By Stacy Stone
In August of 2012, while our family was at an annual cookout, we got a call. My mother-in-love, Betty Lou, had been to the doctor and something wasn’t quite right; they would be running more tests. Our hearts were heavy as we finished up our evening and the next day went over to visit. She was a little nervous herself as the doctor seemed concerned. Eventually the culprit of her pain was named: Stage 4 cancer. Our hearts were broken. Further testing came and the cancer was fast-moving. At best, she had 6 months.
Earlier in the summer, I had been asked to attend a meeting at my church. A new ministry was forming, Generation M. This vision was given to a dear woman who saw multi-generation moms coming together for Bible study. As she shared the vision of this ministry, using scripture to describe the tasks of each area, my heart began to beat quickly as she went over the duties of the Bible study leader.
I knew that feeling – it was the Holy Spirit looking for my attention and response. I really wanted to blame it on the chocolate chip cookie – but I knew better than to leave without a resounding “YES!” that I would be glad to serve as Bible study leader. For this first year it meant I would be writing study questions for our study on the women in the lineage of Christ as well as teaching once a month. I was all in and thrilled at this new opportunity. Strangely, I did not feel compelled to back out as this family crisis arose. What God allowed was for these precious women to watch me as I leaned into Him during this hard time.
These precious women. I was serving in Generation M with about a team of 8. It had been a while since I’d served on a team of women and God quickly gave us an incredible love for one another. God was helping me keep my head above water as my mother-in-law went through her battle with cancer. He was so kind to lead me each morning through tasks that would set me up to be able to feed my family when we returned from staying most of the day at the hospice center with my MIL. One week I was surprised with a phone call alerting me a few of the team was stopping by. These precious women had taken their time and resources to bring me freezer meals for my family. I was overwhelmed by their kindness. I stored them in the freezer, thinking I wouldn’t need them for a while….but I was wrong. They continued to be a source of help as our time with Betty Lou was nearing its end.
During this time, I was also a busy homeschooling mom of two boys and we were active in a local home school group. These women have been such a beautiful support of me and my children. This group of women supplied our family with meals after Mom Stone’s passing. They also scheduled meals for me during a hard stretch while caring for my dear Father-in-law, who came to live with us after Betty Lou passed.
I am so grateful for how God tenderly cared for me and my family through the hearts and hands of others during these difficult and painful times. His faithfulness to us causes us to love Him all the more. It also helps us to be sensitive to His leading when we need to the be the hands that help others through a difficult time.
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)
Stacy Stone is a wife to a great fisherman and mom to two fun and active boys! She is a Jesus Lover and looks for Him in all His Creation. She enjoys sweet tea, reading, writing, music, and exploring nature. You can find her sometimes blogging at Joie de Vivre and on Twitter @joyfulmom2boys.