Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Thirst for Living Water

Well, I cannot believe that we are on our last day of the year 2014! This year has definitely had it's ups and downs, but I'm grateful for it.

As I look into the face of 2015, the third year of my life plagued by cancer, the year I will turn 30 (yikes!), and the year I will celebrate 5 years of marriage to my best friend, I have so much to be thankful for and so much I want to accomplish!

As I look at 2015 and think about what I'd like to do with the next 365 days the Lord has granted me, I have one all-consuming thought....I'm thirsty. I'm not talking about physical thirst, but spiritual thirst. Let me explain...

I have been a Christian most of my life and have gone through seasons of great spiritual growth and seasons of dry stagnancy. Lately I've realized that as much as I pray and seek the Lord, there are some deficits in my spiritual walk that I would like to see made right.

~I'm still waiting for healing. Complete physical healing from the Lord
~I'm still hoping for a future with David and a family
~I still struggle to trust the Lord with every part of my heart.
~I still struggle to hear the Lord speaking to me in a real way.
~I still struggle to fully worship without distraction by myself.
~I still struggle to know my bible inside and out.
~I still struggle to know the context of scripture and remember where to find familiar verses.
~I still struggle to memorize scripture on a regular basis.

I have these deficits in my spiritual walk and I want nothing more than to conquer them in 2015. But how do I do this? Try harder? Do better? It's just not that easy.

Enter this article that I read a few weeks ago.

This woman in the UK drank a gallon of water every day for 4 weeks and saw some amazing breaktrhoughs. Her skin was healthier, her eyes brighter, her weight decreased, her energy up.
All because she drank water. Water! The simplest, most readily available resource we have.

So how does this apply to my spiritual life? How can I change the health of my spiritual walk? How can I improve my countenance with the Lord? Drink from Living Water! I need to turn to my most readily available resource....the Word of God!

I'll admit, I spend a lot of time in prayer, but I've always struggled to be disciplined in the area of bible study. I can go many days sometimes without even opening my bible because of my busy schedule. It's sad, but true.

After reading this article, it hit me so profoundly. If I want my spiritual complexion to change, I need to be studying the word daily. Not just flipping through the bible and reading a random verse. Not just finding some online words of wisdom and calling it good. Daily, drinking in the word of God and internalizing it.

So this is my challege for myself in the year 2015 and I challenge anyone that's willing to take it with me.

I am committing to the Lord to spend time in bible study every day in the year 2015, no matter what.

It may only be for 15 minutes, but I will drink from the living water everyday this year. It seems so simple, but I'm a little nervous! Now that I've made it public I can't fail! haha

I am writing a private journal entry with the things I'm struggling with spiritually as my "before" picture.
On December 31st 2015 I will take my "after"shot and assess myself again to see how drinking in the word every day has changed me.

I'm trusting the Lord for good things!

And so I don't get defeated before I begin, I've been reading Jen Wilkin's book Women of the Word to help me gain some valuable study skills. I will most likely use devotionals and commentaries to help me get started, but I'm hoping to just take a book at a time and study it. Learn it. Drink it in.

I will start tomorrow with the book of James.

If anyone wants to join me, let me know! I'd be more than happy to help you! If the Lord shows me something amazing, I might share it on facebook or instgram and use the hashtag #LivingWater Please feel free to do the same!

Please join me and challenge yourself! I would love to have a lot of company on this journey!
I pray that you all have a blessed and peaceful last day of 2014 and are trusting the Lord for amazing things to come in 2015!

I think 2015 will be the best year ever!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A New Thing

Wow it’s been a crazy little bit of time!
I’m sorry I haven’t updated you in a while about the progress we’ve made, but we’ve been pretty busy!

I had a CT scan about three weeks ago to see if this new treatment was working and….it is!
Praise the Lord! My tumors are decreased by about 60%.
Most of them are under 1 cm now, which is fantastic!
I feel great, my Hodgkin’s symptoms are gone and I finally have energy again!
However, I struggled to really embrace this good news.
We’ve heard good news before. We’ve been told treatments were working before. Heck, we were told that I was in remission before.
But each time we were horribly mistaken. Each time we allowed ourselves to dream again, we were thrown back into reality with terrible news waiting for us around the corner. So it’s understandable that my heart has been hesitant to accept this.
It’s hard to shake the fear and the doubt and the second-guessing. It’s hard to keep hoping. Honestly, it’s hard to hear good news and fully believe it to be true.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last three weeks crying and being upset about a variety of things. I’m struggling, I’m changing. God is working and I can see it all around me. It’s overwhelming and I just want to share. God is showing me his love and mercy by doing a lot of new things…
1) South Campus

Last Sunday we had our first ever service at South campus and I had the privilege of overseeing the kids and preschool areas.
This meant a LOT of furniture building, cleaning, organizing, recruiting, toy purchasing, late nights, and leaning on other people for help!
Everything went so well and we were blessed to have over 600 people in attendance last week and 15 salvations! I’m looking forward to what God is going to do with this amazing new campus and group of people. He’s taken something old and turned it into something new and amazing! This old building has life again! The parking lot is full, the classrooms are buzzing, the people are singing and God is doing something new! He really is bringing revival to the mountains of East Tennessee!
2) Baby Gideon

Our friends Andy and Caitlin had their first baby as well and it was such a blessing to be there at the hospital in the waiting room and wait for that first cry. It was so sweet to see Andy’s face as he came to announce the good news. It was so precious to get to hold that sweet new life and pray that God would bless him and use him in a mighty, new way. His name means warrior, but I believe God will use him to soften hearts. I can already see it happening. God is doing something new and something amazing with this little miracle.
3) Clinical Trial
We had our Candy Tailgate at church on Wednesday and then I headed to New York for another treatment.
My doctors are all impressed with my scans from last time and my continually improving bloodwork. They said that I’m making medical history and that I’m the poster child for this study.
As hard as it is to believe that this could be a cure or a long-term life-changing remission for us, I find myself softening and ready to receive it. He’s doing a new thing. My immune system is actually fighting off this wretched disease for the very first time. God is using this treatment to do something new in my body.

I see God working so much around me and doing all of these new things.
New buildings, new churches, new movements, new leadership roles, new babies, new treatments and I feel more than ever that I’m ready for something new in this heart of mine!
Usually we fear things that are new. I’ve always been a creature of habit and change has not always been something I embraced, but at this point in my life, I find my defenses weakening against the new. In fact, I desire it!
Lord do a NEW thing in me! I’m tired of the old way. I’m tired of the insecurities and doubt that I’ve stored up in my heart for decades. I’m tired of the crippling fear and feeling left out of life. I’m tired of questioning every step on this crazy journey and doubting your love for me. I’m ready for a new thing!
I’m tired of struggling with the same sin. Hurting my friends the same way. Getting frustrated about the same things. I’m sick and tired of making excuses for my sin. I’m sick and tired of falling back into my old habits. I’m ready for something NEW!
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19
Lord change me. Don’t let me stay the same. Shape my heart. Make me into something new. Cast off these chains that have weighed me down.
I choose to trust in you!
This is just the beginning…

Friday, October 3, 2014

Joy and Hurt

What do you do when you feel like you have been robbed of your blessings?
I’ve made it known to just about everyone that knows me that I love children and I always have. That all I’ve ever wanted to be in life is a mom. When I got diagnosed with cancer that was the first thing I asked the doctor. “Will I still be able to have children?” At that point the answer was “yes.” Then with the failure of my first treatments, the answer became “maybe, but let’s harvest your eggs to be safe.” With each disappointment and failed treatment the answer is pretty much “no.” or at least “not any time soon.”
When I reached the only remission I’ve ever had, I was so excited because I thought I could begin my two-year count down. The doctors say you should go two years being cancer free before trying to get pregnant. I thought about it so much during my transplant. I could wait two years and then if we needed to use my harvested eggs we would. Waiting would be hard, but in the meantime I could fulfill the dream I’ve had since I was a child and be a foster parent. I could take care of little babies who needed my love and maybe we’d even be able to adopt one. I had it all planned out. . . . And then I relapsed again . . . . And my heart broke into a million pieces again.
Just like so many women who want to be mothers but can’t, I’ve watched person after person become pregnant and have children or become foster parents or adopt babies. People younger than me and older than me. People who have been married a smaller amount of time or who have children already or weren’t planning it or had planned it for a long time. People I truly love and deeply care for and want good things for them.
The feeling is truly a difficult one to describe. I do have joy for my friends who get to see their dreams come true. I want them to have these miracles and blessings. But every announcement, every baby shower, every comment about sleepless nights and baby names causes a pain so deep in my heart. A longing that I just can’t put into words. I am happy for them, I truly am…but the desire to be a mother as well is just so overpowering.  I want a baby too. I want to know what it's like to love someone that way. I want to know what a baby kick feels like and what it feels like to see my husband love a child that much. I want to fulfill the call I’ve always felt on my life to care for a child, to rescue orphans.
My thoughts go so quickly to unhealthy places.
Why is it that so many around me get to be parents and I don’t? What did I do wrong? Wasn't I wired for this? It feels like the blessings I’ve asked for, hoped for, and prayed for have been given to everyone else. I feel like Esau running to Isaac expecting his blessing and hearing the words “sorry I’m fresh out. I gave it Jacob.” It’s like God is saying to me, “I gave all the babies away while you were busy with cancer.” It’s stupid I know, but that’s what it feels like. Where’s my blessing? Where’s my healing? Where’s my happy ever after? I don’t want this story, I want a different one.
There’s a lot of flaws in this way of thinking and I’m sure a ton of sin. I’m broken and I don’t know why God has allowed my life to look like this. So I have to do that thing where I try and remember what’s true. What do I know that’s true?
~I know God is good and He has a plan for my life.
~I know His ways are better than my ways.
~I know He can redeem any situation, no matter how bad.
~I know even now He could heal me and restore back to me what has been lost.
~I know that just because other people get to live my dreams, it doesn’t mean I don't get to as well.
~I know that God’s timing is not my timing.
It still hurts. I don’t know how to make it not hurt. But these things help.
I don’t want to make any person who is pregnant or is going to be pregnant feel bad. I would never want to steal the joy away from her blessing. Trust me, if I were pregnant, I would want to shout it from the rooftops and talk about it every waking moment! I would put posts on facebook and take pictures and do everything that I could to celebrate. I never want my friends to feel bad for doing those things. And I want to be included in those baby conversations and those joyous moments. But the pain and the joy are so deeply intertwined.
So how should the multitude of women out there who get to be mothers act around those of us who don’t and desperately want to? I don’t know exactly. I know I’m not the only woman who feels these feelings or has these thoughts. I know I’m grateful to have a few people in my life that listen when I’m hurting and try to understand, but don’t exclude me from their joy. You can try to understand their pain, but know that you never really will. You can be sensitive to their hurt, but don’t leave them out because that hurts more. You can pray for them and hope for them and believe for them and Lord willing rejoice with them when their day comes.
I know that you should never apologize to a barren women for being pregnant. Just like you should never apologize to a single person for being married or a sick person for being well.
It’s hard not to feel like my blessings have been given away. But the truth is they're not mine. Just because I want them, doesn’t make them mine. God is the giver of all good things, and He chooses who to give good gifts to. Truthfully, I don’t deserve them or any blessing for that matter. My sins mean I deserve death. Jesus gave me the ultimate blessing when He died on the cross for me and allowed me to have life.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8
I am blessed in so many ways. I consider it a blessing to be able to minister to and love on the children at church. I consider it a blessing to be an “aunt” to the babies in my lifegroup and close friends. It’s just hard to see sometimes when the things you’ve prayed for, hoped for, and believed for still haven’t come to fruition.
Lord please heal my heart and the hearts of those women who struggle like I do. Fill us up so completely with joy that there’s no room for hurt. Help us trust completely in you during the drought and allow us to bear fruit even when the heat and hurt try to choke us. Forgive me for feeling like I deserve something that you have chosen to give to someone else. Please use my story to bless others and allow my pain and heartache to mold me into a person that is more like you. Please heal me and redeem my life. If it’s in your will, allow me to be a mother to some of your precious children here on earth. Amen.
New York Update: My second treatment went well. They gave me Benadryl and Tylenol which prevented any more reactions. It made me very sleepy, but at least there was no sneezing or back pain or chills!
I actually had the week off this past week which has been a much needed break. I go to New York next week for a CT scan to see if the tumors have shrunk at all and to get my third treatment. Pray that everything goes smoothly and the results of this scan are good! As much as I hate being away from home so much, I would love for this treatment to be the one that works!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

New York Trial Treatment #1

So I originally wrote this post while flying home yesterday, but for some reason it didn't save, so I'll have to remember as much as I can!

The first thing I want to say is....


Thank you to Brad and Julie Raby for being such amazing friends to us. Not only did they help tremendously with David's birthday party last weekend (BTW my husband is 30!!! Wow!!!) Not only do they watch our dogs for us whenever we travel. Not only are they super fun and supportive friends. But now they have set up a website for me and my cancer journey at You can get updates, access this blog, and donate money to help us with the financial burden of traveling to New York every two weeks over the next two years. Thank you Brad and Julie!

Now I want to say a big...


To all of you that have donated money. I can't tell you how truly humbled I am that so many people would be so generous. We have almost reached our goal of $10,000 in just one week. It blows my mind!!! You all are amazing!

And now for an update...

This week I traveled to New York to receive my first treatment on this Immunotherapy trial. I wasn't anticipating a lot of side effects because this is not chemo, but I did face a lot of anxiety. There are always unknowns when you put a new drug in your system, and seeing the infusion rooms and IV bags brought up a lot of emotions in me that I wasn't expecting. Almost exactly a year ago on David's birthday, we heard the word "remission" and thought this cancer journey was on its way to being over. Almost a year ago is when I got what I hoped would be my last chemo treatment ever for my transplant. Starting a brand new treatment that could last for two years is overwhelming.

But I got over it and began the first infusion...and then I started sneezing. I can't make this up people. For some reason, my body reacted to this drug by sneezing uncontrollably. The nurses were all laughing about it and we continued the infusion, sneezes and all. When the infusion stopped, the sneezes stopped.

Then we did the second infusion and it went fine...until we left the clinic. Then I had intense lower back pain and the chills. Apparently this is what my body decided to do with the second drug. Some Tylenol and a nap later and I was fine, and I feel great now!

Please pray that these reactions don't continue and more importantly that this medicine WORKS!! I believe that this treatment could be what the Lord uses to heal me and I won't let go of that.

Also please pray for strength for me as we continue. Traveling to and from New York is going to be a challenge. Once again cancer is taking over my life and stopping me from fulfilling the dreams in my heart. The traveling is already starting to wear on me and we have just begun!

This was my week.

Drive 2.5 hours to Nashville
Wake up at 4:30 and drive to the airport
Fly to the New York
Take a bus to the Subway station
Take the subway to the city
Get treatment and stay two nights in New York
Take the subway to the bus station
Take the bus to the airport
Fly to Nashville
Drive 2.5 hours to Knoxville

Phew! I have to do this every week for the first month and then in the long term we will go every two weeks. The schedule is very specific as we go through different phases of the trial, so I will keep everyone posted.

Thank you for your prayers and support. It's so hard to keep going sometimes and keep a positive attitude. Please help me still believe that God is for me and has good things for my life and wants to see my dreams come true.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

To be a burden

So I haven't updated the blog in a long time for a few reasons.

1. Things have been up in the air for a while now. Watching and waiting for 6 months has been a nice break from treatment, but when you get to this point of cancer, you truly don't know what's coming next.

2. It's been an emotional roller coaster and I haven't wanted to make myself vulnerable all the time.

So here's the scoop. After radiation there was a very small spot that showed up in my abdomen proving that yet again, the treatments we tried just were no match for this ridiculous cancer. At that point we went to Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York to see one of the top Lymphoma specialists in the world. He said it was too small to do anything about and we needed to wait for it to grow large enough to biopsy. The next scan showed that it had grown and spread, but it was still too small.

While we were on vacation in New Jersey, we hopped on a train and headed over to New York for another scan. At this point it had grown large enough and our doctor recommended a trial for a new drug. We had a month to complete a biopsy, bone marrow biopsy, pulmonary function test, and bloodwork and were to come back last week and start the trial.

A week before we were set to come back and had completed all of the arduous tests, we get an email from our trial nurse that I had been disqualified from the trial due to the order in which I had received some of my treatment over the past two years. It was something they overlooked. They thought I could get into another similar trial though and said to come to New York anyways.

The scans and tests that I had done have expiration dates for trials so we knew time wasn't on our side. We got to NYC last Monday and saw a new doctor and heard about a new trial. This one combines the previous drug with another one. It's immunotherapy and had been very successful with other cancers. Basically they take down the defense system of the tumors and then amp up my immune system so it will learn how to kill the cancer. We were excited about this, the only catch was that my scan was expiring a day before we could start the drug.

We scheduled a new scan and extended our trip to Friday and planned to start the trial on Thursday. The only thing we were waiting on was my biopsy results from Vanderbilt. They were supposed to come in the next day.

While we are waiting for the scan, the clinic calls us and says they recieved results from Vanderbilt but they were for a fine needle aspiration biopsy, not a core biopsy which is what they needed. We knew I had had a core biopsy done so we were very confused. My amazing husband fought for several hours calling back and forth between New York and Vanderbilt. It just didn't make sense. Why were they withholding the correct results?

We could not get the core biopsy results so we had to change plans once again. We had to schedule a new biopsy in New York and push back starting the trial until after that was done. They could not schedule me until this week, so we had to go home and plan another trip for the very next week.
We got a phone call later from Vanderbilt, and it turns out they did do a core biopsy but they performed the wrong test on it and it became unusable. It was their mistake.

So here I sit in a hotel room in New York about to go get another horrendous biopsy done. I'm set to come back next Wednesday and begin the trial that will require many, many flights to New York and time away from my family.

I don't know what to think after this roller coaster. I'm trying so hard to hold firm to the truth in God's word but I'll be honest, it is difficult!

I want to live. I want to have babies. I want to do ministry. I am SO TIRED of fighting this disease. More than that, I am SO TIRED of being a burden.

I am a burden on my husband, my family, my friends, my church family, and anyone who hears my story and feels sorry for me. I hate being a burden! I hate knowing that this stupid thing that I can't control is causing pain and heartache to the people that love me.

Every scan, every treatment makes me so vulnerable. And every time it fails, I fail. I can't help but think that if my faith was stronger somehow. If I was worthy of God's favor somehow. Then He would save me!

I know I can't earn God's grace or mercy. I know I don't deserve healing and can't do the right things to earn it somewhow. I know I can't manufacture faith. But then why are these things being withheld from me when I ask for them...when my husband asks for them...when my friends and family ask for them....

It is such a frustrating and confusing thing, however....

I will continue to praise the Lord for His ability to heal, even if He chooses not to heal me.
I will continue to praise the Lord for His mercy, even if He chooses to withhold it from me.
I will continue to praise the Lord for working all things together for good, even though I can't see that happening in my life right now.
I will watch my friends have children and accomplish goals and live out their dreams and rejoice with them, even though I'm stuck in this awful place with dreams crushed.

I will do these things because I have seen God do many mighty things. I have seen him provide and heal and speak to His children. I know there's still hope, even if it doesn't happen for me.

I'm tired of being a burden. I'm frustrated and confused. But I know the Lord is the carrier of all burdens and I pray that those around me can turn to Him.

"Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

That Familiar Feeling

Well...My miracle still hasn't happened yet. My breakthrough hasn't come yet.

And my wounded heart is beginning to believe it never will.

The new spot has grown from 1 to 2 cm but I have several new nodes that are infected.

The cancer is growing. The cancer is spreading.

I realize that I shouldn't be surprised by this. I mean our news is very rarely good. This journey has been one painful step after another. My cancer has grown when it shouldn't have and come back when it didn't make any sense.

I just have been holding onto this hope that God is going to do something amazing. That the results would defy logic and medicine one time. That I would undoubtedly know that my God had rescued me from this disease. But instead, we wait. Instead, it grows. Instead, it spreads.

I can't qualify for any clinical trials until we can do a biopsy and none of the nodes are big enough to biopsy. So we wait two more months and try again.

I didn't want it to grow. I don't want to have any more treatments. I foolishly thought that maybe, just maybe it would be completely gone and never come back. I wanted God to heal me and let me live and have a family. I wanted to continue with normal life.

I guess two months is better than nothing. I should be grateful for the many blessings I have and that God has kept me alive this long. But I can't help but feel disappointment again.

My hope is growing extremely thin. I know my God is able even now to heal me. It just seems like He's not willing. It seems like I will not ever escape this horrendous disease.

I will continue forward as we always do. My sweet husband just keeps saying "one step at a time." I'm just so weary and wish the steps would get easier instead of harder.

Thank you all for your prayers. I feel so foolish continuing to ask you to hope and believe with me that I will be healed on earth and have a family. But that's all I can do. I'm want to feel hopeful again instead of foolish, so hopefully that will come soon. For now I cry and hurt and wish things were different.

Thank you all for your support and love.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday's Troubles

Well, I have been meaning to write a post for a while, so as usual, I have about ten topics I feel like I could write about.

We'll start with an update. Our trip to New York went well! It wasn't exactly what we were expecting, but I'm glad we went. The Doctor was with us very briefly and basically said that the new spot I have is too small to biopsy so we have to wait and see if it grows. I go back in the beginning of May to scan and see if it's large enough to biopsy. If it is, we will discuss options then, if not, we will keep waiting.

Here's a picture of us at Wicked!

It has been really nice to have a break from treatment, but it's just still such a hard journey to be on.

Our situation is just hard. Cancer sucks. Suffering sucks.

I have been thinking more and more about the concept of suffering, especially as Easter is approaching.

Since we started this dreadful journey almost exactly two years ago, I have been told countless things about suffering.
Suffering is what draws us closer to God.
Suffering is what makes us more like Jesus.
Suffering is what allows us to think beyond ourselves.
Suffering is a reminder of our sin. Suffering is actually a gift from God.

I try to find comfort in these things, but the truth is. Suffering sucks. It's hard and it's terrible. I hurt. I'm disappointed. I'm mourning the things I'll never have. I'm struggling. Because SUFFERING IS HARD!!!!

I know that my suffering doesn't come close the the suffering that Jesus experienced. However, I think I understand this portion of scripture more now than I ever have before.

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42

I have begged and pleaded for God to just take this cancer away. If not for my sake then for David's or my family's or my church's. I am weary. I am worn. I need good news.

Today is Good Friday. It's the day Christ died for us. He went through the ultimate suffering. He was separated from God. Everyone thought that all was lost as He breathed his last breath.

I know the feeling. I've felt so helpless, so hopeless, so abandoned.

In this stage of my journey it's Friday. It's been Friday for a while.

But Sunday is the day we celebrate. Sunday is when Christ conquered death and miraculously rose from the dead. Everything that seemed to be on Friday was obliterated on Sunday! Literally all that was wrong was made right again. All that seemed so hopeless and lost and abandoned completely changed in one day, in one moment! Praise God!

I can only hope that one day all of my Friday woes and troubles will be obliterated as well. That just like Jesus, the things that keep me up at night, the tears and sobs that physically hurt, the fears and doubts, the begging and pleading for a different path, the pain I see on those that love me will all be but memories.

I don't know when my Sunday will come. Truthfully, I don't know if my Sunday will come in this life. But I have to hope and believe that my Sunday is coming too. I hope in a God who is constantly turning Fridays into Sundays throughout scripture and in other people's lives. My suffering is momentary. My anguish and hurt and despair is temporary.

I have to hope for Sunday, even though Friday is so completely awful.

If you are hurting. If you are suffering. I pray you can look forward to your Sunday. We serve a Risen Savior! The Lord did not allow Jesus to stay dead, and I don't believe He will allow us to stay in our suffering! Praise God for Sunday!

Lord please bring Sunday.

Monday, March 24, 2014

New York, New York

Well, we've been on a bit of a roller coaster since the last scan. I believed God was able to do something amazing. We thought the scan was wasn't. I can't tell you how frustrating it was to tell everyone I was in remission and celebrate and then find out the doctor missed something. There's a new spot. 

So instead of prepping for transplant, we are on our way to New York City to meet with one of the top doctors in the country for treating Refractory Hodgkins Lymphoma. His name is Dr. Younes and he is a leader on many clinical trials. We're hoping he has some wisdom and advice and can give us some options.

I'm so frustrated to be where we are. Most of the time I just want to scream! It's ridiculous that my cancer won't go away, it's stupid that my family has to sacrifice so much, it's unfathomable how much pain this disease has brought to the people I love the most. I want so badly for a God to heal me but He hasn't yet. I love Him and trust Him but I feel like He's ignoring our cries for help. I feel like maybe I just have to give up on my dreams.

In Scott's sermon on Sunday he talked about Timothy. One of the questions he asked was "what lies from the enemy are you believing that are keeping you from living out your dreams?" 

I've thought about this a lot. I have some pretty decent lies that run through my head a lot about why we are being prevented from living out our dreams. It's about to get real here people because here are a few if them. 

Maybe this is a punishment. Maybe I'm paying for something I've done.

Maybe I can't be a mom because I would be a bad one. Maybe I'm not a good enough wife or friend or daughter.

Maybe some cancers and depravity here on earth are just too big for God to overcome.

Maybe God hasn't healed me because my faith is too small. Maybe I haven't trusted Him enough. Maybe there's something deep down that's blocking it.

Maybe God won't save my life because it's not worth saving. Maybe more time on earth won't make a difference for the kingdom so He just wants to take me home.

And here is really the root of it all....Maybe God doesn't love me enough to save me.

Honestly, I struggle sometimes to recognize what is truth and what are lies from the enemy. And sometimes I'm so weary it doesn't seem like it even matters.

These lies will keep me from moving forward. They will paralyze me and there's no life and no hope in them.

I don't know why God has chosen this path for me and it hurts so deep in my core I don't know how to move forward sometimes. But I know He is sovereign and He does love me. 

Please continue to pray for a miracle for us. Pray for discernment and guidance and wisdom as we decide what's next. Please pray that God's voice would be louder than the enemy and that we would not give up on our dreams of healing, a family, ministry together.....a hope.....a future.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

He is Able

I know I've been quiet on here for a while. Since we got the bad news in December, life has been a whirlwind of emotions, holidays, radiation, work, church, grieving, researching, and a whole lot of praying. I have been in and out of some dark places and have pulled away from a lot of people.

There have been many times that I wanted to write a blog post about how I was feeling. About how unfair cancer is and about what it's like to watch everyone around you live their lives when you have the 1,000 pound weight of cancer bearing down on you and it feels like there's no way out. You feel so alone and left out. You feel so paralyzed. But I just couldn't do it.

David and I were so blessed to go on a vacation together to the beautiful Dominican Republic. We had a wonderful time, but even there the thoughts of what lies before me were hard to escape. I prayed a LOT and I came to a place where I knew I just had to let go. (cue cheesy Frozen theme song now) I had to let go of being a mom. I had to let go of living a long life. I had to let go of my hopes and dreams because they were just that, mine. This doesn't mean I'm giving up on living. It means I'm not the author of my story anymore. God is. I gave Him the reigns a long time ago and I have to let go of the anger I've had about how He's handled things the last two years. I had to let go. He may not want me to be a mom. He may let us have 10 kids! He may want me to come home to Him. He may want me to live for 50 more years. It's just not my call and I have to trust that whatever He decides it's the best thing.

It was great to do this. To let go of some of these feelings. But to be honest, it didn't make things that much easier when I got home. I had a few obstacles to overcome last week and we did a LOT of talking about my situation and what we would do next. It just seems so hopeless. By medical standards it kind of is. I felt more and more weighed down by that thought that there was no way out of this awful disease. More torturous treatment that probably won't even work or a torturous death....sounds fun. Not a lot of hope there.

Then a sweet lady at my church gave me Priscilla Shirer's book, God is Able. Now a LOT of people give me books and to be honest I have not read all of them, but something told me to read this book and I'm so glad I did. It helped me figure out what really had me upset and reminded me of the power of the God I serve.

Epesians 3:20
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."

If I believe that God is who He says He is, then I can't give up now.

I KNOW that God is able EVEN NOW to heal my body and restore my health.
I have always known that He was able. But I haven't always believed that He was willing. That that power would take up residence in me.
He would do those things for other people, but not me.

But this is a lie. God wants to heal me. He wants what's best for me. He loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me. It's not a matter of His love for me.

God is sovereign and He may not choose to heal me. He may not choose to give me a miracle. But I know that He is able and I have to trust that he will do what's best.

I have a PET scan on Friday. We will discuss the options I have left and probably make some really tough decisions.

I am asking that everyone who reads this will believe with me that God is still able to rescue me from this! Please stand in faith with me! Don't read this and pity me and think, "well she's probably still going to die." Read this and believe that I will live! Read this and believe that GOD IS ABLE and He loves me and wants what's best for me!!!

Please pray for for wisdom and discernment and a miracle. Thank you in advance!