Monday, August 20, 2012

A Plea for Prayer

If you're one of the few who are reading this blog, then you have likely heard about the traumatic bike accident that Diane Schreiner experienced 3 days ago, leaving her with multiple fractures and more importantly, causing bruising to her brain.  For those who do not know Diane personally, this post is an attempt to allow you to know of this woman of God so that you will be compelled to pray for God's miraculous and complete healing over her fragile body.  For those who are blessed to know her, nothing below will come as a surprise to you.

Since her accident, I have felt a strange guilt for hurting so bad, and after discussing this with my friend, Mary Ellen, last night I have realized the reason:  the thought of her suffering has brought about a grief that I would assume only family could feel.  And I feel so guilty for this grief (which, Schreiner family, is why I stayed home on the day of the accident- I was a mess!  I'm glad Paul could represent us both), because I know her immediate family has to be hurting so much more!  Then I concluded that though she is not an immediate family member of mine, she has become a spiritual mother to me, exemplifying Titus 2 more than anyone else in my life.  

By the grace of God, I have met with Diane every other week for the past 5 out of 6 years.  When Paul and I were dating 6 years ago, she kindly initiated intentional weekly discipleship time (an answered prayer, as I was too shy to ask her for this!).  She and her husband met with Paul and me for premarital advice, and they even invited medical students and physicians to their house once while we were dating so that we could receive guidance about maintaining a strong, Christ-centered marriage in the busy world of medicine.  The following year I moved away to marry Paul and live in Memphis for his final year of medical school.  Throughout that first year of marriage, her e-mails and phone calls of wisdom and advice to an immature wife served as highlights of my day, and I know that Paul has benefited from the encouragements and rebukes she gave me during that year.  So it's no surprise that the influence of the Schreiners in our lives was one of the most compelling reasons for Paul to try to match in Louisville for ENT residency.  And by God's kindness, we did.  I've often told Mrs. Schreiner that we are in Louisville because she prayed so fervently that God would bring us here. And during the 5 years that we have been in Louisville, we have met every other week.  

Let me tell you about this incomparable woman.  Aside from her unwavering devotion to Christ, this woman loves her family more than anything else in the world.  This is the woman who, after being married for I'm assuming at least 30 years, still skips to her cell phone when she hears her husband's Johnny Cash ring tone and answers with a flirty, "Hi, Tommy!"- to which Mary Ellen and I consistently laugh out loud- to which she always grins back. This is the woman who has raised her children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and who couldn't be happier with the godly wives that all three of her sons have chosen.  This is the woman who can't talk about her daughter without grinning from ear to ear with pride.  This is the woman who truly loves her neighbors and knows their names, as she intentionally seeks to meet them during regular walks.  This is the woman who smiles with embarrassment when she is late to our meetings, but it's only because she has been painting the toe nails of sweet, blind, elderly women.  

This is the woman who makes sure our time together is not wasted. She has taught me to live simply  (and Paul absolutely loves her for this!).  She has one of the most empty pantries and refrigerators I have ever seen, yet she somehow manages to have a dessert (and fruit, of course!) on hand at all times.  Just last week I told her that Paul had encouraged us to avoid buying Luke birthday gifts since we assumed that our generous family would be supplying those, and her response was, "That is why I love Paul!"  Then she handed me a gift-wrapped Bible story book for Luke's birthday.  

She has taught me to give, as she would rather give her money, time, and resources than store up treasures here on earth.  If I come home to any random gift on my doorstep (iris flowers, tea, an ESV Bible, and even a printer), I laugh and know exactly who dropped it off.  

She has taught me to love Paul  in a way that Christ has called me to love him, and she has a God-given ability to smile with compassion as she slaps my hand for not loving him as I should.  I will never forget her rebuking me for my selfishness in the middle of SBTS chapel 6 years ago, telling me that I should never put Paul in a box that Jesus doesn't have him in.  I'm so thankful to have taken her advice; I wouldn't want to be married to anyone but Paul Tennant.

But the most important thing that Diane would want you to know about her is that she has been redeemed by the blood of Christ.  As well as she has just been portrayed, she would be a wretch without the love of Christ intervening in her life and saving her from her sin.  Because of God's work in her life, loving and knowing Christ is the most important mission in her life.  If there is anything that Diane Schreiner has imparted to me, it is the truth that God is always good to His children, working in them every second of their lives, and He is worthy of our praise and devotion in all circumstances.  As she laid in her hospital bed 2 days ago, I told her that everyone is trusting in the goodness of God right now, partly because we know she'd whoop us if we were not doing so.   

If Diane could share anything with us right now, I believe that she would say, "God is good.  He is worthy of praise, even now."  And if you don't know Him, she would be thrilled to know that any ounce of her suffering could point you to the saving knowledge of God through Christ.  Then she would undoubtedly give you a Bible to read.

Mrs. Schreiner, you have commented on every single blog post that I have ever written.  I can't wait for you to comment on this one and scold me for making so much of you.  I love you.  Rest well, and come back to us, we pray.  We love you, and He is with you!


  1. What a beautiful post & a beautiful testimony of a Godly woman! Love you! ~Susan B.

  2. This is beautiful, Sarah. A fitting tribute.

  3. Sarah, though we don't know one another well (we have met), I could just SEE Diane's sweet grin and HEAR her firm but loving rebukes as I read your tribute.

    You are exactly right - sweet, godly Diane would want us to make much of Jesus, not her, as we consider all she means to us while she is in the hospital. Thank you for point that out - she is BEST described as HIS, and would want everyone to know of Jesus' love and grace for sinners.

    One can only imagine how many other stories like yours could be told by those of us who have benefited from her faithful service to Christ and his Body. Thanks for sharing yours so honestly and eloquently.
    ~ Kathy B.

  4. Absolutely beautiful Sarah! What an awesome testimony of how faithful she is to the Lord and how faithfully she spends her life to serve others. Including you. What beautiful fruit. Thank you for writing this.

  5. How beautiful! I'm humbled by your words yet laugh at the stories! Can't wait to see what Diane thinks of this! I too think she will think you made too much of her! It's all God, ya know! I can hear her say.... Not me but our Father. You have such a servant heart!

  6. Hi Sarah,
    I found your post through Challies A La Carte. Beautiful post and beautiful blog.

    It is exciting to see that you are adopting from the DRC through OWAS. We are too. I would love to connect. Is there a way to email you?


  7. Thanks for posting this Sarah! I do not know Diane Schreiner, but my daughter doeswhich is how I found your blog) and when she called to ask for prayer for her last week, she said, "She is the most godly older woman I know". I believe she is correct, as your post has shared. It has spurred this "older woman" on to love and good deeds. Praying that the Lord would give her more time on this earth, for His glory.

  8. I appreciate your post much, Sarah!

    Before I attended The Master's Seminary, I was a student at Eternity Bible College out here in Southern California, and Tom taught an interim session. Being in Tom's class was amazing as I saw so much of his character, even in his stories about Diane. Although I was nobody, when I went up to thank Tom for the class, he asked me my name and my story, and to my surprise, had no problem remembering my name. So much in the compassion of this family! You are blessed to be personally loved by this family! Thanks again! Prayers to the Schreiners!

    in His Magnificent grip,

  9. I have stumbled upon your blog through Tim Challies' post. I am so blessed that I did! Prayers will go up with yours for this servant of the Lord! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thank you for praying for Diane. She would appreciate that so much! We told her last night that the whole world is praying for her. Jane, yes, we are adopting through One World. Feel free to find me and message me on Facebook, and I'll send you my e-mail address.