Still Waiting

These have been heavy days. We did learn that as of Friday the stains from Chris’s biopsy are actually not lost somewhere in the stratosphere, but are finally in the hands of the pathologist here to be read. Still, we won’t be able to see our oncologist until Wednesday. The waiting has become hard. I am reminded by my friend Katherine to wait on the Lord. Even more than we wait on results. Wait and see where the Lord’s eternal reality will intersect with our earthly reality. I have a sense that it’s happening now, but it can be hard to turn our eyes upward and outward to recognize it. The pull to withdraw and turn in to ourselves is strong. This waiting coincides with more fatigue for Chris (is this the result of melancholy or sickness?) and a slow down of the flurry of texts, emails, and drop-ins that come at the onset of bad news. There was a lot of energy at the beginning of this, and that energy is decreasing. I think it propelled us for a bit. 

Knowing a valley is ahead is not the same as entering it. Maybe that is where we’ve come. My impulse is to try to distract from where we are. When Chris’s spirit is burdened, I have a moment of panic, until I realize that he is where he is in truth, and I cannot take away his burden. There is only one place for him to go—one person equipped to hold what he carries. And it’s not me. I will be with him, though, in every state. We will continue to sit and pray together and remind each other to wait on the Lord. And, by God’s grace, we will lift up our hearts to him more and more fully. Lord, to whom [else] shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.  

From Sarah

It’s Monday of the week we expect to hear the results of Chris’s biopsy, and I thought I’d hop on with some thoughts. I can’t let Chris be the only one with a platform! 

Many of you have expressed anxiety about this waiting period and sympathy for how hard the waiting is. Oddly, the waiting hasn’t been hard at all. Maybe it’s because these days feel like our last before things really start to change. Also, and maybe more looming, hearing a medical declaration about Chris’s life and what we should or can expect for it, feels like the beginning of a steep descent. We know a valley is ahead. We don’t know where it will lead exactly. We know it will be deep, and we know it will be dark. And we fear that with medical knowledge stated clearly to us, we will have a harder time holding on to a sense of hope

A friend texted me last week and said this: I will be praying for your appointment in a few days. I’m going to pray that you’ll walk away from it with more hope than when you got there.

What a profound thought. I felt my mind blown open with possibility. Appointment day—hearing the words spoken to us that we already know will be so heavy—may not end up being the hardest day of our lives thus far. Or, even if it is the hardest day, it doesn’t have to be devastating. I had only been imagining that day as dark and despairing. But the LORD will be there. How will he show himself? These are the things I can think about and imagine as I anticipate the appointment. What will the Lord do in our hearts that day? What will he bring to mind? With what will he comfort us? What will he speak to us about himself? How will he simply calm us with his love? I believe he will be with us. And I believe his hope can come in so many forms. 

I would not have put us here. I would never have willingly offered this—the seeming stability of our family—to be changed in these ways and in the ways we do not yet know. But here we are. Our hearts are open. What do you want to give us, Lord? Deepen us. Transform us. Open our eyes. Open our ears. Fill us. We want all that you have to give us. 


Just a short update to say that I (finally) had a biopsy today. They took a tissue sample from the mass on my stomach and from my liver. Once they analyze it, we should have more information about what type of cancer it is, treatment options, etc. I should get results some time early next week. Thank you for your encouragements and prayers.