RON & CATHY KINGHAM’S STORY

HIS STRENGTH IN OUR WEAKNESS

Cathy & I stood before this OroNaz congregation in January 2015 and shared the story of our journey of faith through her season of stage-four cancer. We told you that we we’re going to choose to believe God’s promise that His strength would be perfected in our weakness, and that whatever the future may hold, we were going to cling to Him in faith.

Well here we are, 2½ years later, and we have been the grateful recipients of a host of blessings as God has made good on that promise. We have surely felt our weakness, and He has surely shown His strength! It’s time to give you a report on His faithfulness.

God has not chosen to heal Cathy yet, so a good portion of her struggle has been labeled as pain, treatments, treatments, treatments, doctors, pills, MRIs, PET scans, neuropathy, loss of balance, falls, etc. But there has also been an excruciating emotional component to her season of weakness – the grief of coming to terms with loss: she hasn’t been able to drive for three years, she has to watch while others perform the tasks she used to do, she has to take naps when others are going strong, etc. Tears have been frequent travelers with Cathy on this hard journey.

My season of weakness has mostly been shaped

by the need to adapt to life as her loving caregiver.

This requires large chunks of time to do the many household things that she used to do in addition to actually providing hands-on care. The transition has not come easy, and my journey has been frequently accompanied by frustration, anger and discouragement. I am forced to leave many things undone which I had hoped to be doing at this season of my life.

Yet against the backdrop of struggles and weakness, God’s strength has been exhibited with great glory!  Let me tell you just a few of the things He’s done in the last 2½ years:

  • 3½ years ago, conventional medical wisdom gave Cathy four months to live on this planet, and yet you’ll still find her periodically greeting folks with a big smile at the front doors of the Naz!
  • God has connected us with wise doctors who understand the way our bodies work and who also pray with us every time they treat us. And He has stirred numerous brothers and sisters to help Cathy with rides and house work.
  • Cathy has been enabled to function as the Discipleship Connector pairing off people who respond at the Next Steps Booth with people who can help them on their spiritual journey.
  • Cathy has been able to lead small group Bible studies with eager young women in our home as well as counsel and mentor several women through difficult places in their lives. Just within the last month, she was able to lead a young woman to faith in Jesus and then help her husband also find Christ.
  • Cathy has periodically journaled her adventure of faith through posts online. We regularly hear from people whom God has touched and inspired in far away places by Cathy’s example.
  • I have discovered joy in preparing delightful meals for Cathy. I told you in the sermon we preached 2½ years ago that I wanted to give her a great send off if God is calling her home to glory, and our meals together have become a special piece of that!
  • Despite the extra time spent caring for Cathy, God enabled me last year to completely restructure our investment portfolio. I was able to rehab and sell three houses plus consolidate several other liabilities. Often He supplied dear Christian friends who hauled trash, painted houses, framed walls and wacked weeds.
  • I was enabled to lead the Life Group ministry including the writing of discussion notes every week. Cathy would always have just enough energy left after church to counsel me on the meaning of the sermon, and then she would nap while I wrote the notes!
  • An exciting new door of ministry has recently opened to me in our Discipleship Ministry. Pastor Dennis has commissioned me to teach several vital classes. What a joy to use my S.H.A.P.E. to serve Jesus despite this season of cancer!
  • I have been restored from a potentially life-threatening run-in with prostate disease.
  • And the cherry on the top: I have been reunited with my love for playing the stand-up bass. I played in college, and now, fifty years later, I am joyfully playing bluegrass gospel music with a group of guys from three churches here in Oroville. I get tickled every time I plunk a string!

 

No wonder Paul said, “I will boast in my weakness!!!” (2 Cor. 12:9)

Ron Kingham

DISCIPLESHIP PASTOR