November 18, 2019


These past 3 months have completely changed my life!

It’s hard to believe that just over 90 days ago we were living a carefree life, enjoying boat rides on the lake and talking about the fun adventures we would take for our 10th anniversary in September. Beau was planning to start preschool and we were looking at a transition into different home and work schedules.

Well, the transition definitely happened, but not in the way we had anticipated!

In the past 3 months Willie has gone from what we initially thought was the flu to: being diagnosed with a bowel blockage, being restricted from eating for 3 weeks, having a tube placed from his nose to belly to pump out waste, finally having the blockage removed along with 12 inches of his small intestine, finding out the tumor was a leukemia relapse, taking 3 weeks at home before reporting to Stanford for HIGH DOSE chemo, developing an abscess that threw him into septic shock.


Spending 3 days in ICU, having absolutely no strength afterward and needing to relearn how to do everything from walking onward, coming home with little strength and 50 pounds lighter just in time to spend a few days with his dad before he passed away, catching a virus and ending up back in the ER, and a lot of crying, resting, eating, healing, studying and PRAYING in between it all.

It’s an odd experience to be living my life while also being aware that most of it is foreign and new. But I’m totally OK with that! My commitment from the beginning was to be present and willing to learn whatever this experience has to teach me. I didn’t realize how BIG that commitment would become!

Last Thursday we returned to Stanford to discuss the next steps for treatment.

We were so relieved and grateful to learn that his PET scan came back clear meaning the chemo was effective!!!

To quote his oncologist: “Well, the chemo nearly killed you, but it also killed the cancer which is really good news!”

He explained that although the cancer is in remission at the moment, if we do nothing it will come back. Their suggestion is to do a lighter form of chemo then move to immune boosting treatments to work toward a strong remission.

That chemo started today.

The good news is that they were able to set us up with our local cancer center for the 5 days of infusions so we don’t have to stay at Stanford for a week! We have done it this way in the past so having the option to get treatments locally is a HUGE blessing.

Speaking of blessings, we have had so many in the past 3 months that it’s impossible to count or name them all. The greatest of these blessings has been the transformation in my faith, and NOT in the way I expected.

I have always had strong faith.

I come from a long line of faith filled, Christians who were devout in their faith and love of Jesus Christ. From a young age I have seen miracles happen when faith was exercised. Thus, when Willie was first diagnosed I didn’t doubt or fear for a single second because I KNEW my faith could provide the miracle. I was a stalwart, immovable rock of positivity who refused to entertain anything negative or suggestive that Willie wouldn’t be cured of cancer.

This devotion paid off when he was cured of cancer!

Fast forward 4 years and we were in the process of doing IVF to get pregnant with Beau. I brought this same, determined faith, to the clinic where I went through hundreds of shots and procedures that didn’t go quite like the doctors had hoped. They suggested many times that I should cancel the process and try again another time. I had complete FAITH in God’s timing and pushed forward despite the dismal stats and odds against us and Beau is the result of that faith.

I have had countless other experiences like these in my life where I mistakenly came to believe that my faith had somehow created the outcome.

This round of cancer has cleared this faulty thinking up for me!

I have discovered over the last 3 months that faith has NOTHING to do with the outcome. It broke my heart when I first discovered this because I realized that in my entire life I have never had a negative outcome from exercising my faith. Whenever I hoped and prayed for something HARD enough, that thing would happen. This round of cancer has consisted of constant pleading and prayers that haven’t been answered as I would have liked.

Does that mean my faith is broken? That it isn’t as strong as it was in past circumstances?

No, it just means I had a complete misunderstanding of what faith is.

I like the description of faith that Paul provides in Hebrews 11:1. My favorite translation of that verse reads:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

This verse slapped me in the face!

Faith ASSURES us that we are hoping for something.

It doesn’t ASSURE us of the outcome!!!

I have always thought of faith as believing in things you cannot see. Thus, I believed that Willie would get better even though I couldn’t see it. While part of that thinking is encompassed in faith, the assurance part of it is really important.

Hebrews chapter 11 goes on to provide detailed examples of how the prophets and people throughout the bible exercised their faith. Some used it to offer sacrifices, others to discover promised lands, and some built arks and braved floods. The chapter concludes with another slap in the face when verse 39 teaches:

“39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:”


These people did all of these amazing, faith filled actions and didn’t even receive the promise (or in my case, result) of what they were striving for!

Faith has nothing to do with the outcome!!!!!

Hebrews chapter 12 provides the answer as to where we actually find the outcome we desire.

Verse 2 reads:

“2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;”

This scripture nearly dropped me to my knees! I had somehow come to believe that I was the author of my story.

That somehow MY faith would change the narrative.

I had forgotten who the author is!

I am so humbled.

Not only is Jesus Christ perfectly writing my faith, but he is also going to FINISH it with the perfect outcome. Whether that outcome happens in this life is not within my power to write into the story.

This has made me think about authors that I love and admire. Because I love their writing, I also want to learn more about their personal lives and seek to better understand them. If I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors, I would most definitely prepare by reading every word they ever wrote and coming prepared with a book to sign and questions to ask.

I have been applying this same scenario to my relationship with Jesus Christ and it has been life changing! If he is the author of my faith then I want to know everything about him, study his works and one day kneel before him, and in complete humility, ask him to sign the book he wrote for me!

Thus, my faith is now exercised in HIM and in HIS power to create the best outcome for us, no matter what that is or when it happens.

Thank you all for the continued prayers, love and exercising of your FAITH on our behalf.

We are so abundantly blessed.