{Turning Tragedy into Thanksgiving} Jim’s story.

Written by: Deb Leboeuf

In loving memory of My best friend and Soulmate, James Leboeuf, Jan, 10,1949 – Sept 19,2012.

It has been two long years, since my tragedy. It seems like one hundred. To make a long story short, it started with a pain in my husband’s back. After weeks of going to doctors, chiropractors, and massage therapists, we found out it was terminal cancer. 5 short months later, Jim, my loving husband of 43 years, was gone. The Lord had called him home.

Even though nothing seemed to make sense, through this, we both had such a joy and peace. I often wondered how we could have joy in such a situation. Our joy came from our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Salvation. We knew that God was with us, comforting us. Throughout this ordeal Jim would say he was crying tears of joy.

I am reminded of the song ‘The God on the mountain is still God in the valley.’

Life is easy, when you’re up on the mountain
And you’ve got peace of mind, like you’ve never known.
But things change, when you’re down in the valley.
Don’t lose faith, for you’re never alone.

For the God on the mountain, is the God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

We talk of faith, way up on the mountain.
Talk comes so easy when life’s at its best.
Now down in the valleys, of trials and temptations
That’s where your faith, is really put to the test.

For the God on the mountain is the God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He’ll make them right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day, is still God in the night.
The God of the day, is still God in the night.

Our faith was put to the test. The God of all Grace brought us through the valley and out the other side. As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. We don’t stay in the valley. He takes us through it. What I learned through Bible study, would see both him and myself through this deep dark valley. In our brokenness, He stays close. We both knew the Sovereignty of God. We always believed He has a plan for our lives and nothing can thwart His plan.

In 2001, I was introduced to Kay Arthur and Precept upon Precept Bible study. I began studying the bible inductively and teaching others how to study the Word precept upon precept, studying Scripture in context, using the Bible as the primary source of information. Why is this so important? Because the Word is inspired by God and the Author Himself interprets it.

2 Tim 3: 16-17 says Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work. (Amplified)

God is saying the Scriptures came from Him and it teaches us what to believe and how to live. The bible tells us how to live so that we can know how to handle every situation of life. It is ongoing process resulting in changed lives. I don’t know what I would have done without the comfort from the Word.

Jim was very supportive, always encouraging me in my studies, bringing home bibles and study books when he travelled in the States. He especially knew how I liked Kay Arthur. He was always so proud of my leadership. Once I had my hair cut like Kay Arthur and with his wonderful grin and sense of humor, He says ‘Now Deb that’s going a little too far.’ How I miss that sense of humor.

Inductive study isn’t man telling you what the Scripture means or what you should believe. Instead it is a method of looking at what the Scripture is saying. When you know what God says and what He means, you will know how to put His Truths into practice, although, it isn’t very easy at times! You will be equipped for every circumstance of life and it will enable you to handle every situation in a way that honors God. In short, you get to know His thoughts and His ways, but His thoughts are not our thoughts nor are His ways our ways. You gain a deeper relationship with God and grow deeper in love with Him and trust Him, for He and He alone, is in control. The word is clear, we serve a Sovereign God, All Powerful, All Loving, All Knowing and in control of everything. For this I am truly thankful.

How could I be thankful that my God took away my best friend, my lover, the father and grandfather to my children and grandchildren? To be honest, I’m not there yet. Not sure I ever will ever be. It meant so much to us that Jim was able to see our son get married that August, three short weeks before he passed into the arms of His Lord. But, I am thankful for His Word and as He directs me to His Word, I cannot help but be thankful to know that this is God’s plan for me. Studying the Bible inductively, has shown me that God is in control, and no matter how much we kick and scream about our lives and the things that go on with it that we don’t like, it is for our good, and His Glory! We cannot fully understand the mind of God. We are called to trust deeply in the Sovereignty of God, shaping our lives, based not on temporary things of the earth but on the Eternal King of Heaven. Basing our thanksgiving, not on the ever changing circumstances of our lives, but the never changing Sovereignty of God, will be the greatest blessing you will ever receive in this life.

In the ocean of deep overwhelming pain, there is an undercurrent of hope.

If we live in Christ we can never be joyless or unthankful or alone.

I thank God He is Sovereign and in control of my life. I will trust in Him no matter what comes my way.

Now to the King Eternal , Immortal, Invisible, the Only God, be Honor and Glory forever and ever . Amen

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Deborah Leboeuf has been an inductive bible study teacher for 13 years, studying and teaching the Word and the Sovereignty of God is her passion. Deborah was born in a farmhouse in Gosfield Township during a snowstorm and living her life in a small village called Woodslee, Ontario. It was this same small village where she met her Husband James Leboeuf. Jim came knocking at her door looking for someone else but this being Gods appointment, brought her the love of her life. They were destined to be together. The ‘two became one’ in marriage in 1969. By 1974 they were blessed with 3 wonderful sons, Jamie, Jason and Jacob. Fifteen years later Justin was born, another wonderful son.
With 2 different Christian backgrounds the Lord drew them to desire a oneness together with Him in their lives and in their marriage. They were both born again in 1978. Deborah and James lived on the mountain top owning a successful Tool and Mould business employing 500 people. They were very involved in their church but by 1997 they both realized they had enough of living in a material world too and rededicated their lives to the Lord, trusting in the Father for His will in their lives. In 1999 they were certainly put to the test to trust in the Lord ‘no matter what befalls you’. They lost their business, a father and a grandchild within a few months. Being in the valley brought them closer to the Lord, closer to each other and closer as a family.
Deborah played guitar and sang with the worship team for several years but teaching the bible has become her life. This desire for a deeper relationship with her Lord and Savior led her to study the bible precept upon precept, line upon line. Knowing the Sovereignty of God and knowing the Word would sustain her through her hardest trial, the loss of her beloved husband of 43 years. James 5: 18 says in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Jim had touched many lives and helped many people as demonstrated by his funeral. One dear friend said he would not be here today if it wasn’t for Jim helping him through a drug addiction. Many more stories related to Deborah gave her comfort knowing God had a plan for his life and although short together they lived a full life. They travelled many countries with Israel being the most important journey on this earth.
Deborah still lives in Woodslee, in the same farmhouse that she was raised in. She has the support of a loving family, loving sons and beautiful daughter in laws and many wonderful grandchildren.

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