Amazing Grace

God is so good. God is so good. God is so good.

There is no reason we should have joy in our hearts. There is no reason we should be feeling peace, and calm and excitement about this unexpected journey. And I cannot believe i am typing this, but as we sat in our car after arriving home from a LONG day at Kaiser, we prayed. And do you know what came out of my mouth?

“Thank you, God, for Rich’s cancer.”

And Rich agreed with me in prayer.

Not because I want him to go through this battle physically. He’s in pain. He is tired. It’s not good. But on our way home, we were both filled with so much peace…and have felt God transform so many fundamental parts of our lives in the past 40 hours. When you have no control over life or death, you must lean on God in a way that we don’t when we think we have more control. And in that leaning, he reveals himself in amazing ways. OUR LIVES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME after this journey, and we are so excited to see what God is going to do with all of this.

Today, scriptures were placed in our hands as we casually leafed through the Bible as we waited for treatments. Sierra Vista gave us each a prayer shawl…a shawl that was knit in prayer, and prayed over by the congregation, that the recipient would be healed, and would have a physical feeling of God’s arms around him/her during the journey. What an amazing gift. Putting it around our shoulders, it truly felt like a hug from the Lord.

We happened upon our Pastor in the parking lot of Starbucks, who has recently been through a harrowing journey with open heart surgery, and complications from that. He told us, in the past year, what has been truly impressed upon him was this fact:

Every thought; every action; every thing I say shows what I believe about God.

Over the past day, I’ve had a lot of doubt. Fear. Terror. Wondering about how to do all that we do, without the help of my husband. His pain is such that he cannot sit for long periods of time, and he needs to be lying down to have comfort. I’ve envisioned life without him, and have shed so many tears, I have decided that my contacts will not be worn again for a really long time (contacts can fall out when you cry too much). I’ve been afraid to hope.

Today, I was given the courage to hope. The courage to trust God. No matter what. No matter what. No matter what. And I don’t know what is to come. But I do know that I have a strong God. A God who loves me. A God who loves my husband and my little girl and boy more than I do. A God who could heal Rich, despite all odds, with a single word. Or maybe healing isn’t in his plans…I don’t know. But He has a plan for that, too.

Tonight, we go to sleep with joy. With a renewed commitment to love and follow Jesus, no matter where that takes us, or how that changes our lives. There is no reason for this peace…for this joy…for this excitement…outside of Christ.

Thank you for your prayers. They are moving mountains. Originally, they weren’t able to get Rich in for a Biopsy until next week. Within 1.5 hours, they called back to say they had a cancellation, and could do it today. Then, they said we’d have to come down to Fresno for ultrasounds of his kidneys tomorrow. They were able to do it, instead at 6:30PM tonight. We have an oncology appointment next Wednesday. Results from the biopsy may be available on Monday. We will let you know when we hear anything. It is amazing to me how many people are willing to help us…thank you all.

Specific things you can pray for:

– Rich’s pain, that it would be manageable and that he could enjoy simple things like sitting up to play with the kids for a short time. He is currently taking vicodin for the pain, and it is helping.

– That the tumor won’t grow. Pray for protection of his right kidney and ureter. For some reason, I’ve been feeling the need to pray for his spine and nerves in that area…so pray for that, too.

– Pray for us to come to a new vision of how to handle the various responsibilities of our life…our family, our business, our home.

– Pray for our faith. That it remains strong. This journey has just begun.

With much love and thankfulness,


8 Responses to “Amazing Grace”

  1. Eric Girard Says:

    God is good indeed! Let us know how we can help, aside from praying. I know that during my experience, hundreds, maybe thousands of people prayed for me – people I didn’t know and still have never met – and it made all the difference.

    On the more worldly, practical side, don’t forget to ask for and accept help. My dad was my caregiver and it was very hard for him to do that. I think it would have been easier on us both if he’d been more open, earlier.

    Happy to come down and do what needs to be done. Listening, running errands, doing yardwork…whatever.



  2. Ruth Demers Says:

    Susan, what an amazing testimony you already have! I was so blessed to read your blog entries and inspired by your strength in the Lord! God is truly placing his hand on you and Rich and I too look forward to watching, and helping, in this journey you are about to experience, fully knowing that Our God can and will do amazing things with this! I would love to be able to help out, as well as so many I’m sure, with prayers of coarse but also with other things you need. Watchng the kids if you need to go to appointments, bringing meals, laying hands on your husband with others, please let me know or lead me to the person who is the “goto person” for all this. If there isn’t one yet, I would certainly want to be that to, just let me know!
    Be strong in the shadow of His wings,

  3. Nessa Says:

    God is amazing!! He does have a plan for us all. A plan we don’t know but trust Him to take us on this journey we call life. I have watched my mom battle cancer of and on now for 13 years. It’s scary and hard to watch at times but I have seen amazing things happen in my mom. She has through the grace of God and through His peace done amazing things. I am praying that you both keep faith. Remember that God is powerful and He is there for you both, ALWAYS.

    We are here too. Please don’t hesitate to call us for help or a voice to talk or cry with. We love you guys!!


  4. Linda Hagen Says:

    Susan and Rich, We will be praying for you. Your testimony is so powerful. I was having a pity party for myself this afternoon, and then I opened your site. My trivial worries are so silly. Thank-you for the perspective! God is so powerful and can work through you to speak to so many. We know that He wants only the best for you, and in healing Rich He will also be doing a lot of healing in other people’s lives. If there is anything we can do to help, please call. We are all part of God’s family, and need to be there for each other. It would be an honor to be able to help you in any way that we can.

  5. Laurie Mitchell Says:

    I am inspired by your faith and your perspective. About 10 years ago Ed’s brother was diagnosed at age 39 with testicular cancer which had spread to a large tumor in his chest. When I got the news I had such a calmness come over me and I knew everything would be ok. (he has been cancer free for many years). I believe God sent the message to me so that I could be a support to Ed and his family. It seems God is providing you with the same type of messages. Only He knows the plan for you both but I will pray daily. Your testimony is so grand. Keep the faith.

  6. Eric Hagen Says:

    I love you all so much, we are praying for each of you. Please call me anytime day or night for anything.

  7. Christina Howard Says:

    Other than reconnecting on Facebook, I haven’t seen either of you since we were teenagers, and even back then, we were friendly but never close. And yet, when I read Susan’s message on Facebook about Rich having cancer, it brought tears to my eyes, and I immediately put aside everything else I was doing in order to read through the blog.

    It’s hard for me to explain, but tears, for me, have always been the simplest and purest form of prayer – so it really moved me to read Susan’s passage about giving up her contacts because of all her tears.

    I will pray for you both in more formal ways, and will share your blog with an online faith community, as well as adding Rich’s name to the prayer list at church this Sunday.

    Peace be with you.

    “For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from him; but when he cried unto Him, He heard.” -Psalm 22:24

  8. Diane Vaccaro Says:

    Reading your words as you testify to who God is in your life in so encouraging. I love the part about how God gave you the moment to sleep on the couch with your bible close. Is there a better time to feel peace and rest than when we are listening to God’s voice? I have been loving Ps 116, about the first 7 verses. It begins, “I love the lord because he heard my voice, he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me I will call on him as long as I live.” It ends, “Be as rest once more, O my soul, for the lord has been good to you.”

    Diane, with love

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