What follows is an unedited (bar correcting two spelling typos!) copy of the first major update email we sent following Annie’s initial diagnosis of pre-cancerous activity in July 2007. We sent this on Saturday, July 21st 2007, five days after the diagnosis.
To God be the Glory.
|from:||Ryan Muliette firstname.lastname@example.org|
|date:||21 July 2007 23:34|
To our dear brothers and sisters at Manor Park,
This last week has probably been one of the hardest weeks of our life. The news about Annie’s health was completely unexpected, absolutely unwanted and terribly upsetting. Our plans for the US paled into insignficance (as far as I was concerned) as the reality of Annie’s condition sank in. Of course, it was only made more difficult by the fact that a huge amount of administration work had to be done immediately in order to start undoing the work that had been done to put our plans into action. I’d not be telling you the whole truth if I didn’t tell you that in the back of my head I was just hoping that somehow this would all be some nervous dream I was having as our leaving day drew nearer!
However, in saying this, we can say this without any doubt and without any sense of it being our ‘Christian Duty’ to say so: this week has been one of the most blessed weeks of our lives.
It’s easy to think that now this had happened, our plans to serve God have to go on hold…or even worse, in some way, that they have been scuppered. But we rejoice and glory in the fact that we know for ourselves that neither or these things are true. We recognise that these trials and difficulties are exactly the means through which God can be served and glorified in our lives, even today. Jesus tells us to not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-34). You often lose sight of this precious command in day-to-day life but going through this has started to help us see the blessing of taking each day as a gift from God and using everything within it to bless our Father and bring glory to Him. Whether it’s in a classroom in sunny Pennsylvania, or a hospital in rainy Worcester, He is Lord and He is coming again and nothing will scupper that or put that on hold!
We feel a bit like Peter felt when he stepped out of the boat and began walking on water. When he looked at Jesus he walked on water but the moment he looked to the waves crashing around him, he started to fall. Right now we are just learning to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We are not asking God ‘Why did this happen?’ or ‘Why now?’, we are simply looking to our Saviour and trusting in Him for every day and asking Him for the strength that we need to be a witness. In that scripture, when Peter started to fall, we read that Jesus immediately reached out to hold Him! And when those moments come when we for a moment look to our problems more than we do our Lord, we have the great assurance that He graciously reaches out to hold us when we start to sink.
Each step of the way so far, God has given us much to be thankful for. We still have some way to go in this process. We still don’t know what the outcome will be, as of yet. We are not in any way certain about what will happen next with regards to Annie’s health or our future plans for (both immediate and longterm) but this is our testimony: we are experiencing that peace that cannot be shattered and that joy beyond understanding. Right now, the Word of God, the prayers of His people and His presence with us as a couple is more than enough for what we need!
The support of a loving and praying fellowship cannot be under estimated. It must be really hard to go through something like this alone, but to have one another, to have the family of God and to have our triune God at our side, gives us more support than we could ask or imagine. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. They have been vital to us!
As a fellowship may we be encouraged to think and pray urgently for the many people in our families, communities, schools, colleges, workplaces etc. that are without a Saviour and in far greater need than we are right now.
‘The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward .’
Love in Christ,
Ryan and Annie