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Joanne Blundell Marsh

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He's Faithful, Even When . . .
By Joanne Blundell Marsh
Saturday, November 09, 2002

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Written For Relate Magazine
July/August Issue

He's Faithful, Even When...
by Joanne Marsh

Not that I am one to worry, but when the doctor said,
"Joanne, we are 95 percent sure that you have Multiple
Sclerosis," how was I to react? I was a wreck. Although for
the previous few months I had been in physical and
emotional turmoil, I was not sure I could handle this
finality. I now understood that life, as I knew it, was about
to change forever. To what extent, who really could tell?
One thing was certain, on my own I would never conquer

Growing up I was fortunate to be part of a beautiful
Christian atmosphere. I was blessed to be placed in a home
where both parents were truly committed to God. As kids
we were taught to love and serve the Lord, to fear Him and
to obey Him to the best of our ability. We were encouraged
to seek His face in times of difficulty.

But, you know the deal, being a young Christian in this age
is often too much to handle. In my growth as a person, I
failed to grow as a Christian. This failure diverted my
course, taking my eyes off God and leading me to drink at
the fountain of sin. Funny though, no matter how much
distance I created between myself and the Heavenly
Father, He was not willing to take His eyes off me. Today,
I thank Him so much for His faithfulness.

My life took curves and turns that I could have never
foreseen. As I reflect on it today, I can honestly say that I
am astonished at some of the choices I did make. I can't
change any of that now but it is refreshing to know that I
am forgiven.
It is such a nice feeling to know that even though we reject
the One who created us, the One who loves us more than
anything, He is still willing and waiting to receive us with
outstretched arms. God, being the loving Father He is holds
no grudges but rather Loves us unconditionally. It is His
indisputable presence in my life that has taken me to this
very point.

It was just two years prior to my diagnosis that I
surrendered my life to God anew. Although completely
aware of my commitment, the first two years were a
muddle. I think it is the recognition of need that brings to
light a person's inadequacies. Right at that moment when
you admit your guilt, all the other weaknesses step in to
stunt your growth. I faced many hurdles that I had to
slowly embrace. I wept and anguished through many
transformations. Little did I realize that God was
strengthening me for the biggest challenge I might ever
encounter. He was introducing me to some of life's trivial
distractions in order to equip me for the dilemma that lay
ahead. Being ignorant of His intention, I was often
reluctant to trust Him and give Him the reigns.

October 1998 turned my world upside down. It presented
me with a terminal illness. It required that I adjourn an era
of my life that had brought me much wealth and self-worth.
The diagnosis demanded modifications to my lifestyle as
well as all those around me. Why would God allow
something like this to happen? I had turned my life around.
I had become, what I thought to be, a better person. I had
tried, with His help to overcome the barriers that entrapped
me. Now when I finally felt a sense of peace, I was plagued
with Multiple Sclerosis. How fair was that? I began to
rehash incidents in my life that may have caused me to be
deserving of this sort of punishment. I convinced myself
that I merited this disease. Try as you might, I couldn't be
persuaded to view it any other way.
But, God is good! In His mercy He provided me with
courage to face what lay ahead. In His wisdom, He
afforded doctors and nurses to educate me. In His love, He
granted me family and friends to help bear my burden. I
can now look at this disease as a blessing. It has compelled
me to trust Him more than ever before. It has prompted me
to value my family and friends; understanding that they
too, wish the best for me. The whole experience has
regenerated me in that I now know I am tangible. I am
willing to accept my vulnerability and avail myself of God's

I don't know what sound advice I could offer you, the
reader. I do know that because of my faith in God and His
love for me, I have been able to make some sense of my
life. I am able to wake up every morning knowing that
whatever the day has for me, I will conquer it. Life is never
as we perceive it to be. We are often discouraged. My
prayer for you is that you would seek The Father in all your
difficulties, knowing that only He can give perspective to
what seems inscrutable.

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Reviewed by Sally Montoye 11/13/2002
I really enjoyed this!! Thank you..and yes, Our Father is Good!
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 11/11/2002
awesome write! so glad you are going on despite your struggle with ms; i admire your faith and your courage! god bless you always, and remember, he is always there, even when we both feel he is not! i am disabled, myself, and believe you me, sweets, i have my bad days; but i know god will never leave me. i have degenerative arthritis and walk on forearm crutches; and at times the pain is awful; but then i count my blessings, and i go on. and you must too. i will keep you in my prayers. love, a new friend, karen lynn. (((((HUGS))))) :)

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