"My hope it lies in Your promise. My faith it stands on the empty grave." Never once in our 3 year journey did I think it would end this way. The most fear I had ever felt was when Joel was very first diagnosed with cancer. The "C" word is a big scary word and I was terrified. As time went on Joel would always reassure me that everything was going to be ok. I watched him fight and he fought hard. I watched him beat cancer over and over again. The stroke after the surgery majorly threw me for a loop. They told me he wouldn't survive that one but survive he did and off to rehab he went. I was watching God perform the miraculous on our behalf over and over and over again. When the 2nd stroke happened I was just fighting mad and refused to believe that this battle would not be won. Over and over again doctors were trying to convince me how the "kind and compassionate" thing to do would be to let him die. I refused and he continued to recover. Then-the 3rd stroke happened. The doctor came and sat down beside me in a chair in ICU and we were both just staring at Joel. He finally broke the silence, looked me in the eyes and said there is 100% absolutely positively no hope for your husband. Even then-even then-I put my complete faith in the promises of God. I had almost a childlike belief that, well, God said He is the God that heals so He will heal my husband. I would never, ever go to a place of "what happens if Joel doesn't make it" because I would not even let my mind go there. All of those things wrapped into one are what makes what I am walking through now so intensely difficult. I never once prepared myself for it. Not even a little bit. People who have just started to follow our story see it as a 7 week battle, but it was a 3 year journey, a journey where my husband continued to beat the odds of every single thing that came against him. There was no reason to ever believe that he wouldn't be able to do it again. I still have a hard time believing that I won't wake up from this nightmare and have him right beside me still. I had my friend Julie sing an old hymnal as our family was walking into the funeral "Great is Thy Faithfulness". I chose that song for a reason-because it is what I wanted to declare over this situation. Just because this ending is not what I prayed, hoped and wanted it to be does not mean that God is not who He says He is. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't believe that He won't do what He says He'll do. He is faithful. Period. Just because I didn't get the outcome I desired doesn't change that. At some point along the line I just have to trust Him. And I can tell Him that I don't understand, and I will probably do so every day for the rest of my life, because I don't understand. But my faith isn't attached to an outcome my faith lies in who He is. He is good. My faith is not shaken by what I am walking through now. That doesn't mean I'm not devastated and it doesn't mean I don't have questions but my faith and love for Jesus will never diminish. In a way it's kind of like a marriage. Your spouse at times will definitely let you down and hurt you and give you major moments of disappointment. And just as you trust them completely it also hurts tremendously when you feel like they are allowing your heart to break. It's painful, it doesn't make a bit of sense. But at the end of the day you know your spouse you know their heart and you know their heart is good. You love them no matter what, you are committed to them and you trust them with your life. So it is with my Jesus and all along that is what we both wanted the story of our journey to be. That's why I will proclaim Great is Thy Faithfulness because I know His heart and deep down I will always know that is who He truly is. He is faithful.