June 4, 2012 - Serious Struggles

Writing Thirteen Months was a labor of love, but as I have been working on my second book, I have a confession.

There are things about me you don’t know—things I don’t really want you to know.

By its nature, this book will reveal information about me and the past that only my kids know—and even things they don’t.

I would prefer for everyone to see me the way I want them to–as a strong Christian man who is a rock, one who can handle anything. But that isn’t the way life is—is it?

When I was a kid, my favorite heroes were people I believed had no flaws. I didn’t want to know about their shortcomings. I didn’t admit they even had any.

Heroes, like everyone else we look up to, are often bigger than life to society. But if we look close enough, we may be disappointed in what we find.

I have been told that, of all people, I may be someone others look up to. For that reason, I must clear the field by clarifying the following misconceptions:

  • I was unshaken in my faith when Gwen was dying from cancer.
    • The truth is I was a quivering leaf, not a rock. I was shaken to my core when Gwen was initially diagnosed, but also when her surgeon told me she would not live until Christmas. I held my mother’s hand when she died many years ago. I held my dad’s hand when he passed away several years later. But when I held Gwen’s hand the day the Lord came for her, nothing in my life except my relationship with Christ prepared me for what I felt.
  •  I never doubted what God was doing.
    • I only wish I could make that claim. A number of times during Gwen’s battle, I openly questioned God about why he was putting her through it. I know there are those who wouldn’t have, but I did and you should know.
  • I was more than willing to do whatever God wanted.
    • Here is the truth—if I had been given a button to push that would have ended Gwen’s suffering and healed her so that she could stay with me, even if I knew it wasn’t God’s will—I would have pushed it. As sad as that is, it’s true.
  • I trusted God without faltering.
    • Although I knew I could trust God, I didn’t want what he had planned. It was painful, and for a while I didn’t know if I could deal with it. I knew that God promised to never give me more than I could handle, but I felt like I was getting close.

I did grow through the process. I realize that His will is perfect, and He will get us through whatever He places before us. Oftentimes it isn’t easy. But as I have said before, following Christ is not an easy life—it’s not for cowards.

Are you struggling right now? Have you questioned God? Comment below—offer encouragement, or ask a question.