Once upon a time there were two missionary kids in Bangladesh, Ruthie and Everett. They grew up spending some holidays together. Everett gave Ruthie a fountain pen for Christmas one year, and they became great friends. Ruthie left Bangladesh when they were nine or ten and they stopped talking, but Ruthie never forgot about Everett. This is a true story.
So it has been over ten years since we saw each other or talked. In August or September of 2007, I found Everett on facebook! We started writing each other but that ended, and I soon found out why. In September I got an email from Everett's Dad that broke my heart. Everett was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. He has cancer in his left pelvic bone.
Since my knowing of Everett's condition, I have learned a lot about God and the way he works. In the beginning, I remember crying in the bathroom and feeling physically ill thinking about it. Was it fear, worry, concern? I'm not sure. I also do not know why Everett's situation so quickly became the focus of many of my thoughts and prayers. The Lord laid him very heavily upon my heart, and I pleaded with God to spare him from his suffering.
I moved down to Dallas in January for school and began thinking of some way to see my dear friend who was undergoing chemotherapy in Houston. In the meantime I continued to pray and plead. Countless nights have been full of weeping and crying out to God for answers. Over and over God covered me with His love and peace as He reminded me of His faithfulness.
As I thought about Abraham and his sacrificing Isaac, I felt that I had to give my friend to the Lord. I told the Lord that He could have my friend, and I was soon responded to with, "Everett is not yours to give. He already belongs to me. You have no claim on him. Think about how my Son (Jesus) has suffered for him. I love him more than you ever will."
I had to accept the fact that I could do nothing. But... I could pray.
A couple weeks ago, I got a call from Everett's mom inviting me to come down to Houston to stay with them for the weekend! So, this last weekend I was reunited with my dear friend and his family who has been so wonderful to my own over the years.
After driving 5 hours on Friday, I sat down to dinner at their dining room table and joined hands with them in prayer. We ate and visited. The next day we talked over tea and breakfast. Then Everett and I went to a session of chemo at the hospital. We talked like no time had passed, and I began to see the fingerprints of God all over Everett's life. Can cancer be a gift? Most of the time this seems impossible, but God is definitely using Everett's cancer for His own honor and glory.
After the hospital, we went to an Arboretum with his mom and sister, and had such a fun day of talking, laughing, and reminiscing of our Bangladesh days. We had supper, watched a movie, and talked.
Yesterday (Sunday) we with his family picked up donuts and had breakfast at a park while we fed many birds and a turtle. We then went Sunday school and church where we heard an excellent sermon. After church Everett and I went to another session of chemo at the hospital. We were there a long time but had a blast talking, playing some games, meeting a nurse who takes blurry pictures (as seen below), and laughing. After the session, we went back to Everett's apartment and said our goodbyes.
I am praising the Lord for a wonderful weekend and a very dear friend. What a blessing it was to see him and to have a better understanding of his suffering. I am starting to understand why Everett has been so heavy on my heart and why I think about and pray for Everett so often. God is good. I will continue.
I know many of you have been praying for him. Please continue.