James 1:27

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the
Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let
the world corrupt you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Jeff's most recent update about Dusty. Amazing. Please continue to pray!

“It’s an honor that God has trusted me with this suffering…” spoken by Dusty just a few days after being diagnosed with life-threatening Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

"And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God's message without fear." Phil 1:12-14 (NLT)


It has been 112 days since Dusty was diagnosed with leukemia—and over these last few months God has told an amazing story. It is a story of faith, of purpose, and of perspective. It is a story about Dusty and her relationship with her Creator. And it is a story that each of you have been a part of as you’ve prayed for us, loved us, and supported us in so many ways.

Dusty and I have learned so much. We’ve learned that God is good regardless of our circumstances. We’ve learned that while "my health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak…God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever." (Ps 73:26)

We’ve learned that physical healing is an awesome gift, but that we should never elevate the gift above the Giver. We’ve learned that our faith is not in outcomes—but that our faith is only in the fact that “nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.” (Rom 8:38)

And we’ve learned that sometimes it is those events in our life which seem to be the most terrible—that can actually provide us with the greatest opportunity to share just how good our God is.

Over the last 112 days we’ve learned about purpose—that sometimes it’s more about being used by God than about doing stuff for God. We’ve seen God use London (and her birth) to help save Dusty’s life. We’ve seen God use Taylor to be a perfect 100% bone marrow match (against the odds) to help save her sister’s life. And we’ve seen God use Dusty to touch the hearts of so many people around the world—just by lying quietly in a hospital bed. In fact, what appeared to be an interruption of Dusty's purpose was soon revealed to be a magnification of that purpose.

And it was during Dusty’s darkest times that His presence was always the greatest. When she watched as all of her hair fell out—He reminded her that “the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid.” (Luke 12:7)

When Dusty learned that the first round of chemo did not work and that her life was truly in peril, God gave her the faith to say, “if there is any other way, please show me that path, but if not, Your will be done.”

And as Dusty gave up all of the comforts of her former life, He replaced those things that were lost with something of far greater value—Himself. In fact her relationship with God became so intimate that He no longer felt like a "Heavenly Father," but more like a "Dad." His tangible presence in her hospital room—holding her closely, loving her, and comforting her hour by hour…

But perhaps the most amazing moment of the entire 112 days was an incident that I’ve not yet shared with you. It was a Thursday in September and London was scheduled for her two-month check-up. The appointment had been made six weeks prior and at the time Dusty had felt sure that she’d be out of the hospital and able to attend.

But she wasn’t. The day snuck up on her and it hit her very hard. She felt overwhelmed by the despair of being separated from London, and she spent the entire day in her hospital bed weeping uncontrollably—hours upon hours. And Dusty cried out to God, “Why? I only want to be with London," she said. "I only want to be with my daughter. I only want to be a part of my child’s life.”

And in that moment, God spoke back to Dusty in the gentlest way possible, saying:

“I feel the same way when I am not allowed to be a part of My children’s lives…”

He knew…

He knew exactly how Dusty felt. Imagine, our God, the Creator of the Universe, heartbroken when we don’t allow Him to be a part of our own lives. He loves each of us more than we know. It is almost too much to comprehend. But then again, so is the work that was done for each of us on the cross.

And so God has told us a story. It is a story about Dusty and her relationship with Him. It is a story of hope in the midst of a painful world. It is a story that has pointed us all to a hope beyond this life. And it is a story that at first seemed so tragic, that He has ultimately revealed to be a thing of magnificent beauty.

But this story is not over. We will continue to provide updates on Dusty as she recovers over the holidays, the New Year and through the spring. And we still need your prayers. I’m asking that you would continue to pray for Dusty’s health—that at the end of January the transplant would be deemed a complete and total success. And please pray that God would continue to use Dusty’s story to touch the lives of others.

And we know that the best is yet to come. In a world where we all crave normal, God has called Dusty to a purpose that is beyond normal. He has great things in store for her—as a thankful mother, as a loving wife, as a healthy sister, as a caring friend, as an empathetic counselor, and as a powerful witness to the mighty God that she serves.

Over the last 112 days Dusty and I have seen with our own eyes the true power of Jesus Christ, and the peace and hope that can only come from a relationship with Him. Our lives will never be the same. And we thank God that He has allowed us to share all of these things with you.

Pass it on…

“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 (ESV)

God is good—all the time!

Jeff, Dusty & London

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