In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Several days ago, I was searching through the car radio for a station that would allow my ipod to play through the speakers. I stopped pushing the scan button when I heard these words, "Israel means, "He struggles with God."  Strangely, I was immediately comforted. 

The naming of Israel is a story I have heard many times before, but never considered in depth.  The book of Genesis describes how Jacob gets into a physical struggle with God, and after the wrestling, God blesses him and changes his name to "Israel."  His descendents would be the nation of Israel.  Jacob/Israel walks away transformed, but with a limp.

I was comforted because so often I feel like I am doing "this" wrong.  I sometimes feel like there should be no struggle.  I should just surrender.  I should just be faithful.  I should just submit to His will.  I found these words comforting, because it gave me hope that God expects us, perhaps wants us to struggle with him.  He is the one who named His nation Israel.  God understands that struggle and questioning come before surrender, and before peace.

Throughout this last year, I have been extremely sensitive to any perceived criticism.  I constantly expect others to believe I am handling "this" wrong.  My feelings of rage and anger have been so intense they make me feel guilty. Any insinuation that I should do something differently in terms of grieving, or processing, or feeling, is like a needle stabbed through my eye.  When anyone even touches on my guilt, I am a pile of egg shells.  Angry egg shells.

I have a lot of "shoulds" going through my brain.

"I shouldn't be so angry at God. It's not His fault."

"I should trust Him."

"I should be able to surrender."

"I should be more faithful."

"I should accept that God is good, and not out to persecute me, and move on."

"I should have moved into peace and surrender by now."

If only it were that simple.

But to me, it is not.

It is trusting and surrendering to a God who allows atrocities every second of every day (for some reason) despite his goodness and love.  So it is hard.  I am afraid the "limp" might be too much to bear. I'm afraid any "blessing" might be too little, too late.

I fade in and out of surrender-mode, returning regularly to a place where I snatch the controls right back (at least in my own mind) and tell God to "leave me alone!"
So, I felt a wave of freedom and peace come over me when I was reminded:

God expects the struggle.
Perhaps wants it.
He understands.
He is bigger than my anger.
He is bigger than my despair.
He can work through all of it.

Which is good.

Because I struggle with Him.

Struggle and pray.

As I am sure many of you do.



  1. I'm so glad that you're struggling *with Him*.

    Thank you so much for sharing this so I can remember I struggle *with Him* too...


  2. I think we all do. struggle...everyday.

  3. I agree. Everyone. Everyday. I guess I put a lot of pressure on myselt not to.

  4. I could have written this post (except I didn't know the story of Israel). I struggle too. I want it to be differrent, but it just isn't.
    (p.s. I think you are doing everything beautifully...even struggling.)


Your thoughts...