Filed under Series Girltalk Book Club
In last week’s book club discussion we asked you to send us your story of how a woman brought you the “consolation of Christ” in the midst of difficulty. Thank you for your entries—it was very moving to read each one! Although it is always hard to choose, we thought you would be blessed to hear from another Elise (read a testimony from yesterday’s Elise here) and how her pastor’s wife and her mother faithfully cared for her during a trying time.
Don’t forget to read chapter 10 for next week.
I have been privileged to be carried and cared for by many over the past two and a half years, but two women in particular stand out as ladies who brought me the “consolation of Christ” (I’m sorry I can’t pick just one!) and those would be Nancy Loftness and my mom, Pam Ecrement.
Briefly, my story is one certainly many have shared… the joy of pregnancy, my fourth child and the overwhelming news at our 20 week sonogram that something was wrong. First, our son appeared to have only one finger, an arm that was significantly shorter than the other side, a foot that was twisted laterally in half and because all of these vascular defects were on one side, the prognosis was not good. Various “syndromes” were predicted and we were asked if we were comfortable with continuing the pregnancy.
Throughout the remaining weeks of pregnancy we saw specialist after specialist and had numerous additional sonograms and tests. Often the appointments would reveal information that was worse or more sketchy than the previous with one doctor even professing that our child might not live past the first several hours.
But God took care of all of us and healed Nathan (our son) of much! When he was born, all that remained was a limb deficiency in his right hand. He was born with only 1 ½ fingers… but everything else was fine and he was and remains an absolute joy. A marvelous testimony of God’s grace and healing power.
We have had four reconstructive surgeries on his hand since (Nathan is now 2.) with an additional 3-8 more in the coming years. It was a season we didn’t choose for ourselves, but God sovereignly ordained for His good and His glory and two women helped me to keep that focus, my pastor’s wife, Nancy Loftness and my mom, Pam Ecrement.
Nancy Loftness prayed with me numerous times prior to Nathan’s birth, walked me through fear, helped me keep my eyes focused on God when my circumstances pulled to have the focus on me. When I gave into anxiety and fear, she was there to pull me out. She always had a timely word, always a timely scripture. She came to the hospital when Nathan was born and has encouraged me as I’ve sought to care for not only Nathan, but my other children in navigating surgeries which took place hundreds of miles from home. Nancy asked questions, gave godly council and helped me stay focused on the cross. We didn’t simply survive as a family, but thrived as a result of folks who cared for us and carried us like Nancy.
My mom was instrumental too as she cried with me, laughed with me and was the first, outside of my husband to look at Nathan’s hand and give glory to God at His marvelous, yet different design. She encouraged me and cared for me, by helping me to formulate questions I’d need answers to in navigating Nathan’s care. She listened to me cry and gave glory to the Lord with me at each turn. She was and remains always there. She shared our need with others and gathered others to pray and sought to care for me practically the many weeks we were in Ohio around Nathan’s surgeries, always taking off work, always putting the needs of our family before she and Dad’s. We did “no make-up, no fixed hair” days and should have bought stock in Starbucks. We began working through Girl Talk during these trips and shared blurry nights comforting my son, discussing aging and reminiscing about when I was his age. How fast time has flown.
Friends who provide this balm to those whose trials loom large can never know the depths to which their care can impact hearts. God has never been more real to me than he has been these last two years. What a privilege to have these (and several dear others who know who they are) ladies near. What a joy to learn dependence and submission to God’s will and be released from my own. There’s peace there and so much more.