Triumph over Tragedy

by Cindy Carter

Recently NCF Member Cindy Carter shared her thoughts and we’re passing them along for your reflection on life’s tragedies and God’s purposes. Thanks, Cindy!

Today I was reading Proverbs 12 when verse 21 struck me: “No disaster overcomes the righteous, but the wicked are full of misery” (HCSB).

Fanny CrosbyI had just watched a biography about Fanny Crosby on Netflix and came to the same conclusion. At the end of the movie, I began to question whether what happened to Fanny could be called tragic when the triumphant results did not overcome this righteous and godly woman.

When Fanny was an infant with an eye infection, a country “doctor” decided to utilize a mustard treatment in her eyes. (This was a common practice at the time for lung infections.) The result was life-long blindness. Yet, neither she nor her family focused on the adversity; they focused on what she could do. She played just like other children, only with special insights. In hide-and-seek, she avoided obstacles by feeling the coolness of the shade of a tree and found her intended targets by touching or hearing their breath.

When Fanny was one year old, her father died. Her mother went to work and Fanny went to live with her grandmother. It was her grandmother who discovered her remarkable memory as she read the Bible to Fanny. By age 10, Fanny had memorized the first four books of both the Old and New Testaments.

Fanny became the first woman to ever speak to Congress. In her lifetime, she was acquainted with 22 U.S. Presidents; some of them were close friends. She wrote over 10,000 hymns; the first one was after the death of her husband and their only child.

As I have learned more about this amazing woman, I have asked myself over and again: Where is the tragedy in her life? Was it her blindness, her father’s early death, or the death of her child? Yet, with each event, what was restored to her life was so much greater than what was taken away.

In Proverbs 12:21, I think I found the answer. Nurses and student nurses see what some would call tragedy every day. Yet, Romans 8:28 states, “For we know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Now, how can I live in such a way that acknowledges this truth?

4 Responses to “Triumph over Tragedy”

  1. Cindy Carter Says:

    Abigail, God is in charge. I also have evidenced amazing patients whose responses get the attention of the whole unit. Such patients and their families propel the gospel forward, for there is no earthly explanation for their triumphant attitude in the midst of the challenge. He promises that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him (John 12:32).

    Cindy

  2. Cindy Carter Says:

    I agree. Fanny Crosby’s hymns are some of my earliest childhood memories in the church and some of my favorites even though. The name of the movie is The Story of Fanny Crosby produced by the company, Testimony.

    May we all utilize whatever circumstance we find ourselves in to be a blessing to those around us.

    Cindy

  3. Susan Linscheid Says:

    Thank you for describing her life. I never knew she had been married and lost a child. Her hymns have always touched my life. They are fun to sing and fun to play on the piano or guitar. They are just very “singable”. I appreciated your insight. What is the name of the movie about her life?

  4. Abigail Nobel Says:

    Wonderful story! Such a good point that God is in charge of our circumstances and by grace brings us through to joy and praise for Him. I can think of patients who showed this truth as Fanny did, through their awe-inspiring contentment, confidence, or joy in the face of suffering or even death. “Unnatural”, for sure!

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