Cancer and unemployment are the difficult things in my life right now, and grandchildren are the phenomenal blessings. Through these ups and downs, I am learning to trust God and am reminded that he is with me through all the circumstances of life.
A year and a half ago, Steve and I were blessed with the news that our first grandchild was expected. That joyful announcement came at a time when we really needed some good news. We were approaching the first anniversary of Steve being laid off, and his parents’ health was of great concern. The expected baby was a reminder of God’s great love for us.
The intervening months were stressful as Steve’s unemployment stretched into a second year and his father passed away. Whenever I felt like life was just too difficult, my spirits would be lifted be the mere thought that a baby was on the way. Daniel’s arrival ten months ago brought great joy to our lives. We love that little boy with all of our hearts. We thank God daily that he is a healthy, happy child.
About six weeks ago, we learned that my sister has breast cancer. Although they caught it early and the tumor was rather small, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and has been diagnosed as an aggressive form. Fortunately, the cancer has not spread to her organs. She is facing months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It will be a difficult time. I will do all that I can to support her, and I pray that she will experience God’s presence in a new and powerful way as she deals with her illness.
My sister’s cancer diagnosis, along with Steve’s continued unemployment—now well into its third year—can be a heavy burden to bear. The past few weeks, these burdens have felt overwhelming at times. I know I have to trust God for my sister’s health and my husband’s job situation. He is faithful to send bits of encouragement to remind me of his faithfulness. For example, one day last week the number of page views of my blog was unexpected much higher than normal. I was delighted. The next day was even better, setting a record for my highest number of views in one day. It wasn’t a big thing, and it didn’t change any of the circumstances of my life. However, God used this small thing to remind me of his love for me and to help me feel relevant.
I called my sister today to share with her some unexpected good news Steve and I received yesterday. She shared with me that the original diagnosis of Stage 1 cancer had been overly optimistic; after her lumpectomy, the cancer was reclassified as Stage 3. God knew that I would receive this discouraging news today, so yesterday he sent us the good news another grandchild is on the way.
Little Daniel will be getting a cousin in December. The new little one is due on December 27th. A Christmas baby to look forward to! It doesn’t improve my sister’s health or increase my husband’s opportunities for gaining employment. It does, however, remind us that we are blessed and have a great future ahead of us. We will continue to trust God for the strength to face each day with grace, knowing that his love for us is immeasurable.