Sunday, September 22, 2013

My friend Becky

 One day, out of the blue, over 4 years ago, I received an email from a friend, who had moved from this area.  He and his family had been praying for me, in the midst of my cancer journey. Obviously, he had found another gal, like me, and wanted to introduce us. 

"I think you will like this and this"

 That's all it said.

I went to the blog and discovered a guy who writes incredibly, amazingly well.  I also discovered his wife, a fellow sojourner, had deep insight and wisdom about her life with cancer.  Both of their writings left me encouraged and challenged.  Mostly Becky's though-because she knows what it's like to go bald, have chemo and feel rotten. (sorry Dave!)

Since I've been diagnosed, I have had this epic struggle inside.  I want to beat cancer.  I want to live and see my children graduate and attend their weddings. Growing old with my husband , yes please Lord.  I want to live God!  Fear looms large and ugly. I coat my soul with God's Word to combat the fear but it's talons are embedded deep...I learn that many survivors struggle with this.  I try to do life, day after day. I tell my soul truth, but I can't seem to shake fear..

Living this way is awful.  My friends all think of me as some hero woman who battled this monster called cancer and "survived."  Ha.  If they could see the real me, the one scared?
The one terrified of a recurrence?  Well.  They would write me off as the coward I truly was.

Becky has no idea how her writings, her living and laying her life bare, totally abandoned to Jesus Christ, has helped me conquer the foe of fear..

My friend loves Jesus Christ with all her heart. She has an ardent passion for Africa because she was a missionary kid in Ethiopia. Her and her hubby have been there many, many times, sharing the Gospel with dark skinned, beautiful people in her homeland.  They share this experience on Dave's blog. 

I would sit here, in Michigan, vicariously living through my friend's travels.. I remember watching the videos with throngs of people singing as Becky came into their town! One of my favorite stories was of how Becky helped a little girl who was very, very sick.  I wept when I witnessed an Ethiopian pastor praying for her..Oh how they love her! 

I would go on long walks and beg God to save my friend's life..God, she has such a testimony! Such work to do in Africa! God please do not let my friend die. Please.

We emailed to and fro.  She wrote all bubbly and happy, despite her sickness.  She even encouraged me this year when my mom had her open heart surgery. 

I would read Dave's blog, blasting through his words, to find any that started with the letter  B..
The cancer had progressed.. My heart was so sad. My friend was dying..and I would never get to see her this side of Heaven. 

Well, she wrote what I thought was her last email in about July of this year.  My prayers had  dramatically shifted from "God, save my friend's life" to "God, please help her, comfort her, sustain her, give her peace."

The end of August I received another pivotal email.  One from Dave! The blog writer.  The man who teaches Greek.  Becky's husband!  She wanted to meet me before she departed to be in her forever home. Somebody pinch me! Praise God!!!

A few days later, with narry a keyboard between us, Bonnie and Becky met for the first time!

I will never, ever forget her smile!! She hugged me hard. I'm thinking, in my heart,
"Oh God!  Please?  Will You heal my friend?"  

The entire visit I heard hope.  I never thought hope had a sound but it rose in my friend's voice again and again.  She laughed!  With cancer in her lungs and a nasal cannula for oxygen.!
I sang a song to her, to comfort her and then she shared a song with me!  As she dictated her autobiography to her dear daughter, she was wheezing as she spoke about growing up in Africa.  Taped to the wall, next to her bed were photos--she would tell stories about some dear brother or sister in Ethiopia and reach out and touch their picture. I swallowed down a huge sob in my throat..

I have realized since I've been home, that Becky is dying, yes.  I don't want her to.  I would much rather hear more stories, go to Africa with her and meet those people in the photos by her bed.  I do not want to read of her hurting and the pain meds not working...I want her to be whole and well..

Yet, the Lord Jesus is waiting , for her.  As much as I love this friend of mine, I love Jesus more.  I must yield my desires to His ways and His timing. 

You see dear reader, when someone lives their life for Jesus Christ, there is hope at the end of the last breath.  His name is Jesus. 

Thank You Lord for our friendship.  Thank You for our brief time together here on this earth.  Thank You for the promise of Heaven. For the promise of You.  

Thank You Lord for Becky.
Thank You for using her life, her example in suffering, to smash to smithereens my fear..
You are so good Lord...thank You.
Thank You for friendship..for being able to see her Lord.

Please comfort, sustain and bless my friend until she sees you in glory. 

In Jesus Mighty Name,


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