Sunday, January 13, 2013

a testimony told through pain and suffering...

There is something to be said about living close to your family.

I spent the better part of ten years over three hours away. Away from the gatherings. Away from the memories. Away from the day to day. And away from the struggles. Struggles that have defined a life for more than twenty five years.

When one battles a chronic disease, the whole family struggles.

Such is the story of my family.

My Diddy was diagnosed with diabetes when I was little. He has also struggled with thyroid disease, heart disease and a myriad of other issues that stem from these health concerns. I don't have one single memory where my Diddy was the picture of health.

Not one.

Memories beg to overflow like a river which threatens to spill over from a downpour of rain.

Memories of hospital stays and overnights with family friends. Memories of insulin shots and low blood sugar falls in the middle of the night. Memories of pouring orange juice faster than my tiny hands could handle.

The smell of alcohol swabs. The sounds of IV pumps and hospital alarms. The sight of needles. The feel of urgency.

All part of my memory. Both childhood and now.

But not memories I'm ashamed of or pretend aren't real. Memories that have molded me {and my family} into who we are. Memories that have helped define our love for each other. And memories that have helped us lean on the One who knows it all. The One who shaped this plan, this testimony, of my Diddy's long ago.

The One who has walked every step of this journey with him. With all of us.

You don't watch a loved one stand so close to the edge of death without learning a thing or two about the encompassing, redeeming, unrelenting love of your Maker.

It's next to impossible.

My journey home eight years ago began before my Diddy had his kidney transplant. It wasn't until two years later that I found myself in the exact place I had left my heart ten years prior. A place that saw much struggle. But a place that grew big faith.


Coming home has allowed me to connect with my family in ways unimaginable.

This week found us with another hospital stay. Another major health crisis. Another chance to clasp hands and lift voices in prayer.

But my prayer was different this time.

It wasn't necessarily a prayer of healing, as it was more a prayer of hope. A prayer for others to witness first hand the powerful testimony of a man who has struggled and fought and battled up-hill most of his adult life {and much of my entire life}. A testimony of perseverance and service and faith. A testimony of obedience and grace. A testimony of a good fight, of keeping the faith and finishing the race.

A testimony that has been told, not by words, but by actions. By grace. And dignity. And the silent resilience of man who loves The Lord with all his body, spirit and mind.

I can almost bet He will say to my Diddy,' Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.'

I know because I've had the extreme pleasure of watching my Diddy live out his faith as if he didn't have a single struggle to endure.

Well done, indeed, Diddy. Well done.

'I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.
Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.'
Isaiah 48:10

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