All things through Him who strengthens!

June 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Jennifer & Chris

I was going to save this discussion for tomorrow or early next week… but it’s laying on my mind and heart… so… no time like the present…

Our Lord God is INCREDIBLE! He’s got the whole world in His hands! He never leaves us nor forsakes us! He knows the plans He has towards us for good and not for evil! I Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

God does hear us! He does answer us! Even though we only see a tiny, little, teeny bit of “it”… even though we can’t always hear (or like) His answers… my God started answering today’s prayers several months ago…

I love our Lord! He’s awesome. To those of you who do not believe, who do not have the hope that I do… I am truly sorry…

This morning, I was very, very worried about Chris and Jennifer… as you can perhaps tell from my previous blog… even though we’ve had additional difficult news… I still know who’s in control… Jesus… who loves us beyond everything… Jesus!

Chris & Jennifer were long haul truck drivers, living in the cab of their truck for the most part… when they had an accident in Murray, Kentucky… I am here to tell you there are NO accidents in life (nor luck, nor fate)… but there is God.. my Lord took my son and his wife to a truly wonderful small American town, where the First Baptist Church of Murray has a heart as big as “all outdoors”.

They’ve taken care of the kid’s transportation problems for Jennifer’s treatment, and they have a Family Crisis Fund which is helping with their bills. But they have a lot more than that…

They have a light that they let shine for two young people, in a strange town, where they didn’t know anyone… and gave them so much love, that Chris and Jennifer didn’t want to “move on”… they found a community that made them very, very welcome and gave them love and made them feel like family.

John 13:35 says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

That’s what the folks in Murray, Kentucky do… they have love one for another… even if you didn’t grow up there, even if you hadn’t been there more than a few days…. they simply love, because our Lord has shown them how.

With a world that’s all messed up… people starving… being beaten, robbed, murdered, raped… a billion different horrible diseases… the  folks of Murray, Kentucky… just made Chris and Jennifer feel at home… because… they know the love of the Lord, and have let His light so shine in them…

… Today, I am one mother who can rest easy, knowing my children, so far away, going through such a devastatingly difficult time, are well loved and cared for… they aren’t alone.

One of the most difficult things for a mother to accept is that she can’t fix some particular hurt or wrong in her children’s lives… my mother’s like that… at 77 she still wants (and succeeds) to help her kids and grandkids get through the tough spots… she’d like to “fix” it for them, and often can’t… I’m just learning this truth… and while earthly mothers can’t fix everything …. our Lord can.

He looked down the road of Chris and Jennifer’s life and knew exactly where they needed to be when really tough times were to hit, who they needed to be with… and for whatever His reasons are… (His mind is so far above ours)… He knows exactly what’s best for every single person touched by these life events.

Chris, just called and the “things” on Jennifer’s liver are indeed cancer. It’s spread. She been upgraded to stage 4.

I praise my Lord for the good folks in Murray, Kentucky and the Church family of the First Baptist Church there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping my kids. Thank you for the love you’ve given them. Thank you! The Lord has used you to answer the prayers I have today for my kids.

Need more prayers please…

June 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Jennifer & Chris

Jennifer went back in the hospital on Thursday to start her first round of chemo… she’s had a lot of problems this last week, instead of the pain from the massive surgery (which she had a couple of weeks ago) improving it’s been getting worse, nearly every day she’s been in the ER… so the 1st thing the folks at the Brown James Graham Cancer Center did was some imaging to determine the cause of her pain… they needed to do this before starting chemo… they found some spots on her liver… at this point we don’t know what they are… so please, please pray they are cysts and not the spread of cancer.

NEED grows: Chris and Jennifer still have bills, mounting daily (no health insurance), and a significant loss of income… please if you’re healthy, have a wonderful home, nice cars… first Thank God! and then please look in your heart and see if you can help these two young people… we’re helping financially as much as we can… this is so much more important than any future need of ours… this is here and now… this is life and death… I have absolutely no problems compared to what these two young people are facing and dealing with right now… but our savings alone are not going to get them through this… I know I don’t need to worry, just as God knows my name and address… He knows theirs too… but won’t you please ask your God if He can use you to help them?

Transportation every week back and forth to Louisville, KY remains another huge need. Without a car… things can be tough… thankfully Church family members got them to the hospital on Thursday… but they’ll need a ride back home in a couple of days… we’re unsure right now exactly when… the liver issue has to be addressed before they can start chemo.

Whether or not you can help physically… thank you for your consideration and your prayers… really :D… I know God is hearing their names from a thousand lips, thank you!…. and to all of you who’ve contributed time, transportation, support, love, as well as daily food supplies and prayers… may Our Lord bless you richly and return to you 1000 fold what you’ve given to two of His kids!

Jennifer knows that the aggressive chemo she’ll be having is going to cause all her hair to fall out… this week… what young lady wants to be bald? Not being the victim type… nope, not our Jennifer… she shaved it off… all of it… way to go girl!

Chris being the loving supportive husband that he is… shaved his off too… here are some pics…

Chris & Jennifer before shaving

Chris & Jennifer before shaving

Jennifer sans hair

Jennifer sans hair

Together... look Ma no hair

Together... look Ma no hair

The ACS (American Cancer Society) has provided some hair for Jennifer, and Gordon and I found some too… shhhh… it’s a surprise… well, she doesn’t know for sure WHICH one I picked out. She sent an email last night that said, she actually thinks the hair issue will be fun… again… GREAT attitude Honey!

Just lost my last two posts…

June 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Jennifer & Chris

I’ve been working hard to redo my blog… switched from Movable Type to WordPress… good decision… and trying to make both it and TNG work well together and look like they are both part of the same site…. had a problem with one of my user names and deleted it… not paying enough attention….. deleted all the posts I’d written as… well, as me…

So… to put them back in….

On 10 June I wrote….

Yesterday, Chris and Jennifer got the news from her doctor from the biopsies she had last week. Jennifer has (had?):

* Uterine cancer – stage 1 (removed during the surgery)
* Minute intestinal cancers (they think these will all be eliminated by chemo)
* Abdominal wall cancer (removed during the surgery)
* Ovarian – stage 3c  cancer

On a more positive note, Jennifer’s recovering from the surgery, she has a tremendous attitude about this, and she’s beginning to get up and down by herself. Chris returns to work tomorrow, so Jennifer will be at home and Chris will be worrying about her.

Also, a new bed was donated so that takes care of that need: THANK YOU!

Jennifer starts chemo next week. Please keep them both in your prayers, and donations to these two who have minimum wage jobs, and Jennifer can’t work for a long time… with no insurance and no savings, would sincerely be appreciated… you can send it to their Church (address in top left of the side-bar.)… thank you for both.

On the 6th of June… I blogged…

Today Jennifer and Chris get to go home to Murray (remember they’re at the University of Louisville, James Graham Brown Cancer Center)… praise Our Lord! Home is so much more comfortable than a hospital room.

A song came to mind for my kids this morning… called One Day At a Time, Sweet Jesus, it was sung by Kris Kristofferson…

The chorus went…
One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.

The Lord has this whole thing orchestrated… a couple of days ago the person who drove them to Louisville up and deserted them there, with no way home… piece of work, I must say that upset me greatly, because I’m powerless… stuck here in Florida unable to do much more than provide encouragement. But, the sister of their Sunday School teacher works at the hospital and she’s going to take them home… She said, “I’ll get to visit my sister.” Makes it sound like the kids are doing her a favor… Just more proof God’s got this in control. May the Lord give them a safe and comfortable trip home, and may He bless the driver abundantly!

Jennifer’s getting sad and scared, she’s beginning to understand what all this means… your prayers for their strength are more important than ever. It’s hard to stay focused on today, when tomorrow is so frightening. There’s a scripture which says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the mind of man, the things [God] has prepared for those that Love Him.” I told Chris they should think about what this means and to try to imagine what wonderful things the Lord’s provided for them in the future… this is the last resort if our minds simply can’t quit thinking about tomorrow… switch the focus from thinking about ourselves to thinking about the Lord.

Jennifer will need to go back to Louisville every three (3) weeks for chemotherapy. It’s going to be an extremely high dosage… in itself life threatening… and it may make Jennifer very ill.

Current Needs
-Prayer – of course… tons and tons of prayer
-Transportation to and from Louisville for chemo therapy
-Jennifer won’t be able to work for a long time – so their meger income is cut in half – they were just getting by before – financial support is really needed
-Their current bed was free but it’s too low to the ground and way too soft. They need a new bed firmer and higher off the ground so Jennifer can sit on it without hurting herself. (Donated by a local mattress company – may God sincerely bless you!)

Please help them, whatever you can spare, is tremendously appreciated. Please, even a card of encouragement or sharing your own story would be helpful.

Thank you for caring enough to read this blog, I’ll keep you updated. God bless you!

Ovarian Cancer strikes in Kentucky – couple NEED your help!

June 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Jennifer & Chris

Early last week, one morning, my son and his wife were heavy on my heart, I kept praying for them throughout the morning… I didn’t know why they kept coming to my mind, but every time they did I’d offer a prayer, Lord please help Chris and Jennifer, please be with them… Please take care of them… repeatedly throughout that morning… then I spoke with my son…

His wife was going to need surgery, she had a mass on her ovary the size of a small canteloupe… they (the doctors) didn’t know what it was, but they would need to remove it… in preparation they did some blood tests… her t-cells were high.. it might be cancer… they couldn’t do the surgery in Murray… Chris and Jennifer were told they’d have to go to the University of Louisville, the James Graham Brown Cancer Center…

For two young people this was a huge deal… so far a way… no car, lost wages… no insurance… no savings…

Chris, a former Marine joined the Florida National Guard (he was actually a civilian for 1 day) that was the winter of 2005… he spent a lot of active time that year with all the hurricanes and then served in Afghanistan… seeing things no young man or woman should ever have to see … when he came home… out one night with friends.. he met Jennifer… that was IT for him… they married shortly after that… He’s a fine young man… makes his mom proud… I knew too when I met Jennifer that she was the ONE the Lord had brought for my son… the last four years haven’t been easy for them, but they’ve worked together… forged a unit… “for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and the two shall be as one flesh.”… That’s what God says… Chris is a really fine husband and loves his wife dearly.

Chris was a long haul truck driver, he and his wife basically living in the truck, crossing and recrossing state after state… taught me that Florida isn’t a drive through state… never thought of that before… then one night he had an accident…. near the small town of Murray Kentucky… fortunately no one was hurt… the Lord laid on his heart (as the One who works in us to will and to do) that He’d only used truck driving to bring him and Jennifer to Murray…. they settled in… with all the warmth and love that only a small town can give… they quickly became a part of the community…

As the jobless rate rose across the country this last year, finding new jobs hasn’t been easy… the pay? minimum wage… no insurance… no car… barely making ends meet from week to week… the way so many of us have started out lives on our own… but they were doing it… and because they were working together, the bond between them continued to grow, stronger… day by day… my baby and his bride were growing up… they joined the local Church and every time I spoke with them the peace and joy in their outlook and their words gave peace to my own heart as I knew the Lord was doing something with them.. .THAT I could trust… even though I didn’t know what it was that He was doing… didn’t need to know, just to trust…

Yesterday… was it just yesterday that the sky caved in?… Seems like a million years ago… That we found out that our Jennifer, 25, so young, so much in love with her husband… starting a new life of their own, young, strong, and vibrant… was at grave, deadly risk of a very, very ugly and real disease…

The doctors operated on Jennifer in a 5 hour surgery.. invasive ovarian cancer… they removed every thing from Jennifer that wasn’t needed for life… her chances of surviving this are 50-60% and they won’t even begin to know whether or not they got it all for another 4 or 5 days… she starts chemo immediately… what now Dear Lord? Why? Please.. NO!

I’m blind to tomorrow, haven’t a clue… so are Chris and Jennifer…But, God made some promises that are worthy of note… ALL things work to good [for believers - Chris and Jennifer]… He knows the thoughts He has towards us (Jennifer and Chris)… to good and not to evil… Jennifer was skillfully and wonderfully made in the secret of her mother’s womb… and God loves her and Chris very, very much! He loves them more than they love each other, more than I love my son, more than anyone loves anyone… God IS love….

We were able to talk today with joy and peace and strength… NOT about tomorrow… our Lord tells us clearly… tomorrow has too many problems, think of today… there’s enough here to focus on…

In 1998 my darling husband suffered 2 ruptured aneurysms and a massive stroke… he was in a coma, and the doctors said he wouldn’t make it through the night… no 50-60% chance.. he simply wouldn’t live… but I was able to handle that with strength and faith because five years earlier when my father committed suicide the Lord taught me how HE would get me through… while I could clearly see my Lord’s hand in preparing me for my husband’s sudden catastrophe… I didn’t know why he’d let Gordon have such a horrible illness… until yesterday… He in His “big picture” all-knowing set me up to be a role-model for my son… it wasn’t an act… it was real…. and it showed Chris how to place his face pointed to God and hold on!!!!

So today… we were able to be IN the middle of a horrible, earth shattering, catastrophe and find things for which to praise our Lord… and do as He instructs when He says… IN all things give thanks! … there is so much peace there… Jennifer asked me last night (how she could even talk after a 5 hour surgery and all the pain she had to have been in is totally beyond me)… she asked me if I was mad at her because she wouldn’t be able to have babies… NO, absolutely not, I was just THRILLED to be able to talk to her!

I have Jennifer’s and Chris’ permission to be telling y’all this stuff… there’s some huge needs here… If you’re a believer please pray for Jennifer and Chris and their families (mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, family, friends) who are grieved by this… pray that God heal Jennifer and let her be with us for a long time yet… Pray that Jennifer not have pain.. and that God give both of them the strength they’ll need in the days to come… that their faith can be an example to others, that God might be able to use this to open someone’s eyes to Him, that they might become believers too… please pray that God give the doctors the right knowledge to completely heal Jennifer…

Scripture says if your brother is hungry, don’t just pray for him… feed him… if he’s naked, don’t just pray for him… give him something to wear…
Whether you share our faith or not… please help if you can… Right now… Chris and Jennifer are 300 miles away from their tiny one bedroom apt… neither working.. and Jennifer won’t be able to work for quite some time… they have minimum wage jobs, no insurance and no car, no savings… Jennifer will have to go back and forth for chemo therapy a lot… please if you have been blessed financially please help them… anything… even pennies.. if everyone who read this also got their friends to read it and each one sent a small amount.. one dollar… 50 cents… it would all add up… and enable Chris and Jennifer to eat, to get back and forth to the hospital, to have clothes to wear… how much can you afford… please (I’ve never asked this of strangers before…) please help them… if you can please send it to their church… put “for Jennifer Johnson” on it and mail it to… this way you’ll know it’s not a scam… this is a very real desperate need…

First Baptist Church
203 South 4th Street
Murray, KY 42071

In any case, whether you can help or not… may God bless you bountifully… we’re all in the same boat you know… people are all we have, and we are each here for each other. Thank you for your time reading this!