In His Perfect Will?
By Brenda Blanchard
Kerry sat across from me in the La Tortilito patio area with her right foot propped up on a chair to prevent additional swelling. On top of everything else in her life, she’d fractured an ankle. She met my smile with a smile. Her bright aqua eyes radiated love, even though tears rolled down her cheeks. No bitterness seeped in her speech, but rather an understanding that ministered peace to my soul.
I viewed my friend with awe. She had looked death in the face several times already, once when cancer struck her best friend, and then when her own son, Daniel, died at the age of eleven. Now, she stared again at that familiar foe with Jerry, her husband, battling Stage Three Invasive Cancer. The life-robbing culprit had already spread to his bladder, spine and neck before anyone knew it even existed.
I wondered how Kerry would be able to bear this grief again should Jerry die, and I cried as I reached across the table to hold my friend’s hand.
“I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this,” I said. “I’m believing God’s going to give Jerry a miracle. I know everyone is praying for him.”
“I’m believing that, too,” Kerry said, squeezing my hand.
I got up and gave her a hug. We cried together for a few minutes, and I felt the heaviness of her heart beat into mine.
“I’m going to be okay. I know God is taking care of me.” Kerry gave me a steady look and nodded. “Jerry’s radiation and chemo treatments are underway. He’s walking strong with
“That’s great. I wouldn’t expect anything else from him.” I returned to my seat, dabbing a
tissue under my eyes. “You’re so brave. I don’t believe I could be--”
“When I lost my friend, Jackie, I believed up until the day she died that she wasn’t going
to die. She had a five-year-old little girl who needed her. I refused to even think God was going to take her, but he did. It took me some time to understand because there was no daddy in the picture.” She paused and tears pooled in her eyes.
“Then when my own son, Daniel, lay in the hospital with his skull cracked open from a fallen soccer goal, I prayed so hard. I wanted to keep my son with me, but I wanted more to be in God’s perfect will. I told God I would accept whatever that was, even if that meant Daniel leaving me. As I was praying, I felt God’s presence comforting me. I knew before the doctors told me that Daniel had gone home.”
“His perfect will. It’s not always what we want, is it?” My eyes glistened as my heart ached, understanding the depth of her losses.
She shook her head. “But, it’s always what is best.”
“I guess fairness has nothing to do with it.” I frowned. “All I know is God must have a big plan in store for you and Jerry.”
“That’s what I keep telling him.” She smiled.
Later as I drove home, I replayed our conversation in my head, and I knew the grace of God rested on Kerry. Remembering her only child, Daniel, I saw how God used Kerry’s grief to keep others from experiencing a similar grief. Almost 100 children had been injured or killed prior to Daniel’s death from makeshift soccer goals falling on the players. Because Kerry submitted to God’s perfect will, she became the driving force to change regulations regarding soccer equipment. She met with the regulators in Switzerland and even appeared on Oprah to bring attention to the issue. Rules have changed and millions of children are safer. But still, even knowing this, I question my ability to trust unconditionally. I wonder would I fail the ultimate faith test of relinquishing my most prized possessions to be in His perfect will.
A week later, Kerry called me and said Jerry couldn’t talk, eat or drink. Within hours, he had been moved to ICU and then later to an incubation area. In less than 24 hours of being checked into the hospital, Jerry breathed his last breath on earth and his first breath in Heaven.
I cried with my friend at the funeral. The grace of God whispered in her touch. I saw pain in her eyes, but heard hope in her voice. Yes, sorrow enveloped her, but I knew His grace would carry her through to a new tomorrow.
I still wonder… so I pray, asking for increased faith and the grace to accept His will in all matters. For now, that is all He asks of me.