Friday, 29 February 2008


On Wednesday there was a dark cloud over Craigavon Hospital as a young girl was robbed of her life after a lorry and a school bus collided.
We were aware that there was some sort of upheaval in the hospital as there were tear stained faces and kids in uniforms with shaky hands. We hadn't heard many details at that stage.
All of our seniors were off the wards as they rushed this 16 year old girl to theatre...we hoped desperately.
We hoped that she would make it.
We prayed in our hearts in whatever individual way we do that..
Please don't let her life be snatched.

Then we heard.
We bowed our heads in disappointment.
My friend Al banged the wall with his fist...venting the frustration we all shared.

Foy Vance has a song called the two shades of hope...He describes how on one hand hope pulls us through but in the end it deals the hardest blows.
From the theatres came a slow walking, silent crowd of doctors and nurses still in their gowns surrounding a broken Mother with caring arms and tears.
I only felt an infinite fraction of this brokenness and even that felt like my heart had stopped for a while.

Her most precious gift...her child...where is the hope now?

Please pray
I know nothing about these people, its not my place to know.
I just know that I care and that these people need something to get them through this.

I have watched some pretty hopeless situations recently.
A man on my ward was diagnosed with cancer 4 weeks ago. I have watched him become a shadow of his former self...deteriorating rapidly. No energy to walk, talk or eat. His wife reads him the psalms as he lies and listens with a smile on his face...I guess that very smile is hope. Hope that there is something, that the verses he listens to are alive and that he is preparing to meet his Jesus.

He has Jesus, some don't.

I have prayed for him every day for the last month. I just say to God that I don't even know what to pray for..just something.
You see sometimes our hope is what hurts us the most in the end...when we hope for something that doesn't happen....when we get our hopes up.
Does that mean then that we shouldn't get our hopes up....just don't expect good things and then everything else will be a bonus?
I will not live like that.

Hope can disappoint but its what gets us changes and moulds itself to provide what we need when we need it.
For my patient its not necessarily a hope in healing...although I know he believes God can. Its a hope that NO MATTER WHAT everything is going to be OK.

I have concluded that I can only hope in God as my rock. I can only hope in him for others.
I cant put all of my hope in the skill of the amazing but human surgeons or the medicines or the life support.
There has to be something that will not fail me. Jesus.
Even when the outcome is as grim as in these cases I have to believe that God is somewhere, doing something. That his heart breaks even more than ours.

I have so many fears, loosing loved ones majoring. Hope in God is what I know will mould itself around the situations I will find myself in.
I will never loose hope. I will never settle to expect less of God. I will not stop thumping the walls in my spirit and stamping my feet....demanding blessings and being expectant about my future and the future of others, even strangers.

Even if our faith is like a mustard seed it can grow a tree.

Can you see a small hint of hope for that guy at the side of the street with a bottle of wine and a dirty face...that small seed can become the tree of salvation in his life. You could meet him in heaven, he could be seated higher than you and me.

You see at the minute I see so many impossible things that I honestly don't have a lot of faith for...but I have a little. Enough to hope that God is somewhere in it all.

I am sick of living in a world that hopes in stuff, in relationships, in money, in success, in religion.

I want a faith that will promote the shift.
A shift of individuals stepping out of the emptiness of their own hopes and centring themselves on Jesus.

Because we have this hope...

It is easy to hope when we are in hopeful places. What about this Mother I speak of...I have no place to comment...I just pray that she finds something, somewhere to help her through. Its time to pray as though our prayer, weak and all as it may feel, can make the difference. It can.


  1. Joy - I was really blessed and moved by your post.

    My dad was just diagnosed with cancer about 4 weeks ago but luckily the prognosis is good. Many of the feelings you talk about have been the centre of our family. However, my dad knows Jesus and knowing this and knowing that God knows more than we can ever possibly know makes it easier.

    For me - I know that I will never have the wisdom that God has so I just have to accept that He knows best and will do what's right.

    Yet for me its the little things in life that cause me to doubt. The day to day things, and yet God is in the details.

    Having a God's purpose for your life is what makes it worth it and I really think you are placed where you are for a reason.

    This world needs people like you whose heart breaks for people in these situations. Too many of the us all put barriers up as self preservation to avoid the heart break but I think it is only when we are truly broken for God that He can use us as a clean and pure vessel for His kingdom. Bless You x

  2. i believe like jan that you have been placed where you are for a reason. you have a heart so very beauitful and i am sure that when people meet you they see jesus shinning out from you

  3. I love reading your posts Joy! You express how you're feeling so well on here. I am an English teacher, a writer and I struggle to express anything succinctly on blog. As someone who has watched a very close loved one die from cancer and experienced all the little deaths of hope, and come through the other side of it, I can still say God is good and there is always hope. Maybe not necessarily for the situation you want it for-but God's hope is full of regeneration and healing and His hope is for the need in the situation. Your prayers are allowing him to reach the need in that man's life. Whatever that may mean. Be encouraged!