The Darkest Road

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photo-35God needs some of His people to walk all the way down that darkest road.

In the few months before Allistaire’s cancer came back, this is what the Lord was pressing on my heart:  He needs some of His children to walk all the way, all the way down that black, deeply dark road.  This God makes outrageous, audacious claims about Himself – crazy claims like that He turns darkness into light.  My immediate response was, NO LORD!  Not me, don’t let it be me.  But to my dismay, I saw His point.  God declares all sorts of things that require testimony to their truth.  He claims the world is broken by sin – creation and our very hearts are rotting away because of sin, that rebellious sever that needs, oh so desperately, needs redemption, needs resurrection.

You know what, I never really wanted to need to bank on resurrection.  I don’t want to need to put my hope out there – in eternity.  I want what I want NOW!  HERE!  And oh I cannot begin to tell you how desperately I want my child – I want her!  I want her!  Let me keep her God!  But it seems that I may not be able to.

As I extended my arm to hand the checker my card to pay for my coffee, my eyes rose and took in the name on her badge.  “Allie.”  One of the things I liked about the name Allistaire is that when she got older, if she wanted her friends to call her, “Alli,” it would be a lovely name still.  It looks like she may not even reach her 4th birthday.  I may never again see her with hair.  Her chest may ever have these tubes hanging out of them.  I think I’ve decided that she should be buried with Doggie, though I will miss them both desperately.  But how could he not go with her?

When the Physician’s Assistant, Nathalie, and the attending doctor entered the room at the same time yesterday morning, I knew immediately that it was bad.  “It’s bad, I know it’s bad.  Just tell me.”  There is .01% cancer showing up in her bone marrow.  Point zero one percent, such a tiny, tiny amount and yet it seems likely, this cancer will be her demise, it will be the death of her.  The doctor said that her only chance for survival at this point is to have another bone marrow transplant.  They have already dumped the biggest poisons in her they can and it wasn’t enough.  It may be an infinitesimally small amount, but it only takes time for it to grow and there is now, virtually nothing to stop it.  She cannot have another transplant any less than six months from the last one.  Her body could not handle it.  The transplant itself would most likely kill her.  That’s just over four months from now, such a long time in the land of this beastly cancer.  There is the tiniest chance she could make it.  Maybe five percent.  They cut her immunosuppressant, Tacrolimus, in half and we will begin chemo next week.  The chemo, Azacitidine, is a relatively well tolerated chemo with lower toxicity and does not tend to overly suppress blood counts.  The idea is to ramp up her new immune system’s ability to fight the cancer cells, but this must be done carefully so that the Graft Versus Host doesn’t also overtake her.  There is a ninety-five percent chance she will die.  The doctor says that more than likely, she has six months or less.

This is the closest thing to torture I can imagine.  It feels like be gouged by a knife over and over, like being kicked in the face incessantly.  Honestly, the thought of this going on and on and on is beyond overwhelming.  I can barely get my eyes to rise to see December and beyond in the far distance.  I have no idea how I can keep going that long, and even then it may not be done.  But, done, oh done, how I don’t want what “done,” means.  How can I possibly stop walking forward if it means there is a chance to have our sweet girl with us?  I have lived 36 hours so far with this reality.  Step by step I will walk forward.  God has reminded me over and over, you eat the manna, you devour what He has given you today to nourish you and sustain you.  Eat the manna, the manna, the manna.   I watch Solveig and Allistaire spaz out all over the apartment and hear their laughter in whatever room I dwell.   Sometimes the manna is bittersweet on the tongue.

After Obliteride today, I lay facedown on the table, getting the complimentary massage.  Such a strange thing to have some stranger grapple your flesh and to experience such vulnerability.  So strange that there is a way in which someone else knows you better than you know your own self.  They are familiar with all your anatomy and you lay there accepting this kindness from a stranger.  As I lay there feeling my body being cared for in a way I could not possibly do for myself, I heard the band singing the refrain, “life goes on.”  Over and over this line repeated and I suddenly remembered the last scene in Steel Magnolias where there is a big Easter party and relationships are growing and babies are being born and children are growing up – all without someone who had been core to their lives.  The main character has died, but the lives of the rest go on, life goes on.  There is a way in which I want it to be impossible for my life to go on without Allistaire, because I want it to be impossible for me to lose her.  It is unbearable, so surely I should not have to bear it, right?  The pain will last for so very long and yet it is almost frightening that one can keep living.

I do not know how I will bear it.  I feel like I’m crumpling inside.  There was an evening several months ago when I was waiting in the turn lane to turn left into the hospital.  I waited for the oncoming traffic to clear and there was a moment when as I watched a car approaching that I thought it might just be easier to have it come barreling into Allistaire and I, that we could just be done with all this.  You should have seen the look of terror on the doctor’s face when I relayed this to her the other day.  But it’s true.  Sometimes I just ache to be done, to be swept away from all this.  A number of years ago, I remember expressing to my mom that I didn’t know why I had to keep living, why couldn’t I just be done and be in heaven?  Why can’t I just be taken up into the presence of the Lord like Enoch?  She reminded me that this life is not just about me and that there are those who do not yet know the Lord.  It’s not just about me?  It was so obvious I had utterly forgotten it, I was utterly blind to it.

Many times I have wondered why God would have things go the way they have.  Why would we have good bone marrow results at Day +28 if just three weeks later it would all come crashing down?  Why have a transplant at all if it was just going to fail?  I don’t have answers to these questions.  But I remember something my friend Madison said to me as she reflected on the months she spent in the hospital with her dear friend, Sarah, that died last year from cancer.  “I have never known unconditional love like that,” she said.  What is the value of such knowledge?  What does loving and receiving love unconditionally do to one’s heart and life?  Surely it has an impact on you like nothing else can?  My friend Gayle’s elderly mom wonders why she is still alive and not yet with the Lord if her whole body is failing.  How can we measure the treasures that are gained in these brutal days?  How can I measure what the Lord is up to?  How can I begin to imagine all the hearts and all the lives that are connected with our little finite lives?  Who are we to matter so much?  As I feel the length of the knife cut in again and I look up and see the eyes of my own Father – He could stop it and He doesn’t.  It is an audacious claim to say that my suffering my be used to bless others, to have the blood of my heart be the fodder for life, that out of this small death, life might spring up – but this is my hope.  This is why I yield.  This is why I hope.  In the few times I’ve been to church in the past five months, I have been shocked as I sing the words of the songs.  “Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to thee.”  So many things we sing to the Lord, but do we really know what we are saying?  Am I really willing to hand over my life to this God who would ravage me?  Am I really willing to accept whatever comes from His hand?  We have these pretty ideas of what it is to have our lives turned over to God.  We have these lives scripted out that we think would just be so lovely.  But like making a covenant in marriage, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, when we commit our lives to God, when we hand ourselves over, we are really saying, “God, you get to decide.  My life is no longer my own.  It is yours.  It is my living sacrifice and I lay it down, trusting you to act according to your perfect goodness.”  I have had a lot of good in my life, ridiculous amounts of blessing for which I am immensely thankful.  But these days are a good that I have a hard time seeing from my vantage point.  But I have tasted too much of the beauty and goodness and spectacular glory of God, to turn away.  I cannot get away from Him.  And really, I don’t want to, really, I want to see this thing through, I want to see what’s on the other side of the veil.  I want to behold with unveiled face, the fullness of His beauty.

So this road, this laceratingly dark road, I walk forward sustained from grace to grace, day after day of manna.  I intend to take note of it all.  I intend to bear witness to the days ahead.  My eyes and heart are alert.  And I pray that I may one day comfort others who walk this road with the same comfort with which I have been comforted.  I am not alone on this road.  It is a well-traveled road, far more trodden than any of us would like to think.  We want to stay insulated and unaware of its presence, but it is there, and many of us will have to travel it, one way or another.  I don’t know what other faces and hearts I will meet along the way, but how I long to be a means of God’s hands, His sustaining love to my fellow travelers.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-7

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”

63 responses »

  1. Jai–God is using your expressions of pain, suffering and hope more than you can imagine or will ever know. Lowell

  2. I don’t even know what to say. My heart is breaking for you and your family! You and your family are constantly in my prayers!

  3. After I returned from volunteering at the Obliteride tonight (I’d been down at UPS in Tacoma where the 60 riders doing the 180 mile ride are staying overnight), I realized you’d ridden today with this fact on you mind, and in your heart. I appreciate how you are able to remind each of us of the Lord’s goodness, and so much more, even as you face this news.. We must validate our own, and each other’s feelings, and rejoice when we, as the Psalmist was able to do, pause and choose to remember the little we know about Him, but also, the truths we know of his character. Since I lead ‘Hymnspirations’ 7 times a week, my mind is swimming with lyrics which address your situation..The one standing out in my mind the most is, “When through fiery trials my pathway shall lie, thy GRACE all-sufficient shall be my supply..” Our prayers are for you and yours to be well-supplied!! In Jesus, Sheila Dean

  4. Sweet Allistaire. That is how I refer to her. A beautiful child with a beautiful and amazing family. I am glad you speak with such honesty. I, too, have felt the many times of wanting our road to end. I still have times that I’m driving and I don’t want to turn around and head back home. Just keep going and escape it all. But the truth is we don’t, do we? It’s still there, every day, weighing on us. My heart is heavy from this news of Allistaire. I would very much like to see you and to give you a big hug when you are ready. I can’t take away the pain but hopefully by sharing in it with you there is some comfort. Our next appointment is not until Saturday August 24th. Love ya!

  5. I cried through your post. There are no words that even come close to describing how my heart is breaking for you. I am holding on to that 5% chance. God is bigger than numbers, and bigger than cancer. Although I know reality must be faced, I am still praying for a miracle each and every day, and I refuse to stop. I will also be praying for you to have grace all sufficient, to manage each second of the day and to find joy in it. I wish I had comforting words, wisdom to share, or some small bit of encouragement to offer you, but I know the only thing that can truly help hold you together is for people to not just say they will pray, but to do it. So, please know that I am praying for you often. Keep trusting in the Lord.

  6. So heavy hearted for you. After reading your post I did the whole “open the Bible and point ” thing. It opened to the garden of Gethsemane. Mark 14:32. He is well acquainted with sorrow and grief. Praying you have close friends to cry and pray and wrestle through this season. Oh God, please pour on comfort and a balm over this mommas heart. Amen

  7. My heart is being torn apart…such a huge pain for you to endure…At times, I think (like you and others) escaping is the only way but the words come quickly to my mind…”where shall I go Lord?” And as you said, “but I don’t want to leave Him…I want to run to Him, to be held securely by Him. That is our hope, dear Jai, as you have stated so powerfully. Thru prayer we must help each one of us to run to Him! And I want you to know I am also hanging on to the 5% chance and looking for the miracle that would bring complete healing and we know that freedom is ahead…one way or the other.
    love and prayers, gayle

  8. What is there to even say? Only that I will continue to pray that God meets you, each and every day, right where you are. I will pray for Allistaire’s miracle, that her life will continue here on this earth with you. Hope for that is not lost. God is so much bigger than numbers. I hope you know what a gift you have been to me. How you have helped to bring me closer to The Lord, on my own dark road. That on those days where I wanted a bus to run me down to end the pain, you lifted me up. God is working through you. I love you guys. I am holding you close. I am praying.

  9. Praying for you and your family and that 5% chance Allistaire still has. Hopefully God wiill see all the prayers be lifted for her and let her get healthy again. I really hope so. Many years ago my borther lost his 16 year old son in a car accident. I thought he did not have enough faith in God to get through this but he told the priest when asked what to say at his funteral that he and his family had enough faith in God to get us through and to talk to the young people and we all did have the strength to get through it. I never knew how he did it but his faith was strong and he survived. I pray for this for you and your family if the worse does come to be true. We love your family and want the best for all of you. Keep your faith and your truly inspiring messages coming through your difficult days ahead. Love Pam and Mike

  10. Jai,
    In the midst of your grief, God has given you words that bear great testimony to who God is and wants to be for His people. Thank you for opening your heart to those around you.

  11. Where there is life, there is hope! One Day at a time, Lord, one day at a time………
    Where there is no life, there is faith! One Day at a time, Lord, one day at a time……..

  12. I love you Jai. I know that may sound odd but between meeting you once, reading your blog, and having Emily as a dear friend, I feel like I know you so well. Also, emery and allistaire are only a few monts apart in age. I’m drawn to your story and the way The Lord is working in your life. And I pray for you daily. May He sustain you. May he comfort you and give you peace.

  13. Oh Jai, your words both break… and in an odd way, encourage my heart. You are not alone in this… we, your family, are praying and living right along side you and Allistaire. Love you so much. Praying for incredible peace and comfort from our great God. -Jess

  14. Jai, my heart is breaking. And yet such powerful words and strong reminders. Prayers unending for you and your sweets.

  15. “So this road, this laceratingly dark road, I walk forward sustained from grace to grace, day after day of manna. I intend to take note of it all. I intend to bear witness to the days ahead. My eyes and heart are alert. And I pray that I may one day comfort others who walk this road with the same comfort with which I have been comforted. I am not alone on this road. It is a well-traveled road, far more trodden than any of us would like to think. We want to stay insulated and unaware of its presence, but it is there, and many of us will have to travel it, one way or another. I don’t know what other faces and hearts I will meet along the way, but how I long to be a means of God’s hands, His sustaining love to my fellow travelers.”

    Your supple character driven willingness… you were fashioned and seasoned for this exact moment… I’m broken hearted, yes, but also so incredibly proud of you. Proud of you for, when tested in each new fiery trial of this journey, continue to emerge victorious time after time… victorious in accepting grace and believing that which is … so complex & often murky.

    Of course, I have tons of thoughts, tears, prayers, etc, but mostly, I just am so humbled by you. And, if I could ease your burden, I’d do whatever I could, but I know that you were fashioned and poised for this… this is your testimony… good job, sincerely, for leaning into it.

  16. I love her. I’ve never met her face to face, and yet I feel such feelings of desire for her to grow old here, to live out the life that I think she should have. You reminded me that it is not for me to say what anyone is ‘entitled’ to, but God above. I ache, all day long thinking about you, her, Sten, Solvieg, your parents, Stens parents, the many people who love you guys. I hurt with you, not in full as you do, but in a smaller but very real way. I feel the burden, the weight of it all, and I’ve cried out to God many times on your behalf. I will continue to do so, and you must know that our family continues to pray for you guys. For now, for the near future, and for the distant future, as you said, whatever that holds. You do not know how much you encourage and inspire me, to live life, to live God in a more real, deeper genuine existence.
    “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King , I tell you.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

    Love from Greece.

  17. your story breaks my heart …I feel sorry for myself in my nothnig problems compared to you but always pray for God to just take me home out of the hurt….I pray for you always and cry as I read your stories
    you are a great testimony and I still pray Allistaire gets miracuoulsly healed for God’s Glory

  18. Such beautiful faith coming from such incredible pain. Heart wrenching to read what you wrote and imagining what you’re living. Praying for you and your family.

  19. I know if God takes her home, that Heaven will be more real to you than it has ever been and you will long to go there more than you ever have. I’ve recently been reminded that Psalm 139:16 refers not only to the number of our days, but that God has ordained each of our days to be exactly as they are. Find rest in Him, Jai and Sten. Alli is in His arms here or there…safe in the arms of Jesus. You are all in my prayers. In Christ, with love, Carol

  20. There seems little that can be said that hasn’t been expressed. We are continuing to keep Allistaire, and you and your beautiful family in our prayers.The way you express your understanding of our God and His power and strength continue to amaze me,Rest in the Lord, and let Him carry you for awhile….Tara (Massena, my daughter who works at childrens who you have met) will be walking at Greenlake in September in the “Light the Night”walk for the Lukemia fundraiser,with Allistaire and a young boy Colton( who has been fighting the same fight) on our hearts,May God hold you close and sustain you…with heavy hearts, but with hearts that still hold HOPE .we Pray dear Lord!!!!

  21. My little boy, Owen(10), has been battling cancer (precursor T-cell ALL) for 2 years 7 months now. After a BMT last summer following his 1st relapse on standard treatment, his 2nd relapse came in January 2013 so we’ve been living with the same reality you now face. It’s a small, select and unhappy club. We, too, cling to faith in God to get us through each day…some days are VERY hard. I have felt many of the same feelings you are able to express so beautifully (I’m a bit jealous; you are a wonderful writer and communicate so eloquently all this difficult stuff). I found you through Mary Elizabeth’s mother’s blog. Feel free to contact me.

  22. Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered!!! Prepare a table for Jai, for Sten, for Allistaire, and for Solveig in the presence of their enemies. You are there. We bless You, Good Shepherd. Arise, and let Your enemies be scattered!

  23. I have tried to comment as few times but could not… I cried as I read this and re read it time and time again, I am heart broken and am Praying for Allistaire and you all each day every chance I get.
    Love and Hugs from Kathy

  24. Your family and Allistaire are in my prayers. I send love from Canyon Ferry Montana. My son James was dx with AML in Nov 2009. Our journey is one of continued remission but so many we fought with have not been as blessed. My heart breaks at this news of relapse. Your faith is inspiring. I read your update this morning and was filled with sadness. I went to church and as I worshiped I was reminded to focus on Him. I might not understand what happens here in this world and I run to Him. I push away this world and look upon His face, held in His arms and am filled. I pray that His Kingdom comes to your situation, that He fills your hearts and brings you all you need. I pray you feel His arms holding you close and hear His heartbeat. I pray that your spirit is nurtured even though you journey on the darkest road.
    I have followed the story of a boy fighting AML. His journey is similar to Allistaire’s. His AML has been kept in check and they hope to get to transplant again or at least have some amazing quality time. He has been involved in trials that have benefited him. He has been blessed with stable or lowering leukemia for several months now. He too relapsed shortly after transplant. If I remember correctly, this last relapse was after his second transplant. You can connect with his family and get info through his page on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/ZachAttacksLeukemia
    I will keep Allistaire in my prayers
    Tammy

  25. Oh Jai, I am so, so sorry. My heart aches and aches for you and your severe pain. Oh Lord, carry Jai and Sten and Allistaire and Solveig through these darkest times. Lord, let your grace cover them from every darkness and every fear. Let your glory shine like the brightest light on the highest hill in their hearts. And Lord, please return quickly for your Bride. I suffer with you, sweet Jai, and I’ll be praying.

  26. My heart breaks with yours. Our family devotion verse tonight feels apt: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT). You remain in my prayers.

  27. Jai, you do not know me, nor I you. I am a stranger to you, a medical student who stumbled across your blog by chance while looking for information on AML. I have no words which could possibly begin to ease your pain.

    But I want you to know that as I read your blog, the strength & light of your faith as you stumble along this darkest of roads has helped me to find my own way back to a relationship with God. It is a relationship which has been missing from my life for a long time now, and which I thought was gone for good. And this blog, this testament to your own faith, has helped me to find it again. I thought you should know that.

  28. Praying God will enfold you all in His strong arms…carrying you down this dark road with His loving presence. I’m so very sorry for your news, but also very, very encouraged by your bright shining faith. We’ll continue to pray and to cry out. Thank you for sharing your struggle, heartbreak and the truth.

  29. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. This is precious; I will refer to it often. You have put words to the thoughts and feelings of our family who have just lost a child. And these words will also be sent to comfort other family members traveling a dark road.

  30. Ugh, my heart literally aches for you, an ache I know too well, an ache I never want anyone to feel. Yet, I know He will be faithful, His grace will literally carry you when you feel like you are hanging on by a thread. I will continue to pray for you and your sweet Allistaire, for God’s abundant grace to overflow as you face what each day brings.
    Psalm16:8 ” I have set The Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

  31. Wow…found your most recent blog post in a link on FBook from Scott Vinson. Almost scrolled past it, but “something” made me click over…an hour later, I sit here reliving memories of friends and acquaintances from Master’s. So many stories, struggles, spouses, kids, trials, and joys. Everyone has something, but God allowed me to be blessed and deeply humbled through your specific story. I rejoice in the endless depths of a God who has made Himself known in peace, joy, and love in the face of such pain and heartache. Who is like Him? No created thing or being could account for your amazing outlook, and such a desire to yield your suffering to be used for His glory can only be a powerful working of the Holy Spirit in your lives. Your faith brings light and joy across the thousands of miles that separate us, and I will raise my voice in prayer for Allistaire and your family, as well as thanksgiving to the God of all comfort whose omnipresence is as close to me in Hawaii as it is to you in Seattle.
    I long with your hearts to one day see with unveiled face…

    Any words or prayers of help or comfort are as nothing in the face of such suffering…I can only offer encouragement such as I have received, from the Comforter Himself…

    “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. FOR IN THIS HOPE WE WERE SAVED.
    Now hope that is seen is not hope.
    For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom. 8:18-27)

  32. Jai,
    As I read your heart breaking blog, words sound so shallow. But then to think and read how others have been blessed it makes it worth it all. Our lives are but a vapor, but used for our God are precious in His sight. Remember dear one, that your Fathers heart is grieving for you and your precious Allistaire also, He is praying for you, along with the Holy Spirit. He is savoring all of your tears in a bottle to pour out as blessings. Your faith is amazing, God is using your heart in these hurtful days, He is holding you in the psalm of His hand. Praying for you dear ones.

  33. My friend, there are no words to ease that rendering of your soul and so I hope that you feel the immense community of support, love and faith that surrounds you and there is some soothing of the pain in it. As so many have expressed, I am in awe of your faith. I was not raised in a church, so much of what you say is foreign to me. There is power and beauty in it and I hope that your faith brings you peace.

    My mom, as you know, has terminal cancer. The situation is not the same but what I do understand is how terrifying facing the unknown road ahead is, how uplifting the ability to fight is, how necessary the belief in that five percent chance is, and how those moments of futility and deep unabiding sadness can swallow everything else for periods of time. I may have said this before but what I have realized with a clarity I never really wanted is that we will lose everyone we love someday. Sounds morbid but that realization and reading your beautiful words, helps me put things in perspective in the sense of savoring that bittersweet manna every day. If there is anything, anything at all that we can do for you/your family, please let us know. We are sending our love.

    • I do not know if only you, Marisa, will read this, but I sort of hope so..You see, there are a LOT of us out here who would more than love to have the joy and privilege of helping you to no longer have what Jai says be ‘foreign’ to you. All of which she speaks is for you also by simply acknowledging your own desire for an intimate, personal relationship to our LORD GOD, CREATOR and SUSTAINER OF ALL THINGS, for HE desires and intends this also!!That’s why his Son, Jesus had to shed his blood for us.. We needed to be reconciled to the LORD, and only the blood of a sacrificial lamb could accomplish this.. JESUS was/is THE LAST SACRIFICE! We live in this day of grace (GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST’S EXPENSE).. JESUS could have come down off that cross alive, but, ‘for the JOY set before Him, endured the shame of it.. (Hebrews 12:2) He KNEW his willing sacrifice would complete the bridge for us back to communion with HIM eternally!! JESUS is often quoted as HE said, IT IS FINISHED!’ You read of grace often in Jai’s writings.. Ephesians 2:8-9 lets us know that it is by GRACE, we are saved through FAITH.. Not as a result of works, that now one should boast!!..BTW..FAITH can be thought of as FORSAKING ALL, I TAKE/TRUST HIM! Please, do respond to me (I DO ANSWER EMAILS .. peace4u2day@gmail.com or ask someone else just how you can be certain that HE LOVES YOU UNCONDITIONALLY, and DESIRES FOR YOU TO KNOW HIM, as YOU ARE ALREADY KNOWN BY HIM!! Because He Loves Us, Sheila Dean… I am not on facebook or twitter, but do a blog called IN LOVE WITH THE LORD…www.peacehopeandjoyr4u2.blogspot.com

  34. Tears are falling, hearts are breaking…..we need you, God. I will continue my fervent prayers for you and your family. I will pray that you all feel as loved as I know Allistaire has through all of this. I am so, so sorry to hear this news.

  35. My family and I prayed for yours tonight. Don’t give up! Your life is a living example to us all. Thank you! Your blog reminds me of the Prophet, Jeremiah “…and this I call to mind and therefore I have hope…His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness….”
    This pain will not be wasted. Heaven is eternal, not this, and every day there is new grace.

  36. I have no words to try to ease what you must be feeling right now. It’s difficult to even try to understand or imagine possible. I am crying as I write this and so desperately pray for you all. I know that God is standing by you. Our love to you, dear Jai, Sten, Solveig and Allistaire.

  37. I am so sorry.
    Prayers continuing for all. I am meeting with my prayer group tonight and we will include you in our prayers. We are praying also for a 2 year old grandson of one of our members who is on life support due to the removal of a tumor in his head.
    Again I am so sorry!

  38. Dear Jai and family,
    We continue to pray for you and your precious family. Although I can so not relate to this experience of these past several months, I can promise the other side of the veil will be glorious indeed. In Him, Jeff Ogard

  39. Oh my dear Jai, How did it take me two days to see this? My heart is screaming with yours, No! No! No! Dash it all, now. In the same breath I see your face in Anna’s hospital room. I see your eyes, your smile. I know that the foundation God has laid in your life up to this point is solid. He has done the work in you and will continue to uphold you through each day, one day at a time, that He requires of you. His goodness is sobering in these moments and His love brings a stillness amid the ugliest storm life brings. I love you, sister, and pray with you for this time ahead to be rich with meaning and for God to powerfully use your story to call His children to his bosom. I am proud of you for continuing to be vulnerable in this space. God will honor your sacrifice. I pray for Allistaire, that she would know her God’s deep passion for her and that He would be palpably present in her little heart and mind.
    I am right here if you need anything. I am praying for the 5% every day and knowing that even in the 95% God is just as good and faithful, even if we cannot understand it on this side of heaven.
    I love you girl.

  40. Please know that your family continues to be in our thoughts and prayers. You have taken us all down this relentless journey, showing us so elouquently your struggles, joys and heartache. I am humbled and thankful for the picture of God’s character that flows through your words. I pray for total and complete healing for Allistaire here, and beg God to do it soon.

  41. I can’t begin to share the depths of my responses as I am blessed by reading through all of these comments. Jai, and family.. I too, join the multitude in saying a heartfelt THANK YOU for being willing to share from the depths of your minds, emotions, and wills! I realize that you, Jai, are the scribe called by the LORD, but I am now acknowledging Sten’s, Solveig’s, grandparent’s, and others’ probable attachment to much/all? of what you convey! Since I first commented on Saturday following OBLITERIDE, the verse HE keeps giving me is the one given TO me by a dear ‘saint’ whom I never saw again.. ONE VERY DARK day in my life around 13-14 years age, she entered the staff room at my school, sensed despair lurking around me, left the room, then returned with PS.27:13 on a piece of paper.. ‘I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.’ SATAN really lost that day, as my focus was turned back onto the wondrous face of our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST! Someday in Heaven, I will thank her! BTW.. OF course, his GOODNESS is seen daily, as you so well testify to also!! Oh.. I tend to speak in ‘Hymns,’ so, of course, ‘TURN YOU EYES UPON JESUS, LOOK FULL IN HIS WONDROUS FACE.. AND THE THINGS OF EARTH WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM IN THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORIOUS GRACE!”( There’s that ‘amazing GRACE’, once again!!

  42. Tears here. Jai, you have touched so many so far in this journey. You have challenged them to look for God in the dark places, and you continue to do so.
    Thank you for your honesty, your openness, and your continuing to direct others’ eyes to our Lord.
    ((hugs)) and continued prayers for all of you.

  43. When grief is greatest, words are fewest.
    So only the most choked out whisper — many will go this road with you… you don’t go alone.
    Thank you for bearing witness. For bearing such blazing, exquisite, excruciating witness.

  44. Oh Jai…my heart hurts so much for you friend! Thank you for sharing all the pain and sorrow with us. Tears….just tears pour as I think of this road ahead of you. Because Maggie is the same age, I just think of Alli so often and pray for her!! Love You!

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