My husband and I moved to our current location early last fall. Our first priority after getting here was to find a new church home, and we quickly did in Crystal Valley Baptist Church. Soon after we started attending the church, we learned of a young couple dealing with one of the most difficult things in life: cancer. The wife, Amy, had learnt earlier in the summer that she had a childhood form of leukemia. We only ever saw the couple one time, and we weren’t able to really get to know them any at all because she could not have people very close, physically, to her because her immune system was very weak.
We continued to hear updates from time to time on Amy’s condition. At times things seemed to be going fairly well, and at others not so great. The church prayed and wished there was more we could do for the small family (Josh and Amy also have a young son, about 2 years old.), but other than emails, cards, phone calls, facebook, and text messages, there was little that could be done. Amy’s immune system did not allow her to have visitors.
A few weeks ago, Amy had to be admitted to the hospital, again, and things did not look good. She had several infections, organs in her body were not functioning properly, and she was eating little. She basically had no white blood cells, which are the immune system’s army. Her husband Josh began to write daily blog updates on how she was doing. Most days there were no changes, just more of the same, but a few days ago, things got worse, if that were even possible. They had to put a breathing tube in, which helped, at first. Then yesterday, everything just went wrong. I received about three text messages with updates and pleas for prayer. The same was on facebook several times during the day. And her husband even updated his blog at least twice. Things were going downhill and doing so fast. Then, this morning, I saw in my email inbox yet another blog update from late last night. Amy had passed away. Cancer had taken yet another victim. A young wife and mother, only a year or two older than me.
I never really knew Amy and have yet to know Josh or their son, but through praying for them for the past few months, I am saddened by the loss of Amy. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Josh to have to sit, daily, and watch his wife slowly slip away and not be able to do anything for her, to barely be able to touch her. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for their little boy. He will probably have no memories of his mother, and if he does, it will only be memories of a very sick woman who could do little for or with him. I can’t imagine what it must be like for her parents and family to have to bury their daughter years before what we, on Earth, would consider to be her time.
There are times in life, when things happen, that we would never choose for ourselves. We pray and ask, even beg, God to keep those things from happening. I can imagine that Josh’s prayers for the past several months have been for God to spare his wife. But for some reason, God chooses to do the one thing we did not want Him to do. It’s times like that which shake our faith, and our loyalty, to the sovereign God. In Isaiah 55:8, the Lord says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…” We often cannot understand our Lord or His ways. I have no answers as to why God chose to take this young, godly woman home, away from her husband, son, and family. I somehow doubt that Josh or Amy’s family have answers either. In fact, we all may go the rest of our lives wondering why, never to know the answer. That may not sound very comforting; it does little to comfort me. But it’s all I know.
I may not understand why God does what He does sometimes, but I take comfort in knowing that He knows why He does what He does. He never does anything without a reason. He is sovereign. He is almighty. Just like the song says, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” The Bible says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” (Matt. 10:29) Everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t know what that reason is. I find that there is comfort in that.
Amy was a good Christian woman. At some point in her life, she had turned her life over to Christ and received salvation. Though she is gone from here, she is safe and completely well in Heaven. And one day, when Josh’s time comes, he will be with her again. As will all her brothers and sisters in Christ.
There is an hymn that I think of at times like this. It’s titled “That Glad Reunion Day.”
Vs. 1: There will be a happy meeting in heaven I know, / When we see the many loved ones we’ve known here below, / Gaather on the blessed hilltops with hearts all aglow, / That will be a glad reunion day.
Chorus: Glad day, a wonderful day, / Glad day, a glorious day; / There with all the holy angels and loved ones to stay, / That will be a glad reunion day. (That will be a happy day, yes, a wonderful day, / That will be a happy day, yes, a glorious day; There will all the holy angels and loved ones to stay, / That will be a glad reunion day.)
Vs. 2: There within the holy city we’ll sing and rejoice, / Praising Christ the blessed Savior with heart and with voice, / Tell Him how we came to love Him and make Him our choice, / That will be a glad reunion day.
Vs. 3: When we live a million years in that wonderful place, / Basking in the love of Jesus, beholding His face, / It will seem but just a moment of praising His grace, / That will be a glad reunion day.
Please keep the family and friends of Amy in your prayers.
To read Josh’s blog: http://greenearsandsham.wordpress.com/
For information on Crystal Valley Baptist Church: http://www.crystalvalleybaptist.org/