Many of you are familiar with our family’s story, but I’m still going to take us back to the beginning… Back to the moment when faith became intimate and grace was the only thing that carried us through each day.
My husband and I started dating when we were in high school, practically babies, and said “I do” halfway through my senior year of college. I was eager to start a family, but Dave and I decided to wait a few years.
A “few years” turned into 5. I assumed that getting pregnant would be easy, but month after month we were disappointed. Right when we were starting to have “next step” conversations with doctors is when, much to our surprise, we discovered we were pregnant!
When our firstborn was 10 months old we were really surprised to find out that we were having another baby… a second girl to join our first. Long story short, it was not a planned pregnancy.
After this we couldn’t think about having anymore kids right away, but we didn’t think we were finished altogether. So, you can imagine our shock when my husband, who was not yet 30 years old, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Cancer, for our family, is one of the worst words in the English vocabulary. It demands every question yet offers no answers. What type? How serious? What course of treatment? Survival rate? For my husband it meant days of testing, hours spent with specialists, surgery to remove the tumor, radiation treatments, more tests, careful observation, consultations, tests again…
It also meant we were done having children.
It was during these moments, when tears would flow and words were lost, that we gave everything to Jesus. We praised Him for the promise of Heaven, our marriage, our two beautiful daughters and that infertility was not a long-term struggle for us. We thanked Him for our comfortable home and Dave’s understanding employer, and for our family and friends who supported us in countless ways. We asked Him for healing and for strength and, even more difficult, for His will in our lives.
Hebrews 11 defines faith as being the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s what we focus on even when we can’t see the future. It distinguishes us and sets us apart. It lights up the dark corners of our hearts and builds character from the ashes of devastating circumstances.
It’s this raw and authentic faith that we truly began to experience in a personal way. Faith that fills your soul, regardless of the outcome, with appreciation for each (joyful and painful) moment and grace that fills your heart with hope, regardless of the situation.
I would not have written “cancer” into our story, but thankfully God did and He has blessed us with beautiful things because of it: An understanding of faith, the realization of grace, and (a story to share with you another time) the addition of our son…