I appeal to you brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my [our] behalf…”
Tomorrow morning, Chris and I will head into the Avera infusion center for his 21st treatment. This is the last treatment before his next scan on November 14. If we knew the scan would reveal great results and allow Chris to stop the chemo, I’d feel infinitely better about drilling down for another week. But we just don’t know how God intends to write this story. We have no doubt He’s able to use Chris’s treatment plan, He’s able to do a miracle–but we don’t know His plan or His timeline. Our lives belong to Him to use and spend as He desires. At the risk of sounding whiny, I’m finding myself feeling homesick, threadbare and weary.
Yet I’m also feeling cared for and strengthened. Last Friday, despite the day being especially hard for him, Chris declared that we needed to have someone come out to visit to encourage and pour into me. Just his desire to take care of me went a long way to lift my spirits. Yet for some reason, I felt prompted to say, let’s just pray and see if God brings someone to us tomorrow, and if not we’ll make some calls on Sunday. So that’s what we did. The next morning, Saturday, I got a voicemail from my dad saying that he and my mom wanted to make a plan to come out in a week or two. I haven’t seen my parents in a few months, and we haven’t talked about a visit in weeks. Needless to say, his timely voicemail brought instant tears.
This morning I read the parable of the Good Samaritan (read here if you’re unfamiliar with this story) and immediately identified with the man lying on the side of the road, needy and utterly dependent on the compassionate care of the Samaritan. I felt God saying, Just let me take care of you. Trust me. My compassion and love for you far surpass that of the Samaritan for the stranger. These words are balm for my heart…and I also struggle to trust and believe them because I know the pain and suffering God sometimes allows even as He generously loves.
So I’m asking you, praying friends and family, to continue to pray for us–for our hearts to be courageous, strengthened and faithful as we wait and anticipate another scan. Please “strive together” with us in prayer, as it says in Romans 15. We need you. I have no doubt God will take care of us and that He is good, all the time. We want to pray with expectation and faith in His unchanging goodness. Will you also pray that God uses the treatment to effectively fight this cancer? We’d love to get really good results from this next scan.
In fact, I’m a little hesitant to share this last prayer request because right now it feels so outlandish, remote and personal. For several weeks now I’ve been praying that Chris would be able to go skiing this winter. I’m not talking ski mountaineering racing or skiing the Grand Teton after boot packing and skinning uphill like he did a year and a half ago, I’m just asking for some good runs on a groomer. For those of you who know Christopher, you know how much life and joy he gets from outdoor adventure, especially skiing. Obviously, this is not a need, it’s a want. But I believe God cares about those too, so I’m asking.
Lastly, this past week brought some extra smiles for us as I spent significantly more time than I’d planned making a “littlest bird in the nest” costume for Pippa…and enjoyed every minute (hour?!!) of it! She was definitely not the happiest bird in the nest when I first put it on her, but fortunately, she warmed up to it later in the day and seemed to enjoy trucking up and down the sidewalks and darting into people’s living rooms when they first opened the door, haha! We have a handful of retired neighbors who especially loved having her visit, and we enjoyed getting to know them better. Somehow, getting to create something and then watching our sweet little bird make neighbors smile significantly lifted my spirits. I’m thankful…for each of you who have been praying, sending emails, texts and love, for so many profound and great things God is and does for me, and also for felt and glue and cute babies : )!!
Clearly she takes “birding” very seriously, haha!