I just realized that I had a post sitting in my drafts, that I never posted....
A family that belongs to our church underwent some really really tough times. A couple who were high school sweet-hearts, married shortly after high school and in today's time, have four girls aged 18 16 14 and 11.
At age 40, Debbie was diagnosed with cancer. She fought a long hard battle, never loosing her faith and still always teaching faith and peace to all that she knew. Our church family helped with ...you name it! Finances, baby-sitters, rides to and fro for the family, cooked meals, daily phone calls and visits and sometimes silly little gifts just to show support.
After a year long battle, Debbie passed away in April and Howard was left lost in a house with four daughters he had to be strong for, one about to graduate in two months coming.
One month later, in May, Howard also lost his father sudden and unexpectedly.
Howard, too, has never lost his faith. Sure he was angry and confused and depressed and scared.. but never lost his faith. He journaled constantly, he learned to pick out Prom dresses and never forgot how to praise God.
In August, Howard organized a "community concert" at church, with his eldest daughter's boyfriend, playing live music. (and let me tell you.... modern music!? In OUR church!? An EVENING CONCERT!?) Well some of the "elder" church members didn't know what to think and out of respect of Howard, his family and their struggles.... everyone came!
Howard spoke to everyone, thanking them and letting them know as hard as it was, he and his late wife never gave up. They knew that ultimately, they were not in control and that God has a plan.... and who were they to argue that? I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. It was sad, it was encouraging, it was peaceful, and it was all for God's glory. The band was fantastic! A bunch of young, energgized kids who were able to get everyone up dancing and clapping!
I struggle sometimes. I struggle often, to tell you the truth. But Howard's message had so much more to it. Mine will always lay in God, but despite YOUR beliefs and convictions, we are all here together. All trying to make it through life's good bad and indifferent moments. I think we can get so self absorbed in our own struggles, we tend to forget how incredibly blessed we are. I think if we truly put others before ourselves, things are put in perspective.
I think the trick is living that way.
Not just when it's easy.
Not just when we are "blue" and want to see that "we don't have it so bad".
But to live with others in mind first.