Harder Family

Harder Family

Monday, August 27, 2018

Faith vs. Fear

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3

FEAR. This word is packed with so many emotions. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger; anxious concern (noun); to be afraid of (verb). Fear is discussed in the Bible. There are actually two different uses of fear. The first use is to fear the Lord. The fear of God does not mean to be afraid, but it means a reverent awe of God and His awesome power. Fearing God brings positive results in our lives. Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." Proverbs 14:26 says that the fear of God brings confidence. "In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge."

The second use of fear in the Bible is not positive and not beneficial to us. The second type is often referred to as a spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." Fear is not from God and it is something we have to learn how to overcome. Of course, we cannot over come fear on our own, we need the help of the Holy Spirit and dependence on Jesus. There are many examples throughout the Bible of men and women who feared and God had to remind them to fear not. The verse above at the top, Isaiah 43:1-3, is a reminder from God that He is with us, no matter what we face in life. 

Fear can be crippling, but we are no longer slaves to fear because we know the One who knows the future and we can trust Him with our deepest fears. His will is perfect, even if we cannot see it in the midst of the storm that we are facing. I have to admit that I have been struggling with fear again regarding Wayne's cancer. After seeing the announcement about John McCain's death, it stirred fear in my heart. I have seen so many friends lose their loved ones to this awful disease called Glioblastoma (GBM), the brain cancer Wayne was diagnosed with 43 months ago. Most people assume because Wayne is doing so great that his cancer is gone. Unfortunately, that is not how brain cancer like GBM works. The original tumor has tentacles, like an octopus, that invades the entire brain. They cannot see any of it until it clusters into a tumor, but it is always there. The hope is that with radiation and chemo that they can kill off as much of the "unseen" tumor in the brain, but they can never get it all. Apart from a miraculous healing from God, GBM is a terminal diagnosis. Only 10% of GBM patients live 5 years. Lord willing, Wayne is one of these few that make it that long. The unfortunate truth is 90% of people diagnosed with this disease will die 12-18 months from their diagnosis.

Even though Wayne has had clear scans, Wayne has been forever changed by brain cancer. If you knew Wayne before his cancer, he was very extroverted, outgoing, and talkative. The new Wayne is more subdued and quiet. He struggles with conversation, much like someone who had a stroke would have issues finding words. For those who never knew him before, they might not notice anything different, but it is there. Although he is different, it isn't bad, it is just different. Recently, some of the long-term effects of treatment can be seen in Wayne. After much prayer, we decided that Wayne is going to go out on short-term disability to try to address these issues with some therapy (speech). We are excited that Wayne will be around more the next few months. When you are trying to live each day to the fullest because you do not know the future holds, having your husband around more is a blessing. None of us really know what the future holds. Wayne's oncology doctor had a great illustration. She said, "People say we could walk out of here and be hit by a bus. The difference with GBM is you see the bus coming, whereas other people don't see the bus."

Although I am excited about Wayne being home, this has also caused fear in my heart. I wonder why God has allowed this now. We could have found out about it months ago, so why now? It makes me wonder if God knows something I don't and is giving us extra time with Wayne. Fearful thoughts like those can just cripple you. It is in those moments that have to trust the God who holds the world in His hand and has a beautiful plan. I have chosen to see this as a blessing and not worry about the future. God knows and I am going to rest in His will and trust Him. Plus, what a blessing to have Wayne around as a math tutor for the kids (his forte is in math, even now after all that he has been through). We are also looking forward to having more time to have family devotional time, time together as a couple to study God's Word, and to exercise together. I have a couple exciting announcements that we will be letting people know about in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!!

Is there something that is causing you to fear? Are you struggling with fear? If so, email me and let me pray for you. We are called to walk along each other. Let me walk along side you and pray for you!

Now to catch up on life. I recently took a trip to Seattle with my sisters. They flew me out to Seattle to celebrate my 40th birthday early (my birthday isn't until November). It was fun to get away and just enjoy being with my sisters. We also drove up to Vancouver, BC for a day. My trip ended up being an exotic eating adventure. We had Korean dessert, amazing Chinese food, Canadian Poutine, French crepes, Paleo/Keto cookies, Indian food, Hawaiian burgers, Chinese pastries, bubble tea, Thai, Cambodian, and of course fresh fish! I ended up buying fresh salmon and froze it. I packed it in my suitcase with lots of ice packs and hauled it back to Chicago to have the best fish I've had in a long time! I also took time and picked wild blackberries, a favorite tradition Wayne and I did when we were first married. I hauled those back and made Wayne his favorite pie, fresh blackberry pie...it was so good and worth all the scratches on my arms and legs. Finally, there are some pictures of the kids starting school. I cannot believe how quickly summer went this year!! 

Leaving Chicago for Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass - amazing blown glass

Vancouver, BC - Stanley Park. Our hotel provided us with free bikes and we biked around the park.

3 Dutch girls in front of De Dutch (we didn't eat here)

Hawaiian burgers - I had this in Hawaii with Rachel years ago. They spend one up in Seattle, right down the street from Rachel's house!


View from our hotel room in Vancouver, BC

French crepe - my favorite treat!! Banana and Nutella

Cambodian food - not my favorite. I'm glad I tried something new, but I think I'd skip it in the future.

Fresh out the oven Chinese pastries. We shared these. I loved the coconut bun!

I visited the Chinatown in Vancouver and Seattle. I had to take pictures for the boys.

We took a tour at Theo Chocolate Factory. That was a fun experience and their chocolate is amazing!!!

Not far from Rachel's house was a hiking path that ended up taking us to the beach. I just love the West Coast - trips like these make me miss being so close to the ocean!

We did the tourist thing and visited Pike's Market (over-rated). We did have some amazing French macarons and fresh salmon burgers.

The day I got back from Seattle, Wayne had a doctor's appointment, to get paperwork signed for his disability. We ended up going out on a date to Nueve Leon, an amazing Mexican restaurant in Chicago. I figure it ended a great 5 days of exotic food.

The blackberry pie I made for Wayne when I got home.


My students for the 2018-2019 School Year. At the end of school last year I thought I would only be teaching six kids (Sophia was going to go to private school and DJ public school). God had other plans. DJ and Sophia asked to be homeschooled, so now I'm back to eight students. I cannot believe how fast time is going. 

Grace, 14
Wants to be a photographer

Abigail, 15
Wants to be a librarian (she already volunteers at the library and is looking into library programs for college)

Sophia, 10
Wants to be an orphanage worker or a police officer

Shan Chen, 11
Wants to be a missionary

DJ, 12
Wants to be a garbage man or work at a car wash

Joella, 6
Wants to be a doctor

Micaela, 7
Wants to be a baker (we are learning how to make macaroons today for class)

Naomi, 12
Wants to be a missionary


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully. Your family is so precious to the Lord and to those of us blessed to know you. We are praying.
    Love and blessings.

  2. Love to you all!!!! and keeping you in prayer! <3 <3 <3