A Faith Issue………..

Thank you for being curious about Lauren! She is busy with rehab, and at this point a bit too busy to be blogging. She asked me to keep writing and offering you encouragement, and to thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts!

Last week, we looked at the “testing of our faith”. As we continue looking at this issue, a question comes to mind. As you contemplate this question, what stirs in your heart?

“Are you faithful with what you’ve been given?”

Much of the time, what most of us think about regarding being faithful in what we’ve been given, is with our money, our time, or our possessions. But how do we answer this question when we are going through trials, challenges, hurts, or pain?

It is here where our faithfulness in what we have been given is tested. Because, yes, these things have been given to us too. James 1 reminds us  to “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. ” It doesn’t say “if” we face trials, but “when.”

In recent months, we have been challenged by this same question:

“Will we be faithful with what we have been given in regards to this trial in Lauren’s life?”

We would like to say yes. Yet our faithfulness has been tested to the very core on so many different levels. It has been tested physically, emotionally and spiritually. In 2 Corinthians 4, we have  a great reminder. Apostle Paul tells us, that in spite of his sufferings, he does not lose heart, because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead enabled him to endure adversity!

“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

How are you being challenged to be faithful in what you have been given?
Do you trust God will carry you?
Do you trust He will provide all you need?
Do you trust He will use it for your good? 
Do you trust He will get you through the grieving?
Do you trust that He sees farther and wider than you do?
Do you trust HE has your best interest at heart? Do you trust HE has a plan?

We would love to join you in prayer in whatever you are going through!

19 Responses to A Faith Issue………..

  1. danny spencer

    I continue to pray for you and the family. I can’t begin to compare what you are going through right now as to what I went through 13 years ago but it was for me the darkest, most hopeless period in my life. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But God had other plans. He took that time to steer my life in a new direction. To have a relationship with his son and to bring Godly people into my life such as you and Jeff. I am just so totally blessed that He just did not give up on me. For this drunk to not have had a drink in almost 13 years is a miracle. For me to be a part of the Village Church body and volunteering in ministries is a miracle. You are such a testimony to faith in our Lord and Savior. God bless.

    Danny

  2. Myra

    Thanks for all the articles/blog type writing- I am asking you to ask Lauren to join me and many many other people who are praying for Ezra- Ezra is a little boy not yet 2 years- or barely- He was climbing onto a dresser where a Television somehow ended up falling on this little child- most of the weight of that – landing on his head- Yes Brain issues- shunt in brain now to drain-fluids- there is a facebook page called Praying for Ezra – take a look at that Angel Face- much like Lauren– a sweet face- Nonetheless- Ezra could use Lauren’s prayers- there is a 3 year old sister- and a baby due by C-section maybe today- very young parents as well- So if you could pray for Ezra- for total healing- brain function- for the provisions for this young family- Please JOIN Us! Again thank you for all the updates on your girl- she is a precious daughter- In Jesus Love-

  3. Carol Meade

    This was a GREAT blog post…. thank you for standing tall and being real. I have asked myself the same thing, lately, and so appreciate your insightful and articulate encapsulation of this element of our faith. We/I also want faith to be about the good stuff, but, honestly, I am finding more and more that the ‘suffering stuff’ is the really juicy stuff. It hurts. It is awful. And, honestly, I am sometimes despairing… but, God is ALWAYS faithful with what He has been given (my heart==when I am faithful in my giving my heart to him). He alone is faithful. I am so that clay jar. that’s

  4. Annalisa

    I love reading your blog. It has truly helped me through a very difficult time the past 5 months. I have always trusted God throughout my life, and things have always “seemed to work out”. However, 5 months ago I became extremely ill. I ended up getting a diagnosis of Lyme Disease. I am very fortunate that I am beginning to heal and get well. My faith was extremely tested throughout this because I finally realized that I was at the mercy of God to heal me. It has truly been a life changing experience for me and my family. This blog was perfect for me today because it continues to challenge me to go deeper and deeper into my faith. Thank you so much!

  5. Yvonna Lucas

    Hi Cheryl,
    It is so amazing to me that you would want to pray for all of us after everything you and your family has been through. When I think of you and Lauren, I send up a prayer to our Lord to provide for all of your needs and to keep giving you strength to make it through each day. I hope Lauren’s rehab is not too painful. She sounds like an incredible young woman of God. I will check in from time to time on her progress. Cheryl, keep the faith and keep standing strong! God bless you all!

  6. Connie Cashman

    Dear Cheryl, you and your family have been on my heart and in my prayers and thoughts since when I first learned of Lauren’s accident. You and your lovely family are an inspiration to all of us. I commend you for your faith, strength, and courage which I know you draw from our Lord. And we know that God rewards perserverance and works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His Word. We have His promises and we know that in Jeremiah 29:11, God has a wonderful plan for Lauren. God is victorious in her life and nothing the enemy will try to do will ever prevail. God bless you all and grant you all lots of favor. Know that your family continues in our daily prayers.

  7. Ellen

    Your blog posts inspire me, Cheryl, especially all that you and your family are going through these past several months. This may sound a bit corny, but I honestly believe that God has called upon you to testify and even minister through your writings. I find myself meditating on what you say, and it is helping me go through my own personal trials (albeit far, far smaller than what Lauren is enduring).

    From my heart, I thank you. God bless.

  8. Amy

    Cheryl,
    You truly inspire me with your blog/writings. I pray for you and your family and that Lauren is doing well. You are helping me in my life So much!!

  9. kimberly

    Thank you Cheryl for the updates and kind and gentle words that you use to lift us closer to God. It is always uplifting to read the words you choose to strengthen all of us. Thank you for choosing to take this path that is leading others closer to God. We thank you!

  10. Lori

    Dear Cheryl,
    I have to agree with Ellen. Your writings do minister to others. I often find myself meditating on your writings as well. I continue to keep Lauren and your family in my prayers.
    Thank you for taking the time to reach out and share your experience.

  11. I too am loving following your blogs, I am challenged, and encouraged with each post. I have found myself randomly praying for you, your husband, and both of your daughters as each of you go through the last few months with different feelings, struggles, and understandings… I am so encouraged to see how Christ is growing you and your family, and even more encouraged and excited to see how many people are getting a very real chance to experience loving people who point to Christ. Thank you for sharing your story, for encouraging me towards Christ, and for letting me be a part of all of it from across the country!
    ~K

  12. JoAnne

    Cheryl,
    I am so happy to know that your daughter Lauren is getting along better now.
    It’s a shame how it can take a terrible accident to “wake us up” sort of speak I’ve been following your blogs from the beginning and although I didn’t go through exactly what your family has I have had to go through something very similar. I almost lost someone who was a very important part of my life and if it weren’t for our heavenly father I know I couldn’t have gotten through any of it. He made sure my friends were there for me when I needed to just talk and cry. His strength is what brought me through every day. I needed someone to guide me through and God never left my side. He made me understand that each day was only to come as baby steps forward. I had to be happy with each day good or bad. I was so afraid that he wouldn’t be there for me if I called upon him in a time of need but I found out he never deserts us. I found myself doing things I never did before so he made me a much stronger person through it all. God is soo… amazing!
    Your words of faith are so wonderful! Thank you for sharing them.
    So, I will continue to pray for you all and I will keep following your blogs.
    God Bless!

  13. Lu Presley

    Bless you Cheryl for your continual(is that a word?) blessing of the gift of writing the updates as well as encouragement and being vulnerable for all to see and hear. It is an honor to be able to be praying for you all. Peace and comfort to you and the family, still! Being faithful is a true testament and you all are living it and being a great example for all. Love to the fam.
    The Presleys

  14. Angela

    Cheryl, I have been following Lauren’s story since it appeared on the news. I have been following your blog updates. I am amazed at Lauren’s and your positive attitude in light of the tragedy that happened to Lauren. I really don’t understand how she could take it as well as she has. I am not a Christian nor religious, but do believe in existence of God. I read of the strength and devotion Lauren and your family has drawn upon through your faith to deal with this unimaginable accident I wish I could understand how you acquire the faith so that I can feel and apply same in my life. I admire the strength and faith that your family has in Jesus, but I do question why something so terrible happened to such a lovely girl who clearly deserves much better in life.

  15. Jill Kuzmanic

    Jeff and Cheryl
    Kirk and I have been following Lauren’s recovery and were so sad to hear about her accident. It’s been years since we’ve seen you and the girls but feels like yesterday when you touched our lives. I love reading your messages and am encouraged reading them. We send our love and wish you and your beautiful family the best.
    Kirk and Jill Kuzmanic

  16. Dawn

    I have followed Lauren’s journey on caringbridge since her accident. During your family’s most difficult accident to Luaren, you have been an inspiration to me and enriched my faith. You gave so sincerely to so many others during your darkest plight.

    I too am now facing a very difficult struggle in my professionl life and feel helpless. Unfortunately, in the corporate world not everyone lives and practices with integrity and ethics…sadly I have been caught in the marr of other’s poor leadership and lack of integrity. Sadly, this has cost me my position, my income, and my security as a single 55 year old woman in a very poor economy.

    Please pray during my test of faith and trust in others, I will be shown the way to light, income, and respect from others of my knowledge and experience.

    Thank you for your amazing, inspiring spirit of faith for others in the midst of your continued struggles with Lauren.

    May you and your family be blessed each day with continued positive healing.

  17. Robin rosevear

    Listening to your story with Lauren is very inspiring. We too have gone through a similar experience four years ago. Our daughter was in a car crash and sustained a brain injury. The journey we have been through and seeing God work through the whole trauma was amazing. The fact that our daughter survived is a miracle but the neatest part of it all is that God is still performing miracles. Her prognosis was a vegetable! Today she is attending University on a part time basis and is a wonderful Christian young lady. The process has been difficult but with the Lords help we are doing well! I could not have made it through this without His help! Lauren and your entire family is a wonderful testimony of Gods’ healing power! God still performs miracles today!

  18. Shelly

    I have followed Lauren’s accident from the beginning and continue to pray for God’s divine healing. I am asking prayers for myself. I have just been diagnosed with a chronic, painful disease that has little help with regards to medications. I truly believe God can heal me and have the faith that He can make me whole again. I am mentally and physically exhausted from this health issue and need intercessory prayers lifted for me. I cherish your prayers and your inspirational words. Thank you.

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