I am sitting in the waiting room while Marissa has her scans and I am wiping away the tears that just keep falling down my face.

Because she was so close, or at least it felt that way. Her skin was so much better and she was just starting to get her strength back. This morning I was so thankful that her step was firmer and quicker than it had been for awhile.

Last night while I was helping her with her dressings, I noticed a spot. Really, it is the smallest nodule. It hardly seems possible that it could be dangerous–that it could mean the spread of this snarly, aggressive disease. When we showed it to the doctor, she was immediately concerned. Within an hour, we had a positive biopsy result, a consultation with her oncologist, and now she is having her CT scan with a bone scan to follow.

Because this crazy cancer is still hanging around and still trying to spread. This race is not over. Ready or not, it’s time for another lap.

I’m not ready. Marissa’s not ready. Nobody feels ready to fight this enemy.

Christmas songs are playing and there are decorations in the waiting room. People are sitting all around me, waiting for news. It is so hard to wait.

But this waiting reminds me. It helps me know. Truth curls around me like the mist on a foggy morning, surrounding me and covering me.

Immanuel. God is here.

Someone once told me that it is hard to feel God’s presence in a doctor’s office, but I have learned Him well in these cold, hard places. He is always there.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

I have confessed Jesus to be God and He dwells in me. His light shines. The darkness of sin cannot overcome it. This journey of cancer cannot dim it. No diagnosis, no pain, no suffering can remove us from His presence. Even death cannot sever the tie that binds us to His heart. We are safe. We are not forsaken. We are never alone.

And that is Christmas. That is hope that does not disappoint.

He came. He saves. He is near. I am letting the joy of it settle into the saddest places of my heart.

Immanuel. God is with us.

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.















13 thoughts on “Immanuel

  1. Hi Colleen! I was praying for Marissa and you this morning before I read this update. You know I will continue to do so. You both are so very precious! Thank you so much for this blog message! Everything you have said is so true and I praise the Lord for His great love and grace! (1 Peter 5:10).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Praying for you. Thank you for sharing with us how God is upholding you.

    The Lord will give STRENGTH to His people, the Lord will bless His people with PEACE. Psalm 29:11

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Colleen and family!
    Your post really touched me this morning. Having walked through the deep valley of a near death sickness with our daughter, I was reliving the emotions that you all are no doubt experiencing now. We were so hopeful that Marissa was in the clear.
    Your perspective and faith are inspiring and we pray that you will not lose heart. Psalm 46:1 was such a comfort. “God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in time of trouble. Therfore we will not fear though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
    The thought was impressed on me that even though things change that we think would never change, God is unchangeable and always there and present. And as you pointed out one of the names of Jesus- Immanuel- God with us!
    Praying for strength and comfort for you all!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Coleen, I don’t know you or Marissa but my daughter and her husband, Ethan and Brooke Walker, have introduced me to you all due to Marissa’s cancer. I live in PA and I have my friends and church family praying for you all. My heart breaks with you but your spirit inspires me to know God in a better way than I do now. Please know that we will continue to uphold you all. Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not for I am with thee, be not dismayed for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee, and help thee. Yea I will up hold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Through our own relatively small trial I have often thought that when we get to Heaven we will say, “Thank-you, Lord, that You did it just the way you did.” He is so worthy of all of our praise, in all of our circumstances. Thank-you for continuing to honor the Lord in this very deep trial. Grace and peace be to your whole family. We continue to pray for all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Laudable Linkage | Stray Thoughts

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