Slow and Steady Wins the Race

A steady stream of doctors and nurses keep coming in and asking him basic questions.
“Can you tell me your name?” “2-13-81”

“Ok, sir, but can you tell me your name?”

“My name?”

He rolls his head and fixes his gaze on mine: “What are they asking me?”

“They want your name, babe. What is your name?”

“Oh…Jesse McMillan. 2-13-81”
It’s his birthday, those numbers. He’s been asked to tell them his birthday so many times that he spits out the numbers like they’re the answer to every question before his speech catches up with his mind. 

Two nights ago, he couldn’t get out my name, a name he’s been saying since we were kids. He was staring at me, trying to will his voice to speak what his mind was telling him, but it just wouldn’t come. The frustration in his eyes is the worst part of it all. He knows. 

“I’m a preacher”, he says with confused anger.  “I need speaks. . .speakers. . . speech. . . my voice.” He sighs and relaxes back into his pillow. 
This is brain tumors, folks. These are the moments I’ve never read about, the wrecked and ragged moments of confused existences. You think everything is going to be all hustle and bustle and tubes and panic, but in reality, it’s you spending hours in an uncomfortable plastic coated chair in a cold room watching your “person” breathe, listening to pesky monitors sound off meaningless-to-you alerts, and waiting for Drs to come and tell you what your life is going to be now. 

We are currently waiting on an MRI. They are unable to see the images taken at the previous hospital clearly, so we’re starting over here. No steps will be taken in any direction until that is done. Prayers remain relatively the same as yesterday…decreased pressure in the brain, no hemorrhages or blood clots anywhere, a tumor that shrinks, clarity and direction for Drs, peace and patience for this man I love and for all of us who love him big…and an MRI that happens miraculously fast. 

We made a transfer from one hospital to the next in a handful of hours on a holiday yesterday. It usually takes at least a full day, frequently longer than that. God is all over this process, helping us along, making miracles out of the ordinary. We’re still grateful for this life we’re living. We’re still looking up and begging the Lord to make Himself known to us as the Healer of healers, to make all of the characteristics of Christ we know to be true known to us in tangible ways, and to use us as beacons of light to a weary and broken world around us. We’re broken too, you see. So desperately broken and in need of the Saviour we’ve known since we were children. God has been graciously reminding us of our own humanity, of our own need of Him, and of the many ways He has been setting our lives up in years passed to love us well through this time. The provision of people and pacing has been astonishing. We are being well tended by our good Shepherd, and that is in large part the doing of you all. Adequate words to describe what an impact your outpouring of love and compassion for us is having will never exist. We are grateful for all of you. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple “I’m with you.” Small words are having big impacts. Your voices are being heard by us, and more importantly by King Jesus. 

17 thoughts on “Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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  1. Love & prayers for you & Jesse & family! You guys are awesome in your love & walk w/ the Lord. And our God is MOST DEFINITELY AWESOME in His love & care for y’all. 🙂
    “I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Ps 18:1-2


  2. Ashley,
    Your post was perfect! We had be been where you are and until you’ve walked that road, you will never understand how time stands still, how wearying waiting can be, how many different emotions run through you all the time, sometimes conflicting, sometimes complimentary. At times it feels as if the world is going on, while you’re caught in a time capsule of sorts. The love and support of others is overwelming … it’s amazing how events like this reveal real hearts! So know that our hearts are with you and while we can not take all of this away …. though we so wish we could!!! … we can walk with you through it. We’re here if you need anything, even simple little things! We are praying for you all … trusting God has you safely in His hands …. your in good hands.


  3. You don’t know me, and Jesse probably doesn’t remember me..but I was a student at Bag Area a few years ago and always loved when Jesse would speak and I always knew he was one the good ones, and he is definitely one of the anointed ones, because he can bring the gospel!!!! Please know I am praying constantly and your family is being lifted up by people you don’t even know. God is good all the time, and He never leaves.
    Praying peace over you and your family.
    -Spencer Schibi


  4. Praying for you guys—My husband had a different cancer that he fought for four years—I understand some of what you are going thro—prayers for miraculous healing


  5. It’s wonderful to read daily detailed updates, it helps us to know just how to keep praying for your sweet husband and precious family, and you. He is the great physician, He does love you and He can hear all the praying!!!


  6. Ashley My heart goes out to you and Jesse I found out last night and have been praying for God to send right Doctors and caregivers to Jesse. I also emailed my daughter in Edmond Ok Tammy Baskind who you know from homeschooler, however she had received he message from one of them. I also called my brother in Tennessee who helped Jesse with my husband Lyle Dornan’s memorial in December 2012. I was heart broken when the two of you transferred from BAFBC knowing it was God’s plan for your life. Jesse has always meant a lot to me during my BAFBC years please give him my love and know I am praying for complete recovery for this man of God. Also praying for strength for you and your family as you go through these tough times. God Blessing on ALL of YOU.


  7. Praying for you and Jesse and your sweet family! Your awesome love and everlasting hope in Jesus Christ has made a major impact on my life as well as many others just reading your blogs during this trying time you are going through. Even at the scariest moment of your life, you are still praising him. May God continue to lead the doctors!


  8. Praying much for you guysl. Wish I lived in Houston so I could help but praying just the same here in to you both


  9. Ashley-
    Please know that you and Jesse, your entire families, and the doctors and all of the medical providers are in our constant thoughts and prayers. Your faith is inspiring and admirable and I know Jesse’s is too!


  10. I’m praying for you all, Ashley and Jesse. Thank you for sharing your faithfulness to help us all grow even while you are going through a hard moment.


  11. Thank you for keeping us updated.
    2 Cor. 12:9 comes to mind …. HIS power is perfected in weakness!
    Also another word we don’t use much today: Abide…. Meaning lean on, trust in, rely on, draw strength and direction from and more… Vine and branches, expecting good fruit ! Abiding with you! Granny Lee and Grampa Joe


  12. We are sorry to hear such news, and we are also praying for Jesse and you and your family. May God grant healing, mercy, strength, rest and peace to all of you as you go through such a difficult, and harsh fight.


  13. I had missed this one and regret that I did but I saw it now and am thankful for yall as you are truly letting your faith be so apparent that others will see the works of God in all of this. Awesome example of how an Awesome God works through those who are willing. Standing firm with you, Love, MOM June


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