Tag Archives: God

Of Blood and Hearts and Snowflakes

In the hours following Chase’s surgery, scans showed that there were some areas of fluid around his brains – pockets, if you will. I regularly flash back to those uncertain hours and the sick, tight feeling in my stomach as we waited and wondered if he would need to go back into surgery.
Those hours resolved in the same day with a second scan that showed no change and it was determined that the fluid could be watched and waited on as Chase moved forward in stable condition.
Chase -as we well know- continues in stable condition, but the January scans (when we received such good news) revealed that these pockets of fluid have changed: now, there is blood in them.
I won’t even begin to write on a technical level about things like “hematoma” that I don’t even completely understand, but I will reiterate this: Chase is stable. If there was an immediate or emergent quality to this issue, we would see marked changes in him.
Chase will, however, be having a repeat scan in a couple of weeks and will be meeting with his neurosurgeon to determine a plan of action. …a plan that I pray will in no way involve booking an operating room.
The wondering and the waiting. The watching anxiously and exchanging worried looks over his head any time he slurs a word or loses his balance. All of it tempts me to despair and curse the cancer…to throw up my hands and scream “This will never be done! This will never be better! There is no end to this awful disease!”
And yet…
In the middle of this past week, we learned that a little girl who shares our hospital lost her battle with cancer. Her name is Anna. She was 11. Somewhere, her family sits forever changed – doubtlessly reliving the awful moments when they were told that the chemo had done irreparable damage and the very hours were numbered.
I grieve for Anna’s family, yet I am truly thankful for her life’s reminder that I still hold a living and breathing child in my arms and that each second of life is a precious gift.
The day Anna died, I stood looking out the window over the bleak landscape and as I stood, snow began to fall. As I watched the flakes in the air, I was reminded that there is a sovereign God who crafted and knows each design of each flake that touches the earth and he knows Anna’s heart and Chase’s brain and all the whys and wherefores that I don’t and may never know or understand.
I want to tie this all together neatly… The blood pockets in a damaged brain, the chemo-ridden heart that stopped a too short life, the snow that fell and the insight with it. I don’t believe there is a neat or tidy way to wrap these hideous and beautiful things, but this …

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33-36 (New Living Translation)

Moment by moment.

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Five Years

Five years later…

My Dearest Husband,
As we pledged our lives to one another, we never could have known what was ahead. I know that these first five years are only a small dip into the well of blessing that the Lord has for us. As I write, I am reminded of the words we sang that day:

“Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide; strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.”

In joyful anticipation of growing closer every year…

Love,
Your Wife

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Cancer Days

Lake Michigan

Most days, the fact of Chase’s cancer is recessed behind the reality of simply caring for him and the rest of my family. However, there are some days when the cancer is heavy on me. Days where no matter how I think, pray, reason, or verbalize, my heart and mind are unshakably heavy with the weight of this awful disease and it’s toll on the ones I love.

This last week, I had a bad cancer day. On Tuesday, we found out the results of Monday’s spinal tap – that there were still cancer cells in the fluid. We had not expected them to be gone, but we had hoped. There was no status change in Chase or his treatment, but that news put the cancer back on me.

The heaviness stayed with me for some time and when I was finally able to escape the room, I took a walk and sat by the cloudy, windy lake – which seemed to mirror my mood.

As I sat, I opened the Bible app in my phone to Psalm 27 and read verses 13 and 14…

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord!”

What incredible words in a moment for which there was no explanation! Yes, I can wait…I WILL wait….why? Because I believe that I will see God’s goodness. Whether His goodness manifests in healing my son is for His mind alone at this time, but I know that He is good, and so I wait …

Moment by moment …