Struck down, but not destroyed.

My heart hurts so much at this very moment.  Words do not even describe what I am feeling.  This is just so hard.  My daughter is dying right in front of my eyes.  Like Jesus, I feel that my soul is overwhelmed to the point of death.  It is only by His grace that I can get back off the floor and stand back up.

I am reminded of one of my favorite movies, “The Last Samuari”  with Tom Cruise.  Anyway, there is this incredible scene in the movie that kind of gives description to what I am feeling.  Nathan Augur (Cruise) had been taken captive by his enemies, the samuari warriors, and brought back to their village.  Augur has this incredible determination to fight which is intriguing to the samuari warriors since they devote their lives to the way of the sword.  One day, Augur gets challenged to a fight with wooden practice swords by one of the warriors who doesn’t like him.  With one blow the warrior sends Augur to the ground.  Augur gets back up and the warrior strikes him again and puts him to the ground bloodied and bruised.  The warrior starts to walk away thinking that the fight is over…but Augur rises again determined to stand and fight.  The warrior strikes him again even harder and Augur falls to the ground.  This time, Augur tries to get up but is only able to get to his knees, but he is still swinging the sword determined to fight.  Finally the warrior strikes him hard one last time and Augur falls to the ground and is defeated.  It is a very moving scene.  And through that, the warrior comes to respect Augur for his determination and eventually teaches him to fight with the sword.

Anyway, that’s what I feel like these days.  I’m being struck down by what I see regarding Susana’s suffering.  I fall to the floor, weeping and crying out.  Then, God gives me the grace to see with the eyes of faith and to see His goodness and love.  And I am able to stand to my feet again.  But almost no sooner am I standing that I am struck down again by something else that happens with Susana, like perhaps she starts throwing up or something.  And again I fall to the floor and just weep.  But again God gives me the grace to trust Him and to know that He is in control and that He is working out His perfect plan for Susana.  And again, I am able to rise up and stand to my feet.  And then something else happens, like she starts moaning and groaning, and once again I am brought to the floor in tears and sorrow.

The only difference between me and the scene in the movie is that in the end, I will rise and will not be defeated.  God’s grace will be enough.  Christ is indeed sufficient in all things.  And the same thing is true for Susana.  She too will not be defeated.  Death will not deal the final blow.  For she will rise and live forever with the King of glory.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed  (2Cor.4:7-9)

And this is what I am going through.  I am being hard pressed, but I have not been crushed.  I am perplexed, totally perplexed by what I see unfolding right before my eyes, but I am not in despair because I know that God is in control and this is part of His plan to bring Him glory.  I feel persecuted by the sin and decay that this fallen world has brought upon my daughter, but I am not abandoned because I know that the Lord will one day soon bring complete redemption to Susana’s frail and broken body and she will no longer suffer from the effects of sin.  And I know too that one day He will do the same with me…after I finish the race.  And of course I feel completely struck down all throughout the day, but I have not been destroyed because God’s power and grace enables me to rise again.

Susana is not doing well at all.  She has taken another turn.  We just had a hospice nurse come to examine her because we weren’t sure what was going on.  She basically is now in the mode of sleeping all day.  She has lost so much weight.  She doesn’t want to eat.  It is so hard to see her go through this.  The nurse said that she is in the transitional stage of dying.  After this stage, her body will slip into a coma where she will not be responsive to anything, but she’ll only be breathing…only for a time.  And then, in the blink of an eye, she will enter into glory and be made whole.

So, we don’t know how much longer we have with her.  It could be days or it could be a few weeks.  Oh how my heart hurts so much!  How I wish the Lord would heal her at the last minute.  How I wish that I could take her place.  And yet…may the Lord’s will be done knowing full well that He is good and that He will be glorified above all.  Yes friends…only with our hope rooted and fixed in Christ alone can we say such things while looking upon our frail little girl.  God is enough.  God is enough.

Today, my wife and I have begun the most painful discussions that couples could ever have…Where are we going to bury our little girl?  How will we plan the memorial service?  What will we have written on the grave stone?  How about “NOT HERE”?  Oh how we need His grace to plan these things!  Please keep praying for us.  Thank you for everyone who has shared our stories with those they know.  Our hope is that the Lord is glorified and many lives are touched as a result of our trials.

61 thoughts on “Struck down, but not destroyed.

  1. A friend of mine from Asheville requested prayer for your family. You are all on my heart today as I lift you to our Heavenly Father! My words seem so meaningless as I cannot imagiine the pain you are going through. Praying you feel His love around you all!

  2. Praying for you all and cannot imagine the agony. Every parent would rather take the pain of our children and the helplessness weighs heavily when we can’t. Love you all and praying God will hold you very close today…

  3. What an inspiration you and your wife are, how you are able to cope with all that is going on and still glorify God!!!! There is not a day that goes by that one or more of our after-school children get down on their little hands and knees and pray for Susanna and her family. We have her picture “praising Jesus” on our wall and are inspired by her childlike faith everyday. These children are going home and praying for her at night and their parents call us deeply touched by their prayers for little Susanna. Praise God that He is with you in this storm and you are able to be comforted by Him. Our prayers will continue…….

  4. My heart hurts for you all. My prayers will be in overdrive for your family. It will be what it will be, but I pray that you all find some level of comfort and strength amidst this storm. Sending love your way from MN.

  5. praying that Jesus is holding each one of your hands…your posts are so poignant and filled with His love. There are no words but as I pray the Spirit knows…much love in Him…the lilleys…

  6. Asking God to be close by your side, and to gently love on you. My heart hurts for your dear family. Sending you love, hugs, and many prayers.

  7. “Our hope is that the Lord is glorified and many lives are touched as a result of our trials.” HE is, . . . . and many are. Glory.

  8. I am doing a beth moore study and you have really helped me with the desire to know GOD even more.I have now made the decision to answer all the questions honestly and to move on by faith without any hesitation.The study has been on bondages and man have i been set free.You have encouraged me to be strong and finish the race.You are the best human example i have ever witnessed and i am 50 yrs. old.I do still give GOD all the glory cause he made you but,because you have been obediant you have helped so many and i thank you for that.I will be praying continually for you and your,i am keith finimores mother-in-law. LOVE IN CHRIST

  9. Cody and Maria,
    I am a newer member to the Wilkes class at Biltmore Baptist and that is how I was informed of your situation. I don’t know you as many others have mentioned but my heart aches for you. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I am truly blessed by the faith the Holy Spirit has given you and I pray that he gives you peace as well. There is a group of us who are studying a book by Chip Ingram called “Holy Ambition” The beginning step encourages a “broken heart” for others, which then leads to many other steps in our walk. Thank you for allowing me to have a broken heart for you. I will do anything you need me to even though I don’t know you. I pray daily and weap at your blogs. God help you and grant you peace in this time.

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