Sunday musings: Romans 8:28

This past Friday, a good friend at work approached me in the hallway and said, “It’s 8-28. I LOVE 8-28.” At first, I thought she was literally talking about August 28, so I wracked my brain trying to figure out what was special about that day- a birthday? an anniversary? Then I realized what she was talking about. Romans 8:28.

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THAT 8:28. I love this verse, too; in fact, it has a lot of meaning to me. 
We went to a large Baptist church in my hometown when I was a teenager. While we were members there, the church conducted a large remodeling project. Around that time, a close family member was fighting cancer. When the church members were invited to write their names and favorite Bible verse on the subflooring, that family member and her immediate family chose to write Romans 8:28. Not too long afterward, that family member left us to join Heaven’s ranks, but many people were touched as a result of her life and death. Romans 8:28. 
Fast forward a few years and my husband and I were struggling with infertility. We were told by a doctor that without fertility treatments, we would likely not conceive a child. It was painful to hear, but we decided to just go home and trust God. Three months later, we were pregnant. Romans 8:28
Fast forward three years later and my dad went to the doctor for a routine colonoscopy he’d been putting off for a year. Several blockages were found, and one was found to be cancer. From there, he had several surgeries, radiation, and chemo. He even underwent a hospital stay from septic shock from which he could have died. His illness has led to renewed and strengthened faith for all of us. Romans 8:28. 
Nine months to the date of my dad’s cancer illness, my husband and I experienced a devastating miscarriage. One which left me extremely depressed and probably in a darker place than I have ever been. It took many months for me to emerge from the pain and depression, and while my walk with God suffered during that time, I realized he had  never left my side. Once I began to seek him again, I could see how he used this experience to bring me closer to him. Romans 8:28. 
Three months later, we learned my dad’s cancer had spread from his colon to his liver. He would have to have yet another major surgery, one that our hometown hospital couldn’t handle. We were able to schedule his surgery at a major hospital an hour from our home with a new, state of the art cancer center. A nationally renowned surgeon would perform the surgery. Once again, we decided to let our faith be bigger than our fears, and following the surgery, we realized how God had been with us throughout the entire event. Romans 8:28. 
Two months after my dad’s liver surgery, we were excited and nervous to learn we were expecting again. Though I have been on pins and needles through all of this pregnancy, I’ve tried to pray rather than worrying. There has been plenty of worrying as well, to be honest. Every check up has revealed a strong, healthy baby, and each day, I’m reminded of how the Lord wants us to trust in him and his timing. He knows what he’s doing, and even though we go through heartbreaking events in our lives, he uses each one of them for the Good. Because he loves us. Because we have been called according to his purpose. 
If you’re going through a hard time, understand that even though you can’t see the outcome yet, He can. He has a plan. He’s going to use your hardship for his glory. He’s going to use it to grow you.

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