Remembering Joel

Joel and Kristen copy

I recently found out that my RA from my freshman year at Grace died last week from a long battle with cancer. Joel Martin was 25, married (Kristen Martin), has his Master’s degree, and was working on his doctorate in the areas of faith.

Joel had a big impact on my heart in my years at Grace (probably more than he realized).  He was consistent, confident, and caring.  All of which are rare in the day we live in.  I can still remember Joel leaving our dorm for a night with nothing but his sleeping bag in the middle of the winter to “get right with God” or “shut up and listen to what God was saying” instead of just asking for “stuff”.

I also admired Joel for his continuation in remaining solid in the faith throughout his battle with cancer.  He kept a log through Caring Bridge, which can be seen here, that always pointed back to how God was working and what he was learning throughout the circumstances.

While so many people loved him and had so much good to say about his personality, I found a site where one of his friends talked about an e-mail Joel had sent his regarding his diagnosis in the first days.  It is as follows:

Although we didn’t expect results for 3-10 days, my surgeon called me this afternoon (Friday) and confirmed that I almost certainly have Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma/Leukemia. On Monday morning, Kristen and I will be traveling to the IU medical/cancer center in Indianapolis where I will undergo a bone marrow test and begin treatment (chemo). Obviously, this news has been difficult for Kristen and me, as well as our parents and siblings. We asked them to wait until we knew something definite before spreading the word. At this point, we ask for your prayers and emotional support. Cancer is obviously nothing new to either side of my family, and although I recognize the seriousness of the situation, I also know that God can provide physical healing in numerous ways. Kristen and I welcome your phone calls, emails, etc., and we’ll do our best to keep you updated. This will no doubt be the greatest struggle I’ve ever embraced, the fight for my life. Yet I am held steadfast by my faith in Christ, and know that He will continue to work His purpose through this journey.

Amazing.

I believe that Joel understood the sovereignty of God, and the fact that his life wasn’t his… He looked toward Christ’s purposes constantly.  I just wanted to say thank you in the only way I know how for constantly pointing me back to the cross in your time with me.

We’ll worship together in His precious presence someday soon.

-jordan

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