Monday, February 11, 2019

Walking Miracle

Psalm 139:16 "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me..."

Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

Today marks the four year anniversary of when Wayne was diagnosed with brain cancer. Although we wouldn't find out it was a terminal diagnosis (GBM- average life expectancy is 12-18 months) until almost a month later, it was a day that changed our lives forever. I can still remember all the emotions and feelings of that evening as I sat in the ER with Wayne hearing the news of a brain tumor. If I dwell on it too long, the emotions can tumble over me like the waves of the sea and engulf me in grief again. Each day is walk in faith. I have to trust that God knows exactly what He is doing since He is Yahweh, the God who never changes. He is Eloheim, the great creator who created Wayne and as the Psalms say, God has ordained every day for Wayne, and for all of us. My job is to rest and trust in who God is and leave the future to Him.

Some days that is harder then others to walk in faith and trust God 100%. It is especially hard when I look around me and see so many of my friends losing their loved one to this awful disease called brain cancer. When we started on this journey four years ago, we quickly met many who had brain cancer and we added them to our prayer requests, by name. Slowly, over the last four years, we have lost all but two on that list, which started with twelve people. Sadly, one of the last two on the original list is not doing well right now either. It is so hard to see people I call friends losing their loved ones. Sometimes I feel guilty that Wayne is doing so well and sometimes I feel like I'm just waiting for the shoe to drop and his cancer return.

God has been so faithful through each step of this journey! We will continue to live each day to the fullest and Lord willing, fulfill God's purpose in our lives and continue to give Him all the glory that is due His name! Our prayer from the beginning was for God to get the glory in all of this, whether it be in our living or in our dying.   

Picture of Wayne's brain from the MRI. The black space is where the tumor/brain was removed during surgery almost four years ago. It is a miracle that he can communicate at all and function with that much of his brain gone! God is good!

How Far We've Come in Four Years!

After the biopsy, which landed us in the hospital an extra day after a severe seizure.

After brain surgery to remove his lemon sized tumor.

Rehab: learning how to talk and walk again.

Wayne reading to little Joella. I'm so glad that Wayne has had all these extra years so that the little ones can remember their dad.

Celebrating our 4th year of clear scans with a trip to Fattoush, which is an amazing restaurant in Worth!

Picture on the left is almost one year from diagnosis, picture on the right is four years out.

Please continue to pray for us to trust the Lord every day with Wayne and our future. Please also pray for my friend Mary Bost and her sweet family as her husband is not doing well right now with his brain cancer. Finally, please pray for my dad who broke his ankle and has to be off his feet for 10 weeks! Thank you for all of your support these last 4 years!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Milestones: 20 Years

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? An though one might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

On January 9th, 20 years ago, I married my best friend! Marriage is such a beautiful, but hard thing. It is also an amazing picture of Jesus Christ and the church, His bride. Four years ago, I didn't know if we would reach this milestone after Wayne was diagnosed with GBM brain cancer, which has a 12-18 month life expectancy. We decided to celebrate this special occasion with a trip away. At first we talked about going away to some exotic island for a week, but decided that we wanted to stay in the states and not have to fly anywhere since Wayne doesn't do well on long plane rides anymore. As I was looking into options, I received an email about the G3 Conference (a Bible conference) being held in Atlanta during our trip. We have wanted to attend the G3 Conference for a few years. We decided that we could have a nice trip away from the kids in Georgia. Wayne, being so thoughtful, asked if there were any races in Alabama during that time, since I have not run that state. I discovered that there was a half marathon in Mobile, AL during our trip. So, I ran state #27 while on our anniversary trip!

We decided to spend four days in the Gulf Shores after my race. We enjoyed quiet time away from the kids and our daily walks, even though it was in the 40s the entire time we were at the beach.

We then traveled to Atlanta and attended the G3 Conference. Some may be thinking, "Wow! That's romantic!" But here is the thing, it is only by God's grace and our relationship with Him that has gotten us this far in our marriage. We wanted to continue to grow closer to Him, which ultimately, helps us grow closer together. Plus, anyone with kids knows that just being away from the kids for a few days is vacation enough! The conference was so refreshing for our souls! We were able to sit under some amazing teaching by some of my favorite preachers: John Piper, David Platt, Voddie Baucham, Paul Washer, and more. The theme was on missions, something I am passionate about. I ended up with 83 pages of notes that I still need to read through and digest at a deeper level. It was like sitting in front of a fire hydrant trying to take in all the beauty of God's word, His heart fo us, and His heart for missions. I left there feeling spiritually charged and encouraged!

While we were at the Gulf Shores, we decided to get our pictures taken to celebrate our 20 year anniversary. As I mentioned before, four years ago when Wayne was diagnosed with brain cancer, I didn't think that we would ever make it to our 20th anniversary. I wanted to have photos to document such a momentous occasion in our lives. I reached out to Kassie from to find out about photos. I shared with her our story and she offered to take our pictures for free! She works with Magic Hour, an organization that helps families with terminal illnesses get photographs of their loved ones before they pass away. Kassie was such an amazing photographer to work with and I hope to take the kids to the Gulf Shores soon and get family photos with her! Let me know which photos are your favorite! I am having a hard time picking a favorite!

Marriage is a beautiful thing! If you are struggling in your marriage, hang in there. Life is messy and hard, but being with the love of your life during those hard times is so much better! I realized the other day that I have officially been married to Wayne half of my life! I would never trade any of the time with Wayne for anything else the world offers. Also, make sure to treasure every moment with your spouse or loved one! None of us know when our last day will be here on earth. Let's live each moment to the fullest loving those around us!