When the story gets sad

Marissa is sleeping across from me in the hospital bed. She has been running a low-grade fever in the evenings for a few days with increased shortness of breath, so her oncologist wanted her evaluated to rule out an infection or lung embolism. We spent 19 hours in the emergency room–they ran a bunch of tests and then we waited for a room upstairs so they could admit her overnight.

So it was in the middle of a darkened ER room when we were already so weary from waiting that we heard the numbing news. Marissa’s cancer has spread. More in her liver, and now in her lung and bones. Spine and sternum and ribs.

The trial drug has failed to halt the progression. There is no miracle today.

When the doctor left, I climbed up on the stretcher and we sat quietly. Still so numb. Numb, but aware that this is one of the saddest pages in the story.

When I was younger, I loved to read stories that made me cry. Age taught me that sadness is real, and now I hesitate. I protect myself from sadness.

And yet it has followed me. It has found me.

I would despair if I did not know the Storyteller.

I would  despair if I did not have the promise of His strong and sympathetic arms to carry us. The promise of His covenant love to sustain us. The knowledge of His almighty power. The assurance of His comforting presence.

I would despair if I did not know the end of the story.

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. Psalm 71:19,20










21 thoughts on “When the story gets sad

  1. Dear Colleen, though Sue and I are seven hundred miles away, we are right there with you and Marissa. Though we don’t know you personally, we we have come to love you and Marissa so much! Only the Lord can arrange this union and place a burden upon us for you. We look forward to seeing you and Marissa one day in heaven as well as all our saved loved ones but especially The One who made the hope and reality of that day possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Praying, praying, praying dear ones–for our loving Father’s continued sustenance, power, and and presence in your journey. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecc. 3:11

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Coleen,
    I am so thankful that you and yours are grounded in faith. Life does cause us to realize that we are not in control but our MAKER is. May you take comfort in knowing that Marissa has had the best of care earth can offer.

    Cousin love from a distance,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have no words… But I run again to words that continually minister to my family and me…

    [John] saw…
    A new heaven and a new earth. And then he heard something wonderful.
    A loud voice came from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.
    He will dwell with them, and they will be his people…

    He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more,
    neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore,
    for the former things have passed away…

    I am making all things new…

    Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

    John awoke from his vision. John smiled. John knew.

    All God’s promises, all the things Jesus had told him years ago, were true!

    He had seen the very good ending waiting for everyone who follows Jesus as God’s king.

    God’s forever people will one day live in God’s forever place under God’s forever rule.

    Can you believe it?

    Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

    ~from The Big Picture Story Bible

    We continue to pray and to hope and to trust in our Loving Shepherd with you all…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are so sorry for this news. Our hearts are broken for you. May you know that many will continue to carry you in thought and prayer….and for your beautiful daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sister, though I do not know you, my heart aches with you as I have been praying for your daughter and your family. The Lord knows our beginnings and our ends. There will be a day when this sorrow and overwhelming sadness and confusion will no longer exist. Marissa is young, some may say too young for this, but consider that even in this the Lord Jesus, acquainted with grief, is with you all and will not fail you. I lost my husband less than 2 months ago, tragically, unexpectedly, I did not get a chance to say goodbye- but the Lord is with me and my children and is also with you. The song ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong is worth a listen- He will keep your eyes above the waves when oceans rise rest your soul in His embrace. 💜 Aching with you and praying with you for mercies which are promised every morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My heart goes out to both of you and I will keep praying. It is so comforting and reassuring for all of us who belong to the Lord Jesus to know the end of the story. Our Lord is so faithful to us in every situation but we sure experience His faithfulness and every type of grace (1 Peter 5:10) in special measure as we go through the difficult times. I am praying that the Lord will do something very special for both you to encourage your hearts in Him. I appreciate so much these updates.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Keith, my Mom, Ellen and I just had a time of prayer for you and your family around our kitchen table. God has a glorious end! We must trust all that He does as right and good. How we thank the Lord for ministering to you through His very presence and His precious Word. I know that is a powerful testimony to all around you. Just think how precious this is to the Lord! He longs to gather all of us in His arms and rejoices to pull us away from this sin-cursed life with sorrow and suffering. I read just yesterday how the Lord told Peter what death he should glorify God. I was struck with the fact that the Lord plans to glorify Himself even in our death. I prayed then that God would be wonderfully glorified by life or by death for Marissa. Mom made the comment that a verse that has meant much to her is John 17:24, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” Ellen prayed so sweetly that we would not grieve too much because Marissa would not want that. May the Lord continue to hold you all close in His arms and reassure you over and over of His dear love.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Praying much for you and your family, Colleen. My heart aches for you. May you find comfort in God and His Word. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Love to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Bundy Family,
    Dale and I are praying for all of you. Dale wanted me to remind you all that God is using Marissa’s illness to conform all of us to the image of His Son.
    He will receive great glory through her bravery and struggle. As he says about Jean’s home going, “We WON!”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s