Tonight, as Linnea and I walked around the block with the dog, we decided to look for ways God had prepared our family for the crisis we’re now experiencing. Listed below are our seven children, each one brought close to their ailing father by a sudden change of circumstances only God could have orchestrated.
Nelson: He felt strongly God wanted him to sell his Nashville landscaping business last June. When the season was at its peak, he asked the Lord to bring a buyer. A friend of a friend who already had a landscaping business mentioned he’d like to expand. Word got back to Nelson and within a week they’d struck a deal. He wasn’t sure what God wanted him to do next when the news of pancreatic cancer came, and Nelson drove home. Two days ago he said, “Please know the two of you will never be alone throughout this whole ordeal. I’m here, and that’s that.”
Lars: He’s been based in California since first becoming a student at Azusa Pacific University in 1994, 15 years ago. Recently, his boss at Matrix offered him a job transfer from San Diego to Schaumburg, IL. He was weighing the decision when the news of his father’s cancer arrived. He took the new position, and within 72 hours was moving to Illinois, 90 miles from us instead of 2000 miles.
Linnea: Having taught high school English in Ocala, FL, since she and Adam married six years ago, her job was tenured and secure. After taking a year’s leave of absence when Skylar was born last year, she had to return to teaching this fall or lose tenure. Eventually she signed the contract to begin in August. In the weeks between signing and starting, she learned she was pregnant with baby #2 and let her job go. When the cancer news arrived, she was free to come to Michigan to stay indefinitely.
Klaus: He was based in Nashville, working in the volatile music business. When his assignment came to a sudden end in early September, he wasn’t sure what was next. He found a job in sales, his expertise, and is working in Chicago, two hours from us rather than eight hours away in Tennessee.
Hans: He and his British wife Katy live with baby Nicholas in England. Although he has been aching to come home to be near his dad, he’s been blocked by passport and visa complications. This story is too spectacular to squeeze into one paragraph so will be the subject of tomorrow’s blog.
Louisa: She lived through two very difficult years after high school, then chose to spend six months out of the country with Youth With A Mission. She returned a changed girl, devoted to the Lord and strengthened to bear what was about to rock her world, a father with terminal cancer.
Birgitta: She visited Nashville with the intent of pursuing her love of singing in the music capital of our nation. Her desire was to rent an apartment, take a job and sing/write songs in her off hours. But Louisa persuaded her to stay in Chicago and be her roommate. In the end, the girls rented an apartment together in Wicker Park in one of their Uncle Bervin’s buildings, got jobs within walking distance, and are located one hour from our Michigan home.
As Linnea and I walked tonight, we ran out of block before we ran out of blessings. Only God could have plucked all seven of our children from jobs and homes scattered far and wide and brought them together exactly ahead of our cancer news. But here we are, weathering the storm, all in one place, all at the same time.
“God himself has prepared us for this.” (2 Corinthians 5:5a)