Hope.

Hope-A person or thing in which expectations are centered. To believe, desire, or trust.

Hope. Obama largely campaigned on the word & rode it to a presidential victory in 2008. You hear the word a lot. To me in the battle with cancer-it is the biggest thing that defines & separates us from others. The other day NPR did a story the about 2 brothers, one is a Christian the other is an Atheist. They both travel around the world teaching on their entirely opposing views. Recently the Atheist brother was diagnosed with cancer. When asked if this diagnosis would in any way change his belief system in regards to God he responded "If anything, my contempt for the false consolation of religion has increased since I became aware that I probably don’t have long to live” he said. Talk about not having much hope for what lies ahead! Then he said something even more interesting regarding how he battles the cancer. He states “The psychological makeup of this is roughly the same whether you assume a supernatural dimension or not.” With all due respect to this gentleman-I highly disagree. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13 it says that as a Christian we do not grieve as those who have no hope. I believe that we also should not live as those who have no hope. Plainly put there is a difference in those who walk through life with hope & those who walk without it. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says to us "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper & not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE & a future." Why did He mention hope? Because at its core that is what will move you forward when a situation looks impossible to some. What is the point of a future with no hope? Joel & I have not pushed through this illness as ones who have no hope. We place our hope in the promises of God. Promises that say He is our healer & that He will provide for us. We don't blindly walk around with the attitude of-what will be will be! No! In the Bible it says that God is not a man that He should lie. So we take Him at His word. We pray out loud His words. Many times we start our prayers with "God, You said…..". And He has come through on His promises time & time again. When the nurses at the hospital find out that we are believers every last one of them has told us the same thing. They say that it is good to believe & that there is a marked difference in those who have a belief & a hope inside of them & those that do not. We should be responding differently to those who do not have this hope & if we are not we should be asking ourselves why. If you are walking through a difficult situation-hold on to that hope deep inside of you. It is God-given & it is so very important. Psalm 26:7 "Some trust in chariots & some in horses. But we will boast in the name of the Lord our God." Our hope is centered on our God. And every day He meets our hope with His grace. Thanks to everyone who supported me in Race for the Cure. Everything went well & I crossed that finish line! I teared up several times during the race. Unfortunately I know intimately know how it feels to have cancer invade your life. Seeing so many people run "in memory" of a loved one was heart breaking. It is crazy to think that there were thousands of people there, probably different than me in every way, yet we have the biggest thing in our life in common-cancer has touched our life. It is my most sincere hope that one day they are able to find a cure for this disease that has robbed so much from so many. Please be keeping Joel in your prayers. He went to have his blood cell count checked today & it is the lowest that it has been. That means he is on complete house arrest again until at least Monday when they can recheck his counts. Thank goodness his friend is here to keep him company! It is very important that his blood cell counts do not drop too low. If they do he could possibly have to have a blood transfusion & that is something that we want to stay away from if at all possible. So far this round of chemo was extremely rough on Joel & he has had a very difficult time bouncing back. It concerns me with the way things are looking that they might have to change his chemo routine again completely or change it back to how it was. If possible we would really like to keep it the way that it is because it is the easiest all-around. Even if it is a longer recovery for him, he would still MUCH rather be recovering at his own home. We know there is power in prayer. We have seen it time & time again. So if you would, please keep Joel & his recovery in your prayers. We appreciate it.

Lots of love Sarah & Joel