Every story starts somewhere, whether we realize it’s the beginning or not. Our story began before we knew it existed; three months before, to be exact. A foreign, unwelcome illness began to settle itself into our lives and, more specifically, into my husband’s chest. The chest that I had fallen asleep on night after night, the chest that supported wonderful, too-tight hugs that Andrew loves to give me, the chest that has encased five years of laughter thus far together, the chest that our silly dog had tread over one too many times because he thinks he’s a cat, the chest that holds my husband’s heart that I so proudly claim- a life-changing tumor was growing among us as we obliviously made our own kind of life-changing memories.
Andrew is a baller. No, like seriously, he is a professional basketball player. In September, Andrew moved to Lithuania and, a month later, I followed suit. We embarked on a journey of completely unchartered territory that is professional basketball. To say we didn’t know what to expect is an extreme understatement. There were ups and downs, (and then some more downs) but through it all, we had each other. We were away from all of our family, all of our friends, and all of our favorite foods- but we had each other! We had God, and we had the one person on this earth that we needed in one another. Oh, and we had our dog, Charlie. His participation was a non-negotiable. This is all we needed to get through the constant windy-weather and the lack of hearing the beautiful and incomparable English language. Andrew travelled to so many parts of the world that he never thought he would step foot in; his passport is pretty impressive, to say the least. But an adventure that was supposed to kick off our marriage into a whirlwind of experience and culture was cut short when we were sat down at our kitchen table in Lithuania and were told there was a sizable tumor taking shape inside of Andrew. Shock, dismay, sadness, fear, and an emergency flight home were our next 36 hours. We had dreamt of the joyous day of setting foot on US ground once again, but this is certainly not what we had pictured. It was hard to be excited about reuniting with our loved ones because we knew that those hugs would be brief before heading straight to the hospital from O’Hare.
A few days into tests, scans, and sleepless nights in the hospital, we received my sweet guy’s diagnosis. Andrew has a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that is more common (and curable) in young children. In hearing the diagnosis, we felt like we were taking blow after blow. And yet we knew that the one thing the doctors would not factor into any sort of success rate or percentage is that we serve a mighty and sovereign God. We serve a good, just God who is the ultimate Physician. We serve a God who performs miracles every day, but also doesn’t always grant the miracles we pray for because His will for our lives is perfectly thought of. We serve a God whose plans are bigger and better than any of our dreams. No, not every day has been or will be easy for us, but a cancer diagnosis is easier to swallow when we know that this is no surprise to God and that He is in control. We are so joyous to know that the Lord will use this and deepen our ministry and testimonies. It is our hope and prayer that this blog is a tool and that the right person at the right time will stumble upon this in their time of need. Please read, share, comment, pass along, and experience this journey with us. We ask for your prayers in this life lesson and pray that we can all learn a little something from one another from this.
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)