Monday, November 11, 2013

Jenna: Wrestling Through What Doesn't Seem Fair

Today I’m wrestling with the goodness and justice of God. There is a girl who lives in my house. Her name is Jenna. She is a dear sister and friend. She makes me laugh. She loves to paint. She drinks large amounts of Dr. Pepper. She’s often quiet, yet when she speaks her voice is strong and determined. And every time I witness a glimpse of the way she walks with Y’shua I am struck with awe, my heart is challenged, it makes me want to reevaluate the things I stoop to complain about, to press myself closer to the Lord.

Jenna’s story is not mine to tell, but let’s just say her childhood has not been easy. And yet despite everything she’s endured she looks to Y’shua with dogged resilience and declares it all good because it brought her to the Lord. He plucked her out of a type of hell and gave her a home and a surrogate family. Her journey of healing has been long and full of hard work, but she has kept coming back to the Lord over and over, trusting His surgical care of the tenderest places in her heart. In the midst of this journey she has been slammed with more pain. The loss of a sister. The loss of a mother. The hospitalization of an aunt. She has experienced more grief and trauma at twenty-three than most people ever have to face in a lifetime. And now the war of cancer rages within her cells.

This morning the doctors told her the cancer has taken over her entire body. So she faces a choice. Continue treatment in hopes of reducing the tumors or stop treatment so she can come home and feel better in what time there is while praying for a miracle. It doesn’t seem just or fair. I look at her life and cry out, Y’shua where are you? Why aren’t you moving, storming in to cleanse her physical cells of the long years of abuse and wipe out disease? Hasn’t she suffered enough? Fair would be for me to have cancer. I look at my life, my family, the doors to opportunities God has flung open for me, the good man who has begun the process of tying his life to mine, and I think it’d be more than fair for the cancer to rage inside my own body. I’ll take the next shot. Give Jenna a reprieve.

But I don’t have the power to make that choice. So I shed tears and cry out in prayer for God to let Jenna live, to come through on the promises He’s given her. She has dreams of ministering to abused girls, of traveling and speaking, of writing children’s stories for children in impoverished countries. And I try to sort the justice of God out in my brain. But I can’t. And I don’t think I’m meant to. I can’t reason this one out in my soul. I have to trust the Spirit. All I know to do is stand upon the fact that God is good. I don’t understand how exactly in this situation, but I have to trust that it’s so. If I don't I won't be able to face whatever comes next. And I know it’s what Jenna would tell me to do. She’d say it’s all good because it comes from the Father, because it brought her to this point of knowing Him. She looks at her sickness and believes she has to go through this because it will help her minister to people in the hospital who need to be touched by Y’shua. I’ve seen her talk to Him—curled up in a chair with her blanket—crying and expressing her fears one moment, yet lifting her voice in gratitude to Him the next. No matter what it feels like, it’s good. It’s good. It’s all good.