Next day, Sabbath afternoon, my friend noticed me dragging one leg a little and advised me to see a doctor. On my appointment, the doctor sent me straight to the hospital with another driver, and that evening they diagnosed me with a brain tumor.
On July 18th I drove for the final time, on August 10th, paramedics removed me from our house in diabetic collapse, and on August 14th, they operated on the tumor, discovering it was, from Science’s point of view, terminal.
To all intents and purposes, this sounds like an unmitigated disaster. I would like to share how it was not. I feel like I have entered a graduate course in understanding God’s love and concern for His children.
He has exercised His watch care and love for Carolyn and I in several ways. My life expectancy may be shortened, for many in my family were long-lived, but time is not the biggest value, and God has given better. He has given preparation, help in finishing goals, and detailed evidence of His love and concern in these months.
Preparation started when we decided to see Alaska for our fortieth anniversary instead of the fiftieth as we had earlier planned. Then in 2012, I felt moved to set aside church offices and devote myself to prayer ministry. That was out of character for me … but it has been a huge blessing.
I would not have been able to finish the offices this year, but even on sick days I can pray. My first prayer involved submitting myself to God, and that day I tested Him when a bank transaction seemed about to fail.
I asked Him for submission, and before I opened my eyes, the lady at the bank was smiling and saying it went through. I am marking many prayers as answered. This has been a relationship of closeness to God better than anything I have experienced yet. God has lovingly prepared a way for us to navigate the crisis.
We have been involved in a seven year renovation of our house … my attempt to work after retirement and help support us. Problem was, that it was one or two years behind, Carolyn was ready to retire, and we did not know how we were going to finish.
We had, for example, a two year wait for engineer’s drawings for part of the renovation. Suddenly, things started to become possible and get finished. Drawings and help came within days or hours of when needed, so that when I was diagnosed, the job was nearly done, at least on the rented side of the house.
Not only that but the new Pastor of our church has rented our house and been supportive in very many ways. It has been a blessing to be connected and supported by the church. Recently, we returned to Williams Lake to have a special service of good-byes, and how affirmed we felt by our precious church. We have experienced blessings pressed down and running over.
I would not say that this has all been easy. I, like every other child of God, have had some bad moments. I do not want to leave. I have tried bargaining with God, but His word is that all His children are given and should plan for one day at a time. He has given me many days.
We had planned to come to Kelowna to help care for our grandchildren, only without me sick. God miraculously, and in a detailed way opened our ability to find a home here, just as I got sick. We are close to the Church School for our grandchildren, as well as our children’s work.
Our son-in-law got just the right job to help in his studies. I get the best care, ten minutes away, with top doctors. God has blessed me with returning health steadily since my surgery. I have discovered that my new Vegan diet is helping my health and tasting wonderful.
In the hospital, my treating doctor was an Adventist who gave me wonderful care with understanding of our lifestyle and need for getting home early. She also managed my new diabetes problem until we found a doctor in Kelowna. This kind of detail doesn’t happen by accident.
God has given us dozens of evidences of His guidance and detailed care … like my request for a ‘Coat of Many Colors’ rose, and finding a rainbow of roses in the yard of the house here, including the request.
I do not wish to close the gate on my life quickly, but I know that no child of God is left without His love to help us cope with the pain of goodbyes.
His help to us has been detailed, in preparing us, in enabling us to finish needed tasks, and in comforting us. Hard moments come, but we, by faith, bolstered by prayer, are held tenderly in our Father’s loving arms.
Doug Hosking, Retired Pastor of Williams Lake
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