As I write this post I’m sitting in the waiting room of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago as my 27-year-old daughter Tiffany undergoes her eighth brain surgery. Due to intractable epilepsy (epilepsy non-responsive to drug therapy) caused by a brain tumor diagnosed at age 1, doctors implanted a device in her brain 8 years ago to stop the seizures. And four years ago they performed a temporal lobectomy to remove her right temporal lobe. During the last 4 years she has been seizure-free but due to complications from a recent surgery when the device’s battery was replaced, we’re back to have it reinserted again. As I’ve traveled down this road multiple times, I continue to learn these lessons about tough times.
- Christ promises to sustain us through tough times.
- “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13.5)
- A strong marriage makes it easier to navigate tough times.
- Because my wife, Sherryl, and I have developed a strong marriage in good times, we can draw upon each other’s strength during this tough time.
- Uncertainty is an inevitable reality in tough times.
- A life of faith demands that we learn to live in a world with no certain tomorrow, except God and his sustaining grace.
- We all need a church family (and friends) that will care and pray for us in tough times.
- Knowing our church and friends support us and pray for us encourages us.
- Nobody can escape tough times.
- ‘Nuf said.
- Freaking out does not help us weather tough times.
- Then calmer we’ve remained, the better we’ve been able to keep perspective and kept our emotions from running rampant.
- Life goes on during tough times.
- I’m still a pastor and have responsibilities even during these interruptions. Life still happens.
- One day we no longer will face tough times.
- Heaven awaits every follower of Jesus Christ and He will banish forever tough times. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Rev. 21.4)
- We must tend to our bodies during tough times.
- Tough times causes our bodies and brains to release cortisol, the stress hormone, which can dampen our immune system. During tough times we must give special attention to body care, as much as possible.
- We WILL slow down during tough times.
- When tough times comes, we realistically can’t expect to fit in all the normal life stuff as well. It’s ok to cut back on other commitments.
We pray that Tiffany will weather this surgery well (I just found out she did) and that she will recover quickly. However, we know that ultimately her future and ours as well are in the hands of our loving Heavenly Father.
When you’ve experienced tough times, what lessons have you learned?
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