07.13.06

From Alden

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Reflections, Updates at 10:52 pm by Libbie

Well I was told that people were interested in hearing from my sister and me, so I decided to write in. My sister has already written in, but I just thought Id let you know how Im feeling. I havent read my sisters entry, so sorry if I repeat.

Way back in January, I was told by my parents that my Dad had gone for his routine x-ray, and the doctors had found two spots on his lungs. Less than a month later, we discovered as wed somewhat been expecting, that they were in fact melanoma. We gradually gained information about it, and I became more and more nervous about it. Normally I am not an emotional person, and Im pretty laid-back, but my dads whole situation really made me express some of my emotions. Often my emotions would stay pent up inside me, but sometimes I would let them out. My dads always struggled with fibromyalgia, but its still difficult to see him in pain so often.

One thing thats been tough is that most of my friends are not very clued in about his situation in general. My sisters friends have come along side of her, and obviously my parents friends are there as well, but Ive somewhat struggled with not being able to talk with anyone. Thankfully, my parents sit down and talk with us often, and discuss how were all feeling. Throughout this whole situation, God has shown me many things. One thing that is immediately apparent is just how important it is (and a blessing) to have parents who still love each other and are still married, and love us.

My dad always encourages me to have daily quiet times, but I always forget. One day I realized that he is a wise man, and decided to open up my bible. That day I had been thinking about why God had picked my dad and our family to undergo this trial. I decided on James 1, and read it.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 ESV

Wow, God spoke straight into my life that day! As he does so well in everyones life if you stop and take the time to listen. One of my good friends, Jesse Civello, and I met together one day, and prayed about all the things we could think of to pray for, and then took some time to pray with my sister and her friends concerning my dads situation. One of my other friends on a junior high retreat told me that in a good way, my family was the best family she knew to go through this ordeal. Words and actions like these have really encouraged me to go on.

The song Blessed be your name, and the whole book of Job, are real testimonies to our situation. One of the lines in the song says you give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name. God gives and he takes away as hes showed us through our dad, but no matter Im willing to bless the Lords name.

My Dad: one of the most caring, loving, strongest Christian guys I know. He has helped to mature me and raised me under the Lord. To me my dads as old as it gets, but in the overview, he still young. I guess only the good die young, right?? I love my dad so much, and its really hard for me to think that in two years when I move up to the high school, he may not be there. But when I think of how much I love my dad, I know that God loves him so much more. God has a plan for all of us, so I know that even from the beginning it was the same, but it doesnt take away the sadness. In the words of my dad himself, it is not wrong to grieve, in fact its good, but in Christ, we grieve with the hope of new life. I am not as eloquent of a writer as my sister, but I just wrote in to let yall know what my deal is.
-Alden Groves

18 Comments »

  1. Jan Kreft said,

    July 14, 2006 at 4:01 am

    Dearest Eowyn and Alden

    We’ve never met. I was a friend of you Mum and Dad when we lived in Philadelphia when Alastair was little more than a baby. Your parents were a tremendous support to me when we were strangers in your land, and have always held a special place in my heart.

    Now to read what you guy’s have written is amazingly special and encouraging. Our Lord is praised in your testimonies, and the reality and frankness of your writings is just wonderful.

    Alden, I felt I knew what you were talking about when you said that you felt a lack of friends going through a hard time. We are now living in the UK and that’s been my experience – but praise God, he is our constant Father and meets us at our point of need. Thank you for sharing that -it will make it especially easy to pray for you.

    Lots of love – Jan.

  2. Rick Winter said,

    July 14, 2006 at 9:55 am

    I have learned from your family about faith and what it looks like when everything else is stripped away. Thanks for sharing with us and we keep praying for all of you.
    Tell your Mom that her post on Psalm 23 is the basis for our worship on the 23rd. I hope she doesn’t mind being cited.
    Thanks
    Rick

  3. Allie Stryd said,

    July 15, 2006 at 8:48 am

    Alden–
    “My Dad: one of the most caring, loving, strongest Christian guys I know.” Yea, you sure sum it all up well. Thank you for sharing. Your honest thoughts have blessed us. Much love—Allie and Todd

  4. Lyn Newbrander said,

    July 16, 2006 at 11:40 pm

    Dear Alden,

    I live in Montrose, about 3 1/2 hours north of you. Actually I live in Berlin, but we’re home on furlough. This weekend the Clarks from New Life were visiting us up here. You know that Roger Clark also has cancer, so of course we talked a lot about cancer, and you guys figured a lot into our conversation and into our prayers.

    This morning we went to church and were singing “Blessed Be Your Name.” I couldn’t help but think about you guys and the Clarks–and all that you are going through. Tonight I checked your blog, and there was your entry, about the very same song that I am praying for you. Cool. Just know that even though I don’t know you very well because we’ve been overseas, we pray for you guys and think it is awesome that the Holy Spirit led us both to the same song.

    Lyn Newbrander (you lived in our apartment in Amsterdam)

  5. Fred said,

    July 17, 2006 at 8:43 am

    Thanks, Alden.

    I have wondered what was “going on” under the smiles in your pix. Your post (and Eowyn’s) helps me pray much better for you (all).

    And I’m sorry to say that your experience with friends is both a “guy” thing (guys not knowing what to say or how to say it) and a human thing–success, not struggle, attracts “friends” (see Prov 14.20; 19.4). But perhaps troubles/trials are one of God’s winds, separating wheat from chaff (or a crucible, separating the dross from pure metal), and thus showing us which friendships have the deepest roots. On the other hand, many people just don’t know what to do or say, and so they say nothing, feeling that that is somehow “safer” (for both themselves and you). Oops, this is starting to sound sermonic–sorry!

    I’ve known your dad since c. 1980, when we were both in grad school at Dropsie. I have always considered knowing him one of the great blessings in my life. Thanks again for writing.

    Fred Putnam

  6. Mark A. Stone said,

    July 17, 2006 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for taking the time to write about your feelings. One of the unfortunate things about your situation (other than the obvious) is that young men your age don’t talk about emotional things. They tend to deal with issues that aren’t relational. I will pray that God sends you 1 or 2 of your peers to come alongside and be willing to share the pain you are enduring.

    One of my favorite songs of all time is the one you mentioned — Blessed Be the Name. It comes from the text in Job 1-2. Please read the story again recognizing that your father has consistently made a profession that is “Job-like.”

  7. Hannah Lane (Krhuwazza) said,

    July 17, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    This is for Eowyn and Alden:

    I read both of your entries and I am so amazed at what you both had to say. You guys are so strong and I thank God for keeping you strong. I think you’ve set an example for everyone to hold on, too, for your dad and also when things just get rough. I know you’ve showed me that, so thanks.
    Alden- I just wanna say, I think the verses and the song you picked out are AWESOME. I thought that was really cool.
    I love you both and I’m praying MAD AMOUNTS for both of you and the rest of your family.
    God Bless-
    Love, Hannah

  8. judi said,

    July 18, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    alden, thank you so much for putting your thoughts down for us to read. i know it must be hard to ‘put yourself out there’ like that, so what you and eowyn have done is pretty brave.

    you guys are pretty special to me… know that we are available 24/7.

    love
    judi

  9. Ryan S. said,

    July 20, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    Hey Alden,

    You don’t really know me, but I know your dad well and Eowyn babysat for our son, Bridger, a lot when we lived in Glenside and went to New Life. You may remember last summer (exactly a year ago tomorrow, in fact) our son, Joshua, died at birth. He had a severe brain condition that would not allow him to survive his own birth even though he was alive during the whole pregnancy.

    One of the songs we sang in church the week we found out about Joshua’s condition was “Blessed By Your Name.” I remember not being able to sing the words to that song through the tears that Sunday as I thought about my unborn son. Those words were so true. Everything in life was telling me that God was not good (as everything in your life is telling you the same now). But deep down in my soul, I knew that God was indeed good – as your words indicate you know too.

    Do you know who came to pray with our family the night we went in to the hospital? Your Dad. Do you know who had us over for dinner the next week after all of our family left? The Groves. Thanks so much for laying down your lives for others and for sharing your story with us. We sure miss you all.

    Love,

    Ryan (for the Sutherland’s)

  10. Chris Simmons said,

    July 22, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    Alden and Eowyn,

    I know that you two probably know this, but it bears repeating, you guys rock.

    Chris

  11. Meenu said,

    July 23, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    I’ve learned a lot from my days at New Life, especially how to bless God during the most terrible of times. Times such as the deaths of babies come immediately to mind, and Ryan’s post reminded me of it. New Life parents who have lost children or have children with life threatening diseases have shown that they still love and cling to God no matter the heart wrenching ordeals that they are/were going through.

    Now, Al is demonstrating how to love God through the journey of cancer. Through all of the dizzing emotions that you all are going through, you come back to God, the Alpha and Omega. It is a good reminder to keep going back to the thing that you know will sustain you– the mercy, love, and goodness of God.

    BTW–Blessed Be Your Name is one of the songs that always makes me cry .

  12. laurie hartman said,

    July 24, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    Dear Alden,
    I remember your vist with your family to my home in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, the only place left for you to sleep was in the basement. I remember that you commented on how LOUD our air conditioning system was there….. 🙂 And, we put our computer down here so I am hearing it again… Yes, it is LOUD!!!!!!!!
    You have commented on being a part of your awesome family. And, based on my experience of your family, and what I have seen, you are right. (Believe it or not, I roomed with your mother for six months and sang in your parents’ wedding…. and I can remember some of the words to the song… “What does it mean to you…. You say to each other “I do” ….do you hold on to Jesus and trust Him?” …….. And, a little known fact… your mother ate Captain Crunch cereal for breakfast during that time…. ) Alden, that was the start of their marriage – and it has kept on that path. As someone who cares for those with serious mental and relational problems, I see first hand how families affect kids. And, you and I agree, it is a blessing to have parents like yours.
    Yet, I see by your comments how tough it is for you. I echo the prayer of others…. that you would find places to tell others how you feel… and that other people would be the arms of Jesus for you in those times.
    And, as you have mentioned, quiet times with God can help… I know that it can seem tough to find time… find the motivaiton… find the joy… Yet, as you say, He does meet us when we turn to Him. May He continue to direct you into His word.
    I guess in the end… I would tell you to be real. God didn’t make you to be a kid wearing a mask. You are a real person. And, God can handle your comments, questions, tears, anger, worship…… And, as someone who has seen your folks… they can too. May you know the joy of being real with God, your parents, and a few friends.
    Many prayers to you,
    Laurie (Komornik) Hartman
    ex-roomie/spacieusse to your mother
    P.S…. I was sitting down with my daughter and her friend. They are going to college next month. And, I remembered Julie Wallen bringing a Mormon girl (Cheryl Smith???) to our bible study. We were so young and naive. Your Mom and I actually went to talk to the Mormon bishop and his wife….. Totally awkward – and yet stretching at the same time….
    P.P.S. I think I am bringing this up because I believe that stories help….. The Bible is full of stories… unvarnished…. crazy… wonderful… bizarre…. hopeful…. strong…. And, I think that as you ask your Mom and Dad to tell you stories of their lives, you will gain strength….. Just a thought….
    Love to you…Mrs. H

  13. John Eddy said,

    July 24, 2006 at 9:50 pm

    Alden and Eowyn –
    Thank you. Your posts are incredibiy sad but they completely drain any dread from the prospect of death. Whether I say you have given us a gift or just reminded us of a gift, both are true.

  14. Jesse Civello said,

    July 25, 2006 at 12:02 am

    Dear Brother Alden,
    I am so sorry that I have not been there for you that much man. I can not even pretend to know what you are going through. I want to tell you about an amazing thing that happened today. I was riding my bike up to my grandmas when a woman from our church stopped me and was telling me that It was great that I was helping you out during this difficult time , she said that you mentioned me in you blog, and that opened up something inside me that really is a blessing from god. Just then I felt such a sense of Anger towards myself for being so selfish. I was sitting there listening to this lady and it struck me that I have not really been there for you that much and that I really need to put my selfish ideals aside and help out a brother in need. I have to admit Alden that for a while even though, I have not told you I was mad at you. Mad at you for reasons that are so petty and selfish that I am ashamed to say them. Because I am a sinner, I have let my selfish ways get ahead of my faith and my unending friendship with you. You mean a lot to me man and there have been times when I have struggled and you know who I thought of? You. You are such an inspiration to many and especially me. As if someone shut the shades on me, you my friend can always open them for me. Do you know why? The answer is simple, God has put you in my life and me in yours for a purpose and even though the purpose may not always be obvious or apparent it is always there! Once again I cannot express the sense of Guilt I have in the sense that I could have helped you out so much more and called you more and visited more and I could go on forever, but I cannot change that but what I can do is change and do the things that I wish I did before. Change is an important part of Life. Sometimes things change for no reason. But then again sometimes things Change because Change is Inevitable. I wrote a poem titled Diversity and in that Poem it says “Life is what were all about, about to change about to rearrange. That really represents that in Life sometimes we get so caught up in our own thing, we dont even notice the world around us and even ourselves changing. As the both of us Change, I want to be there and change with you, through the hard and the good times! As you said in your Blog entry, the Lord does give and take away. As I too have seen this in my life. My mom once was able to walk around like you and me and then one day she could hardly get walk. Sometimes I think to myself, why God WHY? But then I think of what you said The Lord gives and takes away, and sometimes in life it seems like he takes more than he gives but that is just the selfish sinners instinct telling us that. It truly is hard to be thankful for things when it seems like so many other things have been taken away. Once again I cant even imagine what you are going through and I pray to God that he will continue to provide the enduring strength and love that he has poured out onto your family. I also pray that God will strengthen me to be a blessing to you Brother Alden and to your family. I pray that our Friendship will grow and that we will continue to grow into Brothers of Christ who love each other and truly live our lives for Christ!!
    Blessings Brother and I will talk to you VERY soon,
    Jesse Civello

  15. Jason Cottone said,

    August 1, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    Alden and Family,

    Thinking about and praying for you all. Let me know if there is anything you need. My door is always open if you want to talk.

    Blessings,

    Mr. Cottone

  16. Nan Powlison said,

    August 4, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    Dear Baldy- Aldy,

    I used to call you this name after I saw you born so many years ago, and until you grew some hair. Now you are NOT a baldy any more, no way!!!!

    I remember your Dad receiving you into this world with a contented and confident smile saying; “It’s Alden!!!!” He was so glad to have another boy to round out the numbers in your family.

    One of the neatest things God is doing through all of this is weaving and knitting. Did you know God likes to knit? He is knitting together so many of his people, and weaving a great encouragement cloak around us.
    I was encouraged tonight to read your blog and to have words from that “little bald baby boy” comfort and encourage my old heart. And then to read Jesse Civello’s words too, another baby I used to hold, and burp in our old mini-church, speak of his faith and how the Gospel has encouraged him “to love and good works”. This makes me glad. Thank you, and you are in my prayers, Miss Nan

  17. Jessica Lear A.K.A Jessie said,

    August 26, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    Hey Alden, I just wanted to let you know even though you don’t know me well i will ways be there for you and your family and i hope that one day we can pray about your dad and i think the reason why i didn’t come up to you like i did your sister is because i felt kind of wierd since i don’t know you that well.But i am forgetting about knowing you i am just so blessed to know you and your family even if you don’t know me that well and i pray for you and our family atleast 1 time a day and i just wanted to let you know that i do care so if you ever need to talk i’m always here. i’ll give your sister my # so you could call me if you ever need to talk or you could just call me for fun feel free.

  18. Chita said,

    October 29, 2015 at 10:51 am

    弟兄似乎鑽了牛角尖 , 有多餘的錢投放於改善生活及上帝事工上, 是上帝的祝福 , 人的責任是去好好管理及運用 , 好好兩字 , 因人不同S”因此 錢 總是希望多點比較好 如果你不懂得用現有的智慧去賺更多的錢 說是備用的 你就是缺少應付生活的智慧 缺少應付生活的智慧 在社會上相對來說 總是個較愚笨的人 “=> 我想你指 現有的智慧”是理財吧”但今日的金錢概念不同了 透過財技 零分勞力 但加兩分的腦力 一分的運氣 可能換到十分金錢 一分知識 但加一分財技 也可以抵上一分甚至兩分高檔知識換來的金錢 金錢的獲取多多少少有點槓桿味道 因此 今日的格言就是 錢不難賺 只要你肯磨練財技 “=> 財技的意思是什麼? 是Richard Li 收購8號仔的財技? 這是專業投機者的行為”我是一個對財經知識一竅不通的人 生在今日的香港 只懂打份人工低微的工作維生 每個月除了少量儲蓄 總是餐餐清 好像跟一個傻仔沒有分別.”=> 打工維生, 累積儲蓄,或多或寡, 是每個人都會做, 有何傻之有??”我完全沒有誇張 我真正覺得自己是一個傻仔 不是叫你風高浪急走去炒 只要你好景時肯玩兩手穩陣的就行了! “=> 一般散戶想法, 多多錢都唔夠輸”面對這些 評價 我的確不知道怎樣回應 我是不是太過疏懶 只懂 擔屎唔偷食 去儲蓄 根本連做人 未雨綢繆 的美德都不及格?”=> 你不理財, 財不理你 , 人貴自知 , 人應該向自己負責 “雖然我找遍聖經 都找不到叫人積蓄養生的指引.”=> 積蓄起碼放在銀行收息, 好過埋於地下”錢 賺多了 不一定要用 但即使不用 它還是會改變你的生活和想法 “=>想法的改變其一是改善生活質數 , 對比起5年前, 我想你都做緊”錢多了 想頭就多 也漸漸沒有 少 的觀念 除了每半年一次的旅行 還有換一間大樓 買一部 iphone 吃好一點 十個人吃八個菜? 為什麼不叫夠十個? 反正俾得起 食唔晒? 留著都無所謂 “= 錢多錢小, 只是其中一個原因 , 生活需要 及 那件物品的value of money (即係值唔值)也是重要考慮”錢 那麼容易賺 為什麼不花點力 再賺多些?”=> 誤解, 錢如果那麼容易賺 就沒有窮人了”雖然聖經說 金錢是瑪門 是魔鬼 但我覺得無必要因此而刻意將金錢醜化 畢竟 我們每日都要用很多錢 “= 金錢是中性的東西, 在乎如何運用”也許要真正提防的 只是那種無可避免地將金錢的重要性放大的心態 我深信 雖然每個人都能有信心說 我只是賺夠就好 我不會做暴發戶 也不會見利忘義 但多餘的金錢放在口袋裡的那天起 誘惑就存在 這是人生運行的法則 而這種誘惑本身也是富人的十字架 天天都要揹起 甚至說 富人進天國比駱駝穿針眼還要難 如果你真心相信耶穌這句說話 到底到最後 是窮人活得苦些還是富人苦些 可能沒有一個能夠解釋的定理 “=> 金錢是中性的東西, 在乎如何運用, 有多餘的金錢放在口袋裡錢, 就有誘惑去犯罪是個人問題 “我曾經想 我這個對錢財一竅不通 又沒興趣的人 是不是也要學學怎樣師人之長技 以致自己也能夠有點成績呢 “=> 很在乎你是否抵得頸了, 慢慢累積金錢的特點是安全及慢 , 若果是comfortable的話, 何必庸人自擾

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