The Anchor of Our Souls

This is not a post I want to write.

Wednesday afternoon, I had a very hard phone conversation with our neuro-oncologist. I asked him to be very honest on what we were facing medically given Jonathan’s continuous and rapid decline despite completing the radiation treatment. He explained to me that he had been hopeful that radiation would bring improvement, but that by now, it was clear to him that Jonathan’s symptoms were speaking of disease progression. He said that we had reached a point in which treatments were hurting Jonathan more than helping him -we all know that both, radiation and chemotherapy are toxic and harmful not only to cancerous cells but to healthy ones as well. He gently explained that it was time to switch our focus from fighting cancer to having the best quality of life possible and spending time as family… That is not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear that there is a new experimental treatment, or that there are some medicines that he had in his back pocket, or that perhaps these symptoms were not tumor related and could be resolved soon; that we could resume our lives of living with cancer and having clear quarterly MRI’s for years to come.

But he did not.

We decided to schedule an appointment for this morning along with an MRI before we made final decisions. The MRI this morning revealed that, as the doctor anticipated, there are new areas of tumor growth that are on an opposite side of where we were currently treating. That means that while we were targeting one area, the disease was spreading to another place. This explains the symptoms that Jonathan has been recently experiencing and why the current treatments didn’t seem to be working effectively.  Medically speaking there is no reason to keep putting Jonathan under such aggressive treatments. So our doctor helped us made the decision to call palliative care.

Our afternoon was long and emotional. We have always been intentional to communicate with our children as openly and clearly as possible. This time, the news was hard to convey, and their many tears made evident that they understood well the implications of this shift. We hugged and cried quietly together for a long time. Jonathan keeps shepherding our family well and in the midst of his exhaustion, found energy to encourage his children to trust in God’s goodness even in the middle of this.

The pain is so deep and the fears are very real. But God’s character doesn’t change. His love for us doesn’t change. Jonathan and I have always loved the Biblical image of the anchor. Hebrews 6 says that the hope we have in Christ is an anchor of our souls. We need an anchor. The circumstances around us feel like a storm tossing us back and forward; there are many uncertainties, we face realities that are physically and emotionally challenging. We need an anchor that keeps us from being swept by the waves. And we have that anchor in the hope we have in Christ. While life is uncertain, our salvation is certain. While our reality is challenging, our future hope is glorious.

We go to sleep with heavy hearts. Hearts that struggle to make sense of our reality. Hearts that keep begging our Almighty God to intervene in a miraculous way and to receive the glory for what only He can do. And as we beg, we also trust His perfect ways. We know that He goes before us and behind us, and that He will never forsake us.

Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and at the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! ~Psalm 117





54 thoughts on “The Anchor of Our Souls”

  1. Oh, sweet Bean Family. We have been coming alongside you in prayer, and we continue to do so now. So grateful that we serve a God who is bigger. So grateful that you all rest firmly on this truth. You are a beautiful testimony.

  2. I can only imagine the ache you are going through…my heart aches with you. I’m so sorry. Christ will be your anchor…you are prayed for and loved in the body of Christ. Be comforted in the knowledge of His grace and mercy in your life during these days. Again, so very sorry…praying for you all tonight.

  3. “Great is Thy faithfulness, oh, God, our Father, morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me”. Praying!

  4. Oh, how we are lifting you all up before the Savior with tears…. much love from Nairobi, Kenya

  5. Precious Bean family,
    Your Anchor is sure and He is strong. He will hold you, each of you, tight!
    Praying you will feel His presence and His lavish love for you every minute of this journey.
    Lori Bordas

    1. Andy Leininger, International Mission Board m in Moscow, Russia. Contact me if I can be of any help, You are in our constant prayers. says:

      Praying for you. I was diagnosed with a glioblastoma on Nov 5, 2017 in Moscow Russia and had surgery on the 6th. My wife and I are praying for you and your family.

  6. Heavenly Father, Hallowed be your name and Hallowed be all that you are. Father, please surround, embrace, and comfort this precious family with your presence and your great and eternal love.

  7. Karla, Jonathan, and family, we are grieving and hurting with you and asking our Father, on your behalf, to cover each stab of pain and overwhelming wash of fear with His unending, glorious grace. “So I say, ‘My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD. . . . my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. Great is Your faithfulness!’ . . . . Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”

  8. Our hearts are broken. Yet we trust in the anchor of our soul.

    God is so good and merciful.

    Mark and Cindy

  9. so full of sadness for your family but see you trust the only one to rely on at all times .pray for peace in all you.

  10. Father wrap your loving and comforting arms around this sweet family! We are praying for your family.

  11. Praying that God will comfort and encourage like only He can. You all are modeling the gospel for those of us who are standing from afar. Continue to fight the good fight.

  12. Praying for King Jesus to comfort and encourage like only he can. Your family is modeling the gospel in a very real way and we are praying for continued courage to fight the good fight.

  13. Surely your goodness and love will follow Jonathan all the days of his life, and he will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Rest peacefully, Karla. Jonathan is in His father’s hands.

  14. I am praying earnestly for you, Karla and your whole family. I am so encouraged by your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our only hope in life and in death.
    ❤️ Marne Wood

  15. Just as His word says: your struggle is bringing me comfort. Thank you for writing this.
    2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV / 189 helpful votes

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

  16. My heart goes out to you with this sad news. As Karla J. Page says…I second that. May God hold all of you in His arms during the days ahead.
    God Bless!

  17. Karla,
    The LORD is already being glorified by your faith and trust in HIM. As with Daniel in the lions’ den, and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were bound in the fiery furnace, the LORD walks with you guys even now. HE will deliver according to HIS divine purpose. We are standing in the gap and praying for each of you.

  18. Praying for you and your family. I went through the same experience 2 yrs ago with my husband. When the news came and it wasn’t good. It was in Gods hands I told my husband he was a winner either way. Healed or going on to heaven. Heaven gets sweeter every day.

  19. Karla, I have never had the pleasure of meeting you and Jonathan, but I wanted to let you know how your family has blessed mine. My son Joshua (JJ) is a new player on Danny’s soccer team, and is new to the club. They were at practice last week, and Danny truly blessed my son with encouragement. My father has liver cancer, and just received news that day that everything from this point will only be palliative care, as the chemo and radiation have weakened his body. Joshua was very down. Danny jogged along with him and told him about Jonathan, and to stay strong. He told him everything would be okay, and that he would be praying for him. That encouraged my son so much, and they both agreed to pray for each other’s family. Thank you and Jonathan for raising a wonderful young man that is not ashamed to share the love of Christ. We are praying for the Bean family.

  20. I am praying for all of you. You do not know me and that is unimportant, but I am your brother in Christ and I am asking the God of all mercies and grace simply to do what only He can do for Johnathan and all of you! If he brings healing it will be a miracle of God and all will see and know He is God alone!! If he comes to take Johnathan to the Fathers House, we can rejoice for Johnathan will be safely home and one day we will meet him on the porch of the Fathers house for a glorious reunion day!!! Either way the anchor holds!!! Blessings!

  21. My prayers are with you and your precious children , my friends. Your blog encourages us, Carla, and we thank you for allowing us to share your journey as painful as it is. Much love!

  22. Praying for you and God’s grace to bring forth only what He is able to do for His great glory and for our infinite joy.

  23. Hi, you don’t know me, but I know Jonathan. I was his baby sitter when he lived in Pma. His dad baptized me and my brother. That’s how I came to know the Lord. Please let him know that he’s in our prayers, that we serve an AWESOME GOD!! Psalms 121. I pray that our Lord will wrap you and the family in his loving arms and comfort you, as you go through. Love you Jonathan, Donna

  24. The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever. Forever is not some future event. Forever is now. We pray that the steadfast love of the Lord would overwhelm you! We pray that His peace and presence would be tangible. Thank you for how you serve the body of Christ with your faithfulness! We thank God in all our remembrance of you.

  25. Our assurance is that the anchor will hold to the day we meet Jesus.
    “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing that I desire. My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73
    We love you guys.

  26. Karla and Jonathan, Ricky and I are hurting with you in this latest news. May the Peace of the Lord and the Comfort of the Holy Spirit be powerful and real in your lives.

  27. All my prayers are with you and your family, from France. I’m pastor, and i preached this morning on Matthew 14. 27 : “But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, “Be of good cheer. It is I; be not afraid.”

  28. Mi muy amada Karla. Con tu testimonio me has ministrado de una manera increíblebqué fe tan preciosa y grande ustedes tienen . Yo oro por los niños para que ellos también aprendar a amar a Dios igual que ustedes . Yo me comprometo a seguir intecediendo por ellos durante el resto de mi vida que Dios me de.. Jonathan , pronto nos juntaremos todos para alabar al Señor en la . Patria Celestial. Qué fiestón será ese cuando estemos en su presencia

  29. Please take comfort in knowing that so many friends from BH and around the world are praying for your precious family.

  30. Karla, I’m not sure if Jonathan would remember me, and that’s not important. What is important to me is how blessed I was by Jonathan’s joyful, contagious spirit and his deep love for Kingdom missions. I saw this in him whenever we crossed paths at Samford. His love for his Lord is so at the surface, which is why he has blessed so many. Praying for all of you during these days.

  31. My Dear brother and sister and family. Every adversity is a “call of worship. It is a sovereign summons to yield a fresh surrender of the totality to our lives to the Lord, in the New Testament consecration sacrifice of worship. I have walked though three life-threatening adversities in the last two years. And each one was a direct call from my Lord to walk through the valley of adversity in a manner that would magnify Jesus before the observers. It is my passion and prayer for you, that you would respond in that blazing heart of worship, which the Apostle Paul exhibited, when he was incarcerated and at the threat of imminent death. “That Christ be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to life is CHRIST! And to died is GAIN!” Our Lord, who paid the ultimate price to redeem us from destruction and damnation, is calling us to “magnify Him” in the midst of the season when the howling storms of adversity and affliction are howling in our faces. For He is sovereign over the storm, Jesus is King over the crisis. He is working even the greatest tragedy together for our ultimate good and His glory! Our passion much be to magnify Jesus in the midst of the dark pains and deep adversities of life. For this a reality that magnifies the reality of Jesus in th lives of the unconverted people within our sphere of influence. I am praying ear brother and sister. Evangelist Ed Lacy

  32. “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

    “You [the Lord] will keep in perfect peace Him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”
    Isaiah 26: 3-4

    Sweet friends, how these words remind me so much of you. You are now and always have been a wonderful example of loving and trusting our Savior. Your lives are a living testimony. Each day you live out His truths, His words, His love. The joy of the Lord flows from you and your love for Him is so very apparent. He loves and adores you and He will never leave you or forsake you. I say those words as if you do not know this, yet throughout this entire journey you guys have never doubted God’s love or His faithfulness. We love you all and we will continue to lift each of you up before our Father. Praying, Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, will provide peace, strength, and comfort as you walk this journey. Praying God will provide for you just as He provided for Abraham. Still Praying for a miraculous healing!

  33. So sorry to hear this, and continuing to pray. We’re so thankful for your amazing model of faithfulness, hope, and grace.

  34. My heart goes out to all of you. I have been where you are with my Daddy. It is never easy and I wish with all my heart I could take this hurt away. But please know that I am praying for all of you and I know that God is holding you in the hollow of His hand. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. I love you. Love in Christ, Lee Hoke

  35. Praying as we awake this morning: High King of heaven, our victory won, still be their vision now and always. We ask that Jonathan, Carla and the children feel, see, hear and know Your Presence more than ever before. Praise You Jesus that your are Faithful and True and that Your steadfast love will never fail us!
    Carla- we stand in the gap with you guys and hold you up in prayer constantly! Courtney and Randy

  36. Karla and Jonathan: You have encouraged me greatly as I have prayed over the years concerning the difficulties . Your faith is beyond measure and I believe pleases God greatly . You have put feet to “Trust in the Lord”. Thank you for sharing your faith in times of trouble with us. Prayers continue

  37. My heart has been aching for days. Every night at bedtime I pray with my girls and please know you guys are all up in those prayers. Even in these circumstances God is using you in such an unbelievable way. We are all here, praying, crying out to our Lord. We love you guys!

  38. My heart has been aching for days. Every night at bedtime I pray with my girls and please know you guys are all up in those prayers. Even in these circumstances God is using you in such an unbelievable way. We are all here, praying, crying out to our Lord. We love you guys!

  39. Our prayers and thoughts are with you Jonathan and the children. As I’d thought of you and your family this Scripture came to mind. Psalm 46. God is our fortress.

  40. Dear Bean Family,
    My heart is breaking right now in reading this update, and pray for God’s comfort for you all. Words can not fully express my heart right now, but I am eternally grateful for how God has used Jonathan to inspire me to spread the the love of God to remote places. His life is having an eternal impact. I am humbled and honored to have met him three years ago. Ongoing prayers for all of you.

  41. Dear Jonathan: Thank you for teaching me much, brother. I love you. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

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