We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)
I read a story in the paper this morning that touched my heart. It was a story about suffering, perseverance, character, and hope. It told of a 36 year-old woman who in the span of the past 5 months has watched her life crumble around her. In July, she received the news she had waited 5 years to hear: she and her husband would finally be parents. But soon after hearing the news she became terribly ill. Her body swelled, and she gained nearly 80 pounds of fluids. She had surgery to reduce the swelling, but unfortunately, she lost the twins she was carrying inside her. She returned to the hospital a few days later only to hear even more bad news: the muscles in her arms and legs had died. The doctors would be forced to amputate or she would die.
Before and after photos showed the depths of the tragedy: a smiling, happy woman living in a new home with twins on the way versus a pain-stricken, broken woman surrounded by her family in a hospital bed. But despite all the sufferings, and despite what future struggles certainly lie ahead, her spirit has not been broken:
- "We ask her if she still wants to live, says her sister, whose eyes drift from the woman in the bed to the photos on the wall. She nods her head. My sister wants to live."
Over five months, she has experienced more pain and suffering than one person should ever have to bear. Remarkably, her spirit, perseverance, and hope live on. I pray they never die.