Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fellowship of Suffering

We have discovered, over the years, a fellowship of suffering. It's a little like being a member of a club you never wanted to join. The other members are awesome - many broken, transparent, hurting, with a deep sense of loss, but nonetheless incredibly kind, loving, supportive, very solid people.

The man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears. -- Michel de Montaigne

We have been through a great deal of suffering over the years. I responded to them in many different ways, but discovered early that suffering can produce what nothing else can in our lives. We have suffered the loss of loved ones who died so young. We have suffered through the loss of 3 miscarriages, and the emptiness left by the absence of those precious ones. We have suffered through pains, disappointments, realization of disillusionment, betrayal, and so much more.

For the past 4 years, we have been going through very difficult circumstances. Kim has been very sick during this time. There are many who want to label this as cause & effect, saying "there must be something wrong in your life for this to be happening to you", or "you just aren't having enough faith", etc. For some reason, some people feel they need to judge us and our circumstances. Thankfully, our Daddy holds us close, telling us He is at the heart of this, and will deliver us. We are also often amazed at those who come along side us, encourage us, and love us just the way we are. Some as a few miles away, and others are across the world, but we are nevertheless amazed at their love, caring, prayers, and concern for us.

I thank God for the fellowship of suffering. It is so good not to be alone when situations seem so very overwhelming.

I wonder if others out there have had similar experiences.



mdwinn said...

I think 2005 was a similar year for Darla and I recovering from the auto accident. Not to compare, but it is the reality that I know to be true. Suffering came in the form of knowing that only time would heal our wounds. Time just can't pass quick enough when you are waiting.

GoteeMan said...

Michael -
You are so right about time not being able to pass quickly enough for us. Sometimes, though, I think it is in the waiting that we receive the most precious gifts of all...

kingsjoy said...

Hey, I was just reading in Philip Yancey's Soul Survivor the chapter about Dr. Paul Brand, the surgeon who made amazing discoveries in treating leprosy. He apparently has written to some extent about the issue of pain.

I don't know what's going on with you guys, but if you hadn't heard of him, just thought I'd pass it along.

GoteeMan said...

David -
Thanks, will look into it. We are going through difficult times with my wife's health. She has chronic Lyme disease with co-infections, and it took many years to get diagnosed properly, and now, the insurance policy is treatment for 28 days, when the doctors are saying much longer (6-12 months) of IV Antibiotics. We are attempting to get the insurance company to approve longer. Very expensive (600-1200 $$ per week).

kingsjoy said...

Jeff, I'll be praying for you guys. ~David

GoteeMan said...

Thanks, David - I really appreciate it very much.


kingsjoy said...

Everything OK? You haven't posted in a while. Still praying.

GoteeMan said...

David -

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Last week, the IV Catether was installed and we started IV antibiotics. At this point, not alot of difference - this is a long-haul deal. Working on trying to get a wheelchair ramp built, and some other things in place to make it easier until she can walk again, which may be many months.

I will post more as I can.
God bless you.


Love4theWord said...

I find that we are also in the fellowship of suffering.. the wife and I have been going thru similar things.

Psalms 119:67 thru vs. 71 took on special meaning for us, as well as Phil 3:10.

Fr. Corapi says that Suffering shouldn't be shunned, but embraced for the 'gift' it is from God...

Not quite there yet, but thinking about it.



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