Sunday, June 9, 2019

Enough Faith?

Hebrews 11:1-3 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." 

A huge praise! Wayne's MRI came back clear again. We are so thankful for another clear scan...another four months of not thinking about brain cancer. But as we celebrate this news, I'm also reminded of some things that have been on my mind. I was going to write a blog post about it, and then my friend wrote a Facebook post that really spoke what was on my heart. So, instead of trying to write what my thoughts have been, I received permission from her to share what she wrote (I did delete their names for their privacy. Below is her post, which clearly communicates what has been on my heart and the daily struggle we face as a family.


"Now, I seem to have a new ability to 'do this'. Maybe it's because my dear college friend just died from this. I don't know. Anyway, as a family who has strong faith in God, we too hear all the time that people are praying for healing. I too hear, 'We have a miracle working God'. And we do. But I was far better served by a therapist who looked me square in the eyes and said, '____, ______ is going to die.' It suddenly set me free. Free to grieve, free to feel all the feels. Free to prepare. It seems like EVERYONE else refuses to acknowledge that he might even die of this. It's all about how we are praying for healing. I get that, and TRUST ME...with 11 kids, NOBODY wants my husband around more than me!! I have come to realize that we are currently living in the healing they are all praying for. Apart from Jesus coming back: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! Why is everyone afraid of that? Do they think that they will jinx this if they do NOT talk about praying for healing?

As wives of, wives to dear husbands with GBM...we live in a braided reality: grateful for all we have had so far, grateful for the 'heads up' that time is short (I always think of sudden death and how they never get the prep time we have) but also each moment is woven with grief. As we savor a moment, we are simultaneously closer to the moment when it all comes shrieking to an end. We are doubly conscious of what is in the happy moment and what lurks like a black dragon just out of sight, always ready to pounce. We never know. That is a tough place to be. And tougher to try and communicate that to people who aren't in this reality.

I do not want to chastise people for praying for healing. I am currently enjoying the healing they ask for! However, I think it terribly hurts people's faith when they say we NEED to have more faith for healing...for when our beloved does die of this, then we are left feeling guilty that WE were not enough. We had too little faith. Somehow on top of it all, WE failed. No, no, no! That is wrong and deeply hurtful. Jesus said if you have faith the size of a mustard seed. He chose that seed because it is so extremely tiny. It is no more faith that we need. Perhaps it is to fall into the arms of a loving MIGHTY God who makes choices we do not and cannot understand. It takes faith to do THAT!

I believe when we are in heaven we will NOT sit around and ask, 'So, how'd you get here?' If my _____ dies of GBM, I am at peace with that (yet I dread the actual dying days). I will die too. Each of my children will. I am okay with that. Perhaps it's the walk of cancer that helps us think on these topics and those who have not cannot even utter the possibility that our dear men may die.

I have a friend who recently lost her husband to leukemia. She talk to me in terms of, 'When ____ dies this or that...' It is hard, but it is real. I crave real. I do not want platitudes. I do not want 'but maybe he's the ONE who will be healed of this! You never know!!!' They like to chime. Why is that so annoying?

I'm in love with my man of 22+ years and how much fun we are having. He is home permanently on disability and we are laughing and making memories. He is forgetting things and frustrated. We cry often, but I think this is how we do this. Our family is forced to live in the tension of deep gratitude all the while knowing the dragon of brain cancer looms. We can't see when it's coming for him, but we know that the cancer dragon is being held back by the One who holds all things together. We know that one day ____ will be called to his eternal home and his role as shepherd over our family will come to a close. So for now, we savor. We weep. We laugh. We dance. We snuggle. We pray."


Prayer Requests:

1. Please continue to pray for my friends who have lost their loved ones to brain cancer...Lynnie and Mary to just name a few.

2. Pray for our trip out west as we visit family. The boys will be meeting Wayne's family for the first time. Pray that we are able to make lots of memorable memories with the kids. 

Thank you to everyone that continues to pray for us! Your prayers are helping "hold back the cancer dragon". We love all of you!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

New Beginnings

Lamentations 3:22-24 "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him.'"

Two weeks ago we left Chicago and headed out on our new adventure, a life in Kentucky. God has been so gracious to us every step along this change. He has provided friends for the kids, helped us transition to our new home, and even find a home church. There have been bumps along the way. The day we arrived in KY, Grace told us she believed she had pink eye. Thankfully, we stopped at Costco for groceries on our way to the house and they had an opening at the ophthalmologist and he gave her medicine for her eyes. Then on Monday, just three days of being in Kentucky, Micaela felt ill. We took her into the hospital to rule out her appendix. Unfortunately, it was her appendix making her ill and she had surgery Tuesday morning. We transferred her from the local hospital to UK Children's Hospital. God worked all the details out! Micaela was thrilled to ride in an ambulance. Even through all the pain, she had a huge smile for me as we drove to UK. The time at the hospital showed me two things: 1) having family near by is a HUGE blessing since they all came to visit us at the hospital and 2) the church we are going to attend had two pastors visit us, which shows they have a heart for their congregation even though we had only just visited their church! These two things ministered to my heart as I was feeling so far from everything familiar. God is so good!!

Wayne and I have decided that living in Kentucky will mean a healthier/fitter life. We have been taking a daily walk around the neighborhood and the HILLS here are crazy! Today I took a bike ride with a neighbor and about died coming up one of the hills. Unpacking and moving in is taking time, but slowly the house is becoming home. We are all loving the extra space! We are also enjoying all the time we can spend at my parent's house at their farm. This last week the kids helped my dad plant his garden and they help my mom with the chickens too. Bonus: farm fresh eggs!!!

We have been back and forth a few times to Chicago since we moved. We had our last week of school (see below), visited friends and said more "see you laters", and have dealt with selling our home (that should close at 1pm today!!!). Sorry for the photo overload. I have to get caught up since I'm so behind after being busy moving. The very bottom will have prayer requests.

Harriet Tubman

Abraham Lincoln

Davy Crockett

Our entire class (DJ was Benjamin Franklin but changed before I could take his picture)

My chicken "Rhoda", who is a Rhode Island Red.

Abigail is getting more brave and learning to not fear the animals!

Enjoying the hot tub!

Naomi and her CC tutor

While we were in Chicago, we also celebrated Joella's birthday early. She has been saving her money for two years to buy her doll. She wanted Mary Ellen, which thankfully, Costco carried at Christmas time. We learned in the past that the Costco doll came with extras and really was a great deal. We have been hiding her doll for six months! She was so thrilled to spend the day alone with her parents. She had requested Wayne to come with us because she had always been too young to go to Wayne's work with him like the other kids. She had a smile on her face the entire day!

My first homeschool friends in the area. This was a hard "see you later"!

All the back and forth between Kentucky and Chicago has made me a tired woman. I don't drink coffee, but I found a great caffeine alternative, chai tea latte from Dunkin Donuts. This early morning drive (5am) warranted a large tea!

Here are some more pictures with our friends in Chicago. I may have just got teary-eyed looking at all of my amazing friends (aka family) from Chicago! We love all of you!!!

Sophia wants to be a police officer when she gets older. "Uncle Zack" took a picture with her with his uniform on and placed his hat on her head.

Our friend we made at 7-11. This woman, Sonja, is amazing! She lectured my kids a few times, in a loving way, and we just loved her. 

Some of the best neighbors we could have asked for. They are like family to us!

The girls missed their last two music classes due to illnesses and us moving. Their amazing teacher had us over to make Mbira.

Abigail and Caleb performing their Lincoln-Douglas debate for their CC class.

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Prayer Requests:

- Wayne's next MRI is June 7th. We will be traveling up to Chicago for the weekend for his appointment and to see our friends.

- For our trip out West. We will be visiting all of our family on the West Coast and taking the kids on a missions trip to help prepare a summer camp.

- Pray for my dad's doctors to have wisdom to know what they need to treat and how to treat him.

- Continue to pray for all of my friends who have lost their loved ones to brain cancer. May is coming to a close, but unfortunately, people are still daily losing loved ones to this awful cancer.