More than 10 years ago one timid girl was to start attending college. She was afraid, she was shy, she was full of doubt. Not once had she stepped foot in a "regular" classroom. She has spent all of her school days taught at home. She was different, but bright. She was conservative, but fun in her quiet way. She had a higher calling now and was convinced that to reach her dreams she needed a college education and so she believed, and stepped out in faith.
weeks before the semester was to begin she got a call from her soon to
be roommate- introducing herself and wishing her the best until they
should soon meet.
The first day of orientation is
overwhelming to a freshman and this shy girl was delighted when her new
roommate turned out to be studying the exact same thing as herself! They
were kindred spirits from the start- bosom friends from day one.
year of rooming together and lots of shared memories left these two
even better friends. They had both studied to be missionaries and both
were sure of their callings. They left college with good grades, big
dreams and health and youth on their sides.
passed and one of them ended up returning to the land of her
forefathers to teach English and minister there. The other went to get
her MA and to go through the strenuous preparation of being a full time
The one married a man of the people of her fathers.
The other was on the brink of beginning her first term as a missionary in East.
the unthinkable darkness, a nightmare of despair came and struck this
young single woman. She was taken down with disease. She was removed
from her dream. She was taken to home and long hours waiting on doctors.
She was bitten by pain.
What will be? What can become
when we are so faced with a crumbling of our dreams? Do we whither up
in bitterness? Becoming dry shells of broken dreams?
Not so with my friend! She lived on. She lived in hope. She lived in joy! She lived in Jesus!
life is not the life she would have chosen. Her life is not the life
she dreamed. Her life is not the life she had planned on. But her life
is hers, a precious gift from the Giver of all good gifts!
young women struck with illness and chronic disease in her youth is my
dearest friend. My heart aches with her at every tear of pain she cries.
My heart prays for her, with prayers that I cannot put into
words. I know not how best to pray for her. I know not what to do to
ease her pain. But yet I see her and admire her for who she is and has
Sometimes I ask myself, would I take her place?
When I cry out to God and ask him, "Why, why would you do this to her?
Why don't you heal her?! Why don't you do something?!I know you can! " I
feel as if a question is asked of me, "Would you take her place?" And
in the shame and selfishness of my heart I know I cannot answer, Yes". I
who fear pain- who screamed as my babies came into this world. I
tremble at the idea of facing every day with pain.
stop. I stand in humble awe. For I know that God who saw fit to give my
friend her talents, and dreams, also has a reason for letting her go
through this fiery hell of pain. She is being refined-like pure spotless
gold. She is being made purer, richer, more beautiful in the eyes of He
who made her. She is His daughter, His love and her All!
encouraged dear friend! I cannot take your pain, or your place. But
know that you are not alone and my prayers spill like tears raining from
my eyes on your behalf.
Be a friend to the chronically ill. Be real! Be there!