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Not Before, Not If, But When

Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…”

Not before, not if, but when.

Brenda and Todd

I will never forget the day when my six-year-old son, Todd, walked into the room and said, “Mom, I might die when I’m young.”  I said, “Todd, don’t say that; I don’t want you to die when you’re young.”  He calmly replied, “Well, if God wants me, He wants me, and there is nothing you can do about it,” and he walked out of the room.

Just a few weeks after his sixteenth birthday, his words proved to be true.  After a seven-month battle with a rare cancer, Todd met his Savior face to face. (Today, May 10,2018 is the 5 year anniversary of Todd meeting Jesus face to face)

It’s one thing to say you trust God and agree He is good when life is going according to your plans, but it’s another thing to say that and believe it when the storms of life rage around you. What we believe about God in the storms of life reveals what is truly in our heart. After my son died, the Lord had a lot to show me about what I honestly thought about Him versus what was true about Him.

I had always assumed if I prayed, God would answer my requests—you know, like I had my own personal genie. When Todd was first diagnosed with cancer, friends, family and even strangers immediately prayed for his complete healing. Everyone thought Todd’s recovery had to be God’s perfect plan—it was unfathomable to accept anything less.

After my son succumbed to cancer, I was devastated. The peace I had at the beginning of Todd’s diagnosis seemed to depart, and I no longer understood a God who didn’t answer my prayer—a request that seemed to have been so reasonable—a boy is sick and near death; he should be healed. I questioned if He was good and if He even listened to my prayers at all. When I finally stopped fighting against His plan and sat still before Him, He began to reveal Himself to me. In the process I stopped looking at Him through my own eyes—what I thought He should be like—and began to look at Him through His Word. I learned that the Lord never promised to fulfill my man-made plans, but He did promise to be with me through trials, and He promised comfort and provision. He was true to His Word because when we received Todd’s cancer diagnosis, even though it was devastating, God’s peace was there for our family and especially for Todd just like He promised. It was a peace I had never personally experienced.

Psalm 23:8 says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

His goodness isn’t based on whether or not He gives me what I want. He is good because His Word says He is good. He promised to hear and answer my requests…but according to His will, not my will.  He cannot act contrary to His Word.

How I miss my precious son and honestly wish God had chosen to let him live, but I choose to trust in a Master plan that I cannot see or understand. I still believe God is good, and I will never forget his undeniable presence during Todd’s illness and death. I have a promise from the Lord that because Jesus died on the cross to take the penalty of our sins and because Todd had trusted Jesus as His Savior, that he is alive and well today in the presence of the Lord, and I will be reunited with him one day.

After Todd died, several people encouraged me to write a book about our journey. I definitely felt the prompting of the Lord to do so, and I told the Lord that if He would help me, I would share all the ways God had taken care of us during the most devastating storm of our lives. I wanted to show others that even though our trial was devastating, God used people to bless our family and walk with us and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I wanted to have a tool to place in the hands of someone else who might have to walk this difficult journey. I felt compelled to show others that if God allowed them to pass through the fire or the flood, He would be with them—He promised and He fulfilled that promise to me. How can I not share this amazing story?

To purchase a copy of Your Eyes Saw by Brenda Lurtey and learn more about this amazing story, see the links below. To contact Brenda you can find her on FB or email her at brendalurtey4@gmail.com

Amazon (paperback and Kindle editions), Barnes and Noble (paperback and Nook editions), iBooks, Advantage Books, and Ingram (wholesale distributors only)

A note from Kim (AKA Midlife Domestic Goddess), Today my heart is heavy for all those who have lost a child. Mother’s Day is just a few days away and I can not imagine how hard it will be for those who know the pain of loosing a child. Today I am going to ask that you would say a prayer for Brenda and for all those who have lost a child. 

I can not imagine the emotions Brenda will feel today. As stated in the post, it is the 5 year anniversary of Todd going to meet Jesus face to face. But today is also a day of celebration for their family. They will watch their daughter graduate from high school today and it will be a very proud moment for Brenda and her husband. I wanted to give a heartfelt thank you to Brenda for sharing her story and I hope today is filled with so much joy as they celebrate with their daughter. To learn more about this beautiful story your can order a copy of Brenda’s book in the links above. Have a blessed day, Kim