Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, April 24, 2023

Gracefully Broken

 Job 1:20-21 "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'"

Mark 14:35-36 "And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will."

Yesterday at church, as we sang "Gracefully Broken", I felt like the lyrics were written just for me. I feel so torn these days. I know that God can heal Wayne if that is in His will, but I also know that may not be the way God wants to answer. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Eight years ago we did not know anything about brain cancer. This time around, we know a lot more about this cancer and are trying to balance having faith that God could heal, but also being practical and having things in order. There is nothing "normal" about having to discuss Wayne's wishes for treatment, and when to stop if he is unable to communicate that at a later point. There is nothing "normal" about discussing other depressing topics, like funeral options. How do you stay hopeful and keep trusting, when at the same time having a harsh reality screaming in your face?

It's hard to describe the feelings I am experiencing deep down inside of me. More and more, David's Psalms feel like my cries to God. 

Psalm 13:2 & 5-6 "How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?...BUT I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me." 

On the outside, it appears like I am holding it together, and yet I know that I am just one moment from the dam breaking inside. Every night and morning feels like a breaking point. When I hold Wayne and pray over him, I cannot help but pray the same way Jesus did in the garden. I tell God how much I love Wayne and how I know that if God wanted to, He could completely remove this monster from Wayne's brain. But in the same breath, I tell God that my arms are open and that Wayne is ultimately His and not mine. I tell God as much as it hurts, I want God's will and not my own will to be done. How can someone feel hopeful and broken at the same time? I don't know and yet somehow, I keep moving forward one step at a time, fully needing God to carry me. Sometimes I feel like I cannot get up, and then God uses someone's text or prayer to pick me up off the floor. Life has become a moment by moment surrender and battle of trusting and resting in who God is, even if sometimes it feels like it is too much. I think that is why the words from the song "Gracefully Broken" struck such a deep chord in the depths of my soul yesterday.

Gracefully Broken: Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Take all I have in these hands

And multiply, God (God), all that I am

And find my heart on the altar again

Set me on fire(ask him say), set me on fire

Here I am, God arms wide open

Pouring out my life

Gracefully broken

My heart stands in awe of Your name

Your mighty love stands strong to the end

You will fulfill Your purpose in me

You won't forsake me, You will be with me (You will be with me)

All to Jesus now (yes)

All to Jesus now

I'm holding nothing back

Holding nothing back

I surrender (I surrender)

It's only with God's strength and help that someone can stand in awe of God's name in the midst of such darkness surrounding them. Job was such an encouragement to me last time Wayne was going through brain cancer. This time, he continues to encourage my heart. How can someone who has lost everything here on earth cry out to God and worship Him? And yet that is what Job did. He worshiped God and he remembers that God brought him into this world and not matter what happens, Job blesses God's name. That is what I want to do with my life. Over the years as I have discipled the kids, my heart is always drawn to those in the Bible and great missionaries, whose lives were fully surrendered to God and God used them for great things. It has always been the cry of my heart to live for God in such a way that others see very clearly God's light displayed in me. The people we often times look up to from the past were humans just like us. If they could survive and thrive in daunting times and tribulations, why can't I? What was the secret to their success? They never lost sight of who God is and knew that He never left them or forgot about them. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever more, so I can rest and trust in that same promise. 

This struggle of battling fears, while trusting; holding tight, yet with open arms; sadness, mingled with the hope of Jesus is real. I can see it even playing out with my children. Today, Abigail shared a poem she wrote about the day Wayne walked her down the aisle. If you missed that post, here is the link. Abigail told me that I could share her poem with you. I think you will receive a glimpse into the battle raging in my children's hearts.

Here is a poem I wrote trying to get my feelings in order from this day.


The very thought of you leaving rips my heart in two.

The thought of you not being there on my actual wedding day grieves me.

The thought that you may not hold a grandchild in your arms breaks my heart.

The thought that you may not meet the man who thinks that I’m the prettiest girl in the world tears me apart.

The thought that I won’t be able to come to you to talk about what God is teaching me, current events in our world, or just to get whatever is in my chest off breaks me. 

The thought of you not being here for the rest of my future life events turn me to tears.

The thought of not being able to come to you for godly wisdom or input has me frightened. 

The thought of my expectations for my future with you in it falling apart scares me more than anything else in the world. I need you!

But, I know that whatever the Lord does He is in control. 

I know that God is working all for my good and His glory. 

I know that you when you do die, you will be completely healed and rejoicing in heaven with your Savior. 

I know that despite this diagnosis, your life is still in the hands of God. 

I know that God will carry me through this trial even when I can’t take another step. 

I know that He is still good. 

I know even if you aren’t here for the events and chapters in my life that I want you to be in, God is going to get me through. 

I know that you have been the greatest dad, role model, and example of a godly husband that I could have asked for. 

Ultimately, I know that God loves you so much more than I do and that He is God and I am not. Despite my emotions and fears, all I can say is it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul...that is what we cling to during this time. God is good, no matter the results. God will be glorified, even in the messy, dark days. And because He is good and loves us so much, we can truly say as David did in Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

Thanks to our friends, we were able to sneak a date night in the midst of all the crazy. We visited our favorite restaurant from our hometown. We followed it up with the best ice cream from Plush Horse!

Wayne has rehab 3 times a week at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. We are so thankful for the Kreider's hospitality which allows Wayne to rehab at one of the best places in the United States!

Please pray for us as Wednesday is Wayne's post op visit with the surgeon. We will either receive the detailed report of his tumor at that appointment or at his oncology appointment on Friday. We are praying for clear answers and wisdom as we move forward with treatment options. 

1 comment:

  1. You spoke my heart. You are a beautiful writer. And a beautiful witness of faith. I love you my sister in Christ!!! HUGS!!!