Unbeknownst to the other person, Ryan and I were each praying to the Lord for a deeper relationship with Him before cancer struck. At the end of a Bible study at church one night in February or March, Lee asked me what I needed prayer for. "I'm just struggling with apathy right now, Lee. I feel like I've got things figured out without God, and I'm constantly apathetic. I need humility. I need a greater reliance on Him." Lee gazed at me and said, "I'm hesitant to ask the Lord to give you humility, for fear what He might bring you, my friend!"
Around the same time, Ryan was asking the Lord for something similar. He asked God to bring him more depth into his relationship with his Creator. Ryan felt like he, too, was just going through the motions and it felt like his relationship with God was in neutral. He also asked God to be used by Him.
Little did we know.
As we eventually revealed these prayer requests to each other, we had one of those High Definition moments. God answered those prayers perfectly. Nothing else except for a life-threatening, life-altering course of action was going to bring us to our knees and have us acknowledge our utter, aching, desperate need for Him. After all, most trials come and go and eventually the lessons are dimmed or forgotten. It was going to take something huge for God to teach us how to truly rely on Him (caveat: we are still learning how to completely trust - lest you think I'm insinuating that we've got this totally down).
And how He has blessed us since then. Did you know that my husband has a burden to share his story with people? Yeah, you probably knew that. That's probably the main reason that we started this blog in April. He has prayed many times since April 1st for the Lord to use him and give him opportunities to share this journey with people and be able to impact them (after all, cancer without positive things happening...is just cancer. And cancer SUCKS). As I posted earlier, Ry had the opportunity to share his story with people at Unity Fest in Muskegon, Michigan yesterday. It went very well! There were maybe 50-75 people there, and Ryan shared about the hope that he does have even in the midst of a really tough situation.
Later on that night as we were getting ready to watch the Newsboys in concert, my phone blew up with a "Google Alert" - a while ago, my techie husband set up something so that anytime either of our names shows up in something on the internet, we get alerted. Anytime that the Kendra Prudhomme from Massachusetts who is 10 years my junior does something, or some other Ryan Prudhomme gets sentenced to jail, I also get notified. Anyway, I digress. So this article was what the Google Alert was all about. (Hint: click on "this article" in the previous sentence.) And, the photographer and reporter would like to do a follow-up story at a later time and spend more time getting to know our family. We are very excited about this and would love to see how God uses this to possibly open up even more doors for Ryan to speak. This is what excites us and emboldens us. We want for this story to get out - for it to go "viral", so to speak. We deeply desire for our pain to be another person's joy - the joy of trusting God with every inch of their lives, and even more importantly - with their eternity.
As long as cancer lasts, we will praise God for the good works He has done for us. As long as both of our earthly bodies last, we will trust Him. He provides for our every single need. He answers our prayers - even though He takes us down a road that I would never have chosen. He is truly sovereign and breathing His grace over every moment of our days - sustaining us through situations that I never would have imagined happening to us.
3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
Deuteronomy 32: 3-4 (my emphasis added)
And to those who are wondering - yes, the plan is eventually to upload videos and pictures from the Rodeo for Ryan and Unity Fest - we just have to get around to it!