Kate Sumrall | iTown Church | Indianapolis, IN
Have you ever had a time when you think, “This year will be a breeze. We’ve walked through a lot the last several years, and we are going to get a year off!” I certainly have! But as pastors and ministry leaders, I just don’t think you can ever do something for God without the devil taking notice. So take heart ladies, we are all experiencing trials at some level. Let me share one of mine with you, and hopefully you will be encouraged.
In May of 2016, our seven-year-old daughter, Henlee, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s is a disease that attacks the digestive system, and there is no cure. Our family was devastated. It took me a few weeks, but I honestly got a God-strength. I knew He would see us through this. We entered the summer with lots of tests and drugs and tears, but my faith was strong. I knew my little girl was going to experience a healing on this earth. I felt peace deep within me. She entered remission in August, and I was full of faith. God had His hand on her and this disease took a back seat.
However, after a routine follow up with the Crohn’s doctor this February, we were told Henlee was no longer in remission. Her little body was fighting itself. All of her inflammation levels were up. It was devastating. That faith I had was gone. I couldn’t save my daughter from this life she is now forced to live.
For me, it was easy to have faith when the diagnosis first came. That initial burst of faith and strength was strong, but as the battle carried on, my faith weakened. When I realized our life could be a sea of doctors and hospitals and heavy drugs that no little girl should have to face. When remission and flare-ups could happen many times within a year. And all those drugs with side effects that honestly scare me. Well, then my faith was so very weak.
I was weak and scared. My faith was gone. And I believe I was trying to carry Henlee through this. As I stood in worship at church, God really touched me. Ephesians 6:13 dropped in my heart, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” I love how God tells us to put on the whole armor and STAND. He didn’t tell us to worry or to stress or even to fight. He just said, “STAND.” And I love that we are standing on the Shoes of Peace. I can honestly say that my life has been full of peace since I decided to stand.
As I type this today, Henlee is still not in remission. Her little body is fighting. But I know we have on our full armor, so we will stand. There is so much peace in standing. It’s a confidence that only God can give. It allows us to be fully reliant on Him.
I pray that today you can be encouraged. Life is full of trials, and we all face them. Some of these trials won’t end on this earth, but we can have so much peace when we stand with our God.