She and two of her children came to visit us a few years back when she was going through a difficult transition in her life. We enjoyed being able to give them a place of refuge for those few days.
You know, sometimes when you are going through hard times, it is hard to be what you would like to be for others.
My own situations have kept me from being the strength that I would have liked to be for Barbara.
There is this song by Mercy Me that I have listened to many, many times, each time with tears streaming down my face. I have seen the toll of illness on my parents, and, to be perfectly honest, there have been times when I have prayed for God's mercy in their situations. The suffering can be agonizing when you see it wearing down someone who owns part of your heart.
I cry, not because of the reason you think, but because when they are finally through with this journey I will want to be *home* even more. You see, this earth is not my stopping place, I hope that will be at the feet of my Savior.
And I think of my parents, healthy and whole, and the burdens of this life behind them, and my heart is so full of joy and longing.
Probably my favorite hymn says "There'll be no sorrow there, no more burdens to bear, no more sickness, no pain, no more parting over there. And FOREVER I will be with the One who died for me...What a Day, Glorious Day that will be."
This past Friday Barbara lost her precious son, Tyler, after a courageous battle with cancer. My heart hurts for her, because I know Barbara has a mother's heart.
She has been so wonderfully brave, and I have seen such growth in her through all of this.
It could be a bitter time to loose a child, and I can only imagine how it would feel (just doing that makes me cry). But Barbara has managed to see the sweetness, too. She has spent the past year at Tyler's side, making memories that cannot be stolen, cannot be replaced.
And I know she will continue to seek after God's will for her life.
Lord, be with Barbara. Be her comforter, her counselor, for You alone can provide what she needs right now. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!