One of the most common questions on days like today is, what do you tell your kids. For starters, we have a very open and ongoing conversation about medical realities and implications of my health journey, so we process out loud with them on a regular basis. Today, as soon as we got back from the hospital, we all climbed into the bed and I began by reminding them that God reigns and rules both, when we receive good news and when we receive bad news. He doesn’t love us more or less, but He is present with us in all of it, and we can always trust Him. So we told the kids that the tumor is growing into a very dangerous part of the brain and that this might cause worse side effects on the left side of my body, and that we will start more chemo and maybe radiation. We told them that I might get sicker in order to try and make me better. We asked them if they had any questions about this, and then, we listened to them. Ultimately, we trust that even my journey with brain cancer is divinely chosen to be a part of their journey in life as well. So we pray for God to give us the strength, and we pray for God to heal because we know He can and He does both. Then, we tried not to suffocate them and let them talk about it at their own pace. I am not prescribing this for everybody else, I am just honestly answering the question what do I tell my kids. The only thing I would advise is to ground them in the truths that God is in control of all and that God is good. Those are anchors for all of life. And then, show them that you believe it even when it is hard.
I have been married to a beautiful and godly wife for 17 years and yet there are some things that have been more clearly revealed through this difficult journey with brain cancer. Today, I watched Karla process this news and its implications for her. I watched her joyfully accept that this meant greater responsibility in caring for her husband who would have greater physical limitations while battling with cancer. I watched her joyfully accept this as the journey that God has us on together. I watched her patiently push me around in a wheelchair, wipe my drooling face, and oversee the workers putting handicap accessibility bars in our bathroom; things that I wish were not part of her daily reality. Today, I watched her tell her principal that she could no longer come back and do the job she loves (Latin teacher) and the school she loves (Westminster) because she needed to prioritize caring for her husband and family and couldn’t do both well. Today, and just about everyday on this journey, I have watched her put others’ needs before her own; a beautiful reminder of Christ’s love for us as we see in Philippians 2. So, although today’s news has been hard, and I am sure that the journey forward will be harder, I am thankful that in the mist of the journey God opens up our eyes to see deeper. And today I have been reminded of the beauty of a godly wife. Thanks, Karla. I love you with all my heart.
3 thoughts on “Home Front: What we tell the kids and the beauty of a godly wife.”
Jonathan and Carla,
We continue to pray for you as we get these updates from you and your parents.
I am sure you get lots of suggestions for other remedies but I wanted to make sure you had considereded the benefits of essential oils, especially frankincense. I will forward an article to you for your consideration.
Prayers for your healing,
Sent from my iPhone
We are blown away and humbled by your Godly example. We are fellow BH members, though we’ve never formally met. But please know that you have been and will continue to be in our prayers. Your strength through adversity is a blessing to those around you, and I am certain that God’s glory and grace are displayed through your lives. Continuing to pray for healing, strength, peace, and comfort for you and your family.
Karla and Jonathan, as you are being bruised and broken by the circumstances of your lives, I am thanking the Father with you that He is displaying His faithfulness and love to you for all of us to see! As you are being purified and refined by this journey, I am thanking Him that He is providing both of you wisdom, grace, and strength to take each new step, trembling but with trust that He himself infuses in your hearts. Your lives are speaking forth the strong message of Isaiah, an amazing encouragement to us who pray for you:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.”
We love you,
Mary Eva and Ralph