Saturday, August 02, 2008

Picking up the pieces

When things fall apart in life I'm usually shaken up a little bit and I grab the few broken pieces of my life and try to fit them back together in a new, improved way. Our first battle with cancer was a walk in the park compared to this. We were able to pick up the pieces of our lives in just a few months and return to normal. This battle with cancer has been so intense and life changing that it's almost like everything was disintegrated. I feel like there are no usable pieces to grab and put back in place.

So now I feel like I'm rebuilding my life from scratch. It is hard to explain but I just feel like I'm starting my life over. Trials are like a fire that melts a piece of metal, burns away the impurities and leaves a more refined end product. Cancer is doing just that. I'm begining to see everything in a new way. A new way of being a husband, father and brother. A new way of seeing my career. A new way of seeing my gifts and talents and how I can use them in this world. But above all I see my wife in a whole new way after all this.

For the past 4.5 years I've been married to a wonderful, beautiful woman. In the past 4.5 months I've seen this 28 year old woman step up to the greatest challenge I could have imagined. To watch your husband practically almost die from multiple surgeries and complications, then nurse him back to life. Then, try to actually keep him alive while the doctors try to kill him with chemicals and radiation. All while managing phone calls, doctors appointments, my blood tests and nutritional intake through my feeding tube AND raising 2 toddlers at the same time. And most importantly, she tried to keep me laughing. And when I wasn't laughing she was speaking the truth to me in love to bring my mind out of the gutter.

I clearly remember those late nights when she would wake up to me puking my brains out then hop out of bed and get me water or medicine or make me chamomile tea, and when I was feeling like giving up and she would tell me about all the wonderful things I have to live for. Or when I came home from the hospital and she would put on latex gloves and clean all my wounds and change my bandages with the utmost care. She just watched the nurses each day at the hospital and learned how to care for my wounds. Or how she would always teach the kids to be gentle with Papa's "ouwees" and explain to them why I had a tube coming out of my nose. She would rent comedy movies for me and make sure I wasn't watching any depressing WWII documentries on TV. And the list goes on and on and on and on. And she did it because it made her happy to. I've never taken care of Grace or anybody like that. I'm actually quite the opposite of that, lazy and uncompassionate towards others. What a precious jewel Grace is.

Pray for me as I seek repentance and change in this area of my life. I so want to be a more caring, compassionate, and understanding person . God is really working on my pride, self reliance and laziness through this trial. Though I feel guilty I know that God forgives me and Grace forgives me. Thank you Jesus that my life is not built on a foundation of good works, good looks, health, or money, because then I would be a complete failure and destined for hell. But my life is built on the firm foundation of the blood of Jesus which washed all my sins away forever. Amen!

Matt 7:24-27 Jesus said:

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."


  1. Andrew,

    You and I are in the same boat. It is amazing how Roxanne and Grace are still with us. Health issues definitely do make you think twice how God has Graced us, to think that two beautiful girls fell in love with us enough to say 'I do' and then to live through the horrors you and I have gone through and to still be with us, is by all means the Lord working. Praise Him for your health and your wife. May God reveal to you want He wants out of the rest of your precious life?

    Erik Greene

  2. **WOW** amen and amen ... your family is a testament to God's purifying grace. your family remains in my prayers.

  3. Dear Andrew & Grace,

    I am always riveted and completely blessed and inspired by your writings. I praise God for your transparency and your continued faith and trust in our Lord Jesus. You are a constant in our thoughts and prayers. I meet regularly with friends to pray for you. Oh, may our great God continue to sustain you. His work in you and through you is not in vain.

    Because of Christ Jesus,
    Kellie Jefferis

  4. Andrew & Grace,
    thank you for this. I know you both have heard this countless times, but this blog is so inspiring to me, to see how God is so good, how he truly carries us during suffering, and how he uses trials to expose our deepest weaknesses, causing us to throw our souls at the mercy of Christ. Steven and I are praying for you always.
    Love your cousin,

  5. andrew,

    thanks for your candor. the Lord certainly has blessed you with a wonderful wife. He knew you'd need her. He also knew she'd need His supernatural grace to get through the last few months. i'm sure she'd say that He deserves all the glory.

    your fellow sister in need of repentance,
    angie thornton

  6. Andrew,

    You're already a million times more caring and compassionate than most people, including myself, could ever hope to be. Just knowing all the trials that life has put before you have only increased your faith, strength, and bond with Grace-I really admire that. You're my hero, bro.