her. Todd helped to do her funeral this week, and I just felt so sad for them. It's just so hard to understand why sometimes these things happen. My best friend's husband, both of whom I went to high school with has had a struggle of his own this year with thyroid cancer, and just went through surgery and radiation to remove it. It's so hard to watch this happen, and you feel so helpless as to what to say and do. I was so touched, however, this week when Greg (Todd's brother) sent us an e-mail with a link to his sister-in-law's blog, and I read it, pretty much from beginning to end. It was an incredible glimpse into the realities that this couple had to face in such a short time together. More incredible to me was the way in which they faced it. With a positive outlook, and with love, both for each other and for the Lord. I was amazed at her bravery going through such a difficult trial, at such a young age. I was amazed at the way that they handled it. I think that sometimes we look at someone facing a trial, and think, "I could never do that." And sometimes maybe we're right. But sometimes I think we don't know what we can do--that is until we are called upon to face it. Especially touching, was the last entry that she made. Todd told me that it took her husband almost 17 hours to record her thoughts, because she was drifting in and out of consciousness, and was barely able to speak. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for her poor sweet husband, knowing that each sentence could very well be her last. I could barely hold back the tears as I read, and thought, what would I want to say, if I knew this would be my last day to live. It really puts life into perspective doesn't it? Once again, a reminder of how fragile life really is, and how it's family, and relationships, and my testimony that really matter! One of my favorite parts from her blog is this quote that I pulled from her site:

“… the tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our challenges will be the ones we needed, and conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way.

If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God’s goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens—even if some days it doesn’t seem so. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be.”

I hope they don't mind if I share the link to her blog, I think it has such a wonderful lesson for all of us! I didn't know her--but thank you Susan, your story has touched my life, and I'm sure will be an inspiration to many.

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