Update on Lillian...

I have been in touch with Lillian and she did get some disappointing news yesterday. She does have cancer in her lower jaw and under her tongue. The good news is that it seems to be totally contained to that area. No cancer is showing up anywhere else in her body. But the cancer in her jaw has to be surgically removed asap.

The type of surgery she will need is only done by a few ENT surgeons in the country. It sounds like a very specialized procedure. She's waiting to find out from her insurance provider where they will send her. It will be either Vandy, UK or St. Louis. Obviously, I hope they send her to Vandy so she is close to us and I can be a more helpful sister-in-law through this.

In spite of being bummed out about more cancer and more surgery, Lillian wrote to me about the calming peace, strength and comfort she has found in her relationship with Jesus. I can't even read her words about Jesus without crying. I used to worry so much about her. (She knows this.) I tried - when I had opportunities - to witness to her. I always tried to do so in loving and gentle ways. But I'm so passionately expressive, and I know that sometimes my passion is easily misunderstood. I feared being abrasive, but not so much that I could remain completely silent.

John's family has always known I am a strong believer and that I won't hesitate to speak up about my faith. But I also try to wait for true God-ordained opportunities and not be offensive or imposing. So I just tried to plant little seeds when I could. And one thing I know Lillian has never doubted is that anything I have ever said has been out of love for her. I'm thankful she always sensed what was in my heart, even if she didn't always share my convictions. I remember many conversations I had with John where I shared my concerns and told him that although I never wanted to offend, I couldn't dismiss the possibility that God put me in Lillian's life for a specific reason. What if I was the one person in her life that would risk her being offended and put off by me attempting to "impose" Jesus on her? Would I place so much value in her having good feelings toward me that I would fail to share the gospel? How could I ever live with that choice if something happened to her?

God heard my prayers and I don't have those worries anymore.

I have watched my sister-in-law grow in amazing ways through her cancer ordeal. I am so proud of her, her grateful heart and her persevering spirit. But most of all, I am overjoyed to witness her faith in Christ grow stronger and stronger. She may not even realize it, but she now is witnessing to me because she is standing in a place where I have not stood. And her faith is inspiring ME. The way God works through us, even in the most difficult circumstances, is amazing to me.

Comments

barrydean said…
Thanks for the update and thank you for the encouraging words to fear God and not man. We have the good news. When folks reject it they are rejecting Christ.

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