Brad and Rose go to my family's church. Rose has lived up to her name, blooming sweetly and caring for Brad, staying by his side, staying strong for the family. Some days you know she must have been feeling fragile, like a wilted flower, as we all would in her devastating situation.
What would it be like, to stand by helplessly as her husband was broken in two and not knowing if or when he would be back to normal? Not having him to talk to. Being without him. Seeing him in all that pain. Just like that, Rose's life changed.
Rose is a strong lady. This is what the Bible (taken from Proverbs 31) says about wives like Rose. "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her."
That really does describe Rose. She's not one of these fussy high maintenance girls. She dresses so pretty and always looks nice and yet she's the kind of wife who kills snakes, stands up to foxes, and runs coyotes off their property. I am pretty sure I remember hearing her say something about a time she was driving a bush hog. And she's been through some stuff. She already lost a husband to leukemia and after he died, she still took care of his elderly mama. (I told you she was sweet.) Her granddaughter miraculously survived after being born so prematurely she barely weighed anything.
Rose and Brad are sparkles of light at our church, always smiling, always encouraging, always glorifying God. Every church has folks like that I would guess. They're the sparkly ones at our church. Makes you wonder why the Lord lets things like this happen. I know we're not supposed to question, but I wonder why maybe He didn't let a grumpy guy get hit on his motorcycle instead. Let a mean husband have his life shattered. Why Rose's husband? It's hard to accept.
When my friend Kim's family went to visit Brad, they hoped to cheer him up and strengthen his faith. Kim said they were the ones strengthened. He was the one witnessing to them. His own mother said she thought her faith was strong until she saw Brad's. All of us have been amazed by his faith, and Rose's.
When I asked Rose if I could tell you about the motorcycle crash, this is what she said. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard anyone say. And she said it while she had the flu.
"God's grace is so real in our lives. We could not have done this without our Lord holding us.
Brad is taking steps now. We praise God for that.
We are so very thankful for our church family. We love our church as a whole family so much. And we're waiting to get things back to normal again.
We don't understand the trials that God puts us through. But only: He has his reasons.
And He just knocks off the dust, so His light can shine through better, that's all."