Friday, September 29, 2006

Renee's Story

Hi, Janet Detcher here. I would like to tell you the story about my niece, Renee. (Told with her permission.) It's not an easy story to tell, but the lessons she learned may help someone out there who's going through a difficult time.

Five years ago, Renee and her husband, Wayne, packed up their two little girls, Crystal and Suzanne, (then 5 and 8) and followed God's leading to be missionaries in Lithuania. After a miraculously short stint of raising financial support, they left for a two-year assignment.

Three weeks into their new life, Wayne suddenly got sick. A seizure, out of nowhere, sent them to a hospital where Wayne was found to have a brain tumor. They immediately returned to the States. Within the next five days, Wayne would be diagnosed with Stage VI cancer, in the lungs and brain.

After only a few short weeks of chemo and radiation, and the prayers of literally hundreds of people, Wayne left Renee and their two girls and went home to heaven.

Naturally, we were all devastated. WHY would this happen now? When they had done all to obey God's call and walked through the open door to Lithuania? WHY, with a good marriage and two darling little girls? WHY when so many miracles had happened to get them on their way?

In the weeks following Wayne's death, Renee and I talked A LOT. She faithfully kept a journal and also, almost daily, e-mailed friends and family, getting lots of feedback. But interestingly, most of the answers Renee sought came to her from the heart of God Himself. These are the things God taught her through this difficult time.

First, NO ONE is exempt from pain or loss. There are no guarantees in this life.

Second, SOMETIMES GOD SAYS NO. Plain and simple. Sometimes He says "Yes," sometimes "wait," and sometimes "NO." Renee believes this was one of those times. In spite of all the prayers of so many faithful believers, (including those of Crystal and Suzie) God said "No."

Third, Renee says, in the midst of her darkest days, God said to her, "When you demand answers, you sacrifice peace." WOW! For one thing, Renee told me, God is not obligated to explain Himself. He is not obligated to tell us why He does anything He does. HE IS GOD. He knows the beginning from the end. He made the map of our lives and He will guide us on the path HE has designed from the beginning of our days.

In addition, the peace of God, that passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That's a promise found in Philippians 4:7. Every answer in the world will not satisfy without the peace of God. And that peace comes only when we surrender our 'right to know' to God's perfect plan, believing He wants better for us than we want for ourselves.

Mighty hard to do sometimes, isn't it.

--Janet Detcher

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
"When you demand answers, you sacrifice peace."
Wow. Wise words and ones we can apply in daily life. Thanks for sharing this story. We learn the most profound lessons during the hardest times.
Posted by Blogger Janet Rubin : 6:51 AM
I'm not a church-goer, so I don't know much about this topic. It's a difficult one, I'll admit. If I were Renee, I'd be very mad at God and stay there. How could he demand such sacrifices of her? This whole God question is hard to answer when you see all the evil in the world. I'm still questioning.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 7:48 AM
"...that peace comes only when we surrender our 'right to know' to God's perfect plan, believing He wants better for us than we want for ourselves. Mighty hard to do sometimes, isn't it?"

You said it! I've struggled with this off and on, and a lot in recent weeks. Been having an unsettled feeling, but after spending a lot of time in prayer, I realized the need to wait on the Lord, and the peace came. Surrendering our will for His is one of the toughest things you can do. But, the rewards are greater than we could ever imagine in our finite minds.

Thanks for sharing, Janet.
Posted by Blogger Tiff/Amber Miller : 4:07 PM
Janet, you brought up an issue so many have problems with, in the church and outside of christendom. What makes it hard is a lack of knowing God in a personal way. Humans want a santa claus, an easter bunny, anything but an all knowing, all wise, all powerful, UN-seen deity. We want to be in control. We want it OUR way. Letting go and letting God, challenges our faith, but in the end, that's exactly what it comes down to--having faith--believing. I'm so sorry for Renee's loss, but I know her faith will grow and her relationship with the Lord will get her through these dark days, and bring her into the Light of Truth. She may never know the answers in her lifetime, but she will know God in a much deeper way...and He DOES know the answers.
Posted by Blogger Mid Stutsman : 7:59 PM
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