Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Truth or Falsehood tested......

I am astounded at what God is doing.  I can't even keep up with the responses to this blog. Over 30,000 views.  How can that be?  Why do people care what I have to say?

I am a simple woman, wife, mom, daughter, sister, co-worker, friend, who has been placed in a situation of having to live out her faith in a way she never has before.  I read today a statement C.S. Lewis made in his book, "A Grief Observed", that hit home to what I believe is happening; "You never  know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death to you."  Yes!  I got to quote C.S. Lewis and actually understand what he was saying.  I understand it better than I ever thought I could.

Painting by my friend
Shen Jodi Goldman-Lewis
She painted Ryan's portrait at the funeral.   
All that I've learned and thought I believed has been driven home by the death of our Ryan.  The Scriptures I have memorized throughout the years and quoted to others are becoming more real than ever.   I have been forced to look at them with new eyes and ask myself, "Do I still believe them?" 

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

So, do I still believe these verses when my heart is broken and my life has been altered so fiercely?  I can honestly say, "YES!".  Is that because I am special, or unique, or have a closer connection to the Lord?  Absolutely not.  I am no different than you.  We all have the same access to God's provisions. However, perhaps my simple thinking allows me the ability to accept His promises without over thinking them.  Maybe my simple faith allows me the ability to take Him at His word. God's words are becoming the life-line that they were meant to be. They are giving me strength to look at the "whole story" and not just "my story".  They are allowing me to see the good taking place beyond my own circumstances.  They are allowing me to feel the joy of my son's life in absence as much as in his presence.  They are allowing me to find joy, even in the pain. I will continue to trust that what God offers, He will provide. I trust what I believe because it has become a matter of life or death to me. 

So I ask you to NOT be impressed by me and my simple faith, but rather the One that promises and fulfills His promises in me, Jesus Christ.  Any strength you see in me comes from the One whom strengthens me, moment by moment.  Any strength you see in me is available to you too.  But you must believe in the power of the Cross to unleash all He offers.

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


  1. I can see you are being transformed.What a beautiful sight to hear a woman praising God,giving Him glory in all her circumstances.I 'm gratefull for your strength,and thankful for the scripture you share here. You are a sweet ,kind Christ follower who is doing God's will,even while you greive.Love you .Thank you for reminding me that we do all have access to that Power.

  2. I love that CS Lewis quote! Someone asked me at work why I'm so into reading this blog, isn't it just to sad they asked? There is sadness, but that quote says what I feel in my heart every time I read your blog. It is an amazing encouragement to my own faith to see someone in such painful circumstances saying YES it's all true! God is real, He IS a very present help in trouble! May God continue to use you, your family and the life and death of Ryan powerfully in others lives!!!

  3. Gail, you are a strong woman and it is good for you that your faith is guiding you through this horrible time, I am glad for you,really.
    The CS Lewis quote is a good quote and true to me in the sense that I did not experience a miracle that saved my boy, he did not get to stay with us, be happy with his family, we did not get to enjoy his presence and watch him grow from the happy joyful boy to the happy joyful man he would have been... no miracle for us although many many people prayed for him to stay alive....falsehood was shown to me and it was very disappointing but also very confirming to my beliefs from the past, where is God ?

  4. Gail, It is so amazing that God's word is living and active, and oh so full of life. Going through cancer, I also learned that yes, I do believe His Word is true. I'm sure every believer has that moment, when they are going through something heavy, where they ask themselves: do I really believe what God says? And when the answer is yes, it cements our faith and offers a witness to others. Thank you for the eternal perspective; it helps us understand the world's sorrows and pain. We were not made for this world; we were made for an eternal relationship with God.

    Thank you so much for continually glorifying the Lord through your trial, for affirming that He is real and He is good and His Word is true. Thank you for being that humble vessel that God can use to reach us at 30,000 different moments, in different ways, but yet all for the same purpose - to glorify the Lord.

  5. I truly appreciate your transparent, honest words. Thanks for being so open in your journey. I was thinking last night that, even though I don't know you, I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking through you. How else could a grieving mother write so eloquently? The C.S. Lewis quote truly hit home for my faith has become a matter of life and death. YES, I still believe the words of scripture. I am deeply sorrow for your loss, and at the same time I am thankful for a young man who lived out his faith so fully that it is touching thousands of lives he never met - mine included. Gail, you and your family are in my prayers.

  6. Gail - What Satan meant for evil, God meant for good. Isn't it amazing how God is using this trial in your life to create a wonderful testimony for so many! I'm a Hope Chest care point coordinator and heard about your loss through Bob Mudd. God is using your heart to reach out and touch others. This encourages me and so many others to hide God's Word in our heart so that it can be used during times of great trails. Thank you for being obedient to share your heart and be an inspiration to me and many others. May “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26

  7. Gail- Your site and message really touched my heart. I am truly sorry for the loss of Ryan. I lost my husband less than a year ago and the pain is so very real, even when you know that God is with you every step of the way. I need to lean on Him minute by minute and with the Holy Spirits guiding I can put one foot in front of the other. My faith is strengthened daily, I couldn't do this without Jesus. I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and your faith. Your words in the midst of your loss reminds us of God's great love and ability to turn heartache to encouragement for others. It is in His arms and in blessing others that we find our joy. Our small group has been praying for you and your family and will continue to. Thank you again for reminding each of us to stand on the truths we know. May God Bless You!

  8. Hi Gail,

    We've only met once (I co-lead the Sr. Girls break group at Fusion with Abby)...but I just wanted you to know that watching your family go through this painful journey, so full of hope and peace, has had a profound impact on me. In talking with several different friends who are going through various times of trial, I catch myself referring them to your blog. The Holy Spirit is using your story in huge ways and I'm sure you'll never know the full impact this side of heaven.
    Thank you for being a faithful servant of the Lord. I continue to pray for your family regularly!

    Amanda Clonts