“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, and those of you who know us well, know that our desire is to follow God’s will. We know He is in charge, and He knows what we need much better than we do ourselves. Sometimes our desires are for things that may bring us harm in the long run.
It’s pretty easy to say that. It’s a little tougher to believe it. It’s much tougher to live it. We’re doing our best, and we appreciate your prayers for us to be able to do that.
I want you to read something we wrote in November 2008, when we were still trying to figure out the options for treatment and wondering what God had in store.
“Tammy is very much at peace with whatever this disease brings, because she knows that God can be glorified. If she is healed completely, as is our selfish prayer, then God can be glorified because of His power. If He chooses to have her suffer with the effects of the disease for a long period of time, He can be glorified through her faithfulness. If He chooses to bring her Home because of this disease, He can be glorified by her peace.”
That thought carried us through some really tough times, including the night after Tammy had her transplant when she was rushed to ICU. The words of the doctor—“The next 12 to 24 hours are critical for her survival”—still ring in my ears. I will never forget talking to our kids on the phone and telling them how much of a fight she was in. She made it through that fight and did wonderfully well over the next three years (today is the three-year anniversary of her transplant), until last weekend.
She’s now in another fight, though she is responding well to the treatment. She has been battling a low-grade fever for the past 18 hours, but that’s fairly normal at this stage. The doctors are still pleased with her progress. They're in the process of determining the next steps. It’s not that they don’t know what to do. Each step is predicated on how she responds to the previous step.
(The chemo has not weakened her sense of humor. Remember that she’s at the University of Kansas Hospital, so it may come as no surprise that last night around 10 p.m. two nurses came into her room and asked if they could watch the final couple of minutes of the KU basketball game with her. She said that was fine, and they pulled up a chair. She looked over and said, “May I get you ladies something to drink?”)
No matter what the future days, weeks and months provide, we know that God has a plan. Once again, we are okay with whatever God decides to do. Obviously we want her to survive and get healthy quickly. But our honest prayer (most of the time I can do this) is “Not our will, but Your will.”
That’s not giving up. We’re not saying, “Well, since we don’t have control, we’ll have to go along with whatever You decide. Oh, woe is me.”
It’s actually quite freeing. God has Tammy’s—and my—best interest at the core of His will. We don’t have to figure out what’s best. We simply have to trust.