Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

This verse has been ringing in my ears lately. Over and over, I see its truth as never before. I have a friend in Great Bend, Kansas, named Melissa. We attended church together for a while in Lawrence, Kansas, until she and her husband moved to Great Bend to start a church. I had the privilege of calling folks in Great Bend and asking them if they would like to receive a pamphlet in the mail about the new church starting up. This was about 8 years ago. Melissa was expecting her first child when we met. She had been unable to bear any children until then.

About a year ago, she found out she had breast cancer at age 36! She had been caring for three foster children as well as her own child, and she continued caring for them as she fought for her life. God saw her through the agony of chemo, hair loss, and radiation, and so far, she is cancer free!

On December 28, 2010, a baby boy was born that they would adopt! They named him Joel Thomas. They got to bring him home from the hospital and have cared for him ever since. The paper work finally went through on June 6, 2011, and he became legally theirs! She was elated!

Then, on June 11, 2011, only five days after the final legal loose ends were tied up, she found her sweet boy had passed peacefully on to await their reunion in the arms of Jesus. It was devastating. I’m crying now as I type this. I sob off and on throughout the day. I don’t understand God’s ways, I don’t understand. I don’t mind questioning God about it, either. Jesus questioned God on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” I, too, raise my tearful sobs to Heaven and ask, knowing that HE knows best, “My God, my God, why must my dear friends suffer?” As a mother, I fall apart pretty easily, I guess.

I’ve suffered the loss of life in my family. I’ve not lost a child, but I’ve traveled the well worn path of grief. I know it’s lonely. I know it’s painful. I know the toughest days are those yet to come. I don’t want my friends to walk this road. Not yet, not now. But, walk it they must. They are strong – stronger than I. I admire them so much. They are amazing people.

Would you please pray for my friends, Ken and Melissa Gray? Would you pray for me? God is doing the things that He must do to mold and make me into His image, and the Refiner’s fire is often hot and uncomfortable. He is being glorified by the suffering of His saints, but we are still flesh, and we must have His strength to finish the course He has given.

May God receive the glory from this trial, and all of the trials I face. To read the obituary of this precious baby boy, you may do so here. To send a card or other gift to the family, please contact me for information.

With love,

5 thoughts on “My Broken Heart

  1. Oh, this has me crying, too 😦 My heart is just aching for their loss and grief journey ahead. May our prayers be heard and healing begin with peace that passes our understanding.


  2. Susan says:

    I've seen Melissa's story in several places these past few days. I have to say I don't understand God's ways either. We all experience things we don't understand, although most of us don't go through such heartbreak. I've been praying for them and will continue.


  3. Julia says:

    This is so sad! I will definitely pray – God's ways are difficult to understand sometimes.


  4. Elsa says:

    It's so hard to see the loss of any child, and especially when it happens in ways we don't understand; but, isn't God so good to give us His promises in which we can trust? His ways ARE perfect, and though we may not understand at times, it is such a comfort to know that we can just give it all to God and not be expected to understand.

    My heart certainly goes out to you all! Praying for you and this precious family.


  5. Melissa says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for your little tribute for our baby Joel. I have never experienced this kind of pain. It sure makes cancer seem like NOTHING. I am thankful for my Lord and Saviour who knows best and whom I can lean on. Thank you for your prayers!


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