“If He should take me tomorrow, I know where I’m going. In the interim, I want to take as many with me to heaven as possible,” says Carleen.
Bob and Carleen Moye, members of Grace Brethren Church of Clinton, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Maryland (Irving Clark, senior pastor), have been married since 1989. Since then, God’s perfect plan has been changing their lives.
A year after they were married, Carleen developed liver disease. Finally, after seven years, the disease was cured, but her blood work never became normal.
In 2003, she was diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a rare, incurable blood cancer. Carleen was expected to live no more than five years.
“I just persevered,” says Carleen. “One thing that helped was for me to show compassion for other hurting people with illnesses. I’d share with other people in the lobby of the hospitals the hope I have in Christ. That took the focus off myself. It was like medicine to me. I took advantage of it for Jesus.”
Bob told Carleen that the worst thing that could happen to her is that she would see God face-to-face. Which is not the worst – it’s really the best.
Bob, an avid bicyclist, rode 7,500 miles a year. In 2010, a neighbor ran a stop sign and hit him.
“I was coming downhill at 20 miles per hour. My head went over my handlebars into her Cadillac,” Bob recalls.
He suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury and became quadriplegic.
“The Lord gives you grace to forgive,” says Bob. “In the hospital, I prayed for the driver, knowing how she must feel. I knew she didn’t do it on purpose; even if she had, I’d forgive her. People were telling me to sue just to help pay for bills, but I thought, ‘I don’t want to ruin someone else’s life.’”
Carleen says, “Bob was always my rock, and then I had to be his hands. I may never be able to cope perfectly, but Bob always reminds me we should not just accept this change, but embrace it.”
The Lord provided for the Moyes. Carleen took care of Bob for three months in the hospital, and as soon as he was released, Carleen had the treatment she had been waiting on.
After numerous surgeries, therapy, and God’s grace, Bob has learned to walk and is even back riding his bike. They host a weekly small group Bible study in their home. Carleen serves in jail ministry sharing her testimony and teaching God’s Word to incarcerated women.
The Moyes cling to God’s Word through it all.
“Psalm 103 is a major one because we’ve gone through this wouldn’t change a thing,” says Bob. “Seeing God’s presence, knowing Him better, knowing His power in my weakness… I’m more satisfied now at the end of the day than ever, knowing God has allowed me to mow, ride a bike, and do all these things by His strength.”
Irving Clark, the Moyes’ pastor, says, “The biggest part of their story is their strong faith, their witness for the Lord, God’s mercy, grace, healing in their life, and their ability to sincerely thank and praise God for all things.”
“When we get to heaven, everything will make up for it,” says Carleen. “He makes no mistakes. God’s perfect plan may not mean he’ll remove this suffering or pain, but he’ll sustain us.”
Click here to send a note of encouragement to Bob and Carleen.
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Charis Fellowship (Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches), click here.