I’m feeling a bit speechless this morning. A unique numbness of sorts. We’ve been able to sleep a good bit today after being moved from the ICU to a regular floor just for neurology patients. There are less monitors and less interruptions in this room, and we have a door so we can shut off some of the noise that reminds us we’re in a hospital and not in our home. This is all such a surreal sort of thing. I’m still very much feeling like I’m living someone else’s life. I keep waiting for the reality to hit me. I’m not sure when that will happen. I am sure that I will have an acute sense of despair when it does. In that moment, I anticipate to feel very much held by the arms of the Saviour who I know loves me so passionately. I expect to understand at the end of this trial with much more clarity a fragment of the pain Christ felt when he was in the garden, confessing His lack of desire to walk the road ahead of Him all the while willingly accepting God’s path for Him. What I want you to know in this moment is this:

I don’t believe for one millisecond that God has forsaken us. 

I don’t believe any of this is a punishment for some sort of sin. Just like in John 9 when Jesus is asked who sinned that a man would be born blind, the underlying purpose of this is not punishment; it is God’s glory. 

“Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.'” Don’t miss that, guys! This is not about us! 

How powerful is the testimony of healing when tragedy seems the only path? Like when Jesus forgave the sinner-like-us-man hanging on a cross next to His? That man was devoid of all hope, and Christ cried out on His behalf. I hear the same voice that gave that man hope echoing through my mind daily, hourly, by the minute. “Have courage, I am WITH you. I am IN this!” 

God is all over this process. He is using us in ways we could not have expected (or accepted) until we were thrust into the midst of such a strangely peaceful horror story. 

We are still waiting for clear answers, and we won’t have them until after he has a surgery to remove as much of the tumor as they can safely take out. The tumor is very, very large. 10 centimeters, they think. It’s all over the place. But God. But God. But GOD. God who made the human brain, Jesse’s human brain, God who placed each star and designed our planet so that it stays in just the place He wants it to be, moving along seamlessly and providing us with all of the many things we need to survive our finiteness…that same powerful, capable God who made all of everything is equally powerful and capable of providing my husband’s brain with healing. 

We have a very big tumor. And that very big tumor is serving the purpose of pointing people to an even bigger God. 

Pray today that God would provide miraculous healing so that people will have no choice but to see His very hands at work in this and come to know Him because of it. Pray for Jesse, that he will be given the ability to think, speak, and read clearly, and that the steroids would not cause him emotional stress. Pray for me, that the God of the universe would reveal Himself to me in my times of weakness as Sustainer and Provider. And pray for our children. Pray so hard for them, that they would have understanding beyond their years and that this moment in their lives would cause them to love Jesus more relentlessly in the days and years to come. God’s got this. God’s got us. God’s got you. 

15 thoughts on “Waiting 

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  1. Sending prayers your way. …I’m following your story through Karen Harrington. …she was once in our family & always in our hearts. ..she is a sweetheart & I have been praying since she shared this. …God bless you & your family! !


  2. Ashley you bring me to tears with your honesty and faith. Praying with every fiber of my being that God blesses you guys with miraculous healing. Even though you are going through this trial you are teaching us all about God’s never ending faithfulness. Praying strength and peace for you and Jesse. Praying for your children and their understanding of this situation. May you all feel the prayers we are sending up on your behalf.


  3. My heart is hurting so much for your sweet family. I would love nothing more than to take this nightmare away. BUT God…… His ways are higher than ours and better. I know your whole desire is to glorify the lord with your life and I am praising Him today because of you.




  5. Ashley and Jesse, we are praying and sending positive love filled thoughts your way. Your strength, bolstered by God’s strength will see you through this time with grace and healing.


  6. Ashley, Nov. 2013 my husband Steve was diagnosed with a very rare cancerous skull base tumor. As I read your words it brings tears to my eyes, I remember going through the waiting for reality to hit as you expressed. But for me that moment never came, my Saviour was holding me all the while, giving his strength, peace beyond anything humanly possible to understand. Steve went through 4 surgeries from Dec-Jan. Doctors had radiation treatments lined up, but God had other plans. Steve’s 2nd pathology report came back negative, not cancer. God is bigger than any tumor! My husband was miraculously healed! Today he is very much alive and well, back to himself. If you were to meet him you would never guess that he had been through such an ordeal. Ashely, I am praying for Jesse with all of my being, praying for the children and all of the family and friends. In Jesus name I ask for healing for Jesse.


  7. Thank you so much for the updates. I used to teach at DeRidder High School. You may remember me as Mrs. Pittman, Laurie and Alan’s mom. We are praying daily for Jesse’s complete healing and for your strength in this journey. We serve an amazing God, and He never leaves our side.


  8. Ashley and Jesse. I am Blake’s mom. I remember you guys from Maplewood, the profound difference that Jesse made in Blake and Ben’s lives….(Swallowing goldfish and all!). 4 years ago, on July 5th, my wonderful, God given second chance husband was overcome with what we believe was viral pneumonia. For 16 VERY LONG days and nights he was in a coma and on a ventilator. His liver failed, his kidneys failed. And I prayed and prayed….and God miraculously healed him….restored him. Today, you cannot even tell he was ever ill. As I read your posts, I am taken back to those long days, and reminded to be ever grateful for the life companion that God blessed me and my boys to have. I will continue to pray for you, Jesse, and your family. I am blessed that Bridget, my wonderful daughter-in-love, took over for me in my home. I know she will be there for you as well. Accept help where it shows up. Set boundaries when you need to. Take care of yourself so you can take care of Jesse and the children. God is still on His Throne. As much as you love Jesse, God loves him even more. …


  9. Perfectly Said
    Please let Jesse know I’m praying for him and you and your children! This is Gods Work and this world isn’t about us it’s about serving him our Father. “God, grant Jesse the Serenity to accept the things he cannot change, the courage to change the things he can and the wisdom to know the difference “!!
    Your old friend
    Brad Schaus


  10. Know that we love you and Jesse & your family so very much… Know that your church body is united as never before in unity & prayer to see you through this. Your writing is amazing…. I want to comfort you but your words comfort ME. So many have and will come to Jesus through this…. I’m so reminded how we pull together in tragic situations… Your testimony can only bring glory to Our lord and Savior. Many hugs & blessings, sweet Ashley & Jesse… Shelly


  11. I don’t know you or your family. I will do the only thing I know I can and that is to pray. Two of the greatest gifts God gives to us is his mercy and love. As his likeness we must do the same for others. So my prayers for you and your family is that God does his will in your lives. May he hold Jesse in his arms and make him whole. Prayers for you to be able to remain strong and understanding of God’s power to heal your family. In Jesus name, I pray


  12. Ashley and Jesse, Our hearts are heavy for you and we’re praying for healing for Jesse and strength for you through this time of trial, but we are certain of this, that the God who created the Universe is faithful and will continue to prove faithful to you and Jesse even in this time of trial. With Love, Sini, Paul and Mamma


  13. Praying for your family and exactly what you wrote about…. that through all of this God’s glory would be revealed to so many. I know that in all the things He gives us there is a purpose and story greater than we can imagine.. how awesome it will be to see all the dots connect one day!


  14. Ashley, I have been reading these and wanted to post but was just given the wisdom of how to do it; I truly love and will continue to pray for you both as you walk this road together with the Lord holding your hands. May His healing come…Love, MOM June


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