Harder Family

Harder Family

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Update 8/16/23: God Sees

Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes."

Psalm 33:18 "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love."

I think many times our first reaction when life gets hard is to ask God, "Do you see me God? Do you even care? Do you see what I'm going through?" Sometimes we might even blame God for what is going on in our lives. But if we truly understand that Heaven Rules, and that God is sovereign, it changes the narrative. 

It makes me think of three Jewish boys who refused to bow a knee to the statue of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3). They told the king, even with the threat of death in the fiery furnace, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." (my emphasis added) 

These young men knew that God was sovereign, that Heaven Rules. They knew that God was able to save them, they just didn't know if He would save them. If you do not know the story, this angered Nebuchadnezzar so much that he had the fire stoked 7x hotter than ever. The mighty men of his army that threw the men into the fire died from the heat. But then the most amazing scene played out before this mighty king. They saw not three, but four men (Jesus is the 4th man), unbound walking around in the fire. When they came out of the fiery furnace, not a hair was singed, their clothes weren't burnt, no smell of fire, and their bound hands were undone. This caused Nebuchadnezzar to cry out in worship to God because of the acts that he saw God do on behalf of these young men. 

In their most desperate hour, Jesus was there for these young men, just as He is with us in our darkest times. He walks by our side, comforts us, and carries us when it is too hard to take one more step on our own. Remember Isaiah 43:2? "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." God promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). 

I have to share the most amazing thing God did for me today, which demonstrates that He sees me and He cares for me, even if it doesn't always feel like it. I really needed this encouragement today and I hope that it encourages you that you are not alone and that God sees you!

I was very frustrated after calling the doctor's office this afternoon only to find out that I "may" hear back by tomorrow but more likely Friday or Monday about setting up an appointment. I don't know how to express how helpless you feel when you know that you have something like cancer that needs to come out, but all the medical teams seem to be dragging their feet (at least that is the way it feels). I feel like this needs to be done yesterday. 

Here is where God stepped in and reminded me that Heaven Rules, He sees me, and nothing takes Him by surprise (because as you will see, He has been interweaving people into my life before I knew I would need them). A friend called this a "God wink" and I absolutely love that phrase. 

Yesterday, on social media, I asked friends for suggestions regarding natural remedies/functional medicine that I can use alongside traditional medicine. I received some great suggestions, including information from one of Micaela's CC (Classical Conversations) classmate's mom. We met at our parent orientation a few weeks ago where I discovered that she was a pediatrician. She called me this afternoon, about 30 minutes after getting the discouraging news from the doctor's office. We talked about everything going on. Here is where it gets amazing! While working as a pediatrician, she went back to school and studied functional medicine. She is going to compile some information for me about functional oncology. Not only that, when she asked me who I was being referred to for my oncology, it turns out she is friends with the doctor and they went to school together. 

To understand just how many God winks and how huge this is. Micaela is attending a class that we just decided this summer to send her to because of Wayne's health. She is one of six kids in the class, in a town that is 30 minutes away, with this new family who just joined CC, which just happens to be at the same location as Micaela, whose mom just happens to be a doctor, who just happens to have studied functional medicine, oh, and who also just happens to know and be friends with the doctor that I'm supposed to be seeing. People there are no accidents!! God knew all that was going to happen and He wanted to remind me that I am not alone, that He loves me, sees me, and has a plan for me! As a friend said, "Sometimes we just need reassurance that He is there and He reveals Himself in very real ways." Another friend wrote, "He walks ahead of us to fight the battles we can't fight without Him. You're not treading water alone. His goodness is right beside you." God lets us know in our darkest hours that He is with us.

God is so good. All I can think about is the song "Goodness of God". 

I love You, Lord

For Your mercy never fails me

All my days, I've been held in Your hands

From the moment that I wake up

Until I lay my head

Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

And all my life You have been faithful

And all my life You have been so, so good

With every breath that I am able

Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

I love Your voice

You have led me through the fire

In the darkest night

You are close like no other

I've known You as a Father

I've known You as a Friend

And I have lived in the goodness of God (yeah)

All my life God has been faithful and He has been so good. So, with every breath that God gives me while I am still alive, I WILL sing of His GOODNESS!!!

Update Wayne: Wayne just took day 4 of chemo. He freaked me out this morning when he woke up because his speech was terrible. He could hardly say anything. He barely was able to say "food" and "pills". I have to admit, when this happened this morning, I asked God, "How are we going to do this? I am Wayne's caretaker and I'm going to be out of commission for some time. This is all just too much God and it's not fair." I felt so helpless and cried about so many things that are losses right now in our lives. 

Thankfully, after sleeping for a few more hours, he was able to speak better as the day progressed. Nausea has hit him harder. Unlike 8 years ago, Wayne has to take multiple anti-nausea pills to help ease his stomach. 

Update Kids: School started Monday for Naomi, Abigail arrived safely back in Virginia, Grace was able to be ministered to this week before heading out on the road, and all the other kids are on week 2 of school. Shan had a great appointment at Cincinnati Children's Hospital yesterday. They are thrilled how well he is doing with his condition. He has fatty tumor wrapped internally in places, but he has no side effects or negative things going on, which baffled the doctors. God is so good!!! We will take all the little wins.

Grace and her teammates spending time preparing to serve others.

Our trip wore Shan out. 

As a family, we are still processing, reeling and adjusting to so many things going on in our lives. I have to remind myself that it is just a lot. Whatever school we can get to at this time, is all we can do as we all process some deep, hard things. I figure I'll have quite a few "down" weeks where we can catch up on things if we get behind. The priority right now is spending quality time with the kids, making memories, and pointing them to Jesus in all this hard.

Thank you to all of you for praying for our family. I know that is what keeps us going on these really hard days. Sometimes I don't even understand where the peace and ability to keep going comes from...and then I quickly remember it's God carrying me and using your prayers!


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