Facing Life’s Challenges

By Boe Parrish

Nancy, my bride of thirty years as of August 28th, 2007, recently went through one of the most challenging times of her life. I watched as one month the doctors gently shared that they were pretty sure she had ovarian cancer, and the next month where all tests indicated the total opposite probability.

The emotional roller coaster she and I were on was one I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Three months later, once again test results were very discouraging and not giving us much hope. But we hoped against hope and quietly trusted God for whatever outcome he decided was best.

She made comments throughout the ordeal I thought were amazing for someone facing everything she was facing. Comments like, “I somehow hope God can receive some glory through this season,” and “This just can’t be about me because so many others are facing challenges of their own,” and “I just don’t want to make a fuss over this.”

I decided to jot down a few of her thoughts and comments during that season and share them with all of you. You see, none of us are without challenges in our lives. You may not be facing any at the moment, but different seasons of life bring different challenges to learn from.

We decided early on we were not going to ask why, but why not us, why not now, and what do you want to teach us through this? These are much better questions to ask God, and I think he enjoys teaching us wonderful things we would never learn if not for the trials in our lives. In James 1:2-4 it says, “2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)

We received the best possible news after surgery, with all the pathology reports coming back cancer free. But we would’ve been just as okay if they hadn’t, because God had given us great peace throughout the ordeal. I was so proud of the strength and grace Nancy displayed as she walked one of life’s toughest challenges and passed the test!

I gathered many of her thoughts and comments and put them together in a poem which I gave to her before she entered the hospital for her surgery. I wanted to share what I wrote and named as Nancy’s Prayer. It is also posted here on my blog.

This prayer was truly the heart of my bride as she walked through a very low valley last year and with God’s help, sparkled all the way through it. We consider it the highest honor to walk through life with each of you who enjoy this site.

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