Thursday, February 23, 2012

Who needs sleep, I can sleep when I'm dead

Insomnia is a symptom off and on since we started chemo nine months ago. Some nights I'm awake until 3 or 4 or 5. Some nights I go to bed at 9 but wake up at 10 and am up until 4 or 5. 

Last night I went to bed at 11 but woke up at 12. I knew I was awake, there was no going back. So I came out and laid on the couch after taking some heavy duty sleep meds. After about 4 hours of horsemanship shows and pawn shows (which aren't any better at 4 in the morning) I finally felt tired enough to go to bed around 4:15. Finally sleep. Then my alarm went off at 5:45. Ahhh men's prayer breakfast! Is there every a good day for one of those? How about not the day after chemo on about two hours of sleep?

I got up (against my wife's will) took a shower and got dressed. I was not completely awake at this time. I jumped into my truck and starting singing to my western gospel CD. When the roll is called up yonder, what a friend we have, the old rugged cross, etc. Half way to town I realized if I was going to make it through breakfast I needed God's help. I surrendered my frustration of not sleeping and prayed for energy and strength for the day. Incredibly the longer the meeting went the more energized I was. I felt great all morning. Down right jovial. A little weak physically but alert and sharp mentally. This lasted most of the morning and into the afternoon. 

Late afternoon I started to crash and all of a sudden a video project I though was due in a week or two we realized was now due on Sunday night. AHHHHH. I knew I couldn't do it on my own, with a staff member looking to me for guidance and I can start to feel my mind slipping. I prayed again, "Lord please give me grace for today. Guide my mind and my thoughts so I can lead Daniel to use his hands for you." It felt like a jolt of energy, of clarity of mind. I was able to focus and we got a huge amount done. 

Next was a meeting with a leadership team from my church evaluating how to fill some staff positions and where God is leading us. When my mind isn't working those thoughts intimidate me. I know what I want to say but often can't get it out, or say something that really makes it worse. Again I prayed before the meeting, and felt a sense of energy, alertness, and engagement in the discussion that was totally normal. 

All day long I've been afraid of not being able to fulfill my obligations because of mental lapses and fatigue. However it has been an extremely productive day. I have no idea how under heavy chemo and about 2 hours of sleep I'm still going strong. God's grace sustains me for simple things like energy and clarity of thought. There is a could of witnesses holding Kendra and I up right now and we feel overwhelmed by their goodness. 

It's been a great day, but I'm starting to get a little foggy now. Could you tell :)

What daily triggers are in your life that you need to surrender and ask for strength to overcome instead of trying to solve things on your own?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Here was my Facebook status from Sunday night:

I'm so glad that we chose to ask people for prayer this week.

Here are very, very specific answers to prayer that we've had:

  1. We felt more peaceful heading into these scans than I think we ever have before.  Sitting in the little room is always agony for both of us, and we were jovial and joking around the whole time.  My stomach only danced a couple of times inside my abdomen, instead of doing the cha-cha for 24 hours straight before the appointment.
  2. I had a meeting on Monday afternoon that went as well as I could have possibly hoped for.  I can't share details at this point, but praise God for the results of it.
  3. Ryan's scans showed that everything (tumors, blood work) totally stable again four weeks after starting the new treatment.  This is the best that I hoped for!  We have scans again in eight weeks and I'm going to throw my prayer energy into asking God for some shrinking of these darned tumors at that point.
  4. Our oncologist mentioned that there is a new chemotherapy drug in the midst of FDA approval right now that he is excited about with regards to the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.  I REALLY wish that I had asked him what the name of it is, but I forgot to. :(  If you read this and you're interested in learning more, I can get ahold of him and I'll ask for you.
  5. Ryan is continuing to get more and more inquiries on speaking engagements. He is speaking several times this upcoming month and we are both sooo excited about how God is using this trial in our lives to impact other people!  By my estimate, around two thousand people have now heard Ryan (and/or me) speak at various events, and we have now had over 75,000 hits from 8,000 unique visitors.  I'm not boasting, because this has nothing to do with us, two ordinary people.  I give God the glory for how He has turned a painful situation into a way for people to draw closer to Him.  If we have to walk through this (which we do, unfortunately), there may as well be some eternal value to it!
We are in high spirits right now.  It feels like life is moving forward, ever so slowly...and even though the future still remains a giant question mark, we continue to remain absolutely certain that we serve an all-powerful God who works miracles, and has plans to prosper us - not harm us.  He gives us HOPE and a FUTURE!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Nothing has grown, and blood work looks awesome!

More details to come.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy 26th birthday, Ryan!

Today my husband is 26!

(I very specifically remember some dark days this past spring when I doubted that my husband would reach this day.)

And he feels good today!  He looks great.  No, I'm not just being biased.  He looks exactly the same as he always has, handsome and healthy.

A recent picture of us.  Hottt husband.

I am so thankful for him.

Our celebrations are already pretty much over for his birthday, besides a quiet dinner tomorrow night with just the three of us in Chicago (more on that in a minute).  The BIG celebration was last weekend.  Last Saturday, I totally "got him" with a surprise birthday party!  Over fifty of our friends and family attended and it was a great time.  No, he didn't have a clue - I pulled one over on the world's biggest analytical mind!

"Ok, no more smiling...let's eat cake, Daddy!"

So now that things have quieted down, his actual birthday will be spent doing something very different than the norm: going to Chicago to get a scan done and to see what's going on inside his body.  Pray for positive news.  After last month's mediocre news, I could stand to hear something extraordinarily awesome & God-sized.  However, it's only been four weeks (two cycles) so I'm expecting not much will be different.

Please stop and pray for us today.  We ask for many, many, many more birthdays.  At least fifty more.

Then please do a couple of other things.

#1: Tell Ryan "happy birthday"! (You can comment here or else "like" his page on Facebook - look to the right panel of the blog and click "like" and tell him that way.)
#2: Share this blog post on Facebook, or send the link to a friend.  If you know of someone that would pray for us as we head into this week's scans, or you know of someone that could be encouraged by reading our blog, then please help us get the word out!  We need all the prayer momentum we can possibly get!

Monday, February 20, 2012

It's not easy being a caregiver.

So for all of the bravado about how I trust God no matter what He chooses to do, the pats on the back that I get for being so brave during this journey, and the compliments I get on writing blog posts, there is one truth that remains...

I'm just a normal girl, stressed out of her mind, living in abject fear of losing her husband.

I had a bad night recently. I was laying in bed and it felt like the room was spinning. No, I had not been drinking. I was conjuring up all sorts of thoughts about the future, about how alone I could be, about how hard my life could be, about how much I'm going to miss my husband if he dies, and also just how busy and hard the upcoming week was going to be...and it just got totally overwhelming.  I thought I was going to throw up.

So what did I do?

Naturally, I ran out of the bedroom and out to Ryan, who was engrossed in furthering his education via "Swamp People" or some equally edifying television show.

I cried and sobbed and snotted all over his shirt as I lamented how scared I was.  He listened and we had a great talk.  He shared scripture with me that brought me back to center. I felt a lot better. I didn't feel great, but better. He even turned off the TV and came back to bed to scare off any boogey monsters (or bad thoughts) that I might have.

But I couldn't help but think to myself...

What if there is a day when I don't have Ryan, and I can't run to him with my fears?

Oh gosh, thinking about that can make me sick to my stomach all over again.

But seriously...what if?

I'm not immune to this "what if" stuff.  It literally keeps me up at night.  I know that I'm human and that it's normal to have thoughts like that.  I think it's even excusable.

And I also know the decision that I'll eventually make, again, to trust God when things feel hopeless and like life is falling apart around me.  And I know that the grace that He gives is sufficient for today, and that I'm not to worry about tomorrow.

But for all of the Superwoman front, I must confess that I'm scared out of my ever-loving mind. And there you have it, the full truth.  I am not bulletproof.

Sigh.  Pray for me.  This is not easy.  I have good days and I have bad days.  This is just so hard.

Also, this week is just one where prayer is necessary at every turn.  Please pray for dr. appointments this week - positive results from scans - and peace/comfort no matter what happens.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Squirming out of Daddy's Lap

There's a special time in my home every night. Around 8:00 Kendra or I will put Colton to bed. This usually involves tackling and subduing the little rascal and taking him to his bedroom. After a diaper change, pj's, and pressing play on Jewel's lullaby album (I think I'm starting to get conditioned to falling asleep to it) it's time to spend a few minutes in prayer before Colton ends his day. No matter how high his motor has been revving a few minutes earlier, Colton will almost always settle down and put his face on my shoulder as we begin to talk to God together.

Colton doesn't sit still much. We play with his balls, and guns, and books, and he literally runs circles in the house, but being still isn't a skill he practices on his own. Sitting still with someone else is even rarer. So these few minutes where he is quiet, peaceful, and content to be with me are something Kendra and I fight over to see who gets to put him down.

Often times as I sit on the floor with him in my lap, I start to reflect and wonder how many times I'm going to get to do this again? It has been a more difficult month for me mentally and emotionally. Getting the news that a tumor has started growing was not what we were hoping for. You try not to expect anything when you go into a scan but it's pretty tough when the previous reports were so good. Then when you are told the cancer is growing again and we change drugs, there is so much uncertainty.

The uncertainty can swirl around in your mind and your heart like a thick fog that changes how you can see. Colton however is completely oblivious to the reality of our situation. So much so that as I sit there and long for this moment to never end, he will start squirming. I may literally have tears streaming down my face, trying to hold on to that last second of intimacy with him as long as I can, and he just wants to grab his bear and lay down.

He doesn't understand and can't see what's happening. I know that he enjoys these moments, but I don't think it compares to the depth of emotions that I feel for him at the same time. He doesn't understand that this may not be something that he gets to experience indefinitely. He takes it for granted that he'll have more time to play with me and sit with me.

I wondered last night how much I treat God like Colton treats me. What must He feel like when I turn ESPN on instead of spending time in prayer or reading His words? Why do I fight out of his grasp by listening to the radio on the way home instead of having a conversation with my Father? If I was given a choice for one final experience on this earth, I think I would choose intimacy with God. The stupid thing is, we can all have that experience at any time. Far too often we wriggle out of God's embrace for something temporary and fleeting.

God's waiting for us to come spend a moment with Him. Are we too busy? Let's not assume that we'll get to do it tomorrow or even tonight. Every moment spent in communion with God is a moment you won't have wasted.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Living a life in obedience

Here is the audio from the awesome opportunity for Kendra and I to speak at Bridge Bible Church a couple Sundays ago.

God is teaching us a lot about absolute obedience right now. I hope this may bless you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Can cancer be funny?

I like to think I'm a funny guy (no, not funny-looking, Kendra). Laughing just makes life better. I also am extremely sarcastic and have a dry sense of humor. So that being said, here are the top 10 funny things about cancer.
  1. You can put on 30 lbs and everyone thinks that you look great.
  2. You don't have to worry about microwaving Styrofoam any more, what could happen? You might get cancer? Not too concerned.
  3. Chemo turns you into a pregnant lady. You smell things from a mile away, you get cravings for odd things, and now some foods make you ill just thinking of them.
  4. People ask about your bodily functions pretty often, and they seem genuinely interested.
  5. Things that you have always denounced - acupuncture, holistic medicine, etc. - seem very intriguing and you find yourself discussing them at great lengths while your friends nod and smile.  What a weirdo.
  6. You get self conscious when you sit during worship at church, but you see the elderly, handicapped, and/or pregnant people around you standing - no, JUMPING - to praise God.
  7. You find a gray hair, and rejoice that you still have hair on your head.
  8. You break more of a sweat waiting for results of scans than actually exercising.  Oh wait.  You probably aren't exercising.
  9. Trying to return all of the pots, pans, and casserole dishes to the various people that bring meals to you is like trying to play connect the dots blindfolded.
  10. When you hear the words PET and CAT, you think more about lying in a little tube and the nasty stuff you have to consume to prepare for the test than a furry animal.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's Not Fair

How do you define fairness? If I'm not careful it's easy for me to slip down the, "this isn't fair" road. What did I do to deserve this? Why has God decided to place these circumstances in my life?

I think there is a common misconception about fairness in society. Fairness does not mean equal. Just because one person is given something doesn't mean that others deserve it as well. I often share an analogy with students when I speak.

If I give away a Snickers bar to a student but not to another student, that's not necessarily unfair. Did the first student do anything to deserve the Snickers bar or did I award it out of the grace in my heart? If they didn't deserve it, and neither does the second student, then it's not unfair to give it to one and not the other. Neither deserved it.

If I get too caught up in looking at what other people have in their lives or don't have (cancer), it's easy to start feeling indignant towards God because life doesn't feel fair. Why do people who don't appreciate the gift they've been given keep getting those gifts? What did I do to deserve this? 

However if I keep my perspective on God and on scripture it becomes clear that life is definitely not fair.

I don't deserve any of the blessings and gifts God has given me. I have been kept healthy for 10 months. I have an incredible family. God has allowed me to have a closer relationship with Him than I ever could have imagined. I have wonderful wife and son. My job allows me to serve people every day. I've been able to speak and share through the blog to tens of thousands of people in the last year. God has blessed us with a house, food, and clothing. 

Too often we think of fair as, I worked for something so I deserve the reward. We deceive ourselves into thinking we've actually created all the things that go well in our lives on our own. I work hard at my job, I stay in shape, I saved for a house, I bought this nice car, I'm healthy because I take care of myself, my kids behave because I'm a great parent.

The truth? We're an inexplicable moment away in God's sovereignty from being born to a third world prostitute and dying before we're four. Yet we like to take the credit for our "successes" and have the audacity to get mad at God when something doesn't go exactly as we think it "should". Then life becomes unfair. Never mind that we not only don't deserve all the exorbitant blessings God has placed in our lives, we actually deserve the opposite.

So lately I definitely feel like life isn't fair. What did I do to deserve this? Why has God decided to place these circumstances in my life? I'm blessed beyond anything I deserve. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

He is powerful in our weakness.

In case you are fairly new to our journey, let me again recount something that happened last winter around this very same time of year (February or March).

I was in a women's Bible study at our church.  It was a fabulous Bible study, full of truth and challenges.  But I was apathetic.  I really did not get into the study as much as I had expected to.  As I wondered why I was struggling to complete the fairly easy daily studies, I began to realize that my life was very, very comfortable and I was suffering from apathetic-lazy-itis.  I had a fantastic, decent-paying job at a district I had always wanted to work for, I was already done with my master's degree at the age of 26, I had a healthy, perfect son, my husband loved me intensely, his job was going well, and we were deep in the middle of plans to expand our small house into our dream house to make room for lots more future children.  At this point in my life, I was on autopilot.  I had things under control, and there was little need for God to intervene in my affairs.  This was leading to a feeling of apathy and complacency that had my spiritual life in a stranglehold.

One night as our study was wrapping up, a friend asked for prayer requests.  I didn't have any big supplications that evening (since my life was nearly perfect), and I believe that I was the last person to talk.  "I just need some humility.  I'm realizing that I feel like I don't need God and that's not how I want to live my life."  My friend, the Bible study leader, eyed me and told me that she was hesitant to pray for that, but that she would if it's what I needed.

Within two months of that prayer, my perfect life felt like it had been shattered into a million pieces.  A doctor told my husband that he had about a year to live.  My son was diagnosed with food allergies.  My husband started a heavy chemotherapy regimen that virtually erased the chances of us having any more children, even if he were to live through his deadly cancer.  I was laid off from my dream job because of the volatile financial situation in Michigan.  Because of the uncertainty of our future, our house plans were placed on top of the refrigerator and shoved to the back, not to see the light of day for a long, long time.  I felt (and still sometimes feel, to be honest) like my entire future had been ripped away from me.  I used to read a lot about the Salem Witch Trials and how some people were crushed to death as punishment for their "witchcraft" by having a large stone placed upon their chest.  My husband's cancer diagnosis and the loss of my job felt like a gigantic boulder had been pressed down upon me.  I had no way of getting that stone removed.  I had nowhere to run.  I couldn't move the stone from my chest on my own.

2 Corinthians 12: 7b-10 (The Message) I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

   My grace is enough; it's all you need.
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Ryan and I were flying to Minnesota last December.  Something really, really bitter had just happened to me that evening that had highlighted the fact that my life was in stagnation while others' lives were moving forward.  I was especially peeved with God that evening and He and I had exchanged words, if you know what I mean.  "God, WHY have you not removed this situation yet?  Why is my husband not cured?  Why does he even have cancer in the first place?  Why can't I have more children RIGHT NOW?  Why did you pick us to go through this?  God, please heal my husband!  I am so angry that you have not fixed this yet!"  As the tiny, blinking lights of Wisconsin passed below me, tears streamed down my face, and flight attendants ensured that they only talked to Ryan, NOT to me.  "Leave that crazy girl in row 4 alone.  I think she's have a nervous breakdown."

Luckily, I have gotten far enough in this journey that I am starting to realize that when things feel like they're imploding around me, I should run to God and not from God.  On the airplane, I grudgingly opened the Bible app on my phone and began reading 2 Corinthians12 and about the thorn in Paul's flesh.

The thorn had been delivered by Satan, but allowed by God.  Why?

The reason in Paul's life: so that he wouldn't become boastful about the visions he was seeing.
The reason in my life: so that I would learn what it meant to live through Christ's strength instead of my arrogant self.

How awesome do you think you are?  Do you have your whole life under control, like I did?  Well, the truth is that you don't.  At some point in our lives, we are going to go through trials.  Maybe you're reading this, and Ryan's cancer is one of the biggest tests of your faith that God has put you through.  Perhaps God is not allowing you or your partner to get pregnant, or you have experienced the heartache of miscarriage.  Maybe you're sick.  Maybe you or a family member has unexpectedly lost their job or you've had to uproot your entire life and move somewhere else.  Perhaps someone that you love very much has died, and you are grieving deeply.

We are all weak, and especially weak and vulnerable when tragedy, sickness, or loss happens to us.

But the weaknesses that we experience here on earth are an opportunity in our faith journey.  When we are traveling through the deserts of life, parched, tired, with the hot sun beating down on us, this is the prime moment to either seek out the shade and living water that has been provided for us through Christ, or we can try to cross that desert on our own strength, thereby withering away in our faith and ultimately rejecting the provision that we have through Him alone.

His power is made perfect in our weakness.  Celebrate weakness.  It happens.  Draw close to your Savior and you will experience peace and power like you've never seen in the lulling, apathetic times of comfort and prosperity in your life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Playing Dodgeball for God

Speaking at Bridge Bible Church North
It's been a busy four days for Kendra and I. I've spoken at four different venues in four days, drove an hour and a half to watch my cousin play basketball, trained my horses with friends, went to a Super Bowl party and started a new chemo cycle this morning. It's been busy but it's been great!

Tonight I spoke at New Era Reformed Church to their junior high youth group. This was a great group of extremely well-behaved junior highers. I've been sharing the same message for the most part that I shared at the Relay for Life and you can watch that here.

Tonight though I was surprised to meet an extremely special and beautiful young lady. Nikki can relate to where Kendra and I have been living as she has battled cancer and other difficulties in the last year. This young lady was a joy and sought me out to pray for me (please pray for her and her journey). What a blessing to get to know her and see her smile and joy for life. She hasn't been around kids much lately and this was one of the first times she's been back around other people. She was excited!

At the end the group played dodgeball. Nikki was asked if she wanted to sit on the stage and watch and she said she was playing! So then I asked if I could be her partner. Together we tore it up on the gym floor and Nikki did a great job. 

It was such a blessing and encouragement to meet this young lady. This was my High Definition moment today. We've been blessed to be getting stories and e-mails back from students and families about how God is working on their life through our story. What a blessing to be used by God and be allowed to see some of the fruit from the seed planting. 

We were too fast for the camera!
Sometimes God calls us to do something dramatic and "big" as we're being obedient and living in High Def, other times it can be something simple but just as profound and important. I love that I can play dodgeball for God with a new friend!

Monday, February 6, 2012

I am a blessed girl.

I would just like to say that I'm incredibly proud of my husband and what God is doing through him.

Some people would take a cancer diagnosis and crumple under the pressure of treatment and facing the likelihood of a much shorter life than they originally thought.  They would lament, cry, and utterly fail at finishing the race well.

Some people choose to live their lives selfishly, thinking only of what THEY want to do - what is easiest for them, how to get a nice house, designer clothes, to give their kids every comfort imaginable, or how they are going to best achieve their self-centered life goals.  They think very little what God is prompting them to do or what they KNOW He commands of them.

I am married to someone who is submitted to the will of God, who is incredibly strong, determined, and unshakeable.  Every day I see him get further into this battle with cancer, I fall deeper in love with him because he doesn't bat an eyelash at following God no matter how painful the journey gets.

Some people are married to someone beautiful, funny, or sexy.  My husband is all of those things, and also completely worthy of respect.  You cannot fake dignity, class, character, and an obedient heart.

I am so in love and consider myself to be the most blessed girl to be married to Ryan, no matter if we are married for six years or sixty (pray for eighty).  I'd rather have a shortened marriage that was based on mutual respect and love than to be married for a lifetime to someone whose character is anything less than Ryan's.

I'm so proud of you and thank God for you every day!

Okay, you can stop puking now.  I'm done being sappy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Be careful what you wish for!

A couple weeks ago I asked if you guys would help Kendra and I tell our story to new folks. Well the request was answered.

I'll be speaking four times in the next four days!

Sunday - Kendra and I are speaking at the Bridge North Bible Church
Monday - I'll be speaking at Holland Christian High School
Tuesday - I'll be speaking at Providence Christian High School
Wednesday - I'll be speaking at New Era Reformed to their youth group

There are others scheduled farther out, but this will be a big week for us.

Kendra and I are very very excited about all these opportunities. Please pray for us as we prepare and deliver the messages that God has for us. Please pray for those that will be listening that God would work on their hearts and minds.

Thanks so much for all your help in spreading the word about our story. There are some very exciting things happening in our lives and we can't wait to see where it goes!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How do you pray for the Lord's will to be done...and really mean it?

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the blessing of another day with my wonderful family.  My husband and son are gifts that you have given me, and I know that they belong to you along with everything I own.  Lord, I pray that your will would be done in our lives.  But while you're at it, can you double-check that your will includes healing my husband?  Thanks.

Okay, I have never said that verbatim.

But that's honestly what runs through my head sometimes.

And it's insincere.  My lips say "Lord, may your will be done", but my heart fears that He may actually do His will and I won't like the end result.

Even though I have made the choice (over and over again) that no matter how this situation ends, I will trust God to do His perfect will in my life, I still find myself all the time questioning whether or not Ryan dying could really be the best possible outcome.  Lord, healing him would bring You glory!  Think of all the years that Ryan could live, do ministry, speak truth to so many people, and show people how to have hope in their own lives!  Yeah, if cancer is anything like the grieving process (which there are some pretty huge similarities), I waffle between bargaining, acceptance, and denial several times a week.

My father-in-law is much more submitted to God's will than I am (at least so it seems!).  He constantly asks people for prayer in this situation, but he always asks "please pray that God's perfect will would be done".  Sometimes I want to interject and say, "No, Steve, ask for healing!"  I'm almost afraid that if too many people pray for God's will to be done, my husband will surely die.  It panics me. It's almost as if I have this constant struggle in my chest between knowing what I want, and knowing that this passage is truth:

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.

                                       Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NIV)

So the thought that has crossed my mind this week (and Ryan's too) is how do we ask for the Lord's will to be done and really mean it?

jesus, gethsemane, praying, atonement

Hours before Jesus was arrested, he spent time praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He knew, as he was both fully man and fully God, exactly what was about to happen to him.  Despite knowing the end result (i.e., resurrection and atonement for the sins of all people), Jesus was clearly not looking forward to what was about to transpire:

Matthew 26 (NIV):

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

So there we have it.  Even the son of God prayed for "this cup" (the crucifixion) to be taken from Him.  Of course He knew that it would transpire, and why.  After all, He was/is God: He planned this.  But for one moment, we see an example of Jesus' humanity.  And yet still in spite of the momentary glimpse of human frailty, the end of verse 39 remains: "Yet not as I will, but as you will."

Jesus trusted in the plan.  As painful as dying on the cross was going to be, He knew that the outcome would glorify God and provide redemption for the rest of us scallywags.  Here's some different about me, though: I don't know the outcome of Ryan's cancer.  I don't have the same luxury of knowing the future as my Savior did.

Regardless of not knowing, do I trust Him?

Do I trust Him, that whether my husband lives or dies, that is the best outcome for God's Kingdom?

Praying for God's will to be done is SCARY.  That completely takes the control out of our hands (ha, like we really had any to begin with) and places our future squarely in the palm of our Lord.  And I know that is the best place for me to rest, is in the care of my Lord who loves me.

So like so many other choices that I've had to make for the last ten months, I am forced to make a decision of whether or not I am going to trust God:
  • to pray for His will to be done and truly mean it (trusting Him with my/our future),
  • or continue to only ask selfishly for Ryan to be healed (not trusting Him entirely).
No, it is not wrong to continue to ask for healing.  But what the Lord has convicted my heart of is that when I pray, I am not fully trusting.  I don't truly mean it when I say, "Your will be done, Lord."  I have said the words, but they haven't always been sincere.

So what decision will you make when you pray for yourself or even for us?  Do you trust that God's will is perfect, or are you still focused on what you think is best?