I didn't know Ben personally. I graduated from college with his Mom, Mindy, but we were more of acquaintances then close friends. But his story, his family's story, dug its way into my heart and has not let go.
Mindy's posts about her son's diagnosis, hospital stay, chemo treatments, and the eventual realization that he would not survive are poignant, heartbreaking, and gut wrenching. There have only been a few times in my life where the words of another person have had such a profound effect on me - this is one of them.
Her faith in God and in His promises is HUGE. Not your everyday run of the mill let me go to church and sing the right songs and do the right things. No. Her faith allowed her to trust God with her son. Her baby. To know that God was walking and grieving alongside them. To believe that He would use this situation, through Ben, to bring glory to His name.
And He did.
Ben's story and the depth and strength of Mindy & Andy's faith has changed lives.
It has changed mine.
Her words, her absolute faith in the power of Christ, broke me. God used her, used Ben, used his battle with cancer to convict my heart.
"God has assured me that His grace is sufficient. His grace is deeper. And His grace is powerful enough to carry me through. We just have to ask for it.
He doesn't supply all the grace we need at once. He gives us just enough to get through one day at a time. And in my case, one moment at a time.
I really wish we weren't in a position to discover just how deep the depths of His grace are. But we are finding them to be very deep. Very rich. And more than enough.
The road ahead is long. It is difficult. And God can't promise that we won't come across more difficulties along the way. In fact, He guarantees that we will. But He will supply the grace. My job is simply to obey. To rest in His strength. And to look for the ways He is trying to bless us through this storm.
I'm reminded of these verses:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary
and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn
from me, for I am gentle and humble
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Rest. I like the way that sounds.
Thank you, God, that your grace is deep enough to sustain us through even the dark times. We will continually try and rest in You. Please continue to mend our broken hearts as we mourn our loss. Remind us of your mercies. And that You have never - ever - not even once - failed us. Amen."
Those are words written by a woman who just buried her son. Hers is a faith that could move mountains. It is the type of faith that I want. A BIG, GINORMOUS faith that encompasses all aspects of my life. From the way I speak to myself internally, to the way I interact with my children, my husband, and the world.
Thank you Mindy and Ben for reminding me that God is here. Waiting. Waiting for me to come to Him to receive healing, strength, or whatever else I might need.
Thank you for sharing your son with us, for allowing us to come with you on this painful journey. You will never truly know how many lives you have impacted for the kingdom of God.
Rest in peace Ben.
If you would like to learn more about Ben's story you can read about it here