Eddy Christopher Lawrence

Today is a day of joy. A day of joy in a long string of days of joy. Some ordinary and mundane, some simply extraordinary. This week has been full of the extraordinary kind. But first:

Three and a half years ago…

The quiet of a rural dirt road lined with trees in Spring provided the space my heart needed to overflow, to break some more. Loose gravel crunched under the tires of the stroller as I pushed 10-month-old Pippa through the hardened ruts of the road encircling the sweeping green beauty of a polo field, tears clouding my vision. Already I felt like a stub of a vine, stripped away of life, bare, exposed and at the mercy of a Hand that appeared ready to take more.

I had already cried bitter tears after the loss of a stillborn son. Then more as cancer appeared ready to take my husband. Today’s tears felt selfish, but impossible to withhold. Today’s tears were for the children we’d never add to our family. The ten-year anniversary trip to Uganda we’d never get to take. These were not the greatest losses of the present, but they tore at my heart nonetheless.

I don’t quite remember what I prayed…probably a mixture of simple sorrow over new losses recognized and felt, and anger over the injustice of the sheer volume of losses that felt unique only to us.

Somewhere in the midst of that bone rattling stroller ride and my uncontrolled tears, a quiet voice spoke louder:

Those are not your dreams to close the door on. They’re mine. 

Truthfully, grieving them felt easier. I could let my heart drink the necessary draught and then lock up the door and walk away from that particular pain. Instead, to hold onto these words–to believe they were from God even, required my heart to remain tender to those desires, even as there was no promise of fulfillment given. Yet I could not deny that they had come from God, so foreign to the nature of the thoughts and feelings my own heart had been running on that day, and the sound of His heart so familiar .

And so we waited, and didn’t grieve and yet somehow didn’t assume there would be more children or a trip.

It feels strange to sum up so miraculous a story as Chris’s in just a few words, but the short of it is that there have been no signs of cancer since the initial months following his start of treatment over three years ago. We are humbly grateful.

If you read my last post, you already know that we decided to pursue another child two years ago. We started out optimistic and hopeful, but as disappointments piled up we grew increasingly more convinced that our family was complete. The statistical odds doctors continually gave us only confirmed this suspicion. The weary pursuit brought us to the place of finally saying, If God wants another life to exist–for all eternity–then He will make it happen. Truthfully our “odds” are 50-50; either he wants us to have another child or he doesn’t. 

He did. A positive test shocked us in February, and the next several months brought a mix of euphoria, white-knuckling, and unexpected medical complications. Physically, I felt great. I had energy, very little morning sickness, and very few pregnancy side-effects.

On paper, it was a high-risk pregnancy. I’ll spare you the list of reasons why, but most of the factors had thus far had little-to-no impact on how it felt like the pregnancy was going. The most relevant factor was placenta previa–a condition where the placenta randomly grows over the “exit route,” ultimately necessitating a c-section. Any natural labor could result in serious hemorrhaging. Initially doctors said the previa would likely resolve and didn’t seem concerned about it. I dismissed it as yet another on-paper worry to set aside.


It didn’t resolve and in actuality was complete. God was gracious to us as, in my ignorance, I was hiking in Colorado, moving furniture to prepare a nursery and carrying on with life as usual.

Until 32.5 weeks when I woke up to serious bleeding.

On the way to the emergency room tears spilled as I reminded Chris that we were within 24 hours of being at the same point in the pregnancy that we were when we lost Elliott, our first. Nausea threatened as I begged God over and over, This can’t be happening again. Please God, not again. 

A brutal 45 minutes later we heard the sweetest sounds of a strong, healthy heartbeat. More tears. Same crossroads, different trajectory. The mystery of God remains inexplicable. He takes away; He gives. His familiar grace carried us through each time.

Another mercy: my mom was in town visiting already, so she was able to stay with Pippa and help at home while I remained in the hospital for three days of observation  and then as we adjusted to life with me on bed rest.

From here on out every quiet, uneventful day and week felt like an achievement. It was a strange experience for me as I still felt great, yet found myself sitting on the couch receiving meals from friends, asking Chris to carry laundry for me, deciding whether going upstairs to get my phone charger was too taxing.

Anxiety mounted as I tried not to Google things like effects of premature birthhemorrhaging and placenta previa.

The morning the baby “turned” 35 weeks brought more bleeding. Back to the hospital, this time with the recommendation to deliver. My body was going into labor and waiting would be risky. An hour and a half later, Eddy Christopher was held up over the blue surgical curtain spread across my abdomen and our lives started all over again.


Five hours after he was born I finally got to go see him! Eddy was disconnected from most of these cords within the first few days.

Born weighing 5 lbs. 8 oz., Eddy’s lung were fine and he was able to breathe without oxygen early on. He spent the next 18 days in the NICU simply growing and waking up enough to be able to eat on his own. The days were a quiet, peaceful, (and yes, somewhat inconvenient) grind as I slept in the NICU to be present for feedings and tried to catch time with Pippa at home each day. Splitting time was hard, but wow. I was overwhelmed with relief that he and I both were alive and healthy.



While Chris, my mom and others were working overtime to keep things going at home, I often found myself enjoying the quiet space of our little room in the NICU, often overcome with humble wonder at the tiny boy snuggled on my chest. Who are we to have such a gift? How can this all be real? God, will you do the same for our still-waiting friends and family? You are surely able!

If it weren’t so cold out, I think I’d like to go back to that dirt road around the polo field and take another lap, praising the God who holds both my dreams and disappointments, dealing kindly and justly with both. 


When Pippa first came to the hospital to meet her brother, she decided it would be important to wear her veterinarian costume to be safe :).


“Mama, I’m going to marry Eddy. Just for special.”



Finally home!!


This boy wants to be HELD!!!


Happy to oblige!



Speaking of Nests…

I feel a bit like Mole in the beginning of Wind in the Willows, just popping out from his winter hole at the beginning of spring after a long hibernation. Not much is told about his life below in the winter months, the story just picks right up and moves forward as he meets Rat and the two embark on a river adventure, Mole’s first time in a boat.


One of the highlights of winter for me was reading Wind in the Willows with Pippa, usually in front of the fire with warm milk and honey. If only every winter moment could be so ideal ;)!

And so, here I am too, popping back into this blog after a long hiatus. Rather than trying to recount all the happenings of the last year and a half since I wrote, I’m here simply to write about today.

Today we are back in Crested Butte for our family’s third Rocky Mountain Adventure with Lifelines, the outdoor network of Cru. Earlier today Chris went on an 20-mile training mountain bike ride (at 10,000″ elevation). He’s training for the Dakota 5-0, a 50 mile mountain bike race in the Black Hills later this fall. He recently got back from two days of guiding students down record-high levels of rapids in Browns Canyon, CO. I, on the other hand, spent the morning moving between our couch and dining room table, planning a simple, family birthday party for Pippa’s 4th birthday.


My mom paints a scene representing the theme of each year’s birthday party on every grandchild’s birthday tablecloth. Pippa’s theme this year was Brambly Hedge and Beethoven.



She’s quite proud of being four!

Little snapshot update about Pippa…given the opportunity she will dress herself from head to toe in all pink, doesn’t go a day without two clip bows in her hair, she is just about as passionate about skiing as she is violin music, her attention span for coloring/art is about two minutes (Argh!), she’s obsessed with Itzhak Perlman, and her favorite indoor activity is creating “nests” or houses out of anything and everything she can physically lift and move. She also likes to do what I call “gathering.” Basically this explains how my pot holders end up stuffed in a lap top sleeve with coasters, a ball pump and a Thomas the Train engine. Doing preschool one day a week with her this past year was the highlight of my year. One of her favorite phrases these days is “Speaking of…” Sometimes she’ll use it in a way that works, and sometimes she’ll transition from a conversation about needing to finish her dinner to what she really wants to talk with something like, “Speaking of playing outside…”

Speaking of “nests,” our is about to get a little bigger. About a year ago, Chris and I began asking the question, should we? We’d always planned on adding more children to our family, but cancer has a way of changing things! We knew that it would be a more medically involved process because of medications, my high-risk factors, etc. At first, the question seemed ridiculous: our future as a family is still too unknown, there might be inherited risk factors, what if, what if, what if. Underneath all these questions, though, was a persistent whisper: I have called you to be people of life and hope, not death and fear; will you trust me and take another step toward life? Once we settled in our hearts that, even if our world came crashing down and our worst fears were realized, God would still be enough, we were ready to say yes. We started down the fertility treatment road feeling optimistic and confident. But after a year of constant disappointment and repeatedly nodding as medical professionals told us, “Your odds of success at this stage are really only about 15%” (and let’s just say we had to land in that 15% category about four consecutive times for us) we moved ahead only because we were certain we needed to take steps toward life in faith…not because we were certain we would actually have another baby.

Friends, God has been abundantly generous and kind to us once again. We are expecting another baby—a boy—in early November. We are still shocked. We shouldn’t be—the gospel itself pulses with an infinitely greater joy in generosity to the most undeserving. So here we are, sinful, broken people who are once again left with nothing but small words with which to express how we feel to our great God: You are kind. You are mysterious and inexplicable. You’ve given us life, opportunities to be life-givers, children we never expected, and most of all, yourself. We see you. Use us for your glory, and may we never stop saying thank you!


We had the nurse at one of my appointments put either a blue or pink balloon into a gift bag so we could find out the gender at home as a family.

While we often feel like we’re floating above the clouds like this little blue balloon, I also think of friends and family who’ve recently lost babies, had to come to terms with disappointment after long-held hopes of a baby, or are still in the grueling process of waiting and hoping. And I’m just moved to tears. God is inscrutable and mysterious and generous and compassionate. I see these truths in our own lives and in the lives of the people we love. So within our own story, I tread gently to a place of gratitude, deep joy, and insatiable wonder.

In fact, this time of year always carries us to places of deeper reflection than usual. Pippa’s birthday–another year forward. Elliott’s birthday just a few days later–another year past. Probably like most moms, I find Pippa’s birthday to be bittersweet. Three-year-old Pippa now permanently in the past, but each new year has brought new joy and new amazement (new challenges, of course, too) and I have loved watching her grow up.


Two peas…

Elliott would be five today. All the books said that “resolution” usually comes at the four-year mark. For me, it still feels complicated and tender. This was the first year I didn’t think to look at July 3rd right away when we got our schedules for our time here in Crested Butte. I felt okay about that. We don’t always visit his place at the cemetery when we’re in Colorado Springs, and sometimes I don’t even remember to. But then there are times when the longing to be there and connect with him is fierce, and my heart aches with the thought of him and the way losses of memories with him keep accumulating as time passes. Talking about him still often brings me to tears.


My mom spent a little time with Elliott around his birthday this year. It helps tremendously when others remember him and visit when I can’t!

I think of him every single timesomeone casually asks, So is she [Pippa} your only one? or How many kids do you have? Early on, I’d explain even to strangers in the park that we’d lost our first to stillbirth. To answer otherwise felt like a betrayal and was worth the inevitable awkwardness or abrupt redirection of conversation. Anymore, I don’t share about him unless it feels right or comfortable. But I have yet to absorb the question without the sting, and even some guilt in answering that Yes, Pippa is our only one. I’m still deeply proud of Elliott. As weird as it sounds, I wish you all could have seen his cute face and the way he and Pippa looked so much alike as infants.

So where do I go, today especially, with this swirl of emotions? The joy of a new baby to anticipate; the ache for those I love still waiting or grieving; the celebration and sting of a child another year older (pink balloons still scattered around our house); the love for the boy we’re still missing. It’s all too much for me, so I turn to the Good Shepherd and ask, Sit with me a while today? I just want you near. And it’s enough. More than enough.



Joy Found Above Ground

I guess I’ve become a little gluttonous—for a few months now we’ve been living above ground, breathing clear, wide-open air, and taking advantage of the fullness of life we’ve had restored. I suppose I haven’t wanted to return to this blog, its roots so deeply hidden in the soils of heartache, suffering, and hard-fought, gritty hope.  For so long we felt like coal miners living in deep, dark spaces distinct and distant from the ordinary pace and activity of life above ground, awash with light and fresh air and options. Ours was a small cart on a solitary track moving ahead in a single beam of light. Weekly rounds of chemo; the ebb and flow of nausea, fatigue and insomnia. Focus only on the quiet voice of the Shepherd turned Coal Mine Guide. Silence the noise of cancer text books. The internet. Others’ stories, so tempting to overlay on our own. It’s quiet underground and not exactly scenic, yet as my friend Julie pointed out, deep down in those caves are gems and veins of hidden gold if you have the patience to mine for them. And she’s right. I’ve seen first hand the beauty of those places in the dark.

Yet little by little, since this past spring, the tracks for our small cart began to slope upward. We felt a gust of fresh air when doctors finally released Chris from chemotherapy in March. A haze of light filtered in when our gift-house came along. We began hearing faint sounds of life above ground when Chris’s spring scan came back clear. And then our cart shot straight up out of the mines and into the blaze and ruckus of summer when we arrived in Crested Butte, CO, for a summer mission. Pippa turned two and we celebrated with bunny ears, shakers and dancing.


Pippa, how old are you now!


Two fingers can be tricky! She sure had fun adding sprinkles herself :).

At first the intensity of the lights, sounds and clamoring activity overpowered our senses and atrophied muscles, leaving us breathless and scrambling for a quiet, even dim, retreat. But that clear air, the quickened pulse in our veins as we stretched and pushed our muscles uphill, the freshness of a friend and colleague’s idea, the remarkable beauty of a student’s life story kept our feet moving above ground.


Priceless moments with students


Putting those atrophied muscles to the test!

In June another blood test revealed 0% mutations. No signs of cancer. In August another scan showed healed bones and an even deader, more shrunken “cancer scar” in Chris’s liver. The miracle that began taking shape last year with threads fragile as silk started thickening into cords we could swing out on.

Pippa LOVED her eating her very own ice cream cone for the first time after Chris’s great report in August:


Chris surprised me with a day with friends for my 40th birthday in July

September found Chris hauling 100 plus-pound river rafts and guiding students through whitewater; passing his climbing guide recertification with the highest score he’s ever had. In October we celebrated his birthday (belated) with a long weekend in the Black Hills, of course scaling towers in The Needles and exploring the mysterious chalk hills and buttes of the Badlands.


Chris continues to be the poster child of the Avera Precision Oncology department, and we were surprised to read a recent article about him in their annual report in which they said, “With his cancer in remission, the family is currently living life to the fullest…” Wait. Did they say remission??

Chris, did your dad write this? (Chris’s dad has begun helping the Avera Foundation raise money to allow others to receive the kind of personalized treatment Chris has had and to make genomic sequencing standard of care.)

A phone call or two later we learned that this word, this miracle, came from Chris’s genomic oncologist, Dr. Leyland-Jones. After googling the definition of remission a while ago, Chris and I had begun using this term ourselves, but what a game-changer to hear it from a doctor and see it in print. I guess it was about a year ago that he said, “We might be able to eradicate this once and for all.” This is a new season.

Here’s a 3:27 minute clip from a South Dakota Public Broadcast featuring Dr. Leyland-Jones and Chris:

Just last week we celebrated our fifth anniversary a little early by gorging on climbs and hikes and canyons in southern Utah. Chris still struggles with neuropathy (numbness and nerve pain) in his hands and feet, a slow-healing side effect of the chemo. And yet, he managed to hike 20-30 miles, down-climb miles of uneven boulder gullies, ascend a blank rock face and overhung roof (with nothing but a rope, sling, and a couple prusiks for those climbing nerds who care) to dislodge a rope, and lead four different rock climbs.

While all these physical accomplishments are astounding, what’s most remarkable and meaningful is the gift of restored joy and freedom. I wish I’d been able to record Chris as he made his way up the rock wall on our first day of climbing in Utah. His repeated shouts of, “YES! This is just so fun!!” and “WOO HOO!!! I can’t believe how great this is!!” echoed throughout the valley below us. After three exhilarating climbs the sun hung low just above the horizon. We looked at each other and said, “Yes. We have headlamps, let’s do one more!” We grabbed our gear and scrambled as fast as we could to a nearby 5.9 climb. We made it up just as the last cloud turned from pink to grey, and even managed to get back to the car before headlamps became a necessity. It was a day suspended in time—pure joy untouched by all the muck and grime of the past and free from the unknowns of the future.


The next few days the same momentum of joy carried us along as we rappelled through canyons in Zion National Park, sat in wonder overlooking Bryce Canyon National Park, hiked through a slot canyon in Escalante National Monument and enjoyed long, uninterrupted conversations about the past five years, our marriage, Pippa, and the future. We started each day echoing the praises of God that we read in a Psalm and then thanking Him for being so merciful, generous, loving and kind. We ate In-N-Out burgers, we ate Thai food, we ate a bag of honeycrisp apples. We slept in and read books.

We came home with full hearts and a little bit of warm sunshine trailing behind us as we stepped into the 20-degree chill of Sioux Falls last Friday. And now we continue walking in the steps God has assigned for us–returning to work, to Bible Study Fellowship, to MOPS, to our Eritrean friends, and to our community. It feels good to be looking outward, to be finding new ways to serve. I’m planting spring bulbs; Chris started going to a weekly cycling (spinning) class with a friend.


Meanwhile while Mama’s working…Pippa is industriously grinding Play-doh into her clothing and the cracks in the floor :).

Today we celebrated our official anniversary by going out to breakfast, watching our wedding highlight video and playing with Pippa on the living room floor. If I could go back in time to this day five years ago, I would choose Chris and our life together all over again. All of it—the highs and lows that have taken our breath away and all the even places in between. I love you Christopher!


The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” ~Psalm 16:5-6


Eighth Try’s a Charm

You know you’ve now made it harder for us to leave Sioux Falls in the future!

My sister Ellen laughed in response as we said goodbye at the airport and she headed back to Colorado following her week-long visit to Sioux Falls. Ellen is especially gifted when it comes to house projects, gardening and simply getting things done.


Lost in a sea of choices! (Notice the brown Before)

Over the course of a few weeks I had stumbled through eight different tries and a couple phone consults with my other sister, Emily, before finally choosing a paint color for our bedroom, and our giant weed-bed outside had left me paralyzed. And then Ellen came out, and within a week our bedroom was painted (including all the trim and doors) and sported a new chair and rugs, the weed-bed was cleared, plants were chosen and planted, and the rest of our landscape was tidied up and in order with a maintenance plan in place. And we managed to squeeze in visits to the Falls, the Butterfly Pavilion, and our favorite middle eastern restaurant, Sanaa’s. Like I said, Ellen is an activator.



Still a mess at this point, but no longer browwwwnnn!!!! I feel like I can breathe again!

Visible transformation is immensely gratifying; I’m always a sucker for before and after pictures. Yet one afternoon, as I sat back and watched Pippa “helping” Ellen dig out yet another tangle of carrot-sized roots (blasted broadleaf weeds!!!), I realized the memories we were making together in the dirt that week will be ones I’ll struggle to leave behind should we ever move from Sioux Falls. So many simple joys and conversations shared in clearing out knee-high weeds and replacing them with a swirling mix of vegetables, strawberries, Colorado blue columbine, a Pikes Peak penstemon, a blue hydrangea, and various other perennials. An old, one-eyed rabbit Ellen named Bunny Pete also kept Pippa entertained as he seems to have staked out our backyard as his retirement settlement.


Surveying the pernicious weeds (the Before)




The After: Seeds and plants planted, bunny fence in place (sorry Bunny Pete!)

Deep down I hope that one day we will move back to Colorado. But in the meantime, I guess I also want to do all we can to make it feel hard to one day leave Sioux Falls. Turning our new house into our home feels like a start.


The Butterfly Pavilion never disappoints





Mirth: Gladness shown by laughter

So where are you from?

For the past year, this question has thrown me. I long to cling to my status as a Coloradan, yet our stay in Sioux Falls has now stretched to more than a year. Chris and Pippa and I have felt like refugees, having left home, community, (my) family, and possessions over night, and lived temporarily at Chris’s parents’ house and later his grandpa’s. Meanwhile our rented home in Colorado and the life we left behind were waiting in limbo.

For a while, the future of where we should live has been unclear, until recently. The doctors have been happily surprised with Chris’s health, but even with continued clear tests, they want Chris to keep going with treatment for at least another year or two. We soon saw the writing on the wall: It’s time to move to Sioux Falls.

Living near Chris’s family this past year has been great, and we’ve come to appreciate both new friendships and renewed old ones, but we have had to grieve the loss of leaving Colorado. We returned to Longmont with heavy hearts in March and April, determined to pack up the house and say goodbye.


You never know what you’ll find when you pack up a house!


Coloring, or in Pippa’s case, eating, Easter eggs with the CO cousins

FullSizeRender (1)

On Thursday, April 6, Chris shared some verses with me in the morning that he thought were for us during our move,

“’You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:9-10

We affirmed again that no matter where our physical home is, our true home is with God, our greatest good. A few hours later, we took Pippa on a walk in our Longmont neighborhood and discovered a house that seemed to be just what we wished we could find in Sioux Falls. I loved the crabapple tree, Chris loved the two-story, pre-1950s style, and we both loved the fireplace and the idea of the greenhouse we saw (though neither of us have ever grown so much as a tomato!). Finding a house like that in Sioux Falls seemed wildly out of reach, considering these kinds of homes sell above asking price and often before even hitting the market.


That night, however, Chris’s parents called excitedly and told us they had found us a house! Long story short, a good family friend, in response to clear nudging of God’s Spirit, boldly went up to the door of a cute house and asked if by any chance they were considering selling. “Yes! In fact, we were planning to put it up for sale tomorrow at noon. Would you like to take a look?” Soon Chris’s phone was blowing up with pictures of a two-story 1940s house…with a crabapple tree in the front…and a fireplace…and a GREENHOUSE in the back!!

So, site unseen, we made an offer, and by the next morning, we were homeowners. This is the third time God has miraculously provided a place for us to live that has surpassed our expectations and been so obviously from him. What I’ve learned is that it’s not about houses, as much as it is about being loved by him. This house is simply a personal reminder that he sees us and hasn’t forgotten about us, that we are cared for and  not abandoned.

G.K. Chesterton, in his book Orthodoxy, writes as his closing sentence:

There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.

I like to think that on Thursday, April 6th, 2017, God’s boundless mirth surged and bubbled over in deep laughter as he gave so generously and specifically…and then watched the smiles on our faces grow as we unwrapped the gift of this day.

All I know is that more and more, I don’t care where my house is, I just want to be where He is!


The crabapple blooms were just starting to open up! (Notice the blue door, my favorite color)



A magnolia tree as a bonus!



Hidden Paths and Unexpected Joys

“Chris, do you think we have PTSD? After all we’ve been through in the past three years, do you think we should do something, go to counseling, go on a trip–I don’t know, what will it take for us to be rebuilt and restored?”

Chris thought quietly as our car sliced through the open expanse of South Park, Colorado, one of my favorite stretches to drive.


Oil pastel of South Park done by former TCA and JBU student Kenny Crane (see link below–he’s talented!)

My question came from a knotted, anxious heart, worried that we might somehow miss out on important steps that would keep us from getting weird (suffering often has a way of making one feel decidedly out of place in normal society) or help us stay healthy in spite of all the trauma. I long for us to feel strong and capable once more.

Again I asked, “What do you think it will take for us to feel filled up and whole again? I don’t think a vacation, no matter how spectacular, would do it. What we’ve experienced and are in the middle of is much deeper than a vacation.”

Scattered herds of antelope grazed the slightly snow-covered ground as we continued on, their beige and white coats just barely darker than the surrounding landscape.

“You’re right,” Chris finally responded.  “A vacation isn’t enough. But just as God has had a path for us through this impossible last year, he has a path for the way forward too.”

Simple, reassuring, true.

I felt my heart relax, realizing that again anxiety took control because I was trying to take control. And I don’t have to turn my panic into action right now. I can take a deep breath and consider the path behind us, letting the unmistakable signs of God’s past sovereignty refill me with confidence and hope that he will not now fail us.

A few recent examples came to mind:

Y-90 Update

In my last update I shared how God had already begun answering our prayers regarding this next, step in Chris’s outside-the-box treatment. Friends, as the days unfolded since I wrote, we experienced what I can only conclude was the surgically precise and omnipotent orchestration of God in our circumstances.

You may recall that we’d heard unusually quickly from our insurance that they were going to cover the three-part procedure. Our doctor described it as “too good to be true,” and yet we had the green light we needed, allowing the medical team and Christopher to move ahead, completing the first portion (preparatory phase) in late February. A week later, on March 6th, Chris arrived at the hospital for the second, and most important, part of the treatment only to be greeted by a flustered and panicking medical team who informed that a “mistake had been made,” and that somehow “Chris had slipped through the cracks.” Insurance wasn’t, in fact, agreeing to cover the medication. But the hospital had already purchased it, and it’s only good for 48 hours.

After a few hours’ delay, we talked with various people from the business office as well as the doctor administering the treatment. No one had a clear explanation of what happened (we have yet to hear one!), but they all strongly encouraged us, between embarrassed, effusive apologies, to go ahead with the procedure since we’d already come so far in the process. Oh, but could you please sign this form agreeing to pay $42,000 should the hospital not be able to iron out this small wrinkle with insurance? We had their verbal assurances that they would get it covered…but that signature was quite the elephant to swallow!

The procedure went smoothly, and we continue to pray that God makes it effective in eradicating the cancer spots in Chris’s liver. It usually takes 3-6 months for results to be evident in a scan, and so we wait.

In the meantime, here’s what I think: If a mistake hadn’t been made, causing Chris to “slip through the cracks,” we’d still be waiting on insurance and thus the treatment as our doctor originally predicted. And guess what; a few weeks ago the hospital called: “Insurance is covering the procedure.” I believe that since the mistake was likely made by someone in our medical team (possibly necessitating the hospital to eat the cost), they felt especially motivated to fight insurance on our behalf. I’m not sure they would have felt quite so passionate about getting it covered otherwise, haha!

So, while our doctor is still scratching his head about this “bit of a snafu,” I’m smiling at how easy it is to picture God stepping into the best laid plans of mice and men and causing them to go awry for our good and his glory!


Chris already wrote a great update about our spring break highlights, but I just have to add a few thoughts. When we first arrived in CO, our plan was to hammer out a big to-do list at our house in Longmont. We stayed focused for a few days, but found ourselves sinking slowly into sadness and the first stages of despair: it is so hard at times to be physically present in the Colorado life we’d like to resume yet know that we can’t reengage yet. So we fled south to Colorado Springs for a few extra days.


Kicking off Spring Break ’17 at Ivywild in Colorado Springs

The unplanned, early arrival allowed me to share with my sister Emily’s Moms in Prayer group on Tuesday, March 21st.  It was the first time I’ve gotten to share with a group, in person, about what I’ve learned about prayer during seasons of suffering. I didn’t realize until I’d just begun sharing that the 21st was the one-year anniversary of the phone-call-that-started-it-all. In reflecting on the year with these women I felt a surge of gratitude and wonder at God’s gentle and consistent care. How sweet of God to lead me to a place of praise and gratitude exactly one year later! And not only that, but when I finished, the group leader told me that each week as they pray, they focus on a specific attribute of God, usually one given to them as part of the prescribed curriculum they follow. This particular week it was God Heals.

God had more for us in store that afternoon, but I’ll let Chris tell about that :).


So, maybe it’s a little dorky, but not only am I super excited about spring (March 21st!), I was pretty proud of my new-found iPhone skills 🙂

An Over-the-top Gift

So Chris already shared about how we got to go skiing for two days and how that was an answer to an earlier prayer. I simply have to point out the incredible generosity and joy of God as a good father to us. When I prayed that Chris would get to go skiing, I imagined it would probably involve just the two of us, making a typical, exhausting 2.5 hours drive each way to one of the smaller, less expensive resorts we’d normally ski, and that Chris might only have energy for a few easy runs.

Instead, how like God to say, “No, I’d rather you share the experience with friends, in a beautiful home right next to the slopes of the biggest resort in the state, and Chris will crush those double black diamonds. Oh, and I’ll throw in a hot tub outside your bedroom too…and why don’t I throw in a second day at another resort for good measure as well.” So. I’m amazed and thankful, and I hope you are too.


The best kind of trunk is a trunk full of gear!


Divergence of the ways…guess which way Chris went, and which way I went!

Continuing Ahead

Not every day brings the answers to prayer that we hope for, or hot tubs, or double black diamond thrills. Many days continue to be mundane, a struggle against fear and for hope, a fight for contentment and against envy.  Sometimes the future still feels impossible and scary. It reminds me of times I’ve stared up at a sheer rock face and wondered how Chris would manage to find a route up. Yet little by little, I’d watch amazed as he’d scale up on imperceptible toe holds and hidden knobs. The way was always there. In my case, I often need a guide to point it out, but the route becomes clear along the way. It may not even be visible to those observing, but I can assure you, our Guide is with us, he’s holding our feet steady, and he loves us generously and joyfully. This truth makes the way through suffering more than just a matter of survival–we’re learning we can thrive too.


A few years ago at Shelf Road in CO; Photo credit: Daron Short

Check out more of Kenny Crane’s incredible talent here!

Promised Medical Update

It seems God has answered our prayers in ways we’ve hoped he would faster than we can solicit prayers :)! We are so grateful. Honestly, I can’t adequately express how grateful!

So here’s the update…

Last November, after another good scan and blood test, our genomic oncologist (GO) surprised us by saying they might be able to “eradicate the cancer once and for all” with further outside-the-box measures, but they wanted Chris to go another 12 weeks with clear results to ensure he was still on the right track. In the meantime, a bunch of doctors would meet to discuss his case and the possibilities. Some of the doctors are more textbook traditionalists and not as open to outside-the-box, so it wasn’t enough that our GO was up for these measures…the specialists performing them would have to be willing too.

My prayer was threefold: 1) That our GO would be present at the meeting to advocate for Chris (there was a good possibility he’d be out of town) 2) That the other doctors present would be willing to step out of the text book 3) That whatever option they agreed upon would be effective.

The answers: Our GO was present and the doctors were willing to try Y-90 (a form of internal radiation). Great news!

The next prayer was for favor with our insurance company. Our primary oncologist said there was little likelihood the procedure would be covered because it’s not FDA approved in Chris’s case, but that we’d still have to go through the 1-2 month process of pre-approving with insurance before we could apply to a foundation for a grant to cover it instead. (Oh, and the department that works with insurance just lost half their staff for various reasons so they’re especially backlogged). He estimated Chris wouldn’t be able to start Y-90 until April or May.

The answer: Because of the unexpected, early CT scan during Chris’s 24 hours in the hospital in Florida, we got a couple week jump start with insurance. Two weeks after starting the process, we’d already heard back from insurance…green light! Our primary oncologist initially said the news was “too good to be true, so we should follow up and double check.” They did, and the news was confirmed. Not only is insurance covering the Y-90, but we heard back in two weeks instead of two months! What a gift!!

Instead of waiting until April or May, Chris actually has the first of three outpatient procedures next Thursday (2/23). The first procedure is diagnostic, mapping things out, prepping, making sure Chris is a candidate (most people are, but there is a small chance he won’t be). Three weeks later, he’ll have one side of his liver treated, and three weeks after that, the other side will be done. We hear the side effects are minimal and it’s a procedure that’s been around for 15-20 years. It’s a rather anti-climactic procedure…future scans will still look the same (kind of like a scar), and we won’t have any new information. The effectiveness and value will be in the lack of recurrence in the future.

Thank you all again, so much, for walking with us. We hope you will take a moment to thank God for his great mercy and generosity to us. We know you will continue to pray for effective treatment and for that we are grateful!


Hiking with Pippa and the nephews in CO


Rest on all sides

“NO nap!” NO NAP!” “no NAP!” chirped a grinning little Pippa in her cutest sing-song voice when I walked in her room after (you guessed it!) her no-nap. I slid her crib a few feet over, back against the wall where it belonged and began picking up the stuffed animals littering the floor, each one a casualty of her resistance. Not only does she chuck her toys on the floor when she can’t sleep, but she rocks incessantly against the side of her crib. Sometimes the rocking seems to help her fall asleep, but sometimes it just sends her crib inching all over the room. I never know where I’ll find her bed when it’s time to get her up. After an unfortunate incident with some diaper cream I learned that I needed to baby proof the whole room, not just beside her bed!


Chris and I have had our own struggles with sleep throughout this journey as well. Sometimes he can’t fall asleep–for hours. Sometimes I can’t fall back asleep if I wake up in the night–for hours. Chamomile tea. Lavender oil. Magnesium. Foot rubs. A Dipper Full of Stars. That last trick is a children’s astronomy book I’ve read out loud to Chris countless times in the middle of the night. It’s amazing the way facts about the apparent magnitude of Serius can put one to sleep in the middle of the night! Yet sometimes even reading doesn’t work.

It’s frustrating. Especially when you know your whole next day is going to be dreadful as a result, but there’s just nothing you can do to force your body to surrender to that mysterious, yet delightful, sleep state.

Several weeks ago, after Chris’s November scan, I felt God whispering that the next stretch of time would be defined by rest. My task-oriented nature took this as my newest assignment. 1-2-3, Rest! Take all your anxiety, worries, and fears and just put them to bed and rest. If only it were so easy! Like Pippa rocking against the side of her crib with a duckie pacifier swinging from her mouth, I often find myself striving for rest, emotionally and spiritually. If I just pray more, determine to fix my thoughts on the good, miraculous and generous gifts God’s already given, or will myself to just stop fearing, maybe then my heart will be at rest and I’ll be able to float peacefully above the turmoil of our circumstances. Maybe then my chest won’t tighten and my stomach won’t sour when I think about upcoming blood tests or scans.


A gift from a SD niece and nephew…they had no idea how fitting a gift it was! (And yes, I do like a little tea with my cream and sugar 🙂 )


I see now that in many ways I’ve allowed myself to be like Pinocchio, a puppet with strings attached and controlled by Fear–each string a different manifestation of Fear’s hold. Each string a means of yanking me out of restful peace. Ever since we said goodbye to Elliott, I think I’ve viewed God and life through the lens of fear. What will God take or allow next?

After Elliott died, I remember wishing that I believed his death was just the result of a scientific aberration–the fault of nature.  Science is so much less personal. But instead, I had to turn my broken heart toward the One who could have prevented his death, but instead allowed my heart to be shattered.  Sometimes surrendering to Jesus is not a comfort for the weakest and most broken. It requires bravery and flint-like faith. It demands a decision to believe that who God is and what he says is truer than my crushed emotions.

The truth is, I have said Yes to God from the beginning. Choked it out in sobs, but then just as quickly taken it back and said No…You can’t. I can’t.

But I believe that God in his mercy tenderly scooped up my feeble, taken-back Yes, and gently whispered I still love you to my stubborn No. Then he took firm hold of those cords of fear and began cutting them one at a time.

When he said Rest, I don’t think it was an assignment; I think it was His gift.

Looking back, I am especially grateful for three fronts on which God has replaced a persistent fear with rest.

String One – Panic over Pizza Crust

He severed the first string early on when Chris and I switched to a healthier diet. Rationally I knew the healthiest diet wouldn’t be enough to combat his cancer, but it was the only line of offense within our control and subconsciously became life-or-death important.  The problem was that I’ve never really been interested in diet and nutrition, so when every bite suddenly mattered, I panicked. I didn’t have a wealth of prior knowledge to draw upon or time to research. We picked a plan to follow, but implementation was stressful. Anytime Chris deviated even a little (I’m talking a piece of toast when his stomach was chemo-queasy), or didn’t follow through with elements of the plan (forgot his supplements at breakfast once), my stomach would tighten and I’d be anxious-angry.

It all came to a head one night at the grocery store when I nearly had a panic attack over pizza crust. Earlier I’d discovered a crust mix with the “right” ingredients in it. But they were out and we were leaving the next morning for a trip to a remote cabin. I frantically read the ingredient lists on all the other options and felt my old friend Fear tighten his grip. Tapioca starch. I don’t know what that is! Rice flour. Didn’t I read something about rice and arsenic? Tears began to well up, but my vision remarkably cleared. This is ridiculous! I’m crying over pizza crust!  I quickly picked a mix and called my mom on the drive home.

All the lies I’d begun to believe spilled out in beautiful, freeing clarity. I’ve believed that if we don’t get Chris’s diet just right, he’s going to die. That getting it absolutely right is up to me because I’m the one buying and making our food.  So essentially, if I don’t get the right pizza crust, Chris is going to die. Saying it aloud quickly neutralized this lie. My mom also reassured me, God would never put that burden on you–especially when he hasn’t equipped you for it. You grew up on hot dogs and mac ‘n cheese for crying out loud! You just do the best you can with what you already know and trust Him with the rest.

When I got home, I spilled more tears to Chris, asking him to forgive me for being so obnoxious and irritable about his eating. After all, he really was doing his part in sticking to our new diet as best as he could. We prayed, and snip-snip, the food-fear string was gone for good. A colossal weight was lifted and replaced with a lasting sense of peace about our approach to eating.

String Two – The Diagnosis

Freedom from the power of Chris’s diagnosis came a few months later. I wrote about this at length in a previous post, but essentially, in a moment, God freed me from the chronic torment of the words cholangio carcinoma. Those words had left me breathless with despair countless times, until finally, the name of Jesus Christ! filled me with courage–cholangio carcinoma may be a fearsome foe, but ultimately it too must bow the knee to Jesus, the all-powerful, all-loving. Again, another cord cut and newfound freedom and rest settled its place.

String Three – Pride in Performing

If there’s a way to transform good news into a new reason to fear, believe me, I’ll find it. In November, after our research oncologist surprised us by declaring, “We might be able to eradicate this cancer once and for all,” I immediately thought, Why us? Why would we, out of the thousands inflicted with this terrible disease, be offered such rare and inconceivable hope?! Over the next few weeks, I started realizing that I felt especially guilty about not writing more–not declaring the goodness and faithfulness of God as I should. I worried that I wasn’t spending more time in prayer.  I felt guilty about not be a better friend. I felt unusually concerned about our inability in this season to spend more time with neighbors or students, to reach out to refugees, to find ways to serve young women in crisis pregnancies, to help people living in poverty, etc. etc. etc.

A week or so into the Advent season, I read about those dirty, poor, humble, no-name shepherds and was struck by the fact that God chose them to be the audience of the most beautiful, life-changing display of Good News for all time–a host of angels filling the sky with their glory and choral declaration of hope, followed by an invitation to go see God in the flesh for themselves…to feel his tiny fingers curl around theirs. And then afterwards they went back to their sheep, no doubt as changed men, but for all we know, to continue their lives in obscurity. They didn’t do anything. 


Tears came (again), as I realized how bound I’d been by the fear that if I didn’t perform well enough, the mercy God has been showing us would end, or that our lives wouldn’t be valuable enough to God for him to spare Chris. Forgive me, Jesus, for believing I could somehow be good enough to manipulate your will. And thank you, thank you that I don’t need to do anything. Just be a shepherd and settle in on the hillside and watch in wonder and delight. Go see the baby and laugh in wonder at the gift. Return to my flock and rest in the greatest mercy ever given. Rest.

Surely goodness and mercy…

…will follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23: 6). And they have. God began giving me rest before He even whispered the word to my heart, and he hasn’t stopped. We spent Christmas in Colorado, followed by a week and a half on a beach in Florida. We got more good scan and blood test results as well as miraculous news about the next step for Chris just this past week. (Post following soon with more details!) My prayer is that no matter what comes, no matter how God chooses to answer our prayers in the future, these gifts of rest will be so rooted and grounded in his love that they will be unshakeable.

In fact, the goodness and mercy that astounds me most is the way Jesus continues to draw my heart toward his, to settle me in his love, and little by little, string by string, free me from fear so that my heart can begin to truly rest. 

The following are some snapshots of our time in CO and FL…images that only give a tiny impression of the rest and joy God freely gave during these times.


Coming home, and time in this cozy spot, was a given-rest that filled my cup!


Waiting (im-)patiently for her Papa to come out and play.


Sharing her “much” (milk) with an ornament

Another highlight for me was getting to spend a little one-on-one time with these crazy nephews!



Determination never looked so sweet!


A rare moment of pause in FL


“Bye-bye sun!”


Lawrence roads always seem to lead back to our favorite Garden!

The Thing about a Campfire

The thing about a campfire in the wilderness is that no matter how brightly it shines, it cannot turn the night into day. No matter how warm it is, it cannot change surrounding temperatures. No matter how high its flames flicker, it cannot eliminate potential predators outside its reach.

But a campfire in the wilderness can still mean the difference between life and death. It can’t change the circumstances in which it burns, but its presence is enough to stave off darkness and cold and to keep danger at bay.

This Advent season, the passages of the Bible that have meant the most to me have been campfire verses–ones about light entering into darkness. At first I was encouraged by them because of our own recent challenges. But this past week, our entire Lifelines family was shaken by a tragic plane crash that took the lives of three of our own–a husband and father along with two of his children, leaving behind a wife and two sons. As many have said, there are no words in the face of such a loss.

A few days ago, I read from Isaiah 9:2,6:

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone…For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given…”

Earlier in chapter 8 that same child is called Immanuel, which means God with us. Saturday I read more about God-the-Light with us in Luke 1:78-79:

“…whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Tragic losses, cancer, and constant stories of brokenness in the media, not to mention the pride and fear in my own heart, confirm to me that we are truly living in a “land of deep darkness.”  We endure a night we can’t turn to day, no matter how hard we try.  Yet like a tiny flicker, God became a baby and grew into a man who would sit in darkness and in the shadow of death with us . The brilliance of a galaxy condensed into the flame on the end of a matchstick in the wilderness–sent to offer the warmth and light of a campfire now, and the promise that one day the sun will rise and dispel the darkness and cold for good.

I can’t help but think of our friends, grieving hard in the shadow of death. I don’t always know exactly how to pray, but today I pray that they will know and feel the presence and comfort of Immanuel–that He will be like a campfire in a night that feels impossibly endless, just with them, faithfully providing enough light and hope to stave off despair. I pray that he will guide their feet into the way of peace. They may not sense that settled peace for a long time–the pain may be so acute and deafening. But I pray that He would put their feet on the path that leads to peace, rather than trails that ultimately end in more pain.


Many of their closest friends and family from the lower 48 are making their way to Alaska to be with them as they grieve and celebrate the lives of husband and father, daughter and sister, son and brother. Will you pray for the coming days and weeks as they walk through this Advent season together? Pray that friends and family would know how to weep with those who weep. To be little campfires in the wilderness. If you feel compelled to do more, perhaps you’d consider standing with the family from afar by giving toward a college fund for the two oldest boys here. It can’t change the loss they’re living with, but it might add a little security and comfort to experience love expressed in a tangible way.

O come O come Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer

Our spirits by Thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee O Israel.

Reconstructive Surgery

There’s nothing like suffering to squeeze you like a tube of toothpaste, revealing what’s truly inside. As I reflect on the 12 weeks between the first scan (Aug. 25) and the second (Nov. 14), I see a lot of the hidden gunk of my heart surfacing as well as a general dismantling of my hope.

While a diagnosis of incurable cancer for the one you love most may seem to be a reasonable excuse for many ugly things–bitterness, anger, fear, jealousy–it doesn’t change the fact that all these responses are a poison to the soul, as insidious as the cancer that prompted them. Each of these poisons has infected my heart to some degree throughout this experience. I find myself jealously longing for the normalcy and happiness I see in others’ lives (thank you, False Reality Facebook), simultaneously resenting their joy. I’ve seen my selfishness in all its heinous glory–resenting how much more responsibility I have when Chris isn’t feeling well, resenting what this cancer has cost me.  It’s painful to write and to share, honestly. But it’s true, and the foul truth doesn’t stop there.

For weeks since this cancer story began, Chris’s diagnosis, cholangio carcinoma, would slide through my mind or subconscious in the night and wake me up feeling like a knife had been stabbed into the base of my skull. In the daytime, those words would sneak up on me and land a heavyweight punch in my gut. Always, they left me in a cloud of dark, toxic despair. I felt helpless. And yet, I never questioned their presence because they were, simply, the reality of the diagnosis. I figured I must learn how to make my peace with them. After all, our oncologist had essentially suggested this after our first good scan in August. I’d thought that the doctors even thought that the experimental treatment Chris was getting had the potential to completely get rid of his cancer. But then our oncologist essentially told us that no matter what treatment Chris got, his was a “chronic, incurable” cancer. This was devastating. Hence, the continuation of the sucker punches and night attacks.

But then one night, in my sleep, when those words were viciously whispered again, I heard myself say simply, yet strongly, “No! Jesus Christ!!” Instantly, the venom was neutralized, I felt strong instead of crippled by despair, and all was quiet. I went back to sleep. It’s never happened again, night or day.

The next morning, I had to think about this. It was a weird experience for me. I’ve never thought of Chris’s cancer as some sort of evil, demonic, spiritual force. We live in a broken world, and no one is immune to its ills. However, what I realized is that I had allowed his diagnosis to become a powerful slave master that had absolute authority over my heart and spirit. I suppose in my heart I believed that cancer had the last word, even though I’d never have said so. However, after experiencing God’s Spirit in me rebuking that whisper, I know now for certain, that no matter the diagnosis, Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and that He always has the last word. Even cancer has to bend its knee and get permission.

Obviously, this truth raises the big question of why God allows so much suffering, including cancer. But that is a topic for another time. Today, it is enough for me to know that Jesus is in charge and that he is good. His great power has been the antidote I’ve needed for the fear and despair that was wreaking havoc in my heart and allowed a new hope to form–one rooted in Jesus rather than a medical house of cards.

A few weeks later, God further refined my understanding of hope. Chris and I have watched a handful of movies featuring courageous heroes facing impossible situations–Braveheart, Shawshank Redemption, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy among them. While watching The Lord of the Rings, I was struck by a profound contrast: while under siege and vastly outnumbered at Helm’s Deep, with countless orcs swarming over the hillside, a young boy asks Aragorn (a valiant leader and warrior) if it’s true that they  will all be dead by morning, as many within their camp believe. Aragorn looks him in the eye and says with great confidence, “There is always hope.” And of course, help comes unexpectedly and they are saved.

Image result for aragorn and boy at helm's deep

“There is always hope!”

Facing the same enemy, another leader, Denethor, listens to whispers and rumors of the enemy’s great might and chooses despair and defeat before the battle even begins. Ultimately, he commits suicide but later his city is saved and restored to its original glory. The question before me has been, will you choose to believe that there is always hope because Jesus is Lord, or will you choose the way of despair that can lead only to death?

Image result for denethor

Denethor on fire

It’s impossible to recount all the little transactions in an ordinary day when hope is refined and rebuilt. I’m washing dishes and a heavy sigh fills my heart. Deep breath. Choose to believe there is always hope. An unexpected side effect or symptom appears and despair tugs. No, Jesus is Lord. And over and over it goes, as God gives graces when I linger in the fear, and little by little he cuts away the disease in my heart and reconstructs it with something stronger and lasting.

If those 12 weeks were about hope, I feel these next 12 weeks are about restCome unto me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest  (Matthew 11:28). The holidays are so often the least restful time of year, and this season of life most definitely does not lend itself naturally to a restful soul. It’s a perfect time then to learn how to find my rest in Jesus’ power and love.

After Chris’s last scan (click here to read Chris’s update on that), we were happy that the scan showed continued healing in the bones, no spreading, and tumors in the liver that still appeared dead and had even shrunk a little. After we pressed him a bit, our oncologist did say that these results were “remarkable” and “beyond the textbook.” He did not, however, give us any reason to believe we had hope for anything beyond continued treatment of a chronic disease. A few days later, we met with our genomic oncologist, and like a backstage theater hand, he pulled a cord and the entire backdrop of our lives changed. “With further outside-the-box treatment, we may be able to eradicate this cancer once and for all.” Wait. WHAT?!!

Present at this appointment was also the oncology pharmacist (the cancer drug chemistry wizard) and the nurse practitioner. All three of them were smiling and expressing their amazement at how well Chris has responded to the treatment so far. Essentially, the best hope of traditional treatment is usually to keep the body stable as long as possible. In Chris’s case, the treatment has not only completely stopped the spread and allowed the bones to heal, it seems to have “walled off” the original tumor sites. In fact, it’s possible the treatment has already eradicated the cancer, but it’s not possible to know without looking at the tumors in a petri dish. As a result, Chris may be able to undergo a specific type of radiation or surgery to get rid of it entirely. The doctors would like Chris to have one more good blood test and scan (end of Jan/beginning of Feb) before taking action, but they seemed optimistic, and Chris has become the talk of the medical professionals at Avera. We are humbled, grateful and hopeful.

In the meantime, we’ll be doing our best to research the options and persevere in prayer that God continues to make the treatment effective so that we hear another good report. Chris will also continue treatment, though at a modified dosage and frequency. We’re still learning how to wait–in both hope and rest.

It feels incredible to hear words of hope from medical professionals, and we’re daily aware of and grateful for the unwavering hope Jesus is. Lord, help me to rest in the waiting even when it’s tempting to second-guess or doubt. You are our greatest hope!

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. 

~Psalm 25:5

Pippa’s Colorado Nana and Papa when they came to visit earlier this month: