Usually, when I post one of these, I like to keep them light. I like to write in a way that is thought-provoking, but also leaves you chuckling or with a light heart.
This is not going to be one of those posts. I’ve had a lot on my mind recently, and a really need to speak it. I may even offend some of you, and cause some of you not to like me. That’s okay. I’m truly sorry if I offend you. I promise I don’t want to do so. That being said, however, I know this is going to rub some of you the wrong way, but here goes.
So buckle your seat belt and get ready for a wild ride.
There are some things I don’t think you should say to people when they’re grieving, or when they’ve just received bad news. My family recently received some “information” about my dad. For months now, my daddy has been struggling with an illness that we had no diagnoses for. Daddy visited doctor after doctor, had blood tests after blood test, followed by MRIs and Pet scans, which feel like too many to count. Finally, after a visit to the neurological department at a hospital in Tampa, we were given a diagnosis – ALS.
I’m not going to go into the details of what ALS is, as you can research that on your own, if you would like, but it’s not good to hear that you or anyone you love has it. As a family, we believe that my daddy is merely suffering the symptoms of ALS and that he will be healed of that affliction. Prayer is not something we take lightly. I believe that God is still a God of miracles, and that Satan has no hold over my life, my father’s life, my mother’s life, my brother’s life, or anyone else I love. He will NOT take my daddy.
Whew… Now that that’s done…
I haven’t told many people about this diagnosis – not personally, anyway – and I really don’t know why. I told my best friend almost immediately, obviously, and she, along with another best friend, has been very encouraging. My dad has since built himself a Facebook page so that friends and family may be kept up to date with his healing. Now I’m comfortable sharing with most people, even though it’s still not easy saying it when I’m face-to-face with a co-worker.
My point in saying all that is this: There are a few things I DO NOT want to hear from anyone. Please continue reading…
1.“My cousin/uncle/grandpa died from ALS.”
This may sound harsh, but I really don’t want to hear it. Unless your story about your family member with ALS has a ‘but then God’ element to it, where said family member was completely healed of ALS, I don’t want to hear. Tell me things like “I’ve been through that. I’ll be praying for you.” And leave it at that. If you or someone you love is currently experience the symptoms of ALS, tell me and we can pray for them together. That’s fine. I will be here for you. JUST NO DEATH STORIES.
2. “You need to be prepared for how much your life is going to change in the next few years.”
Believe me, I’m ready for them to change, just not in the way that you may be implying. As of right now, we’re doing everything we can to help my dad. And when he does get healed, my life is going to change dramatically. I’m ready to tour the world, telling every single person I can find, whether sick or not, that God, my Daddy God, healed my dad of ALS. I’m ready and willing to spread that testimony tomorrow, if need be. COME AT ME, BRO.
And last, but certainly not least, if not the MOST important one…
3.“I’ll be praying for God’s will to be done.”
I was told this recently, and I was astonished someone could actually say this to someone who is grieving. “I’ll pray for healing, but if it’s God’s will that your dad dies, well, the it’s His will.” NO. That may be what you believe, but that is NOT what I believe. Yes, God has a will and a plan for every single person he has ever created. Jeremiah 29:11, perhaps one of my favorite verses, says that He has a plan for our lives – “plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope, and a future.” If you believe that promise, then you can’t believe it’s in God’s will to take someone so early in life. I understand tragedies happen. I’ve mentioned on here before about how I lost a very dear friend of mine to a horrible car accident a few years back. That still hurts today. And I can’t even begin to explain to you why she was taken so soon. I don’t want you to struggle to come up with an answer, either. Sometimes, there is no answer. But this, this disease that’s so hard to pronounce they made it an acronym, will not be a problem for my God.
I can’t tell you why my family is going through this. I have my suspicions, but only God knows the real truth. My daddy has a bright future ahead of him, and these symptoms are only temporary. I ask that you’ll keep him and my family in your prayers. For any readers out there who don’t pray, that’s okay. Please keep us in your thoughts, and maybe write a joke on my Facebook wall every now and then. ;)
Like I said, I know I’ve probably offended some of you with my beliefs, but I’m nothing if not committed to my convictions. I will not apologize for how I feel, because feelings are feelings, and these types of experiences make us who we are. And being myself makes me feel stronger, somehow, which is a really good thing.
Feel free to comment… (eek!)