When Suffering Becomes a Gift

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We are handing in the keys to our temporary home tomorrow.  After almost 11 months, this place is no longer needed.

The most intense part of my husband’s Leukemia treatments are behind us.

We spent 3 weeks at our real home this month and returned here this week for Bob’s check-up and biopsy.  He’s still in remission and we are going home for good now only to return for periodic cancer checks.

As I walk through the rooms of this small apartment packing up the last of our belongings, I can’t help but think back on all that’s happened here.  There were many days of uncertainty.  Many lonely nights for me as Bob spent days, weeks, months of his own lonely days and nights in the hospital for treatment.

There were dressing changes, IV magnesium and antibiotic infusions done here and long periods of time when all Bob could do was sleep in this space that we called home.  And all I could do was feel helpless — with only a prayer in my heart — as I watched him go through his suffering.  There were several emergency trips to the hospital after the bone marrow transplant, because of infections, virus’, graft vs host rashes, low blood pressure and a fall that ended up with a stitched forehead.  Then there were the re-admittance to the hospital times, because those side effects and illnesses became serious.

And there were times when I looked up and asked, “Where are you God?”  There were times when Bob cried out, in familiar to us words,…”My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”

And that’s when Christ identified with us.  That’s when His presence became more real.  That’s when His compassion flowed into our hearts and uplifted our spirits.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  2 Corinthians 1: 3-5

And that’s when suffering becomes a gift.

So we leave this place changed.  We are forever changed and forever grateful knowing that God won’t waste our pain and grateful for this apartment that so often became our holy ground even in the middle of the not so wonderful times.

God doesn’t waste a second of our suffering.  There’s purpose in everything and the hardest of times, those times of trouble prune away the unnecessary to make room for the necessary.

Blessings,

Nancy

( I shared how this apartment was provided for us here: Your answer could be right around the corner and a little of our holy ground experience here: An Unexpected Gift)

27 thoughts on “When Suffering Becomes a Gift

  1. This is powerful, Nancy. I’m so happy you two are headed home. I understand the “Where are you, God?” An incident I’m not free to talk about happened earlier in the year. I asked the same question as I drove a young person to the hospital, and God was so gracious to use it all for good. Your post reminds me of the song with the line: “You’re a good good Father–Yes, that’s who You are.”
    Blessings to you & Bob. ~ Wendy

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    1. I know the song you’re referring to and I listen to it often. Thank you so much, Wendy. He certainly is a good good Father! Blessings to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy, how would you feel about me using excerpts from this in a chapter of my book in progress? It exquisitely illustrates my chapter titled Resting in Testing. Let me know. Thanks! PS: happy you guys are headed home! Praise God!

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    1. I give others permission to use excerpts from my blog provided that full and clear credit is given to me. Thank you Kathryne! We are thrilled to be heading home.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow…looking back on these past 11 months and all you and Bob have been through it is a miracle seeing God’s hand and loving support in all this difficult time. Now you can see more of the “big picture” and how God worked and is still working it all out for you and Bob and your family. Tough tough times and lonely times being away from family and friends..that had to have been so hard…so many set backs and yet so many times you knew God was there. What a testimony you two will have for others going through hard times…life can be very hard and knowing, first of all you have God to carry you and also the prayers of others makes the tough times a little easier. We’re so thankful you are on the healing side of all this and we continue to pray daily for that to continue. We love you two.xoxo

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    1. It’s unbelievable to think about the big picture and what we’ve been through but it’s also humbling to know God won’t waste this experience. He will use it to help others and for His glory. We are so thankful to God for sending prayer warriors to uphold Bob and me too as I needed lots of strength to take care of him all these months. You and Tom are two of those special warriors. Thank you so much! Love you xoxo

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  4. Yup. Mixed emotions:-). I will never forget how God provided you with that apartment with perfect timing and with everything you needed! It still blesses my heart when I think of how He worked that out!
    Remembering the journey and how far you’ve come has to be encouraging:-).
    We still pray for you two daily! We pray that Bob’s body takes over like it should to protect him without all those meds. We pray he gets stronger and that God provides you with everything you need and that you are continually encouraged! I love this journal entry that reflects on the journey.
    Stay strong! Love you! Vickie and kids😘

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    1. That’s for sure. We do have mixed emotions. It’s bittersweet. Knowing that God provided this place and met us so often here to help us through makes it hard to leave but at the same time we want to be home. And He is there too! Thank you so much, Vickie, for your faithful prayers. We appreciate that and you so much! Love you.

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      1. You’re welcome.
        Your journey with Bob has been an inspiration in many ways and I wanted others to see how God uses trials to build character.

        You never preached the gospel but simply shared the goodness of God in your life and those lessons are more valuable to me any day than sitting in a church all dressed to impress but not having a true relationship with God.

        Your pictures are also a testament to the fact that through all your struggles you never gave up hope but chose to see the beauty the world still has to offer. Through your blog and images you’ve shared with us the peace that’s available just by having hope and faith in God knowing that He has a masterplan –knowing that there’s something bigger and better down the road. You’ve been an awesome inspiration!!!

        Hugs and many well wishes now and always🌷☺

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      2. It has been a tough journey and this morning is the day that we are walking out the door of our apartment and closing the door on this chapter in our journey. We have mixed emotions. It’s bittersweet, because we know God provided this place for us and so much growth happened here yet it’s a blessing to say goodbye to this part of the process too, because it means that Bob is making progress in his healing. Thank you so much for your sweet words. They really blessed me this morning more than you will ever know. God Bless!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow you’re a gift to your husband… You’re both lucky to have each other… Hats off to your bravery and that of your husband’s! I can empathize with you both because I’m a Stem Cell Transplant patient myself… 🙂

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    1. I’m so sorry for my late response! I haven’t had time to read or write much lately. How long ago did you have your transplant? I hope you are doing well. My husband is 9 months post transplant and is just now starting to feel pretty good. He’s had some infections and setbacks but we’re praying that the setbacks are behind us now. Take care and thank you for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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