After my dad died, there was such a void in my life where my father played such an important role. And even though nobody could ever fill that place that solely belong to my daddy, I have been so blessed with a wonderful father-in-law that comes a mighty close second in that area. He has been there for me in the last 16 1/2 years and filled that void as best he could. As good as anyone can fill an unfillable void...
He has been sensitive to the pain I feel each Father's day. He remembers when my dad's birthday is around the corner and always try to let me know he remembers. And that he cares. He has been such a rock for me and I love him for loving me that much.
Papaw has been the true patriarch of the Herring family. Everyone loves him. Everyone depends upon him and his knowledge. He holds the family together. Even after he retired from preaching several years ago, he is still a much sought after Pastor and still fills the pulpit with grace and truth.
|(Jimmie and Lucille Herring)|
At this very moment, my husband is in Houston with his dad, awaiting the beginning of a series of appointments at M.D. Anderson starting this afternoon. On Monday, he will meet with the doctor to determine the course of action that will be taken.
About 10 years ago, my father-in-law was diagnosed with lymphoma. That came on the heels of a heart attack that came very close to taking his life. But God raised him up and he beat the odds. He had to take a very strong chemotherapy for his cancer that proceeded to shut down his kidneys and was almost too much for his body to handle. They had to begin radiation instead and after his treatments were over, Papaw had beaten cancer with the healing Hand of our Savior leading the way. He has remained cancer free until now.
After some routine blood work showed some elevated levels in his liver, they began keeping an eye on it. His levels kept rising and he began to show signs of jaundice, so they decided it was time to go a little further with their testing. After an ultrasound and CAT scan, it appeared that a gallstone was blocking the bile duct and causing the problems with his liver. On Monday, my husband took him to the surgical clinic where they were going to remove the stone through an endoscopic procedure. Only it turns out it wasn't a gallstone. It was a mass on both sides of the duct. A malignant mass. And it looked like it was also extending into the pancreas. Not a good thing.
So now he is at M.D. Anderson again. Waiting. In the meantime, we are putting our trust in our Lord. I get my solace and my peace in the Word of God. Only there can I find the comfort and assurance I need to get me through trials. Only there can I find the sweet embrace of a loving God.
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." (Jeremiah 17:7)
He is my hope. He is my only hope. He is my refuge and my fortress. My deliverer. My peace.
For now, my father-in-law is in the hands of God. He has ordained this from the very beginning and He knows exactly what will take place. It is up to us to allow Him to do His work the way He knows best. We are praying for healing if it be the Lord's will. We are praying that God be glorified in whatever the outcome is. I love my father-in-law with all my heart. He has been part of my life for more than 26 years now. But he belongs to God and his life is in His hands. And that is where our trust and our hope reside.
For now, I am holding on to the verse God gave me when Melissa was in the hospital with Malaria. It spoke volumes then and I am praying that it speaks mightily to my heart now.
"For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds..." (Jeremiah 30:17)