A Story of Suffering: My Wife’s Thoughts a Year Later

Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized | 10 comments

A Story of Suffering: My Wife’s Thoughts a Year Later

In times of suffering you flee from what brings pain and run to what brings comfort. Suffering, in a way, shows us the core of who we are, where our hope is and where we find security.

This Wednesday, February 27th, marks the 1-year anniversary of my brother, Samuel Ray Sinclair, being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I remember exactly where I was when I received the news. My heart sank and my thoughts immediately went to how I could best love and support my brother in this moment. I quickly called him and tried to be the supporting and loving sister that I know he needed, wishing I could be next to him in Houston. Wishing I could be present. I remember affirming him in our shared hoped in the Lord and that God would only bring this upon Sam to lead others to come to know him. Sam agreed, as tears streamed down his face in fear of the unknown. Little did I know how much God would do in the next 72 hours in order to bring glory to His name.

Sam was quickly rushed to M.D. Anderson in Houston, where they started on chemotherapy and a multitude of tests to determine the best treatment plan. It wasn’t long after, that literally hundreds of people started to arrive at the hospital. Sam was one of the most well connected people. His passion for relationships and loving on people is far more than I can ever or will ever know. They were there to be present with him during this time of suffering. I remember calling him again the next day and laughter and joy were in his speech. He was loved on so much by his friends and my parents who were constantly there with him.

Friday morning, March 1st, Sam complained of a severe headache and was quickly rushed to receive a CAT scan of his brain. Shortly thereafter he slipped into a coma, induced by a brain bleed. Mom and dad rushed to the hospital and soon called with the news.

I was stricken with fear of the unknown. “This can’t be happening”, I thought to myself. Immediately, I pleaded with the Lord to work a miracle. Not knowing any specifics or what was going to happen, my husband, JT, and I hit our knees in prayer. We got on the first plane out of Louisville and my other brothers, Chris and Charlie, also got on the first plane to Houston from their respective cities.

The entire way traveling to Houston I couldn’t stop listening to piano hymns while reading Psalms. I started with the first chapter and just read and read and read. I knew nothing could bring more clarity or comfort.

After arriving to the hospital, we quickly realized that Sam’s condition was irreversible. He was going to die. We gathered around his bed, sang hymns, shared memories, talked to him, wept in anguish and prayed. I’ve never experienced such utter pain in my life. It didn’t even feel real. I held his warm, strong hand and pleaded with him to get up. We all did.

At 11:10pm on Friday, March 1st, 2012, my brother Samuel Ray Sinclair, age 31, passed away. The Lord had kept Sam stable just long enough for us all to be together as a family and have a few hours together. Oh, how sweet the Lord is. Even in those moments of gut-wrenching pain, I could see God’s grace.

It was gracious for Him to give us time together as a family. It was gracious for Him to allow my parents to be with him the last 48 hours of his life. It was gracious of Him to surround Sam with hundreds of friends. It was gracious of Him to save my brother from his sins!

As we left the hospital that night and in the days after, I remember repeating to myself over and over, “God is in control. God is in control. He is our only hope.” I just couldn’t wrap my mind around what was happening or going on, but that is the truth I had to cling to. I remember asking my closets friends, “Please pray for joy among the saints as we rejoice at the grace of God in my brothers life. May God grant us peace and grace to face the days ahead.”

This was and is my hope: Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.

Christ will one day return and he will speak the same words we spoke, “Sam, get up!” and Sam will rise! Oh, that I will be able to see him again!

The suffering of losing my brother has reminded me of my depravity and the certainty of sin’s curse – death. I hate death. I hate the pain and despair it brings. But for me, it does not stop there. I know where I place my hope and in whom I am secure. Christ will come again and restore all things and that is the day that I long for. But until then, I press on and run the race God has laid before me. That I might make much of Him and glorify Him in all that I do so that others may come to know Him.301788_10100532115313633_98222380_n

This past year has been one of much heartache and joy. I never knew how much I’d need my husband, our church, our friends, and our family. They have surrounded me, poured love out on me, been present with me, and prayed for me. Suffering really is meant to be shared among community. They have prayed for the peace of God which surpasses all understanding to guarded my heart in Christ. It has.

The pain is not gone, and at times Sam’s death doesn’t feel real. But the one thing I know is real is my constant comfort and hope.

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.

“What was lost, God will restore.” – John Piper

10 Comments

  1. To God be the glory! Sam was a delight to know. His smile and sense of humor brightened every room he entered. May you continue to find peace and comfort in Jesus our Savior. May God bless your family abundantly.

  2. “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.” Amen. My heart aches for the two of you and your family. After losing both of my parents to cancer I’m acquainted with the stench of death. I am praying for you today that the hope of our Lord’s return will ease your pain.

  3. Praying for you today. I can hardly think of four more glorious words than those four words that close 2 Cor 1:9, “who raises the dead.” May they bring you peace and comfort.

  4. Praying for continued comfort till He appears.

  5. God bless you and your family Macy

  6. Beautiful, Macy. Thanks for writing.

  7. Macy,

    What a sweet, honest blog post! Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my sweet friend Sam and cherish all the memories we had together leading worship at young life together and taking high schoolers to camp! Can’t wait to sing and dance with you in heaven Sam! Prayers for your family on this tough day!

  8. My sister died of the same sort of leukemia 21 years ago this month. She was diagnosed on a Monday and died the following Sunday. She was a wonderful math teacher and loved the Lord deeply. She, too, like your brother was loved by many. I did the same thing you did on the flight to be by her side…I sang hymns, and a children’s song by Steve Green, “When I am afraid I will trust in you,” and read the Psalms. The doctors almost lost her while I was on the airplane, but the Great Physician kept her alive though she was in a coma for the majority of the few days she had left. I am a Christian, but did not handle her death well. I was angry at God for about 5 years. He lovingly held onto me. Three years after her death, the Lord showed me a verse in the Psalms chapter 142:7…”Set me free from my prison that I may praise your name.” I knew something was imprisoning me from trusting the Lord, but I didn’t know what and I clung to that verse. It took two more years, but He tore down the walls of my prison and enabled me to praise His name again. And that was just in time because I was soon to be confronted with another death. My mother died within the next year and when I was dealing with her dying, I could almost hear the Lord saying to me “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts as you travel this difficult road…May the Lord wrap His arms around you and may His Word surround and fill your heart and mind. He is good. I can’t wait to be in Heaven…to see the Lord first…and my sister and mother again. Blessings and prayers to you and your family.

  9. I know exactly what your wife means. My wife and I lost a daughter last year. This video was recorded before Nina (Our daughter’s name) was born: http://ninaminhafilha.wordpress.com/2012/02/19/a-alegria-em-deus-diante-a-sindrome-de-patau-trissomia-do-cromossomo-13/

    The second video wasn’t translate into English yet.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thank you for this heartfelt and hopeful post. Sharing the fruit of your pain is courageous and a wonderful service to many of us who have heavy hearts. Come soon Lord Jesus.

    “Here we must often sow in tears, but there we shall reap in joy, and all tears shall be wiped from our eyes for ever.” – John Newton

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