“We as a family are saddened, but also at peace knowing that God is in control.”
I read over those words in a message from my cousin Scott today. His mother, my Aunt Lyla, was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer. My heart is heavy because I love Lyla. She shines Jesus.
As I thought about writing something about this very difficult news on my mom’s side of the family, the word from this sentence of Scott’s message that has stayed in my head, amazingly, is “but”. This tiny, little three letter word.
It is the word that seemingly connects heaven and earth right now.
We as a family are saddened, BUT…
Not everyone says this little word when there is a cancer diagnosis. Only God makes this word possible. Only God.
There is sorrow and there is suffering here.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair…” 2 Corinthians 4:8
Our hearts and minds grow faint with grief.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Life is hard here.
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body….” Philippians 3:20
Bad news will come.
“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
Life doesn’t always go the way we planned.
“‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:11
Life seems to have kicked me down.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
My Aunt Lyla. “She’s an amazing example of God’s peace and comfort. She’s confident in her faith and knows life doesn’t end here,” Scott says of his mother. That’s because she knows she is a victor, no matter what!
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
And here is why……. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son…” Galatians 4:4
Heaven and earth connected.
I love you, Aunt Lyla. You are an example of Christ to me and countless people who love you. You may have been given a diagnosis, but you are a victor, conqueror, dearly loved by God, redeemed, precious. You are in the palm of His hand, just as you have always been.
– Susie Stewart
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.
– Hebrews 3:1
Back Row: Jay, David, Jerry. Middle Row: Marti, Ruth, Mary. Front Row: Sam & Lyla
Photos taken by Scott Knutson
3 thoughts on “Lyla”
Absolutely beautiful tribute to dear Lyla, and a precious reminder of God’s loving presence with us in the deepest valleys, dear Susie. Thanks for the great reminders of God’s loving sovereignty. We will all keep clinging to him.
I love the truth in the verses you have shared, Susie, and also your heart for dear Lyla! I’m sure she will be encouraged when she thinks about that little conjunction, “but,” that connects heaven and earth right now. For those who need to know God while lost in the sin and problems of this world, I love this one too: “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:3-5 BUT for God’s grace, we would have nothing to share in the difficult times. Thanks for commicating the Word, Suz, and showing how useful and basic it is to living life to the fullest right now!
These verses offer such great comfort and eternal hope, and they have ministered peace to my heart, Susie! Thank you again for reflecting God’s amazing love and sovereignty through your life and your expressions of faith in your blog. My love and prayers are always with you, and together we are all praying for our dear Lyla.