Hope in the Midst of Trial

It’s been a long, hard day. Today was the second day that my husband has been in the hospital, and at this point, we do not know when he will be coming home. Life since Friday has been a fairly exhausting mix of his illness, much work to be done (my own, as well as helping him with some of his that absolutely could not be avoided), children that are sad/tired/confused and missing their Daddy, a baby that’s not getting enough sleep, and a mama who is just tired and weary and feeling a bit done with it all.

I wish that I had a wonderful update for you all, letting you know that the doctors know what is wrong and things are looking promising, but it’s just not true. Every test so far has come back absolutely normal, and as our kind doctor said this afternoon, all that he has right now is question marks. Same goes for Ryan and I. Diagnosis, though difficult, can sometimes be easier than the not knowing or having no answers as to what will bring healing.

Today was also difficult in other regards. Around noon, we listened in disbelief and sorrow as one of Ryan’s hospital roommates went into a code blue. His heart stopped, and he was not resuscitated, as his suffering was so great at the end of a long battle with lung cancer. We heard his adult children and his wife weeping openly, and then recite Psalm 23 as a family… “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”. It broke my heart.

It seems that illness and death are all around us. Last night while watching a video with our children in the hospital lobby we saw friends from an old church, and discovered that he, too, was in a battle with cancer. My husband’s father’s wife who lives far away from us is currently in her own battle with terminal brain cancer and is literally hanging on by a thread the last several days.

Life is fragile. We are like the grass the grows and then withers and will one day be gone.

And yet, we have so much hope.

God, in His absolute goodness, has already met our greatest need by saving us from His much-deserved wrath and instead flooding our lives with incredible grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. We have never been promised lives of ease, free of pain or sadness or loss. We are broken people, living in a broken world. Yes, God can absolutely heal, and yes, I believe that He is more powerful than we can even imagine. I don’t doubt His ability to do great and gracious things among us during our earthly lives, and yet that is not what I hold out hope for. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… our hope is not in physical healing, in perfect health, in happiness here on earth.

Our hope is in what’s to come. In the One who saves and whose face we will one day gaze upon, most likely with wonder that we ever doubted His goodness at all.

Are you certain today of the hope that you have and your standing before this God, who though He is merciful is also pure and incapable of allowing the wretchedness of our sinfulness into His presence? If you are, praise Him. Rejoice in what He has done for you and remember once again how fleeting our earthly lives are and how eternal He is.

If you’re not sure, I beg with you to visit this site and learn more about the 2 ways that we can choose to live our lives.

Our family would appreciate your prayers throughout this week. For my husband’s healing, and particularly for wisdom for the doctors, and for tests and specialists to come through quickly. For our children, to be surrounded by the comfort and peace that only the Holy Spirit can bring. For their mommy, to continue trusting in the Lord and in His goodness, in ALL circumstances and ALL outcomes, as well as simply for strength and energy to continue to take care of all that needs to be done. And especially that we would all look to Jesus through this trial, without fear or anxiety, and bring glory to His name in the midst of it.

I will try to keep you all updated, if not through my blog, then through twitter (@keeperhome).

Thank you, my friends, for the support and prayers I know you always give. I may not know you in real life, but your kindness still touches my heart and your prayers affect my life.

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  1. Hope … it takes a good deal of courage sometimes, doesn’t it? And, sometimes, it is as natural as taking a breath …

    thinking of you all today and hoping that you get some answers. Praying!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Plough Monday: Back to Work =-.

  2. What a heavy load. I am praying that you and Ryan will get answers quickly that a cause for rejoicing and that his healing can be quick. In the meantime, may you feel God’s loving arms around you.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Day of Rest =-.

  3. Praying for you and your husband…

    Lord, please be with this family during this time of uncertainty. Guide the doctors as they search for the cause of this illness. Give YOUR peace to the family as they wait for YOUR answer. Thank You that they know of the hope they have in You – help them to cling to it when the questions overwhelm them. Heal Stephanie’s husband in Your time.
    .-= Ashley´s last blog .."The Choice" by Suzanne Woods Fisher =-.

  4. You will be in my prayers today. Our family just got my grandmother off of the ventilator and back to us yesterday. 24 hours before we thought we would be saying goodbye. I hope your family finds comfort and peace and the doctors find answers. My your family be blessed today and always!
    .-= Amy Lynne´s last blog ..Menu Plan for the Week 1-10-10 =-.

  5. So sorry to hear this news. Because of my background in a certain denomination, I never knew how to “pray openly” because we had prayers for certain times (meals, confession, ect.) so now my favorite thing to do is just pray Scipture, and so I offer these verses to your family in Jesus’ name:
    Likewise the Spirit also hleps in our weaknesses. For we do now know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which canno tbe uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work togheter for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 26-28) May the peace of God be with you during this time.
    Sarah M

  6. Stephanie, I will definitely be praying for you and your family. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

  7. Such a good post. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. You and your family will be in my prayers. May God graciously grant you and your children that peace which passes all understanding.
    .-= Mary Jo´s last blog ..Cranberry Apple Muffins =-.

  8. Stephanie, I ‘m so sorry to hear about Ryan. I’m praying for you all and hope he improves and you get some answers soon.

  9. Stephanie, I’m praying for Ryan’s recovery and your strength as you go through this difficult time. Thinking of you.


  10. I’m fairly new to your site, but I began praying for all of you when I read today’s entry. God bless you all. Remember to reach out and ask for help from others. It’s hard, but those you ask will be blessed as well as you both and the children.

  11. Thank you for this post. We are praying for your family – for answers, for rest, and for comfort in the strong arms of Christ as you go through this trial. We have cancer all around us as well and the reminder of HOPE is so important. Thank you.
    .-= Audra´s last blog ..Pretty Dave Ramsey Envelopes =-.

  12. I am praying for God to give the hospital staff wisdom, healing for your husband and peace/rest for you and your children.

  13. Steph, thank you for your humble, thoughtful and God-glorifying post. Thank you for directing all of us to the Saviour in the midst of your own trial. We love you guys, and will be keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

  14. We will be praying for you as well. I’m so sorry you are going through this difficult time.

    I am rejoicing that you and your family do have hope. Hope because of God is a wonderful thing.

  15. Stephanie,
    Wow. I am praying for you with a heavy heart. I have a brother in law who is sick and has been to more doctors and specialists than I can remember, homeopathic doctors seem to be the only ones with even a clue as to what it might be. This has been a year and a half now and he is so weak, sick, and fragile. I will be praying for your family and for God to use his healing power and comforting during these times.

  16. Praying for wisdom on part of the doctors and comfort for you and your precious children. Lord I pray that your saints come alongside Stephanie and her family during this time, that they bless her with loving actions of support. Lord give her a strength that can come from only you.

  17. May the Lord give you His grace as you travel through this trying time! Psalm 91 and Psalm 138:8 are wonderful verses to mediate on. I will pray for you right now…


  18. “Through the Lord’s mercy we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. ” The Lord is my portion,” says my soul; Therefore I have Hope in Him! Lamantations 3: 22 – 24″

    Praying for you and your family. These definitely are hard days. Especially for a wife when it’s her husband. I’ve been in your shoes for the last 3 years with repeated hospital stays for my husband and long spells at home recovering as we face the future of his disease. The Lord is all sufficient and holds you in His arms and will enable you to rise above it all.
    .-= Pamela @ Seeds of Nutrition´s last blog ..Bald Eagle and Nest: =-.

  19. Dear Stephanie,

    I will pray for you, your husband and family.

    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    This is my first time commenting, but I have enjoyed your blog for quite awhile now. I also feel the same as you, though we do not know each other in real life, your kindness and encouragement still touches my life, and we have the same Father in heaven.

  20. Stephanie, thank you for sharing with us. I will be praying for you, your hubby, and kids (and the doctors) as you all work through whatever is that is attacking Ryan. God’s peace be upon you!

  21. Praying for God’s strength and peace for your family. We have a daughter with an undiagnosed disorder ( she has reactions of collapsing when exposed to latex and bananas that aren’t “allergies”). Having no diagnosis is hard, really hard. She is getting better now. I pray for answers for Ryan’s illness. And for the encouragement these verses can bring.
    Be anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding , shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6 and 7

  22. I have been praying for you all, and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing so openly from your heart.

  23. My family has just moved to Cloverdale, and I will think of you everytime we pass the Reformed Church on 60th Ave. Might sound strange, but I remember from your about page that you love reformed doctrine. Praying for answers for you right now.

  24. I just started reading your blog recently, but I wanted to comment and say that I’m praying for you. My daughter has an undiagnosed condition and we have been trying to figure out what is going on with her since this summer. It is so hard not knowing, and you are right, it is probably easier to have a diagnosis than to continually know nothing. So my heart goes out to you.

  25. Stephanie my prayers to you, Ryan and your children are being sent. Our family has also gone through a lot the past couple months – we lost my mother in law 4 weeks ago to advanced breast cancer that took her much sooner than the doctors had told us. I am praying that Ryan will overcome his health challenges.

    Hang tough….even though I have not had my husband undergo this level of health issues I empathize with what you have been dealing with.
    .-= Dawn@Finding My Way at Home´s last blog ..A Time of Sadness =-.

  26. I’ll be praying for you! Wish I could come over, make you dinner and watch your littles so you could rest.
    God bless you!

  27. “Our hope is in what’s to come. In the One who saves and whose face we will one day gaze upon, most likely with wonder that we ever doubted His goodness at all.”

    Amen to that. I was talking to my mom about the very same thing just yesterday evening, in light of the tragedy in Haiti.

    I don’t know you personally, but our Savior makes us family! So, I pray right now:

    Lord God, please uphold this family in Your mighty hand. Give them Your peace and strength and wisdom in tangible ways. In Jesus name, Amen

    You and yours will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. We will be lifting your family up in prayer. Continue to trust that he will work all things out for your good and according to his purposes.

  29. I’m a new follower of your blog…I am so impressed by your perspective and strength. I will be praying for you and your family. May God’s grace shine upon you.

  30. Praying for strength, courage, hope and comfort for you, your husband and your children. You are great example of how we need to turn to the Lord in a time of need instead of letting fear and sorrow get the best of us. Your strength through all of this is very inspiring.

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