Joy Comes in the Mourning

Jesse takes photos of the sunrise nearly every morning now. He wakes up each day, gets dressed, and goes to a quiet space to pray and watch the light break over the horizon. It shows itself in brilliant strands of orange and red and pink and yellow. It illuminates the darkened sky, overwhelming the blackness of night, forcing it to take its rightful place in the shadows of the glistening morning. It’s a daily reminder of the enveloping magnificence of an all-encompassing God.

We’ve had such dark days here, days where hope has seemed lost and sorrow has threatened to consume us, but what we’re seeing more and more is that hope, the real hope of everlasting communion with God, is not consumable. It is not a light that can be snuffed out. Just like the sun that Jesse waits with anticipation each morning to see, whose light shines on the other side of the world even in our night, He who is Hope itself does. not. falter. We’re learning the value of sorrow. Grief is making us seek all the more persistently for grace. As surely as the sun rises each dawn, joy is coming through our mourning.

“Hope comes from sorrow. You will always find the sun after you go through the night, but you do have to go through the night. Night bursts into day every time! Even if the day is rainy, the light is still there.” Jesse McMillan

Information and Updates:

-We are scheduled for surgery on the 25th. We have a series of appointments in the coming week in preparation. We’re asking the Lord to give Jesse’s surgeon his best day ever that day.

-We are still asking for stability for Jesse in the wait time. He’s doing well on his new medicine dosage, and we’re grateful for that today!

– God is using our extended time here to proclaim His goodness to the broken and weary around us, and there is no shortage of that here. We’re begging the Lord to bind wounds and bring healing to these souls. We all need Him so desperately.

-We have slept so much better over the past couple of nights, even catching a nap here and there. Thank you for praying over us in this way specifically.

-We are, just as we have been, continuing to ask the Lord for healing that proclaims His name and His name alone!

8 thoughts on “Joy Comes in the Mourning

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  1. Continued prayers for you BOTH! I know that exact spot where this picture was taken…anyone that knows that exact spot, more than likely knows that heart and gut wrenching feeling of walking through these nights. The lonely and terrifying nights…but HIS Grace his sufficient and how wonderful it is that you both most assuredly know that. Your writings, your story stirs lots of feelings, and emotions for so many. Bless you for having the strength ONLY He can give and sharing your story. I will continue to pray for your requests and SO much of the unsaid.


  2. Continuing in prayer for you and your family Ashley. Praying for strength during those harder moments and opportunities to continue for y’all to be able to share His Love with the people you encounter who need it. I think it’s awesome that y’all are filled with the amazing Love of Jesus that you can be such a testimony and give such hope to so many people even during your struggling.


  3. like s sanders, I too know that spot the pic was taken. I sat there many a day watching people go to and from the ‘normal’ world. There are SO many to minister to there…..God is using you and Jesse in this time. Love you


  4. You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
    The Lord’s peace – rich, unassailable, invincible, unconquerable
    The vilest attacks from the enemy are met with utter defeat as the LORD speaks to my soul, “Peace, be still.”


  5. Ashley, I, along with countless others are praying for you, Jesse, and the whole family. I also want to say thank you. Thank you for using one of life’s cruelest happenings as a testament of God’s love and His faithfulness. I marvel at your writings. Through your expression of emotions you allow me to see how very deep your pain goes, but also how far reaching God’s hand is. You see, I’m so scared of life. Anxiety is a constant that I battle. God reminds me so often, through His people, that His grace is sufficient. I hate that I need reminding and certainly hate to see really good people suffering. I wish nothing more than you home having a normal day with your beautiful family. I’m praying for a miraculous healing in Jesse’s life and I expect it. But right now, during this wait, I just want to say what you already know…God is using you, Ashley, for His good and to help others… me. Again, thank you for showing there’s light in the darkest of places.


  6. Hello:
    We met your husband Sunday in the Lobby of MD Anderson. He seemed a little lost so I asked him if he needed help. He told us his story of having a brain tumor, being a pastor and having 4 children. He has touched us and we have spoken of him several times over the last two days. I feel like God wanted us to meet him. We have recently started going to church and have felt the love of Jesus coming into our lives.
    We are praying for him and I will start daily following his progress.

    We were blessed with our visit and was told they will see us in a year for a checkup.


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