3 Stories of Hope
By NMC - January 18, 2018
Posted in Adult Ministry, Stories from NMC, Discipleship
“You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime, don’t be foolish or naïve. But don’t despair either. With God’s help, you will get through this.”1
In the midst of our own pain and hurt, we desperately need to be reminded of who God is and the promises He gives us throughout Scripture. When darkness presses in on every side, we need to be reminded that there is hope, that the days won’t always be bleak.
As we press into You’ll Get Through This, our current series on the life of Joseph, we have the incredible opportunity to hear a few stories from people at NMC who have walked through painful and difficult circumstances. They have stories of incredible challenges and setbacks. They have stories of loss and heartache. Yet, they also have stories of hope and trust. They have stories that recount the faithfulness of God. They have stories that remind others that they, too, will get through this.
These are a few of their stories.
Two dates will forever be etched into my memory.
The first is December 21, 1986. On that cold, winter day, I was in a car accident that instantly killed my mom and 3-year-old sister. I was only 5 years old at the time and struggled to fully comprehend this new reality. But as I walked through this grief, God began to develop the perseverance I would need later in life.
The second date forever etched into my memory is March 24, 2015. Twenty-nine years after the accident that killed my mom and sister, I was involved in another car accident. This time it was a T-bone that struck right at my eight-week-old daughter’s door. As I pulled Cora’s tiny, lifeless body out of the car, I remember pleading with God to save my little girl. At the same time, I remember seeing a woman stretch her arms to heaven and offer a prayer for us as well. In that moment, I knew God was raising up His army to heal Cora.
Cora’s initial prognosis was not good. She suffered bleeding in her brain, seizures, and bruised ribs. She had to be closely monitored for 26 hours, and they were some of the most stressful and tense hours of my life. Yet, in the midst of this, the Lord clearly told my husband and I, “I love Cora so much more than you can imagine. Trust me. I’ve got this.”
Moving forward, we decided to let go and let God, and we found freedom in being okay with whatever happened. The peace that surrounded us in that hospital room is something I cannot begin to explain. It was so tangible that multiple people commented on it when they came to visit. It wasn’t a peace we manufactured; it was only from God.
We spent a total of 11 days at Riley before coming home. At follow-up appointments, each doctor was astonished at Cora’s progress.
I still remember the neurosurgeon saying, “Cora’s MRI is perfectly normal and has zero evidence of injury. I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep doing it.”
Beyond any medical explanation, Cora is healed. She is our miracle.
God doesn’t promise us a life without trials and heartaches, but He does promise to bring something good out of the ashes. If you are walking alongside someone who is hurting or you are longing for some kind of healing, remember, you will get through this.
In April of 2013, my wife Karen was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and this completely rocked our world. Her treatment journey was a series of chemo appointments, a heart valve transplant, and years of constant doctor visits. In January of 2015, the oncologist told us that there was nothing else that could be done.
At that point, we knew that our time together was short. We had been married 34 years, and I found myself in a terrifying pit as I faced losing my wife and best friend and being alone. I grew angry with God and kept asking, “Why us?” We were going to be grandparents for the first time, and our life was supposed to be great. But this second phase of life was starting all wrong.
In March of 2015, Karen passed away. Close friends rallied around me, trying to help me through the grieving process, but I felt like an outsider as the only single person in a group of couples. So instead of being with others, I isolated myself and consumed myself with work. I was so mad at God and didn’t understand why He allowed everything to happen.
Dealing with and going through the process of grief was incredibly challenging. Day after day, I was faced with constant reminders of Karen, which brought back memories and kept me asking God, “Why?” again and again.
Now, as I look back at how I questioned God, I realize I was being selfish. It was not all about what I wanted. I needed to understand that God had a plan. One day I will see Karen again, not on earth but in heaven. I am not alone or lonely. God is with me.
If you’re battling with cancer or through the grief of losing someone you love, never forget that you will get through this.
Six years ago, my reality changed dramatically when God in His sovereignty allowed Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to come into my life. A lot of what I thought I knew about God was shattered, and I was left wondering if He was even there. But often it is when you are the most broken that you truly meet Him and experience His great love for you.
For me, I find that I meet God through music. In this season, He has used it as an amazing tool to keep my mind fixed on Him and His promises and to remind me daily to choose joy. The world offers no hope with this disease and would say that MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis. But I am reminded by my good, good Father that MS stands for “my story” and “my song,” and God is writing this story and song over my life even as the effects of MS settle in my body.
He is faithful, and I am thankful that He has created and designed me as His masterpiece. He has a plan, and He doesn’t make mistakes. Despite the physical challenges and emotional struggles, He reminds me that I am not a slave to fear, but that I am His child; He has me wrapped in His loving arms.
So if you are facing health challenges and medical uncertainties, I am here to tell you that…
“You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don’t be foolish or naive. But don’t despair either. With God’s help, you will get through this.”1
1Taken from [You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times] by [Max Lucado] Copyright©  by [Max Lucado]. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.