Sunday, March 15, 2009
joys and sorrows...
Each student in our ministry (past and present, whether they realize it or not) is considered a part of our family, and every face in every picture has a story. Many times campus ministry provides us great joy as we watch our "babies" grow in grace and maturity, marry, have children of their own, and walk in the ways of the Lord.
But that's not always the case. There are times of great sorrow, too.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, we sent a small team of students from our RUF at Texas Tech to New Orleans on a Spring Break mission trip to help gut homes that had been destroyed. Because of the timing of our (Marc & Amy) infertility treatments that month, we were unable to go, but fortunately our students under the leadership of Tim (pictured left) and Josh (middle) still made the trip. Tim came back from that trip telling our RUF group that he realized that what he used to take pride in can all be washed away with one "storm" in life.
Tim was dating another of our students (Amanda, pictured on right), and as in most cases, we were providing counsel to them as they faced the typical up-and-downs of a dating relationship.
Upon graduation, they both moved to Dallas, where Tim landed a good job and bought a great house. However, just a few months later, Tim was told he had an aggressive stage IV cancer and wouldn't be expected to live much longer.
Knowing what this would probably mean for their future, Tim and Amanda decided to marry last year anyway, committing to love one another in sickness and in health.
And this past week, after only 9 months of marriage, Tim lost his battle with cancer and died peacefully in Amanda's arms.
When we saw Amanda over Christmas in Dallas, she was very open with her pain and the emotional toll it was taking on her to watch Tim suffer. However, she said that she & Tim's church (where Marc & I were married, ironically) had been wrapping their arms around them and doing everything they could to serve and help. We were so thankful to hear that the body of Christ was taking good care of them, and I am sure that they are continuing to do so for Amanda now.
So would you pray for our sweet Amanda, who is now a widow at age 22. Pray that the spirit of God would comfort her and strengthen her through this time. Pray that she would grieve well, but not without hope. Pray that God would use this terribly painful time in her life to His glory, and pray that the Church would continue to rise and comfort her.
We look forward to the day of the new heavens and the new earth when everything sad is going to come untrue.
"No chilling winds nor poisonous breath
can reach that healthful shore
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death
are felt and feared no more.
I am bound
I am bound
I am bound for the Promised Land."
--"On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand"-- Samuel Stennet