Saturday, October 30, 2010

Update from JKM

So Wilson is still doing amazing things.

I don’t know yet if/when I will be getting surgery, chemo, radiation, nothing, or any combination of those options. I got the pathology report from my prior surgery and learned that Wilson should be slow growing but is incurable. The average survival after being diagnosed is 7-10 years so I have already lived twice that since the tumor was first diagnosed.

If I had only lived 10 years I would not have gone to the Academy or medical school, found a job I love, married a woman more amazing than I ever could have imagined, or been blessed with 4 beautiful and unique children. Praise God for his indescribable gifts!

This time is a little stressful (understatement) and it isn’t a lot of fun, but it is still a time of great joy. I have long since believed in Jesus, served him, and desired to be obedient to him. I have loved him but for the first time I am truly in love with him.
“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:1-2.
My daily quiet time with the Lord has never been so fulfilling or inspiring. It is no longer a daily duty but the highlight of my day. Each time I read the word, even a few verses, I am filled with the Holy Spirit and my heart is transformed. Verses that I have read 20+ times have an entirely new power.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

The greatest part of this whole ordeal is watching the Holy Spirit spread to the rest of my family. Sabrina and the kids have grown as our family becomes more focused on the eternal and less on the temporary. The joy it brings me is indescribable and I can only imagine the joy our Heavenly Father has when he watches us grow closer to him.

I am dying.  But so is everyone else, the difference is that I know I am dying. I also know that I no longer want to live for myself or even for other people. I want to live for Christ alone and Wilson will not take my life until God has completed the work he has for me to do. I would rather live for 5 more minutes in unity with Christ than 50 more years without him.
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68.

To all those of you are praying for me, fasting for me, and sharing your words of encouragement I can not thank you enough. You are an incredible blessing that fills my heart with joy. May God bless you for your love and support!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Mad Family

It's been a hard couple of days. 
Really hard. 
A mixture of good news, bad news and no news.
Lots of moments when I've felt so overwhelmed that I can't breathe.

Then I look around and realize that not only am I not walking this alone, I'm not even walking.
Jesus is holding me.
And I am surrounded by the most amazing people.  Walking with me.
My friends amaze me with their love, prayers, hope and faith.  Bold faith.

And my little family leaves me breathless.
And reminds me that I am blessed beyond belief.

My life is so blessed.

(Above is a slide show made of the most gorgeous pictures of my family taken by Rebecca Lees and Lauren Salinas.  Are they amazingly talented or what?!  They captured my family perfectly.  I will forever be in debt to them for reminding me of all that I have to be thankful for!  I love you ladies and am so thankful to you for this gift.)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Guest Blogger

Wilson's Back

Who's Wilson you say? Wilson is a name that Sabrina and I gave to my brain tumor (after the volley ball in the movie "Cast Away"). Not sure why but we decided he needed a name. So Wilson visited me as a child and a very skilled neurosurgeon took him out when I was eleven (or so we thought). Apparently he has officially made a comeback and I need to have surgery again to get rid of him. I'll admit I don't have fond memories of Wilson's removal. It involved a severe headache, vomiting, a lot of time spent in bed and, of course, who can forget the fear of death or permanant brain injury. Don't get me wrong, this surgery should be a relatively easy one but working in a hospital has taught me that there are no guarantees.

Now this may come as a surprise but Wilson is actually a blessing. Granted, if I could magically make him dissappear I would, but Wilson has done a lot for me. As a child I was suddenly forced to face the question of what will happen to me if I die. This is not fun at any age, especially at 11. Yet, it really made me get down on my knees and cry out to God. It brought me to that all important realization that I am not in control. It also made me realize that I cannot gain my way into heaven by works, self-established faith, bribery, or anything except for the grace of God. It also made me realize that the point of life is not to seek my own glorification, but to seek God's glorification. I don't know that I would be a believer today if it weren't for Wilson.

I thought maybe I had lost some of that peace I had obtained as a child but the second I heard Wilson might be back it enveloped me again. This time Wilson has taught me to trust God with even more. As a child I just had to trust God to take care of me. Now, I must also trust him to take care of my beautiful Sabrina, my 2 wonderful boys, and my 2 little sweethearts. Wilson has strenthened my faith, he has strengthened Sabrina's faith, and he has even strengthened the faith of strangers. If my suffering can bring even 1 person into a loving, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ then it is completely worth it. I realize that it will be hard for Sabrina and my children if the surgery does not go well, but I also realize that there is no void I could leave behind that cannot be filled with the love of Christ. My God is a powerful God, a gracious God, a loving God, and a merciful God so I will follow him through this valley clinging to Him and to His promises.

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil 1:6

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the price for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:13-14

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Phil 1:21

"Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'" Luke 23:43