Death of a Friend

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The death of a friend. Hard to process, yet process we must.

In October 2015 Debbie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Three days ago I attended her funeral. As with any cancer patient, Debbie’s journey had its ups and downs. But through all the challenges, I never once saw Debbie blame God, or lose hope. She was a fighter up to the end. She will be missed by so many who loved her.

At the beginning of November 2016 Debbie wrote this in her CaringBridge journal.

I contacted Clinical Trials to see if I might qualify for a study since my numbers have now come down with the work on the stent. I couldn’t get in the first week and they scheduled me for the following Friday afternoon. It’s so hard to be patient when you feel like you have a time bomb in you!!

The doctor said the study I came in for last month was already closed but he had been reviewing my records to see if I would qualify for a study that also was closed, but just that afternoon a person in the study no longer qualified after further tests, and this opening had to be filled this afternoon or they had to release the spot back. This is a nationwide study and they had 24 hours to fill the spot…but it was 3:00 in the afternoon on Friday and I was the only one that could be in their office to sign up by 5:00 Friday. God’s perfect timing!!!!  Unfortunately the CT scan done shows that my liver lesions have more than doubled in size and my pancreas is no longer dormant so time to get this trial started.

Do you hear the hope? Do you hear the praise? Do you hear the submission to God’s sovereignty?

 

Four days later, this is what Debbie wrote.

I was accepted into the Clinical Trial!!!! I start treatment tomorrow November 11.

But things didn’t go as planned.

11/11 My liver enzymes were too high today to start treatment. Will try again Wednesday.

11/13 Started running fever Sunday and was admitted to MDAnderson.

11/16 I received a call from the Dr’s office this morning advising me they really didn’t need to see me today. My enzymes were low enough that I qualify for treatment. I am now scheduled for next Tuesday morning. What a Thanksgiving this will be. Thanks for your continued prayers.

11/19 I am so glad I have no doubt God’s timing is perfect. Easy to say when you look back, but hard when you look forward. My treatment has been rescheduled again to 12/2.

12/2 All hope of entering the treatment is gone. The cancer has spread to my liver.

12/16 Hospice has been called in. The doctor said it could be weeks to months.

Debbie accompanied her family to Christmas Eve service at our church and then celebrated the birth of the King together the next day.

December 27 hospice visited and increased her morphine.

Jesus ushered Debbie into heaven the evening of January 2, 2017.

 

Over four years ago I wrote in a blog post we shouldn’t wait until it is too late to show someone we love them. I write the same thing now.

Don’t wait until it is too late to tell someone you love them.

I leave you with the song Debbie requested her daughter-in-law, Sara, sing at Debbie’s service.

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So this body that can be destroyed will clothe itself with that which can never be destroyed, and this body that dies will clothe itself with that which can never die. When this happens, this Scripture will be made true:

“Death is destroyed forever in victory.”
“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Thy Will Be Done

courtesy milada vigerova_unsplash photosby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the hours before Jesus was arrested and crucified he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for God’s will to be done. Jesus asked for the horror of what he knew lie ahead of him to be removed if there was another way to save mankind; yet he prayed, “Thy will be done”, knowing God’s will truly is best.

We’ve read the account of Christ’s suffering and we also pray thy will be done in our lives, courtesy pixabaybut you know what? It’s awfully difficult to accept God’s will in those times when it goes so contrary to what we thought God had planned for us. When our dreams lie in ashes all around us, counting it all joy is probably not at the top of our to-do-list, but it should be.

When life pulls the rug out from under us we may become confused. We thought we were headed the direction God set before us. We don’t understand how the heartache we feel could possibly be part of that plan. God loves us, after all. How can this be?

courtesy pixabayWe find ourselves on our knees wondering. Questioning. Begging for answers. God may someday reveal to us how he brought beauty from these ashes. Or he may remain silent. The point we need to never forget is HE is God and we are not.

Have you found that as we surrender to God’s will in our lives, it becomes easier to pray thy will be done, believing God’s will truly is best? Easier. Not always easy.

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He walked away, perhaps a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed this prayer: “Father, if you are willing, please take away this cup of horror from me. But I want your will, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him, for he was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with great drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly. Luke 22:42-44 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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