Mar 8, 2007

Joy and Sadness

I helped with our addition today. Watching it take shape (and so quickly) is really sad for me. I never wanted an addition; it's just a painful reminder of Ian's condition. Don't misunderstand: we're incredibly grateful for all that everyone has given to us and for all the ways people have served us. But, he needs this. I just want Ian back the way he was.

What has amazed me from the beginning, though, is what seems to be a paradox in my experience: this sadness and grief that I experience coexist with joy and peace. It seems that it would be like describing someone as big and little or water as hot and cold. In reality, underneath the topsoil of sadness and grief (which runs deep), there's the bedrock of the cross of Christ to which I and my family, including Ian, have responded in faith. Because He called us to be his own and through the cross made us His own, God has good in store for us. "I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!" (Ps. 27:13). That bedrock doesn't crumble under the weight of grief; in fact, it bears the weight of grief well. It's the cross and it's declaration of the Lord's favor for me and my family that gives me peace. I can even laugh and have fun in the middle of my pain, because I know that there's a bedrock beneath it that will sustain me.

Don't forget to share your favorite Ian story in the previous post. We've enjoyed those.

Pray for Ian....



Anonymous said...

Uncle Steve-
Thank you for giving us such a wonderful picture of the cross being the bedrock of our faith. It's reminded me that the love of Christ is steadfast and unshakable. None of this takes Him by surprise. What an incentive to trust Him!

Anonymous said...

I don't personally know you or your family
(although I feel like I do)
However many people I know, are members of your church and personal friends of yours--
My friend Donna sent this site to me shortly after the accident-I have been thinking of you daily and I want you to know that Ian is being prayed for by me and many people...GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU

Anonymous said...

U used to thin brokenhearted meant a lost love, or just sadness. I think the Biblical definition of brokenheartedness is this sadness you describe, which does break our hearts. However, the Sovereign has allowed them to be broken, which empties them of all but our utter dependence on Him. It is truly His mercy toward us; but we are brokenhearted. GLA

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your poignant, Cross-centered perspective. Your trust in the Lord during this difficult time continues to encourage me. Thank you for your faithfulness to Him. I continue to pray for Ian and all of you. -from FL

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to know a Savior who gives joy and peace in the midst of pain. What a glorious God!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, so much, for sharing your honest pain and hopeful heart. We need to hear about your sadness, so that we can pray to the One who is well acquainted with sorrows to comfort your sad heart and bring you His very own joy to quiet you.

As I was reading about your addition, I just got the strong impression that Ian's need for it now is just its first use. Ian won't need it forever, but He is going to use that room for greater purposes than any of us can imagine. It's God's room, and for a while, He will use it to care for Ian. But Ian will leave it, and who can imagine what and who He will minister His love to through it and you. No one. I can't wait to see....

You guys are teaching us how to live. Thank you.


Tiffany said...

Steve, Larissa, and Murphey's,

My name is Tiffany, I work with Jessanna at Messiah. Back in October, Jessie sent me the link to your site and I began bringing up Ian at prayer time at the youth group I help lead.

After two weeks of reminding the kids, they no longer needed reminding. They began challenging ME in my prayer life as they weekly asked about Ian's condition. This has continued every Friday night from October to the present. They expect me to come to youth group equipped with an Ian/Larissa/Murphey's update. These 7 middle school/high school kids pray for Ian--some 21 year old they'll probably never meet--throughout their weeks and at youth group. They are amazed at God's work in His life and convinced with the faith of children that God will work if they ask.

These kids' prayers have encouraged me in my faith as I pray for Ian and others in the body. I pray their story encourages you too to know that Ian has been used to really teach these kids that we serve a God who hears our prayers. Our God is faithful and working in His time. I ache for Ian's awakening but I trust God--the joy and sadness of it all I guess.

God bless your family and Ian--from me and the youth at Calvary Fellowship Mechanicsburg.

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve...........

Your great testimony prompted me to think of Jesus' profound words to his followers as He was giving them last minute intructions several days before He knew He would be crucified: "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you are going to have tribulation,but take heart, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).
Lord, what sense does this make?!! Having peace at the same time as your life is filled with tribulation?! Is that what you mean?
But we, like you, are going through the same kind of situation with our 13 month granddaughter born with some brain malformation as she is currently in the Intensive care unit at Children's Hospital. But your description matches exactly what we and our son's family feel.
Thank you for sharing with us not only God's strange providence but His sustaining providence.

Love in Jesus,
Bob and Dora DeMoss (friend of Eileen)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this entry. I have been reading these entries for months. I could really relate to this one. I think you put great words to what it is to have grief and sadness but yet at the same time having the foundation of a relationship of Christ to sustain us and provide hope in the midst of those things that grieve us to our core.
Continually praying for Ian,

Littlesteph said...

At least every week, I read Ian's blog, and every week I am in tears learning something new and exciting about the God I love so much.

Your faithfullness, and your encouragement and support of each other and especially of Ian has spoken so much to me.

Sometimes I think the trials I go through are the devil.
But God's hand is in all of it always, and no matter what happens...

God is so much bigger than anything I can EVER go through...

And if I keep running after God, I will be protected by the love of the Savior and nothing can harm me as God does his work in me.

In my low points, I remember how big God is and how high his love lifts me.

Sometimes we have to become lowly and broken, to be lifted back up again and put back together again in a bigger way to be used more and more for the purposes God birthed us with.

This is happening to Ian and Ian is not alone. God has the big picture painted and so many are going to be reached just through reading this blog.

Please get better soon Ian so you can type your phenomenal testimony!