Suffering is a way of life for so many. Much can be learned from our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer. By God’s grace they persevere and find their strength in the God of their salvation. The weeks ahead I will be posting the stories from those within Crossway Church who are suffering. The goal is to see and celebrate God’s faithfulness and care through some of the darkest moments of life. In addition, it helps us know how to pray and care for those who are hurting.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 1 Cor. 1:3-4
Question 1: How are you suffering / How have you suffered?
Since my early teenage years have been dealing with unstable knees, a condition where the knee cap dislocates. It happens every year or so and usually my recovery time is a week or less. Last February I dislocated my knee and spent the entire year trying to recover. In November I learned that I would not be able to fully recover without surgery. According to my doctor my knees are “structurally wrong.” Micah and I decided to move forward with a reconstructive surgery that promised to fix my knee completely, so that I would “never have to worry about my knee again.” It included relocating part of my shin bone, drilling into my femur to add a tendon and a few other procedures. The surgery was the week before Christmas and even though I have come a long way, the progress is very slow. A year of bad walking habits has made recovery exceptionally difficult and as a result I’m several weeks behind the expected recovery time.
Question 2: How has God helped you endure through suffering?
Being confined to a chair for 6 weeks challenged me to trust God through the care of others. My independent nature did not agree well with this season, but I’m so thankful for the many people who stepped up to serve us through meals, keeping Elliot, cleaning, grocery shopping etc. I’m so overwhelmed when I think of how God has blessed us during this time. There were so many willing and loving people like Dawn Mellinger, Kendra Herr, Kay Gilanyi, Ang Stoltzfus, my mom and mother-in-law. The list is so long, but I can’t say enough about my husband. He was dad AND mom, cleaned the house, prepared meals, did my injections every morning and night. All this while continuing his crazy work schedule. He was truly living out the “for worse” part of his wedding vows.
Question 3: How can folks prepare for suffering?
I highly recommend a message by Eric Mason titled The Role of Suffering in Sanctification. That message has helped me to view suffering as a tool that God is using to sanctify me. While I already knew this I chose to ignore it and believe that all of this suffering was just a bump in the road that I could overcome on my own with enough motivation. Since reading the notes on that message God has showed me a lot about suffering. Verses that I have always loved now have more meaning especially Romans 5:3-5 and 1 Peter 5:10.
Question 4: How can we pray for you?
Please pray for me to continue to grow in understanding suffering as a means of sanctification. Pray that it would be easy to praise God during this time and that I wouldn’t be a fair-weather Christian. Pray for Micah and I to have wisdom concerning surgery for my other knee. Please, PLEASE pray for God to bless those who have served us and to prepare their hearts for the probability of walking through this with us again in the near future.