Today in church, Pastor Roy told the congregation that on April 24th I will have the opportunity to share the faith story of From My Mother with our church, Heartland Community Church in Great Bend. He focused today’s sermon on Romans 8:28 which says “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Before communion, Pastor Roy said that God is spirit, and though we often focus on the blood of Christ in communion, it is important to remember that Jesus’ body was broken for us. Later, our Pastor referenced my book and asked”Where does God fit in with disease?”
I’ve had many times in my life where I have asked a question very similar to that. I’m not sure how to answer. I’ve also looked at many verses like “In all things God works for the good of those who love him” and wondered why people die of incurable disease they had since birth. Today in our Bible study after church, we read James 5:15 which says “and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.”
There have been times in my life where these types of verse brought about an indignant anger in me, moments when I questioned God. “God, how dare you promise good for those who love you and say that a prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well? Why didn’t you cure my brother? How dare you take my mother!” Perhaps some of those moments are still in my future. I wrestle with verses like these.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous to speak in church in two weeks. I’ll be offering the honest story of my mother’s faith, and by that token the maturation of my own faith. As a child, I prayed fervently for my brother to walk. My brother died without ever walking except in a railed pathway built specially for him for a few steps at his school. When my mother went into the hospital and I knew she had adult onset myotonic muscular dystrophy type 1, I remembered all my prayers for my brother’s healing and didn’t exactly pray for a cure to be found the next day.
From My Mother is a faith story, but it isn’t a faith story because I have all the answers. It is a faith story because my mother was brave, because she was strong in loving me despite her own ailments, because she believed her dream that Dustin was watering the gardens of Heaven and was ready to join him and her Savior there. From my mother, I learned that it well with her soul, that “well” does not have to mean a healthy body, that her prayers did matter, that she went to her Lord in peace. Did God work for the good of my mother who was born with a disease that never had a cure during her lifetime? Absolutely.
I directly quote scripture once in From My Mother, and it is this from Isaiah 55:8: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
The way I might have defined God working for good or the way I might have defined a person being “well”, those are not necessarily the way God would define those meanings. And truth be told, I wouldn’t define those concepts the same way anymore either. My mother taught me better. She taught me that it could be well in her soul even if she had degenerative muscle weakness. She lived a life where her prayers mattered. And now, I pray every night that the story of her faith can be used for God’s good.
I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t know exactly what I’ll say in church in two weeks, but I know God is in this story. He is knocking on the door of meaning in my life. From My Mother took three years and many tears to write. On April 22nd I will host a birthday book bash release party, on the 23rd I will walk with other families with the Muscular Dystrophy Association at a Muscle Walk, and on the 24th I will speak to my church family. I’ll be praying a lot for discernment in the next three weeks, because after that I have a series of book events I hope my spirit is right for (darcyleech.com/events).
If you asked me in person, I might be brave enough to tell you in one sentence what I think my mission in life is. But I’m not brave enough for writing it here yet. Instead, I will say simply to the Lord, where you lead me I will follow.
Here I am Lord.
Prayers are appreciated if you want to send one up to the Lord for me in this process!
P.S. Someone left this review on Amazon I read today after church. I cried. This is everything I aimed for with this book. Everything else is a wonderful bonus.