Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jinnie -- co-worker, friend

This doesn't do her justice. But then obituaries never do. So here, have this picture instead.

She loved puns and cooking. She took a week off work every year to coordinate her church's missionary conference. That was her *vacation*--and no, it really wasn't a vacation. She'd come back exhausted and glad it was over but already planning for the next year's. She was a crack shot with a rubber band. Did I mention she had a sense of humor? Last August 31st, I received an e-mail from her. It said, in part:

"Hi gal, I thought I'd best let you know what's happening. I've been having some struggles for several months (pre-seizure "surges", constant headaches........fun stuff!). On Monday I had an MRI - and they found a tumor in my temporal lobe." Just like that. Hey, got news... brain tumor! No drama, just Jinnie. :-)

I made a crack back to her about being in her right mind, to which she replied: "I would never claim to be in my right mind.........you know better than that...... I just say "its all in my head" =). This has been wonderful news for me (as strange as that sounds). I've been having intense pre/post seizure "surges" (as I call them) since February....so the last time I saw [the doctor] he decided we needed to have the MRI to make sure nothing was there............and then found there was."

Two weeks later: "It appears my head contains some rather complicated stuff............and I never would have guessed it =). I do have an aggressive tumor (Glioblastoma Multiforme (Astrocytoma, Grade IV)- basically, it isn't located in a place that can be removed, and it is highly "unknown" as far as treatments definitely known to control it."

Seven months later, she's Home!

More than her sense of humor, though, she'll be remembered for her love of our Lord and her concern for others. She was one of those friends that was always ready with a smile, a hug, and a "Hey gal, how's it going?" then she would wait 'til she got an honest answer out of you. (What is it about silence that compels us to talk to fill it?) In every update e-mail she sent out through her time with the tumor, she reminded us to be praying--not for her healing, but for the Lord to be glorified, for witnessing opportunities, for the Lord's will to be done. And it has been.

To borrow her sister's words from last Thursday: "Today was Jinnie's time to go home as the Lord took her there, and we are so glad she has no more suffering here on this earth. The Lord has truly been faithful and gracious to have taken her to Himself at this time."

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15.

What follows is the text of Jinnie's testimony that she e-mailed to co-workers and friends February 21st of this year. (She wrote out her testimony for the purpose of it being made into a tract, which can now be found on-line here.)

More than Enough!

Each of us has a life story. No two are just the same. Some have striking events while some are more of the daily grind. We know we live on this earth and our lives are heading somewhere. There’s a God who has given each of us a life to live here. What has He given us to live our days? What I’ve found in my life is that He’s given us more than enough for every need! He tells us about them all in the words He’s provided in our Bibles!

In the summer of 2007 my life took a unique turn. I had been having unusual feelings and headaches which lead the doctor to schedule an MRI. They discovered a brain tumor in the Front Temporal Lobe. I knew that this was a new experience for me! As I considered this new path, I knew that God knew just where it was going to lead. I found that I could choose to trust Him each step of the way. When we trust He gives us more than enough strength to take the next step, and peaceful confidence in our hearts! “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Surgery came next- not hard to remember the date of 9/11! It revealed that the tumor was a malignant GBM and could not be removed. I would be able to have radiation and chemo therapy to attempt to slow down the growth of the tumor, but humanly speaking, this tumor does not have removal treatments available. I knew that I just needed to thank our God for what He had given! He does nothing random for any of us! His purpose is always more than enough! “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

During this time I began to hear some of the amazing things that God was doing! I began to hear from people all over the country saying, “we’re praying for you!” It struck me that I was just a piece in this event. The Lord was using this story to encourage people all over! He was giving more than enough joy and encouragement to so many people- including me! I didn’t need to have this tumor removed to have joy in my heart. I needed to see God’s love for me more- to know Him better! “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:3)

Radiation and chemo treatments came next. A 30 day process designed to slow down the tumor’s growth. Now many might expect that God would heal completely during such a time. He is certainly able to do so! He may yet choose to, but there’s even more than physical healing in His plans for us! He has more than enough life available for us all!

We all look at our lives here on this earth. I know I looked at everything! So many things to see and do- so many things to experience. Our God created this earth and life here, but it is a temporary time. There’s another life after this one on earth, and it will never end! We will live it in one of two places. With God Himself, or without Him in punishment. Our God has told us everything. As people, we aren’t the same as God. He’s perfect, we aren’t! He tells us that all of us have lives full of disobedience to Him. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) That was eye-opening fact to me. Was there any way that I could fill that gap? Not on my own! God provided more than enough to meet our need! He knew that only He could pay for the sin in our lives. Our God came to this earth, as Jesus Christ. He lived here, taught here and died here to offer us a way to gain that new life! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) When Jesus Christ died, he paid for all of our wrong doing. We can come to Him now and humbly ask for that payment. He will give it to us! If we will trust what our God has done for us- we will have more than enough life! That’s the best gift of all from our God! I trusted God for that gift many years ago, and I know today that the best thing I can do is share that gift with you.

I have some future possible options for this tumor. There are research programs that can be entered. I plan to follow each of the Lord’s steps along this path. I have more than enough of His joy and strength here in this life, but I have even more than enough coming in the next!


Riv said...

Posted 4/8/2008 8:05 AM

A testimony of Grace! I am sorry for her family's loss (and her friends who have lost a great encourager). But in her living and her dying, she showed the Lord's Beauty.

LJ said...

Posted 4/8/2008 8:38 AM

... I think Riv just stole my comment.

It is good when one's death matches one's life: faithful, godly, trusting.

TrueFaced said...

Posted 4/8/2008 9:55 AM

all i can say is, 'oh my goodness.' wow. jinnie sounds like she exuded christ. wow.