Strength That Looks a Lot Like Weakness

People keep telling me how strong I am. “Strong?”, I think. “Me? Strong? No way.”A war rages within my soul 100% of the time. I’ve barely slept, barely eaten, barely left his side. I’m so overwhelmed in every moment. I’m afraid to hope for healing, because I’m afraid I won’t be able to handle it if healing doesn’t come in the way I so desperately want it to arrive. And I’m afraid not to hope for healing. 

I’m waiting this morning for doctors to start coming into the room. This is life now. Waiting. Today feels more significant, because today they have scans of his brain in their hands, scans that give us a path, scans that tell us what our new normal will be. I’m learning with ever-increasing clarity that preaching to self is the hardest thing to do. Do you want to know the super secret reason that I’m so “strong”? It’s pretty simple, really. I haven’t the strength to manage anything on my own. I’m too weary to carry this load. The only option I have is to place it in the hands of Jesus and let God do what only God is fully capable of doing. Because right now, I have to remind myself to breathe at nearly every moment. And even that feels like a crippling burden. 

Let’s just be real here, guys. What I write here is only a fragment of the whole story, just as what you post on Facebook or Twitter or your blog or even verbally disclose to someone reveals only a fragment of who you are to them. And because we are fragmented, because we are so very connected without really being connected at all, we tend to look at the person in the situation that isn’t our own and say things like, “I couldn’t do that!”. Truth is, when God places you on a path, even a twisted one full of danger and hardship, that path looks straight to you as you walk it, because that’s the way He works. 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:6
This winding roller coaster of a road we’re walking is so, so straight. And it is well lit too. Even when I can see nothing but darkness, the people around us are shining bright streams of light in front of me. It’s moments like these, when late into the night I was messaging with a dear friend so broken I couldn’t find words and I couldn’t find hope. She flooded my mind and heart with good, hard, deep truths:
“He gave that voice [the voice of lament] because faith doesn’t mean the absence of doubt. Faith doesn’t mean the absence of hopelessness. Faith means screaming or whimpering that hopelessness and those questions toward God.”
And she’s so right. Those words are so true. 
The Lord is as faithful now as He was before we were staring brain cancer in its big, ugly eyes. And He will be faithful no matter what results we get today. Speaking of results…
We are currently waiting to meet with doctors about the MRI results and learn more about what is ahead of us. We should meet with them some time today. One of the doctors came in a little while ago and told us that we are being moved out of the ICU and onto a floor specifically for neurology patients. Jesse should be hooked up to less monitors and have a bit more freedom there. He’s grateful for that. The physical therapist has him up and walking right now. It’s so good to see him out of his tiny hospital bed. 
We are still praying big prayers to a bigger God that Jesse will experience the kind of miraculous healing that makes people turn their eyes to Jesus and place their hope in Him alone. Would you pray that with us? And would you pray that God give us such a peace about whatever He has for us? We need that so desperately. 

19 thoughts on “Strength That Looks a Lot Like Weakness

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  1. Joining you in the prayers that this entire experience will point others to Jesus, and that you will experience that peace that passes all understanding. Your words are so beautiful, raw, and encouraging- thank you for giving us a glimpse of how to intercede for you and Jesse. Love you both!

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  2. Praying with you and for you! Thanks for your eloquent updates. You may not realize it, but you are teaching me so much about faith in troubled times. ((hugs))

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    1. Prayers going up for you! Your blog has touched me very deeply. Please listen to the song Jesus Hold Me by Big Daddy Weaver. Hope it touches you. Thank you for the inspiration. Mark n Renee Wallace

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  3. Praying for you sweet Jesse & Ashley. May you be acutely aware of His embrace as upholds you both, each step of the way on this journey. Love you!

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  4. Waiting is one of the hardest things we are asked to do, but I will share one thing that I read somewhere: a true interpretation of wait is entwine…. So we entwine our hearts around the Lord, as we pray for His whisper in the storm, with clear direction and timing …. He will not be late! Loving you with His big love, granny Lee

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  5. Continuing to ask God to heal Jesses body. Praying for peace and comfort like no one else can give, except what comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for keeping us updated. God bless you

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  6. Ashley, we are praying for Jesse, you, the kids, the doctors and nurses and all involved in his care. You are strong because you have God on your side! I know how slow the waiting can be and what a roller coaster ride you are on. Praying for your precious family!!

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  7. Our God is big enough for any thoughts or feelings you may have through out this scary journey, Ashley!
    Giving you all to Him. Romans 15:13
    Love & prayers from one of Allison’s biggest Fans,
    Donna Nix

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  8. May the Heavenly Father, Prince of Peace, Great Physician, King who heals, Abba Father, give Jesse miraculous healing and a story to tell on the mountaintop. May he not suffer, but rest under God’s wings until this disaster has passed. May the healing come quickly. May the Lord heal him head to toe, crown him with love and compassion, satisfy him with good things and renew his youth like the eagle. May his joy and peace overflow. May you find rest and peace and comfort under the Lord’s wings as well. May you know a peace and quiet in your soul like never before as you watch the Creator of the Universe do a new thing in your life, make a way in the wilderness and peaceful, delicious streams in the desert. May your children taste and see that the Lord is good and have peace like never before. We love you. Love, David and Heather and Little Lady and Little Man.

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  9. Ashley, I am so overwhelmed with God’s love and prayers for you and your family. I don’t know you but a sweet new friend posted your blog and I have found strength in your posts. They ate amazing and I just pray God gives your sweet husband strength and heals him. Just reading your words has helped me with my own struggles right now. Please know you are in my daily prayers. God Bless, Julie

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  10. Ashley, Mike and I are praying for you, Jesse and your precious children. We will pray big prayers with you to our big God. Praying for healing, strength and peace. Please know that your family is greatly loved! Your not walking this path alone.
    Love, Mike and Tina Smith

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  11. Ashley & Jesse – my words are often feeble & incomplete for what your heart needs are. We love you guys, lifting you up (as is the body at BAFBC) and praying that God provides the healing we seek. Instead I leave you the words of our Mighty God:
    Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
    yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10 NIV). Francis & Debbie Labry

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  12. Oh my God, My God please heal Jesse back to your service again! And give him back to his family healthy and whole. All of this for your Glory! In the name of your son Jesus Christ and your holy name, Amen. I will continue to pray for Jesse, you and the family.

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