Oct 30

It’s happened thrice this week.  A friend, usually more of an acquaintance-friend than a I know-everything-about-her-friend, has asked me, “How are you handling it?”

And what she means is, “How do you walk around in those shoes?  You know, the shoes that have impending-threat-of-terminal-cancer* diagnosis.”

*It’s true that this might be my diagnosis after the surgery.  However, I just don’t believe it is going to happen.  I believe the peace I feel is God telling me It’s Not Cancer.  

These friends see me going to the grocery store, caring for my children, walking to and from the bus stop, dropping off for preschool, and doing my normal mom life.  I think that, for those who know my story, I have the effect of walking into a room with the word PERSPECTIVE tattooed to my forehead as I go about these ordinary days.  When folks read my blog, I hope they feel empowered and emboldened to be hopeful, brave, and kind as they navigate their own lives.  I share my story, myself, with you because that is how I walk this out.

These people, these lovely people — you people — you help me walk in these shoes.

You pull over when you see me walking by to say, “I’m thinking about you.”

You take an extra twenty minutes to chat at the grocery store and ask, “What can I do?”

You pause in the preschool hullaballoo to say, “I’m praying for Thursday.”

You send me voicemails, text messages, blog comments, and emails of encouragement; they all say, “I love you.”

You send me cards and gifts that say, “I’m thinking of you.”

You say a simple, “I’m praying for you.”

You press in, you ask, you pray, you engage, you listen, you hope, and you walk with me.

Do I have anxiety about the upcoming surgery?  Yes.

Do I have anxiety about the spot and the worry that it might be cancer?  YES.

Do I have anxiety about how my family will cope while I recover?  Yes.

Let’s be honest, the worry over the spot puts the other two worries–the surgery and my family–in perspective.

Overriding this anxiety is the inexplicable peace that I believe comes from God.  I have a bizarre peace as I wait these 16 days (only 8 left) before the surgery.

The peace is reinforced, verified, magnified, strengthened with each voice from you as I go about my day.

So the answer to that question is that I’m doing this with you.  I’m walking this out with God, with my family, and with you, my army of people who have chosen to love me.  Thank you for walking with me.  You make this easier.


  1. Jana R. /

    Will continue to pray for you on this journey. As with my own CA dx. I feel the peace that can only come for walking with our Father. He has His hands all over this. All you need to do is trust Him and give Him all the glory!

  2. Marlayne Skeens /

    Jen ~ Such an Inspiration !!! You have chosen Happy, Not Crappy ~ Yes, it sucks @ times & we know, because of Tom’s Alzheimer’s ~ However, Life does go on & You Do It Sooooooooooooo Well 🙂

  3. Praying, praying, praying!!!!

  4. Ann Yelle /

    Walking with you….

  5. DENISE /

    Sending up buckets of prayers. Love Neecie

  6. Lisa (black) /

    Have you read the TED talk “the best gift I ever survived”? My boss shared it (relevant b/c I work at a hospital) and it made me think of you. Praying for and thinking of you often.

  7. Margaret /

    Walking with you…love,hugs, & prayers!

  8. Amber Starnes /

    I love your posts Jen:) They are so inspirational. Praying for your surgery and your family:)
    (Im Bev Garretts daughter, just in case you were wondering)

  9. kathleen /

    You inspire all of us…hugs & prayers coming your way.

  10. Holding you up to the Universal Healing Power and claiming that is going to be all right.

  11. Cameron /

    I am honored to walk with you and we have never even met. So grateful for the peace that so clearly surrounds you.

  12. Bonnie J /

    I’m WITH you !! Sometimes the peace we have the DEEP sense of overriding Peace is just impossible to explain. You just Know. I’ve had times like those !! The date is a mark on the calendar and the Lord knows it very well. Love you and yours Jen !!

  13. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Covering you in prayer! As you place yourself in God’s hands may you continue to feel His love and peace.

  14. Dearest Jen, there’s not a day that has gone by since Doe Bay that I have not thought of you and prayed for you and your family. I feel this overwhelming bond of Charis and Karis (Grace and Love) that was no accident. 🙂 You have secured a place in my heart for all of time. I’m so grateful for your blog because the miles are so far for regular visits, but have met and come to know the Ember whose flame will always be. You teach me well how to be present right where we are and I am so grateful. The beginning of Nov is a sensitive and prayer filled one as I have two dear ones going in for the same exact surgery.The 5th and 7th. I am trusting with you in the peace that surpasses all understanding. To Him be the glory forever. Xoxo

  15. Jen,

    This morning as I read and pondered Psalm 139, I was drawn to a verse that made me think of and pray for you. Verse 5 says, “You both precede and follow me, you p;lace hand of blessing on my head.” I pictured God already being in the surgical room – waiting – already knowing all that will occur and preparing your physicians. I thought of the promise to follow you – He already has all the post-surgery details – the recovery and your beautiful girls already taken care. How incredible to have a God that can be in front and behind ALL at the same time!

    Finally, I relished the knowledge that indeed His hand of blessing is on your head. Your posts have reflected this in real ways. May you continue to feel that incredible hand of blessing on your head.

    Hope today is FULL of wonderful moments celebrating with your girls.

    Continuing to pray…

  16. KellyE /

    🙂 Prayers continued from our family. You are also on the prayer lists of all my family members churches. Your presence is so powerful. Everytime I am lucky enough to run into you I am moved. God is present in all of us, but God’s love and power doesn’t even come close to being contained in you! You shine!

  17. Pat Powell /

    Ma here Jen dear
    How wonderful it was for me to see you, to hold you in my arms – to see and know what a wonderful, strong and prayerful young lady you are – the strength of your belief in God our Saviour will save you – My love to you always Ma XXXX

  18. Staici /

    TRUST GOD! I believe we should all desire to leave a message of faith. My father’s words of faith have been “Trust God!” During the difficult moments in my life I am so grateful to be reminded to TRUST GOD!I am thankful and blessed to be a part of your season. How kind and unselfish for you to allow others to be a part of your journey….. I am praying for you and your family! Love you without needing to know you personally……TRUST GOD!

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