Wednesday, September 30, 2009

rough day

Rough day - day off spent with the family. We're getting prepared to say goodbye in case things go that way. God is still good. I'm glad He's the God of the impossible. He's also the God who works everything together for good.

Sorry I don't have too much to say. Everything else in my life is swirling around at the same time as this, so I'm a little overwhelmed but thankful for the stability God provides.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

amazing

So God rocked Erik and my world on Tuesday. Absolutely off the charts. We were blessed to pray with a man of God who was in town for the prayer conference and then at the end of prayer, he had a word from God to share with us that was spot on! Okay that was a little Mary Poppins-ish, but true! I could barely stop smiling all night as I was in awe of what God was doing in our lives.

Now, Erik and I are taking what we learned that night and bringing into our daily lives. It's taking faith to follow God, but it's a journey I know God is help us on.

I know that's all a little vague, but that's okay. The main point is God has been moving in our lives!!! I love it!

On the Brian-side of things, I don't really have a lot to post. I've been caught up with helping Erik through a health trial that he's going through and applying Tuesday's word to it. And yes, I'm getting pulled from two sides watching both my brother and husband go through health things. It makes one thing clear--the devil is scared! He knows that once we walk in victory, he will be kicked so hard he'll wish he never messed with my family!

Remember last Friday Brian was prayed for by a man of God from Jamaica? He's the same guy who prayed for Erik and I and he's going up to see Brian on Friday. If you think of it, please keep tomorrow in your prayers - for wisdom and light to be shed on this situation. We have the victory of the Lord in the spirit realm. We're ready to see it manifest in the natural!

All for now. Thanks for supporting me and my family. :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

day 10

So today didn't turn out like I had planned, but I'm okay with that. We were going to see Brian, but Cristina's parents (who are so graciously offering their home to Brian and his family while he recovers) needed a break from all the visitors. And given all the circumstances, I was very okay with it. Instead, Erik and I got to play cards with his mom and grandma during the afternoon - yay!

The best news (I think) is that Brian had a good day on Saturday!!! I don't know exactly what that means and I know he's hardly out of the dark, but it was definitely a good thing to hear!!!

Thursday and Friday in Brainerd were filled with good things that may have led to the good day on Saturday. Some of Brian's friends came up and prayed for him. One said there was an "open heaven" over the house. Angels surrounded the place. The next day, a pastor from Jamaica came and prayed over Brian - one who is extremely sensitive to the Holy Ghost. The whole day was filled with amazing God-moments that brought encouragement to me.

Perhaps we've turned a corner in our journey. I'm not sure, but the glimmer of hope is definitely much stronger than last weekend's. Again, that doesn't mean things will suddenly turn easy. Brian's body has had a lot of damage done to it due the brittle nature his bones have become from the cancer. I don't even like to think about all the things that he's dealt with! But nothing is too big for God.

Blessings~

Saturday, September 19, 2009

another week goes by

Ever have those weeks where Friday never comes? Well, as I'm writing this, Friday has come and gone, but it took a long time to come! It probably was because Brian was prayed for yesterday by a well-respected minister and I was excited for that to happen.

Work was super busy this week, so the week went well, once I worked through some things on Monday. I don't like knowing that even though I'm having a good week, Brian's still fighting for his life. But you do what you can - praying for him, visiting, talking to my mom. Every bit helps in the fight.

Tomorrow I will hopefully go see Brian again. As my dad so aptly stated, Brian refuses to die. And it's pretty intense watching his faith in action when he is in so much pain. As a family member said, he's literally seeing through faith's eyes right now, not his own. It definitely challenges your own faith.

On a different note, through all of this chaos from the past two years with Brian, I met and married my husband, Erik! And today God showed me something about him. Erik is God's gift of mercy to me. That's how Jeremy Pearsons explains his wife in the book Hello, My Name Is God. My spouse is God's gift of mercy to me. This journey would be completely different, if I didn't have Erik by my side. He's been encouraging, strength, a listening ear, and someone to hug, over and over and over again. He helps me work though my thoughts and helps me put them aside to have fun.

Although many times during the journey, I felt odd going through the happiest moments of my life while my brother was in the worst moments of his, I'm grateful. As the sister, I don't always know what to do to help, except visit, pray, and talk to him. So the distraction of getting married, probably was another gift of God's mercy to me. Plus, God brought me a whole 'nother support system through Erik's wonderful family--not only his immediate family, but also his extended family.

Anyway, it's Saturday morning. Erik's sleeping. Tucker (our dog!! that's a whole 'nother story!!) is playing, and I'm thinking about straightening up the house before we head to our second wedding of the weekend.

I hope your day is blessed. God is truly good and will remain good for all times.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

good days , bad days

The past few days have been good for me. Work has kept me busy, and I think the rush of adrenaline from the weekend has passed. Daily I'm learning how to relate to God when my heart is so full of questions. Thank God, though, that I don't have a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

It's tiring watching Brian hurt. We're waiting on the Lord for His miraculous to happen - whatever that looks like!

I do have to say thank you to the huge support and community that has come to our family during this crazy time. Two years ago when Brian had his surgery, we took the "DL" approach and didn't tell a lot of people what we were going through. The second time around, we enlisted all the help we could get! It's been such a blessing!

I hear quite often, "If I can help in any way, let me know." And I just want to "shout out" to all my community in particular, but also to all of my family's support system. Thank you for being there for us. Knowing you are praying makes such a huge difference! There are days I don't know what to say in prayer or just feel very weak, and in those moments I'm reminded that I have a whole team of people supporting me.

Thank you.

This experiences is definitely teaching me the importance of praying for those in difficult times. Every0ne has a prayer request of some sort, and if I can help shoulder the burden for someone else, that will help the body of Christ out in the long run.

Blessings!

Monday, September 14, 2009

day 4... the balance beam

I feel like I'm walking a balance beam and I keep falling off. Right when I feel like I'm back on it, I get pulled down into the other side.

One moment, I see Brian and how much hurt he is in and realize he's not in a good place right now. Something needs to change; this can't go on forever.

The next moment, I'm in a prayer meeting that is very victorious and praying about light and reversal of situations, and I'm seeing the victory. In my heart, I'm doing a victory dance because I'm seeing Brian become miraculously healed.

The next moment, my family has a question for me about what I'd do in a certain situation if Brian went home to be with the Lord. It threw me off the beam the other way as I tried to prepare myself for that option again.

Nothing seems real except my family's pain and it's hard to know what to do.

Right now I'm squeezing a teddy bear Erik gave me when we found out cancer reappeared in Brian's body last fall. And crying. Wishing it would all stop.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

day 2

The last few days have been rough, but today has a bright spot. I'm watching Julia, the youngest of Brian's three children. All girls. (Lots of weddings to pay for down the road!) She's 1 1/2 and taking a nap right now. Okay, not really taking a nap, more like jabbering in the playpen, talking to herself, and pooping in her diaper. Such fun.

If you do the math, you'll realize Julia came right in the middle of this storm. She was born right around six months after Brian's surgery. At that time, he was cancer free.

Julia's a super easy-going baby. In fact, as I'm typing in the room with her, she drank her milk and now is alternating between laying her head down and playing with her toys. So precious.

You know, having a super easy-going baby in the middle of such craziness isn't a coincidence. Yes, three kids is a lot of work, but a smile from Julia can calm anyone's day. What if they had had a difficult child? Makes me remember that God is watching over them.

Heh heh. Julia is making loud noises and Erik is trying to sleep in the other room. Hopefully she's not bothering my sleepy husband. :)

The little things show that God is moving in the middle of this chaos. From providing for Brian's medical needs to the blessing of his third child, He's taking care of us.

I often wish He would take care of the big needs as well, since manifest healing is such a prominent need, but then I wonder, how many lives have been changed by watching Brian's faith remain strong through this ordeal? How many people have changed or confirmed their belief in God by seeing how strong Cristina is, even when she's weak? How have their lives been changed for the better? What difference will be made in the kingdom of God because of what they've been through?

Questions seem so prominent in the middle of this storm, but sometimes I think I can--and should--reevaluate the questions I ask.

Friday, September 11, 2009

day 1

day 1 of my blog. day 700-something of the storm.

Two years ago my brother was diagnosed with cancer - something my family never dreamed would happen. We're a normal, American, Christian family. Two parents, two kids. No one expects cancer to hit them.

But hit it did.

My brother and his wife have been battling it for longer than 700 days. Brian started feeling bad probably 2 1/2 years ago. A cough nagged at him, and he couldn't shake it. He didn't know he was getting ready for the fight of his life.

He went into surgery and came one less one lung - again something we didn't expect. We believed the cancer would be removed from his lung, not the lung from his body.

But I'm quickly learning God's ways are not my ways.

How many times do we think we know what God wants? How many times are we so sure of what His ways should be? Too often, I'm sure. We're only human, and although some of us know the supernatural realm exists, not many of us realize how close that realm affects our natural circumstances.

Brian's cancer went away. His 6-month checkup was clean. But the storm wasn't over. It showed up again a year after his surgery, worse than before.

That was almost a year ago. He's now near death's door.

But there's something I have to remember here. Death isn't more powerful than the God inside Brian. All the prayers and support that have been given to our family hasn't been for naught. Our God is a God who answers prayers. He doesn't respect persons. And I know of at least 3 situations where death was looming but didn't have the final say. If God can do it for them, He can certainly do it for Brian.

The problem is, my mind desperately wants to figure it out. I want to know the how, when, and where of his healing. I want to know when we'll be through this trauma. I want to know when the pain and hurt will end.

I don't know. Only God does. And that's why I find myself returning to the basic truth I know: God is good.

If that's the only thing I know in the middle of this unstable, horrific time, I will be okay.