The other day I was listening to one of John Piper’s sermons and I was really blessed. I credit John Piper‘s teaching for having instilled within me a strong sense of the sovereignty of God which has helped me to cope with Leah’s illness and death.
In this sermon John Piper says:
There are three ways that God protects His people from danger.
1) Sometimes He prevents danger from even arising on the horizon of our lives.
2) Other times He allows the danger to attack, and gives us the victory so that we live on and serve Him in gladness.
3) But in the end one enemy is never driven off, the enemy of death. We will all die if the Lord does not return in our lifetime. But here, too, God protects. He protects us from unbelief, and preserves us for His heavenly kingdom.
Leah was in category 3 – God allowed her to suffer but protected her heart from unbelief. As she lay dying in ICU she was so peaceful and serene. Leah told her boyfriend that she wasn’t afraid to die. Although of course, she wanted to live if at all possible.
I guess that I am in category 2 – a category I would never have chosen for myself – I would have chosen category 1.
Since my early teens, one of the ways that I have used to cope with stress, is by writing in a diary or notebook. Sometimes I write almost daily, sometimes I don’t write for months at a time. It just depends on what’s happening in my life.
As soon as Leah was diagnosed, I immediately started writing. I’m so glad of this now. If I was relying on my memory, it would all just be a blur, because that’s what stress does.
I recently read through my diary entries from the early weeks immediately following Leah’s diagnosis.
We received Leah’s diagnosis on Friday 19th April ’13. On Saturday 20th April ’13 I was booked into a Ladies Christian Conference in Ballymagorry, Co Tyrone, organised by 1Vision Jesus. Leah was spending Saturday with her boyfriend so I went to the conference as planned.
The theme for the conference was “Walking in the Fire“. The speakers were Gloria Kearney and Carol Heron. I felt like I was walking in the fire alright.
There was an opportunity for prayer ministry during the day and I went to Carol and Gloria for prayer. They laid hands on me and while they were praying over me Carol received a vision:
Carol said that I was sitting in a room and everything was dark and in the vision I asked “Why is everything dark?” Then in this vision a screen started to play like a cinema screen with pictures on it and I saw things on it that I couldn’t see while the lights were on. Carol said that this suggested that I was entering into a period of darkness that would bring spiritual revelation into my life and that I would receive new knowledge (new to me).
These words still blow me away, although in a sad kind of a way.
On Friday 26th April ’13 I wrote the following words in my diary.
Then a few weeks later I wrote this:
Kirsty came and introduced herself to us during our first outpatients appointment in Bristol. She was a fantastic friend to us during the 14 weeks that we were there. She regularly brought me food parcels when I was on “lockdown” with Leah in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. She also gave me a lift to church, or arranged for someone else to pick me up, the Sunday’s that I was able to go.
I remember that day at the “Walking in the Fire” conference, lifting my hands in worship, as we sang one of the songs that Leah so often played on her iPod:
10,000 Reasons By Matt Redman
The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name