2. Joy in God and sorrow are two different things and can Biblically co-exist.
3. I shouldn't discount my emotions- they are God-given and life would be so boring without them. I also shouldn't put too much stake in them either, since they change as easily as the wind.
4. Ian's afflication may or may not be a form of discipline from God. This is not something that we should dwell on. We probably won't know until heaven anyway. And what does it matter? No matter why it came to us, we should not change our response. And even if it is discipline, how does my suffering compare to hell, which is the ultimate discipline and punishment that I deserve? Knowing that doesn't change sadness, but it should affect my view of the gospel.
5. Affliction will change everything about our lives- the way we think, decisions that we make, how we approach our relationships.
6. The cause and outcome of our suffering is not based solely on us. We are called to respond in faith, but God is not waiting on us to muster enough faith, and then plans on healing Ian as a result. If that is what we believed, we would've been completely rattled by Steve's death. Steve always taught us- even through his own cancer- that trying to believe ourselves into health makes us too big and God too small. God doesn't need anything from us to be able to heal and perform miracles.
7. God may not heal, like He didn't with Steve, and we have to be ok with that.
8. God will provide.
9. Grief cannot be solved through pat answers or other "brain trauma and cancer stories." Grief will always follow us because our lives will never be the same. Affliction is guaranteed- earthly prosperity is not.
10. This will all make sense in heaven.
So Steve gets it now.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. And we miss him like crazy. I've only known Steve for less than five years. For three of those, he held all of our hands as he walked us through our suffering. Now I'm trying to do it without him.
Thank you for praying.