Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Uses People for Encouragement

PHOTO ON LEFT: Charlie, 4 months post-transplant, is growing hair again.

Throughout our journey of mantle cell lymphoma the Lord has been with us. When the diagnosis was still new to us many times the Lord would send someone to us to encourage us. Of course we still have encouragement from many, but we are now wishing to be an encouragement to others that are going through a rough time especially with medical challenges.

Last December, while waiting in a check-out line in Wal-Mart with my daughter, I invited a man to our church's Christmas concert. I told him that my husband was facing a battle with lymphoma and a stem cell transplant and that he would probably be singing in the choir for the last time for quite awhile. To my surprise he told me that he beat lymphoma and was doing fine. After briefly chatting in the check-out line, I headed for my car. As I approached my car, I heard the same man calling me. Apparently, he wanted to encourage me even more. He wanted to know my husband's age. It just so happened that he was my husband's age, worked in the same industry as my husband at one time, and also lived in the same area in Louisiana as we did when he was doing this work.

Sleet and snow continued to fall as we chatted in the Wal-Mart parking lot, but that didn't hinder me for I wanted to know what this man had to say to me for encouragement. I learned that this gentleman was once a member of our church and had loved attending our church. He had only left to attend his fiance's church, but admitted that he had since broke up with her and had not attended church recently. Of course, I encouraged him to visit our church again. He thanked me and realized that God had allowed our paths to cross. Likewise, thanking him for his encouragement, we departed. I now had great confidence that my husband too would survive lymphoma.