Early February, my cell phone dinged. My friend and mentor, Loretta, had sent a text.
“On my way to the E.R. Seems like a stroke.”
My breath caught. “Wait! What? Who?”
I re-read Loretta’s text and responded with a prayer. “Sweet Jesus, please heal my friend. Make your presence known while she’s at the hospital. Remove all fear.”
Three hours later, Loretta texted back. “I’m okay. Weak left leg. No Fear! Not a Drop!”
Loretta wasn’t okay.
She came home that evening, but the next morning Loretta returned to the hospital. Symptoms (weakness and slurred speech) were worse and pointed to a TIA (mini stroke) even though medical tests appeared normal.
Six weeks later, Loretta’s life is far from normal.
Although her speech is good, she relies on a red-framed walker to get around. Simple household tasks aren’t so simple. Her steps are slow and measured when she moves about the kitchen so she doesn’t fall.
I want to spare my fun-loving, independent friend from this misery. I want the Lord to heal her body and return life to normal. Now!
Loretta doesn’t pretend life is easy. Every day is a struggle. Even so, Loretta said:
“Could have been worse.”
“I’m grateful for God’s faithfulness.”
“I’m at peace. Just have to walk it out.”
Walk it out means. . .
Live one day at a time.
Rely on the Lord (more than her new-fangled walker) to cope.
Learn to submit to God’s will and trust Him in the process.
Loretta’s God-centered attitude doesn’t surprise me. We’ve been here before. If you’ve read Lunch with Loretta: Discover the Power of a Mentoring Friendship, you know that my friend views life through an eternal lens.
“Every circumstance is an opportunity for God to teach and change me to become more like Jesus.”Tweet
This latest incident in Loretta’s life is no exception.
“I don’t want to go through this,” she said. “I pray for physical strength. But God is Sovereign and I know that He is able to use everything for my good and His glory.”
I asked my friend with the teachable heart, “What is God teaching you now?”
She sighed. “It’s too soon to know. But I do want to learn.”
I wonder what God plans to teach her. How long will the lesson last? So far, it’s been an arduous one.
Or maybe, this recent incident is a test, examining the summation of everything Loretta has learned over a lifetime—and knows to be true—about her loving Sovereign God.
Whatever God has planned for Loretta, tears come and I’m encouraged when I watch how she continues to praise and trust Him even in this . . . .
*Do you ever ask God to teach and change you during personal trials?
*Consider sharing how God used one of your trials to teach you more about Himself. How did that knowledge change you?
Graphics: Jennifer Wrede