We are waiting on so much here at the hospital…specifically for Chris’s kidney function to improve. We have an amazing nephrologist who we respect and appreciate on so many levels–we believe we are well cared for–but there is no improvement so far. We are waiting. Typing those words reminds me that as we wait on medical things–things of earth and flesh–we also wait on eternal things. We dwell in eternal things. What a mercy. What a mercy, that amidst these sad, breaking, complicated, logistical, theoretical, daunting, painful days, there is an undergirding sense of being held. There is an overarching sense of God’s reality and everything that He Is.

I experience this sense through so many avenues. It can be direct and intense, especially in my weakest moments alone. And often, it is in the five million big and small things that we are given in a day by you all. Simply driving home from the hospital this afternoon, two separate dear friends ended up in the lane next to me and rolled down their windows to say, “I love you” as I passed. I have never felt so thoroughly carried in my life. At every turn; in every way.

I’m reminded of another difficult day a couple weeks ago. Chris had gone in for a Paracentesis to drain fluid off of his abdomen. It ended up being a very traumatic experience for a couple of reasons, and after joining me briefly afterwards in the waiting room, he had to be taken back again abruptly. I was left there very scared and panicked. I sat down in a chair, so frightened, and my eye caught a man sitting across the room. He was waving his arm back and forth above his head. It took me a minute to realize he was waving to get my attention. He held my gaze. Then he pointed to his chest, then made prayer hands, then he pointed to me. I lowered my head and sobbed. I looked back up, and he was still looking at me, his hands still pressed together in front of his face. He held that position for ten minutes as I waited to hear how Chris was. I just stared through my tears, and he just prayed. We are carried.

I’m not sure how Chris is experiencing the Lord these days. We are both in the valley, but he is bearing it all in his body. Even adjusting positions in his bed is a challenge. He trusts the Lord. He can recognize him. But he is encumbered heavily, and it may be that the entryways in and out of his own spirit feel smaller and tighter. I don’t know.

Thank you all so much for loving us. I still feel scared. But even recalling and writing these things centers me. Thank you for carrying us so thoroughly.

**Chris hasn’t been using his phone much at all while we’ve been here, but he wanted to say thank you to all who have texted and called him.

277 thoughts on “Loved

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    Thank you for continuing to take the time and energy to share your journey with us. I am so grateful you are surrounded by caring people both known and unknown to help you carry this unfathomable burden. We will continue to pray- for Chris’ pain management, for the decisions you face, for a path forward with his care, for your precious littles. Thank you for your witness in this midst of a valley. Love- the Middlebrooks.

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    Sarah, I read today about the people in Boston, huddled in a church, knowing that a large naval armada from France, would be arriving on shore on Oct. 1746 to overtake them. The pastor, Rev. Thomas Prince prayed mightily in front of all the people, asking the Lord to deliver them from their enemy. Within minutes, a hurricane started up, blowing out to sea and took out an estimated 8,000 military seamen, set on attacking Boston, to the depths of the ocean. The pastor used the Bible passage,
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    Sarah, you don’t know me (I am a friend of your Mother’s) but may it give you some comfort to know that people you have never even met are lifting you up and asking for God’s mercy on behalf of you and your husband. I am praying for strength for you and healing for Chris. Everyday! Everyday!

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    Sarah, I read this w/ tears in my eyes. It is so touching, and so real. If you think of it, please tell Chris how much we love him.
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    What a mercy. What a mercy to be held. Sarah and Chris, may the Lord continue to sustain you with these gifts like manna in the wilderness. It must feel so strange to have such a different journey from Chris, and not to be able to access what he is feeling. I’m praying for you both, dear, and also for your precious littles. They, too, are held. As the spiritual battle and the physical battle rage, converging mysteriously, I picture the Lord as a strong and tender rescuer on the battlefield, scooping them up and wrapping them entirely in His arms, protecting them, even whispering fun stories to make them laugh. May the joy of the Lord strengthen you. May He bring you surprising delight amidst it all. Praying for practical help, all the right doctors and staff, for wise counsel through the decisions, for deep sleep at night and times of refreshing for you. May God “be your light as you sit in the darkness” (Micah 7:8b) Love you.

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    As I pray for you both and your family, while you journey through this unimaginable ordeal, I cannot get over you both are teaching all of us so much. So much about Faith, so much about Hope and so much about the Love of God. I am humbled. Your strength is nothing short of being heaven sent. Dear God please help Chris and Sarah. Make Chris well again and soon. Thank you dear Lord.

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    I am so profoundly moved by your vulnerability. I also am so grateful that you are choosing to share with us what is happening in this nightmare . please tell Chris he is in our prayers and our hearts and in our minds and we pray diligently for him every single day. We also want you to know Sarah that you are a godsend for Chris and we’re praying for you that you can be strong and that you will feel the ever loving presence of God’s hands and arms around you minute by minute. We also pray for your sweet children that they know that God is still good! We are so grateful Cindy and Dave and your mom and your sisters can help you along this journey. Praying MD Anderson opens up and excepts Chris quickly . Praying Chris’s kidneys start to function also!

  62. Laurie Powers

    I am deeply moved by your faith and ability to express it with such depth of emotion as you are in the midst of this storm. I have continued to pray, lately for a breakthrough with the hospital in Houston. I pray that that door will swing wide open.
    I am praying also over your little ones as they cope in their child-like ways.
    Please tell Chris he is ever on my mind, in my heart and most importantly in my prayers.

  63. Sara Baugh

    Sarah, I can only imagine your pain…and yet through your words, I see our Lord
    carrying you and Chris in His loving hands….signs from the man across the room praying for Chris…prayers from so many people….thank you for sharing your heart.
    Truly, the joy of the Lord is your strength!!! I am continually praying for you both and
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  64. Mary Kuligowski

    Hello Sarah. I am also a friend of Chris’ mom. I pray for all of you. Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts…especially of how the Holy Trinity is working with you. I know that God’s Blessings will continue to be with all of you thru this trying time.

  65. Antonio and Lori Carballo

    Sarah, Antonio and I are so heartbroken about Chris. We love you and your family and are earnestly praying for Chris, you and your family. God have mercy on Chris and you. Please know you are not walking this valley alone.

  66. Chrissy

    Thank you for sharing those stories. WOW that’s amazing.
    Praying and praying and praying. You ARE so loved from here to eternity.
    <3 <3 <3
    Thank you for sharing with us. Helps us know how to pray.

  67. Betsy K

    Precious Sarah, how powerfully and humbly you share your heart with us.
    The dear man in the hospital waiting room a few weeks ago….how very kind of our Lord to ‘send’ him right there at that moment for you! The Lord will move heaven and earth to send a gift of hope to His children.
    My prayer for Chris is as he is sleeping and resting, that the Spirit is ministering to him in the deep places of his heart. Amen

  68. Annie Parsons

    The man in the waiting room… wow. ❤️

    You ARE so loved – by all of us, and by the God who made you and sustains you. Thank you for these updates – your strong and beautiful spirit shines through. I am praying constantly.

  69. Betsy Rogers

    Praying for all of you this morning. I have many friends who are praying for you too. I am thankful you feel loved knowing so many are praying for you. I have been there and know the peace this can give you. God is with you.

  70. Barb Blouin

    Sarah, I am a friend of your mother-in-law and it was just by chance I had texted her in August the day after Chris had gone to the ER in Chicago. I have been praying and thinking of you all every day. I woke very early today and, of course, checked my phone and read your post. I was raised in the Lutheran Church and have always been involved in my church but have never really felt that closeness with God. My own struggle with cancer has helped me feel that. I feel so bad knowing what a difficult time this is for all of you and will continuing thinking, praying, hoping you will continue to feel God’s love in many ways.


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