Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, July 1, 2024

Update 7/1/24: From the Depths

Bible Verse Psalm 103:1 "Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name."

I think sometimes it is easy for people to get a glimpse into our lives and miss some of the anguish that has transpired in the midst of our faith the past 18 months. I decided to read a few old journals of mine and I was amazed at how much God has done during this time in our lives. I have decided to share a little of my laments that I wrote out to God during some of the darkest days of 2023 right after Wayne had brain surgery. We were facing many obstacles with his health. Laments are such a beautiful spiritual discipline that I am trying to learn more about. I feel like enough distance has occurred since I wrote this and I feel led to share. I pray that my transparency will help you be more vulnerable in your prayers to the Lord and that you will also be encouraged. God is faithful, good, and able to do so much more than we could ever ask or hope for!


How long O Lord must my soul be weary? I feel as a weary traveler marching through the dry, lonely desert. Each step in the sand feels like cement. My heart cries out to You for strength - where are You? How many more years of suffering and pain can my heart endure? I need You to intervene, to carry me. I need Your Living Water to refuel my parched soul and wet my lips so I can continue to praise You in this dust storm. 

I life up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come from? My help comes from You - the Marker of heaven and earth. You will not allow my foot to fail or my walk to stumble. Under Your wings You protect me - move mightily in Your awesome power on my behalf for You are faithful, good, and kind. 

But I also feel worn, like a tattered cloth hardly useable by You. I feel like my usefulness is tied up because of this deep pain within - like a piece of meat being seared in a hot pan, my heart and should feel faint at the deep pain of losing my best friend, the love of my life. And yet, I know You are to be the true treasure of my heart. But this amazing gift of my husband has been the best thin in my life since knowing You. My heart feels torn in two with the agonizing fear and pain of losing him. Who will hold me and comfort me when I need it? Who will help me keep my eyes on You when the world around me feels daunting? Who will help me raise our children and face growing old and our bones aching together? 

I know O God that you are able to speak and move mountains, to touch, and heal, to take someone from death to life as You do at salvation. Move God in Your mighty power and remove this beast from my husband's head - he is also my brother in Christ, move on His behalf. I know You can, the question that plagues me day and night is will You?

Despite how my heart tears in two to say this, Your will be done. I don't like what one of the possibilities is, and yet I know that Your ways are not our ways, nor Your thoughts our thoughts. I know that You have given me the Spirit as my comforter and that You will wrap me in Your arms when I need it most. I know You are kind and loving to orphans and widows, so I know that You will provide. 

When I'm in that desert, the Oasis is You! You are Jehovah Jireh, the God who supplies everything we need. But you are also Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals - You can heal Wayne, but if You chose not to, I trust that You will heal my broken heart. For in Your word You say that You are close to the brokenhearted and that You bind up the wounds. God, I need You to do that even now. Anguish flows deep within me as I think about a life without my beloved. O God, save him by Your mighty hand. You created him in his mother's womb, he is fearfully and wonderfully made - we declare Your paise and Your goodness even when this all feels like it is too much. 

The waves crash over my head, trying to drag me to the depths of the sea - it feels overwhelming and dark. I glance up and I see Your hand pulling me out and guiding me. You offer hope in the mist of the darkness. Great is Your faithfulness - I have seen you work before in my life through dark, hard times, and I know You will guide me through this again because You never change - You are the same yesterday, today, and forever!

You are holy forever - all creation and every creature bows their knee and worships the Lamb who was slain for me. Though I feel like I have been slain by You, yet will my lips praise You because You are worthy of all worship, praise, and adoration. 

Your name is the highest, Your name is the greatest - there is none like You in heaven or on earth. No matter what I face, I know that You will carry me and sustain me.

Little did my broken, transparent heart know what was to come months later with my own cancer diagnosis. I continue to stand in awe of our awesome God who has moved so many of the mountains I prayed over 15 months ago. Never be afraid to pour out your heart to God - He sees, He hears, He cares, and He loves you!


We will transition to a little more lighthearted pictures below

Wayne and Naomi being willing after stealing my phone.

My neighbor, Laura, is an avid hiker in the area and introduced me to two new trails on Thursday. I have decided that hiking is my new love. I love exercising, and I loved being in nature - perfect blend of the two loves.

Underground arch

Arch and a waterfall. The trail was beautiful since we followed a creek most of the way.

Friday was back to the oncologist for bloodwork, appointment, and immunotherapy. I have had joint pain since my infusion on Friday afternoon. I'm praying it goes away and feels better soon. I'm pushing through, but in the evenings is when it feels the worst.

Pictures from the KY Encampment with CAP (Civil Air Patrol). Shan and Sophia staffed and Micaela attended to meet her requirement. Shan was the flight sergeant for Delta and Sophia was the flight commander for Echo. They managed to survive the brutal heat from the week. Micaela did great, but came home completely exhausted.

She had daily room inspections and learned how to make hospital corners for her bed. She told me that she is not going to do that at home. I told her that is fine as long as she makes her bed. LOL!

Micaela was able to learn how to shoot a gun on top of so many other amazing skills.

Relief of graduating from squadron one. She enjoyed her siblings leading their flight's graduations.

Our graduated survived a hard week! I'm glad to have them home.

We celebrated by eating at Cracker Barrel. The kids were hungry for some good food. They all crashed on the two hour drive home after dinner.

Sunday was restful. The kids slept in and attended second service at church. Then they took naps and sat by the pool to recharge. 

Abigail in her scrubs for her new job. 

Sophia just got home Saturday night from CAP encampment and now she heads off with Naomi to church camp. Praying they have an amazing week growing closer to God. 

I will post more pictures later this week. I'm trying to post at least once a week so I don't get so far behind.

Prayer Requests:

- Wayne: Please pray for Wayne as he does another week of PT, OT, and Speech. Pray that he continues to do well and get stronger.

- Rebecca: Please pray for my joint pain to go away and that the immunotherapy would do its job. Please also please pray for me as I prepare to share our story at a local women’s brunch in August. I’m also knee deep in edits for my first book that I have been working on since 2017. 

- My sister: please pray for my sister, Sarah. She is having surgery on Wednesday.

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