Unstoppable: In the Face of Hardship – The Greening Family, Part 2

Last week we posted the first part of an interview with Anita Greening and her family. Anita is fighting ovarian cancer and describes their determination to serve God in the midst of suffering in this poignant second part of the series.

You and your family have exhibited a strong faith in the face of crushing hardships.

Please tell us about your faith journey:

What have you had to give to God? What is He teaching you through your recent trials, both individually and as a family?

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Faith in God is what has carried us through every difficulty we have faced. God has been our strength, our comfort, our encouragement, and our life. Our trials truly began ten years ago in 2004 when my husband and I worked for the same company. This company suddenly closed due to an insurance glitch, and we were both without a job. After months of looking for work in my hometown, we ended up selling a lot of our possessions and moving to Waxahachie, Texas, where my husband was attending Bible college. We hoped that in moving so near to Dallas, he would be able to find a good job.

It didn’t happen. After spending nearly a year there, we moved to our current town in Arkansas. Jobs have been hard to find here as well. It has been very difficult financially for our family for many years. Still, God has been faithful and has sustained us. We have learned what it is like to be fed day by day, from God’s hand to our mouths. We have learned to be content with what we have and to take one day at a time with God’s help. We have had to go deeper in faith and trust than we ever imagined going.

Peanut Butter and Two Loaves of Bread

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I remember a couple of weeks when my husband was traveling due to his job that the girls and I lived off of a jar of peanut butter and two loaves of bread. There were no funds for food and that was all we had. We thanked God for it and for his provision.

My husband finished his Bachelor’s degree, and I too obtained a degree as a Radiological Technologist. His degree in church administration did not help us in our new location, and unbeknownst to be at the time, there were so many radiologic technologists in our state that finding a job was extremely difficult. To this day, I haven’t worked in this field. It has been a huge disappointment.

Also during this time, my husband lost his mother to a long-endured battle with lymphoma cancer. It was heartbreaking and so painful! I too lost my dad, who also suffered from bladder cancer and congestive heart failure. We were all grieving.


After being diagnosed with cancer in January of 2013, I was traveling back and forth to Little Rock, Arkansas for treatment. It is about an hour and 15 minutes drive one way. We had one car and it was very old. It gave out and wasn’t worth fixing nor did we have the funds to fix it. We went three months without a vehicle. It was hard. We borrowed and shared my mother’s car which she graciously allowed us to use on a daily basis. After finally purchasing another more reliable vehicle, we were hopeful that things would get better.

 

We were in shock! How could this have happened? What were we going to do now? We prayed. We sought God. It seemed God was silent. With all that we had, we continued to pray, give tithes and offerings to God with what we had left, and keep trusting in Him.  My husband worked on finding another job, and I began to have more health difficulties. It was in that same month that I began to notice what I thought were symptoms of the ovarian cancer once again.

 
 

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My husband began to take on my daily work load in the house, as well as continuing to look for work, working on his Master’s Degree through distance education, taking care of Samuel, and many other tasks. Matthew for awhile was angry about the cancer returning. He felt that I had been through enough and that our family had too. He became quiet and withdrawn for awhile as he worked on his feelings about all that was going on. So much has occurred in our family over the last ten years, it sometimes seems overwhelming! Matthew looked to God through prayer, the Bible, church, and Christian music. He has a strong faith in God and in God’s ability to heal. He prays for me daily and almost nightly lays a hand on me and prays for my health before going to sleep. Also, Matthew continues to lead our family to church and leads me in communion almost daily. As he works on his Master’s Degree in Licensed Professional Counseling, he works on helping our children deal with all the heartaches, pain, and sickness that our family has been through over a ten year period.

 

Matthew, as his name means, has been a gift from God to me and our family.

 

God has been ever present during our difficulties. We have seen him in simple things like the joy and laughter in our children’s faces, a gentle breeze and just the beauty of nature. We have felt his presence during prayer, in the midst of our tears, and in those times we just felt we could go no further and then there would suddenly be strength to keep going. We knew the strength came from Him. We have seen God at work through prayers and encouragement from friends and family. People from all over have prayed for me and my family.

 

It is humbling. It seems our lives are transparent and open before the world. That has been a big adjustment for me as I have always been a private type of individual. So many people have sent cards, notes, gifts and even financial help. Yes, God has been there through it all. Through the fear, the pain, the tears, the heartache, the financial problems, the loss, the disappointments, there was God. We know that everything we have faced and are currently enduring was allowed for a divine reason. My prayer is that good comes from it and that God will be glorified through it. We hold onto Jeremiah 29:11 that says,” For I know the plans that I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

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We believe that “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His promise” Romans 8:28. We as a family are thankful. We are thankful to God and his goodness to us. He is for us, and who (or what) can be against us? Where there is God, there is life….spiritual life, physical life, financial life, abundant life. We may not see it all at this time, but we know He is the source, and we believe in Him.  We know that His goodness and mercy is following us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23). Thank you God!

Next Thursday: Unstoppable, Part 3

Visit the Greening Family here:

The Greening family continues to have crushing medical bills as Anita and Hannah fight for their health. Please visit their gofundme site and consider making a donation to help ease their burden.

The Greening  Family’s Donation Page:  http://www.gofundme.com/thegreeningfamily

 

 

 

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About PamThorson

Pam is a licensed practical nurse, author, and caregiver. Her first book, Song in the Night, recounts her son's fight for life after a spinal cord injury. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, offers hope and encouragement to those who care for others.

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