If not Jinnie's life verse, then certainly the one that themed her time with the tumor... Romans 8:28: "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."
How many times have we read that verse, heard it tossed into a conversation with a struggling friend, been beaten over the head with it... and wondered do all things really work together for good? To those that are called by Him, the answer is simply "Yes."
I said to Hubby on the way home from her funeral this afternoon, it must be a rare privilege for a pastor to preach the funeral of one whose life was really dedicated to Christ. The genuine article--all week, not just on Sunday morning. Faith unfeigned. Evidential love for the Lord in her daily walk at work, at home, at church. You couldn't spend any appreciable amount of time with her without knowing her relationship with the Lord was the one she cherished above all others. Trust me. I worked with her for almost 5 years, 5 days a week. In an office full of women. :-D Calm, steady, unflappable, never *ever* in a hurry (even sometimes when you wanted her to be ;-) ). Always ready with a smile, a wink, "how ya doing?", a hug. Conscientious worker, steady friend.
She had worked there 12 years before the Lord took her. She worked full-time all the way through the second round of chemo/radiation--daily doses that *had* to have been exhausting. But still she went to work, smiling. Seriously, the joy of the Lord was her strength. There is no way there was any of her own strength left. No way. But, see, it never was about her. From the very first e-mail announcing her tumor, all she wanted was for this to be used by Him and for Him.
August 31, '07 (I have a tumor) ~ My Lord knows just what He's up to........and what He wants. I just need to rest in His loving care!
Sept.1 (re: the tumor's discovery) ~ It was the Lord's perfect revealing time.........He is a faithful, loving Father!! ... Our Lord is so good!
Sept. 17 (the day she got her results-aggressive tumor, stage IV) ~ We just need to pray that the Lord will have His way- He can choose to heal, or choose not to..........my focus is going to be on those I begin coming in contact with. That's where He wants me next. We need to keep His purposes in our prayers! My desire is to keep following each path- and be able to give Him glory as I travel along. I thank you for praying with me!
Sept. 21 (a schedule for treatment)~ There are so many of you praying! I'm so thankful for your prayers and the Lord's grace and direction- He is good! ... The Lord has opened this door, and I am following His direction as each day goes by. Any healing is as safely in the Lord's hands as it ever has been- He will give just what He has planned! I've been so thankful to see witnessing opportunities arise already in this situation. I know that's the Lord's purpose for where I am, and I'm praying that I will faithfully witness for Him through each step. Thank you all for your faithful prayers- our Lord will as faithfully answer!
Sept. 25 (major change in treatment plan) ~ The Lord has faithfully directed to this path rather than... I just need to be where the Lord wants me! I'm so thankful for the Lord's direction- and His wonderful plan!
Oct. 4 (radiation mask ready) ~ Thank you all for your continued prayers! The Lord provides so faithfully!
Oct. 11 (radiation mask needed re-doing to protect optic nerves, which of course meant rescheduling everything) ~ Our Lord is in control of each detail- time and treatment! He's a wonderful Lord! I thank you all for your continued prayers! He hears and answers according to His wonderful plan!
Oct. 18 (new mask ready) ~ I know its the Lord's provision- and His timing! He's so faithful every day! I thank you again for your continued prayers! He's continuing to hear and answer!
Oct. 25 (re: the start date for treatment) ~ Most of all, the Lord knows when the beginning needs to be- and He will bring it to pass! I am thankful for your faithful prayers as the Lord continues to answer!
Oct. 29 (first treatment day) ~ Thank you for your prayers! The Lord is providing - as He faithfully does! I'm thankful for your prayers to our wonderful Lord!
Dec. 10 (at the end of radiation) ~ I'm thankful for those that I've met during this treatment time, and the things I've had opportunity to share with them. We can pray that the Lord will continue His work there! He is a faithful Lord! Again, thank you for your prayers to our wonderful Lord!
Jan. 5, '08 (a personal note re: hubby's impending job hunt) ~ I'm praying the Lord will direct you in this- He has a purpose for His plan! We can trust Him to lead!
Jan. 12 (after an MRI showed the tumor was growing after radiation) ~ I'm thankful that we don't need to know the "results"- they're in the Lord's hands from the beginning! I'm just praying that I'll keep my focus on the right things, and take the opportunities the Lord sends my way. His ways are always perfect! Again, thank you for your all your prayers and encouragement!
Feb. 5 (getting 2nd round of stronger chemo) ~ I'm thankful that the Lord already knows- they're in His hands from the beginning! I'm just praying that I'll keep my focus on the right things- the Lord Himself. He's our wonderful Lord! Again, thank you for your all your prayers and encouragement!
Feb 21 ~ Hi Ladies, Its so good to see the Lord at work each week! I thank you so much for your prayers! I was able to write the text for a testimony (to make into a tract) this week. Its already been able to be used - to people who don't even know who I am =). That's what's wonderful about seeing the Lord at work! I know your faithful prayers are one of the things that the Lord uses to spread His name! I've attached the text (I posted it yesterday)- pray that it will continue to be used! Love, Jinnie
Feb. 28 (on the possibility of another study/treatment at MUSC) ~ I'm thankful that the Lord already knows! I thank you all for your faithful prayers! The Lord provides in so many wonderful ways!
Mar. 7 (she was accepted into that study program) ~ Another little step in the process, I do want to thank all of you for your faithful prayers! ... We can pray together that the Lord's plans will be the focus! We serve a wonderful Lord!
Mar. 8 ~ the Lord will do as He sees fit =).
Mar. 13 (on a date being set for beginning screening at MUSC) ~ Its so good to follow the Lord's steps- just as He lays them out! His care is wonderful! Thank you all for your faithful prayers!
Mar. 18 (screening delayed) ~ We know this is the Lord's path- His care is always right! He's so good- all the time!
Mar. 21 (new screening date) ~ The Lord is setting up His time for us to see! We have our Lord's wonderful death and resurrection to celebrate this Sunday- all that He has done for us!
Y'all see a pattern here?? Susan, another of our co-workers, read this old hymn-text at the end of her eulogy. I about lost it, but this really does sum up Jinnie's attitude.
Not I, But Christ
Not I but Christ be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I but Christ be seen, be known, be heard;
Not I but Christ in ev'ry look and action;
Not I but Christ in ev'ry tho't and word.
Not I but Christ to gently soothe in sorrow;
Not I but Christ to wipe the falling tear;
Not I but Christ to lift the heavy burden;
Not I but Christ to hush away all fear.
Christ, only Christ, ere long will fill my vision;
Glory excelling soon, full soon I'll see—
Christ, only Christ my ev'ry wish fulfilling—
Christ, only Christ my all in all to be.
Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord!
Oh, to be lost in Thee!
Oh, that it may be no more I, dear Lord,
but Christ that lives in me.
~A. A. Whiddington, 19th Century
As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:1-4,
A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.