Thursday, May 6, 2010


Chemo days offer us a strange dichotomy of emotions. There is the dread of chemo and excitement of being one step closer to done. Today was no different, except that this could be our last treatment, or so we thought. When we started this journey, we were told we would have to endure 4-6 rounds of chemo. So today, number four, could have potentially been our last one. However, in a disappointing turn of events, we found out that a "round" of chemo is two treatments. So, we are only half way there if it's four rounds, and a third of the way there if it is six rounds.

I cannot begin to tell you how disappointing and devastating it is to think you're all finished with something that has been so difficult, only to find that you might not even be at the halfway mark. Just halfway there, and the nurses tell you it's going to get nothing but worse from here on out. What do you do with that? What should your reaction be? Our first reaction is disbelief, followed by a little bit of anger mixed with tears. After that, all that's left is just this impending dread of the uphill battle you thought you were done with. As a man, nothing breaks your heart more than not being able to stop the tears cascading down your wife's face.

I am hard pressed most times to come up with the careful lessons and thoughtful words that Jenny is able to pluck from the Bible so well from week to week. It's even harder when you are trying to do so in the midst of disappointment. And it's not just disappointment, but this feeling of "We're trying really hard here to be, um, what's up God?". It's not a lack of faith, but it's a human response to a difficult situation. I am just a man after all. And that got me thinking....

How disappointed was Joseph when his brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous? Your own family, hating you enough to want to kill you, but selling you instead. In slavery he's lifted to an elevated position in Potiphar's house, only to be accused by his wife of trying to sleep with her. Sent back to prison, he must have been sorely disappointed again. And what became of all of these trials and disappointments? Joseph eventually was in charge of all of Egypt, second only to the Pharoah, and became the rescuer of the sons of Israel.

What did Job feel as he was stripped of everything? He was a prominent man who had it all: large family, wealth, respect in his community. All of it was taken from him. Tragically, he lost it ALL. Can you imagine his confusion, his sense of loss, his disappointment in how his life was turning out? He lost everything but his faith, and because of that, he was restored with twice as much as before, and became a testament to the faithfulness of the Lord.

In the New Testament, what did Joseph feel when he first found out that Mary was pregnant? I know he had to be confused, perplexed, angered, and definitely disappointed. And yet months later, after all of the disappointment he experienced, there he was, holding the very son of God in his arms. Disappointment turned into salvation.

Each of these are human examples of disappointment. But in each case, God was faithful and the disappointment each of these men faced was turned to joy. So here we sit, hearts full of hurt and disappointment. While our human hearts may overtake our emotions for a short time, we desperately cling to our faith, holding onto the promise of a mighty God, and await the transformation of disappointment into joy, laughter and celebration.

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus". Philippians 3:13-15

Praise God for His overwhelming sense of peace that definitely passes all understanding. Thank you for your continued letters, emails, and prayers. We covet each and every prayer you may lift up on our behalf, and we love you all. --john


  1. Praying for you both. News like that is hard to take sometimes. I know your faith is strong. Hang in there. Love you both

  2. My heart is just ACHING for you both tonight. If I could only carry your load for you, I would in a heartbeat. But if you'll notice, God does some of His very best work with His children who are weak on their own, but who know Who to keep their eyes focused on and Where to find their strength and their hope. Job and the two Josephs have nothing on you guys. . . in the midst of disappointments, you find peace. In a day or two, if not before, you two will be laughing again, with your spirits restored. . . that's what sets you apart and makes your testimony so real and so meaningful. . . and so glorifying to God. I'm deeply proud of you. . . and I love you, mom

  3. Hi John,
    It has been many years since we have seen each other. I just want you to know that I am praying for you both.
    Mark Ramey

  4. This just makes my heart hurt for you. Take it one day at a time and don't think ahead. Hang in there and please let everyone help you!!!

  5. As far as you are able to help carry Jenny's pain, so there are many who are sharing your anguish as a couple. These groanings the Spirit is presenting on our behalf for mercy, strength, and encouragement. Dad

  6. I am so thankful for the witness of the saints who have gone before us and their encouragement for you at this very moment in time. I am thankful that you both know the One who is holding you up and who will continue to sustain you throughout this ordeal and beyond. I am thankful that God is finding you faithful and He will turn your sorrow into joy in time. You are both so precious to us! And I am thankful God entrusted me to be first of all, your Mom, John...and then your Mom also, Jenny! How blessed to have children who teach me so much. I love you, Mom

  7. All those who are called must first be trained. Although he does want you well and all good things come from him, your battle may be used to teach you. How could you understand anothers battle and pain if you had never been through your own. God is faithful and his promises are all true!! If you keep your focus on Him. and it sounds like you thats your full intention so continue to lean on him and learn all you can until you see your deliverance and you will!! Then you'll be prepared to do his. Your in my prayers " BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND KNOW THAT HE IS OUR HEALER"!! Toni

  8. What a huge blessing it is to witness your clinging in these times of disappointment. How lucky Jenny is to have you as her husband! The Lord is faithful to those who press in toward Him as the world seems to be falling apart around them. "So, let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the Spring rain watering the earth" Hosea 6:3. Be encouraged Jenny! The Lord has certainly gone before you, knew what each round of chemo would bring, and has a refreshing rainfall awaiting you in the future. God Bless, Brooke