“For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief,
he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” -Lamentations 3:31
Minutes after the adoption of our Henry…
to our surprise (but in the Lord’s sovereignty) my dear momma became very sick right after the adoption took place. She came down the elevators of the court house after cheering and taking pictures during our son’s adoption to the opposite and was shivering and was not able to be in the big group picture we took at the end. She told me she needed to sit down and that she felt very bad. My dad took her home quickly for her to rest because she was having ‘flu-like’ symptoms, so we assumed. She rested that whole day. Throughout that day, our son Henry would go up to Nana and Poppy’s bedroom door and say, “Nana, Nana??” He was eager to see his grandma! He even knew something was up! Early in the morning she and dad knew it would be wise to go to the ER for further testing since she was feeling extremely sick. My father in law drove them around 5am the next day to the local hospital. I thought it was due to dehydration and figured ‘the bug’ would be gone in 24 hours. None of us knew what the Lord had in store for our beloved momma the next 48hours.
After further testing in the ER she was sent to the ICU for more testing because her kidneys were failing her. My 3 sisters from Texas got word and flew in to be with us all at the hospital. The doctors told us it was a very serious infection that seems to have gotten in her blood. She did not have a spleen so that was why it became so serious so fast. Her body was not able to fight off the infection. The doctors ran many tests and we were able to be with her often by her hospital bed. I was still not aware fully of all the implications of her sickness. We were talking with her and she reminded me that my birthday gift should be coming in the mail soon and not to forget to open it. We had causal talk about the UK game on later that night and that she wanted to watch it. I got to tell her we love her so dearly and so very thankful for her love she has always shown us. I told her that how grateful I was for her time serving my family with Mark’s cancer. We chatted off and on and then it became more and more apparent that her time was limited to be with us and that there was nothing further any doctors could do for her. Her body was shutting down. This is not just some distant relative this happening to, this was my dear momma, who has been with me my whole life. Through every trial or joy, she had always been here for me. She has been used as an amazing cheerleader and encouragement to me all my life. She was safe and comforting to me and my family this past 15months as we have walked this cancer road with Mark. She and dad were there and cried and prayed with us. She has been a ear for me like none other in my life. My heart and mind are still having a hard time to even understand that this is God’s timing for my mom. She has completed the good work the Lord had for her on earth and that He has prepared a home for her in Heaven. Unreal. Sobering.
So this is what “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” feels like. I was seeing the sorrow before my eyes as her body was fading and not able to fight against her infection. Her days were already numbered. The day after the adoption was her 64th birthday. Yet, she was in the hospital fighting for her life. My mind was pondering all the little and big ways my dear momma had been serving us; recently and all my life.
Recently, it was the way she quickly took charge with the kids when I would start weeping when a thought about losing Mark came to my mind. She would say to me, “I’ve got this, Anna. Go take a break. Go shower or spend time with the Lord.” She was quick to give me moments throughout the day to run to Jesus for help! She would pray for me and with me regularly. She was the fastest dishwasher and clean up person I have ever seen. She maintained my home. We had cleaned clothes because my mom was washing them and folding them. I would often go to bed and see mom folding and ironing for us. She had an eye to serve that many do not, myself included. She would venture with me on any errand and was always up for buying a Starbucks for me. And oh how loved our children (all her grandchildren!) The Lord had uniquely gifted her to serve, but to do in such the hidden ways that many would never know. She didn’t need to be recognized for her service. She was content in the way the Lord made her and was happy and willingly served by her actions, through her example. She loved people. She loved her husband. I learned so much about the way to love my husband, by her example of loving hers. She and dad often said to us, go out and grab a date! She encouraged Mark and I to spend as much time together as we wanted, even if that met long hours of them caring for our 3 little ones! Mom and dad would do dates too! They made sure they were spending quality time together, as well. Yet she would sacrifice more for us then she & dad let on! Their example of loving each other influenced my husband and I and how we learned from their godly marriage. She loved her daughters! She talked of all the sisters very often. She would update me with the latest happenings and the way she talked of her children was beautiful. She poured herself out for all our good. She was proud of each sister. I can’t recall an unkind thing come from her tongue, by the Lord’s grace in her life! Sadly, often it’s not till someone is taken, when you realize how much they were being used to hold yourself and your family together. She has been described as the ‘glue’ for our family. She was able to keep up with her four daughters and the twelve grandchildren! She never missed a birthday, anniversary, or memorable events in our lives! She had a card mailed to us each, if she were going to absent. I loved how she was herself. She was free to be the way the Lord made her. She had a soft heart towards Jesus and was a servant to her King Jesus. She loved well. She pointed me, all of us, to Jesus. And all this fruit in her life was the Lord’s good grace to her!
All I could keep on thinking in the hospital was this. Here my parents came to serve us through my husband’s fight for his life with brain cancer. She and dad poured themselves out for our good and for our children. They were consistently encouraging, helpful, generous, and full of grace towards us on this cancer road. Hidden to us, the Lord had allowed my mom to get an infection that would shorten her days abruptly! Mark’s suffering was a shock to us, but has been a long 15months and counting. My momma’s suffering was a shock and took her home to be with the Lord quickly, 48hours later.
How am I doing? Well, for starters. Friends, our days are numbered by the Lord. It’s clear in Scripture (Psalm 90:12) and now in this example of my momma. She had fulfilled all that the Lord had for her to do on earth. God designed her for His glory. God bought her with a price. He gave His Son, Jesus. She repented and believed upon Jesus. She knew full forgiveness of all her sins. Now and forever more, my momma is Home with her King. She is no longer suffering in this world. She is at perfect peace and in the presence of our Lord and Savior. This reality is more than we can comprehend! Our minds can’t even grasp the fact that she is more alive today, than we are right now!
And she would want me to say something here, in this post. She would want any and all to come to Jesus for salvation. She knows better than we do now, this life we live right now is very small. It’s so small in comparison to eternity. If you are reading this post, you have breath right now. This is a gift from the Lord. Please stop and consider. Consider that you are really not good enough (Romans 3:23). In fact, deep down, you know you have done some pretty bad things. These bad things the Bible calls sin. We are all accountable for our sin. We all will stand before a Holy God and He will only demand perfect righteousness in order to go to Heaven. The sad part is that we do not have this perfect righteousness on our own. Even the most ‘good’ person you know on this earth is not good enough in comparison to enter a holy Heaven and with a Holy God. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). The Bible explains this very clear. We need the righteousness of God. And on our own, we will never enter Heaven. My mom knows that fully now. And she trusted the Jesus is that He would be her righteousness that covers her and now freely opens Heaven’s door to her (Romans 5:8)! She would want you to know this. She would want many to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus (Romans 10:9-10,13). Please consider Jesus. Consider eternity. God so loved the world that He gave His Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Friends, this is so painful and I am still in grief and sorrow. However, I am not one who sorrows without hope. The verse above in James 4:6 has been so helpful to me the past days. I keep asking the Lord for help. I keep wondering His purpose in all that He is allowing in my life, in my husbands, and now even in my sisters and dad. Why all the sorrow? How long O God, how long? (Psalm 13 on repeat in my head). Yet, in the Lord’s compassion, he is showing me still that there is plentiful grace for such a weak person, like me. He used my mother, yes. He used her for all my 31 years of life and so much in these last and hardest 15months of my life as my dear Mark has been fighting his cancer. God provided in abundance through the good work He had planned for my mother to walk in. He planned for her to be in Louisville, Kentucky. She was so excited for this adoption. He allowed her in His compassion on her and the rest of us, to be present at his adoption. She was there! The Lord’s grace is abounding and so real. God so planned too that her final days would be here locally for me during the hardest time of my life. She has walked with me and listened and cried with me and sweetly pointed me back to Jesus; even if it was through the tears she shed with me! I know there is no way of really knowing all the ways the Lord is working. However, I do get to see this glimpse of His grace to me! He knew I would not be able to leave Louisville with my sweet husband being so sick. So He ordered the timing of my mom’s passing to be here (and not in Texas) and arranged for my sisters to be able to fly in. How compassionate is that?! He knows all our days. Surely, He is kind to His children. Surely, He is merciful. He will continue to provide for all our needs! Hasn’t He always provided? His faithfulnes is my standing place!
Now even, He promises to give more grace to me, even now with my mom ‘absent from her body, but present with the Lord.’ God has promised through His Son, to give MORE GRACE to me! A weak sinner who deserves nothing! He promises here in James 4:6 to give me more grace. The verse continues and says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” He is placing me in a humble place. In His sovereignty He is allowing me to see my neediness more clearly. Friends, this is His grace to me! I must see more of my needy state in order that I may know Jesus and treasure Him above all else. The Lord knows what is best. And though there is sorrow, there is a compassionate Savior who loves me and gave Himself up for me, that I too may have eternal life. Not so that I can boast, but so that I can boast in the LORD, for it is all His doing-His grace! God has ordained all this for my good. For my dad and sisters good. Even, this cancer for my husband and children’s good. He is working out holiness in us and using our suffering, so that many would see Jesus and how He alone is our refuge and hope. For my family and I, we are thankful to our Faithful Lord and King! And we long for MANY to run and to Jesus and see Him as the Great Comforter and kind Savior! Please God, draw many to yourself through your Son! Use my little life to make much of Christ!
I am so very thankful and honored to have a legacy of my mother (and my 3 older sisters feel the same) who loved Jesus and spent her life for His glory. I pray I (we) can follow in her footsteps, and leave this legacy for my (our) children. And that friends, is a life that is well spent. To be known by and make known the Love of God, through the face of Jesus Christ! To God be the glory! Amen!
A lot has happened this past month! This was both a joyful and sorrowful month. However, regretfully more sorrow than I have ever known. Yet, in the same breath I can say we have experienced more strength & dependence on the Lord than we have …continue reading
“My grace is suffienct for you, for my power is made in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9 Christ power is best seen through our weaknesses. The Lord is underlining my weaknesses and showing me that I am to throw myself at His mercy seat (Hebrews …continue reading
These verses below have been very helpful to me during this time of waiting on the Lord! We will update in greater detail in weeks to come, but for now we want to thank you for going to the Throne of grace on our behalf. …continue reading
The long awaited phone call from the attorney explaining that there is an official adoption court hearing for our foster son! Followed by the letter from the attorney giving the same information for our eyes to see! The moment when he will legally become our son. Relief. Closure. Confirmation …continue reading
Hello friends & family, We wanted to tell you thank you for your kind words and encouragement and prayers! We met with our doctor yesterday (Wed) and have a scheduled MRI set for this coming Friday, Feb.21st. However we won’t know any results until …continue reading
Dear family and friends, We wanted to update and let you know how my dear husband is doing with his fight against cancer. Over all he is in good spirits & seeking to trust the Lord! Yet, for sure there are moments of distress and …continue reading
A Birthday message to my Oldest Son on his 2nd birthday: Dear Big boy H, We thank God for you! You are answered prayer! We eagerly prayed for the Lord to provide a precious foster son that we are able to adopt into our family! And …continue reading
A Good Note by Mark’s sister, Rebecca Gronotte! We thank God for our dear sister and her God-given gifts in helping us fight this cancer for God’s glory! We pray we can be a help to anyone on this road of fighting cancer! Great wisdom below! The …continue reading
It has been a few months since I have last updated this blog. Life gets so busy and is flying by that it’s rare I can take a moment on here to reflect and explain what is going on with our family. This post is …continue reading