“Through Christ, it can be well with your soul even when it is not well with your circumstance.”
I don’t want to write on this cancer blog again! I don’t want to wear purple again. I don’t want to return to MD Anderson again. I don’t want to watch my sister suffer again. I don’t want to feel the pain in my heart as I look at Billy and their children again. I don’t want to think about the loss and possibility of death that comes with the word cancer again. None of us do! But I will. We all will because God has asked us to enter this battle and suffering again, and I know He is sufficient for all He is asking of us.
The Nay Family is from a small mountain town in the White River Valley of Colorado called Meeker. My family (the Kennedy’s) just made the drive from Denver to Meeker over Christmas break. This four hour drive includes many steep climbs, breathtaking views from the top of the mountains, careful descents down the icy and snow covered roads, and many straight paths. There are several tunnels where you are completely protected from the elements outside, a beautiful and yet dark canyon, and the wide open spaces of many valleys.
This is a picture of what life has been like for the Wright family and their extended family and friends since this blog began in November of 2010. Those of us walking with Kristi through her cancer have been on quite the journey. We have experienced the hard climbs, some fearful descents, and the straight paths where we could take a breath. There have been comforting moments of being in the tunnel of God’s grace and feeling His supernatural protection, presence and peace, and there was the glorious view at the top of the mountain with Kristi’s miracle in June of 2012. Right now, it feels like the canyon part of our drive. Full of beauty, but also an acute awareness of the claustrophobic rock walls, a river with fast rapids, and the darkness that covers the beauty of the canyon at night.
On January 28th, Kristi will return to MD Anderson for scans and pre-op appointments, and she will again face the full pelvic exoneration surgery on Thursday, January 31st.
This is lengthy, but allow me to catch you up on the past three months-----
At Kristi’s check-up the end of October, they found that small fragments of cancer had returned. This was followed by once again having the elders of their church pray over her and then returning to MD Anderson for a biopsy in December. This biopsy left the Dr.’s with great confusion and concern. Even though these fragments are tiny, they are a fast growing type of cancer and it is dangerously close to the pelvic wall and nerve which would complicate any treatment. However, since June, they have invited an Orthopaedic Surgeon to join them on Kristi’s case who may be able to help if it is in the pelvic wall. This was not an option before. Furthermore, Kristi has had a call from another woman who survived the surgery and the recovery in the past two weeks. She had tried to locate someone to talk to before and never could. The Dr.'s are concerned because they have been unable to locate the source for these fragments and are equally concerned that her cancer has now returned three times. It was over Christmas that we received the news that MD Anderson was scheduling Kristi for the same surgery that God rescued her from in June.
Many questions arise with this fact. Primarily, why would God choose to provide a miraculous healing in June that touched so many lives, only to allow the cancer to return six months later? Why is the cancer back in the very month she was to share her story at church and was offering leadership to a new cancer ministry? What about those who did not believe in God, and now do because of the answered prayers in June? Will they turn away and doubt God again?
I would not begin to speak for God! Instead, I am reminded of the book of Habakkuk where he is asking God lots of questions and then gets to chapter 3 and says,
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no fruit, though there are no sheep in the pasture and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord
and be joyful in God my Savior. “
This is the desire of our family as God continues to write this story!
Over Christmas, I kept thinking about the story of Job in God’s word as I watched Billy and Kristi deal with the return of cancer and the financial stress of past cancer bills. Kristi will not be able to work which will require they sell their house, but there is no time to accomplish this before surgery. This would have been enough, but then their dryer quit, their microwave quit and their heater quit working. Then, to make matters worse, Kristi got sick and was not able to physically feel well as she worked hard to make the most of this Christmas with Billy, Isaiah, Alyssa and her extended family. Enough is Enough God!!!
Job got to this point too when he said, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him “ Job 13:15.
Amidst their heartache and concerns, this remains true of Billy and Kristi.
I recently heard a message by Chuck Swindoll on Romans 8:18-28 in a study at our church. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (vs 18 & 28). Swindoll said,
“There is a glory that will surpass the groaning. Suffering is a vital part of the path to glory in the Christian life. Stop the fight!! Stop the resistance and let your suffering be. Allow God to turn your groaning into glorying in the days you have left”
This is our desire and prayer. For us and for you!
Our family is no one special and while our story is unique to us, there are many who suffer in these same or greater ways. And yet you, our dear friends and family, have been willing to join us in this story God is writing. You have been used by God to help strengthen us, provide for us, and at times carry us on this journey through your prayers, caring words and notes, financial help, flight miles, and many acts of love and service. We treasure you and humbly ask you to join us again.
We specifically ask you to pray that Billy will be able to keep his job and their medical insurance in the year ahead while trying to also care for Kristi and the kids. Kristi’s recovery from this surgery will be a full year and will require consistent help for the first 6 months. Pray that they can stay in their house through this school year to help Isaiah and Alyssa keep some normality. Isaiah and Alyssa took the news hard. Please pray for them. Pray also for the rest of the family as we work to keep everything covered in our own homes, as well as, in Arkansas and Houston. Also, Pray for Billy and Kristi to be able to complete the many things they need to get done and in order prior to January 27th. They also want to enjoy some focused family time with their children. Pray for the numerous Dr.’s and staff that will be involved in this surgery and in the decision-making process. Continue to ask God for healing and above all for Him to be glorified. Thank you!!
Surrendering Kristi to the next chapter in God’s Story,
Danina (for Kristi and the Wright and Nay Families)