This post will help you understand why this project got dropped for so long. I had mentioned in early posts that I began partly because of my wife’s cancer but had never shared the full story. Amy was diagnosed with colon cancer while pregnant with our third child in April 2011. The baby was born two months early but he is totally fine – we just celebrated his first birthday at the start of May. Amy’s cancer was both advanced and aggressive so we knew without a miracle her time was limited. She did 2 surgeries and 16 rounds of chemo, fighting the whole time to stay with us.
Amy passed away June 5. We thank God that she is now free from cancer and all of the suffering that it caused her. Most of all we thank God that she is free now even from hope itself as all her deepest desires are fulfilled in the presence of Christ. I want to thank those of you who followed this blog and prayed for us. Please continue to pray as me and my 3 kids have a lot of loss and many changes to deal with.
I do not know if I will pick this project up again (I would like to) but wanted at least to provide some closure. While Amy was still sick I read through “A String Of Pearls” which is an expansion of a sermon that Brooks preached at the funeral of a young mother. It helped me to prepare to lose my wife which is not something I thought I would need to do this soon. I am thankful to God for the ministry of Thomas Brooks and how it was used to help me in this. What follows is an excerpt from “A String Of Pearls” that I have spent a lot of time feeding on. I also printed it on the back of the bulletin at Amy’s funeral.
“I could heartily wish that you and all others concerned in this sad loss, were more taken up in minding the happy exchange that she hath made, than with your present loss. She hath exchanged earth for heaven, a wilderness for a paradise, a prison for a palace, a house made with hands for one eternal in the heavens (II Corinthians 5:1-2). She hath exchanged imperfection for perfection, sighing for singing, mourning for rejoicing, prayers for praises, the society of sinful mortals for the company of God, Christ, angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-24); an imperfect transient enjoyment of God for a more clear, full, perfect, and permanent enjoyment of God. She hath exchanged pain for ease, sickness for health, a bed of weakness for a bed of spices, and complete blessedness. She hath exchanged her brass for silver, her counters for gold, and her earthly contentments for heavenly enjoyments.
And as I desire that one of your eyes may be fixed upon her happiness, so I desire that the other of your eyes may be fixed upon Christ’s fullness. Though your brook be dried up, yet Christ the fountain of light, life, love, grace, glory, comfort, joy, goodness, sweetness, and satisfaction is still at hand, and always full and flowing, yea, overflowing (John 1:16; Colossians 1:19, 2:3). As the worth and value of many pieces of silver is contracted in one piece of gold, so all the sweetness, all the goodness, all the excellencies that are husbands, wives, children, friends, etc., are contracted in Christ; yea all the whole volume of perfections which is spread through heaven and earth, is epitomised in Christ. ‘One Christ will be to thee instead of all things else, because in him are all good things to be found’ – says Augustine.” (I- 401-402)