Tuesday, March 19, 2019

I Know Whom I Have Believed

When your husband is told he has aggressive brain cancer, life changes. Plans change. Your dreams change from imagining growing old to hoping we can enjoy Christmas.

You begin to be thankful for a smile across the table, a warm hug, holding hands on a walk around the yard.

It has been almost two yeas since Ed was diagnosed with GBM. By some reports, only 5% of GBM patients survive two years. We are grateful God gave us many good months with Ed. But no amount of time will never feel like enough. It is hard to know that Ed's future life on earth is likely to be counted by months.

Lunch at the Clinical Center

Our visits with Ed's doctors have confirmed our suspicion. Since this is the third progression of Ed's tumor, he has limited medical options. We can try more treatment, but it is doubtful that it will extend Ed's life by more than a few months. Please pray for us as we make decisions.

(Just a note, please don't send us information on an alternative medical treatment that you have read about online. I've spent untold hours researching brain cancer, so it is not likely you'll tell me anything new.)

In the meantime, we are enjoying glimpses of spring. Last week was lovely with warmer temperatures, and we all tried to soak in some sunshine.

Now the weather is cold again and spring feels a long way away.

I'm glad for a few forsythia branches that I brought into the house to force into bloom. They give me hope that spring is coming soon.

My sister gave us her piano since our old piano had some broken keys. We are enjoying making music again.

A new piano prompted a reorganization of some other furniture, which gave us room for a new...well....I'll save that for another post.

A song that has been playing through my head recently is based on 2 Timothy 1. This chapter has so many great verses. Here is a few excerpts.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord... 
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus...
Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel...
For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:7-12)

I Know Whom I Have Believed
by David W. Whittle

  1. I know not why God’s wondrous grace
    To me He hath made known,
    Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
    Redeemed me for His own.
    • Refrain:
      But “I know Whom I have believed,
      And am persuaded that He is able
      To keep that which I’ve committed
      Unto Him against that day.”
  2. I know not how this saving faith
    To me He did impart,
    Nor how believing in His Word
    Wrought peace within my heart.
  3. I know not how the Spirit moves,
    Convincing men of sin,
    Revealing Jesus through the Word,
    Creating faith in Him.
  4. I know not what of good or ill
    May be reserved for me,
    Of weary ways or golden days,
    Before His face I see.
  5. I know not when my Lord may come,
    At night or noonday fair,
    Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
    Or meet Him in the air.

You can listen to the hymn below. (If reading by email, click over to the blog.)


  1. Just wanted you to know I have followed your blog for years, although I have never commented before. We are fellow Lancasterians who are praying for your family.

  2. I have been reading your blog for a few years know and I have never commented, you have been a great inspiration/ encourgment to me. We are lifting you up in prayer, we don't understand God's plan but we know his plan is the best and his grace is sufficient. I am praying you will have a great Peace as you face each new day!

  3. My heart aches for you all. I have no personal experience, but I have often thought that the hardest part of this kind of journey is perhaps not death itself, but living through the days of the journey. May you find your days filled with unexplainable grace and peace. ❤

  4. We continue to pray for you, Ed and the children as you face these difficult decisions. Gaylene, Bastrop, TX

  5. This week I was reading in Matthew about the parable of the sower. You and Ed popped in my head as examples of living your lives in such a way that despite this excruciating trial, your "roots" are deep enough and in fertile enough ground to keep growing. I am sure you have your moments of discouragement, anger and fear, but your underlying faith shines through for the world to see.

  6. Dear Gina, I pray for all your family. I think to you very often.
    God Bless you.
    Marlène from France

  7. Praying for you and yours. I think of you and your journey often. May God continue to bring you Peace and Strength during this most difficult time.

  8. Gina I will keep you all in my prayers. I have the CD that this song is on. Such a beautiful song.

  9. Praying for your precious family.

  10. I think there is very little that I could share with you that would encourage you as much as your journey has encouraged me. I send all my thanks to you, Ed, and the children for sharing your faith and encouragement with me. The serenity prayer always works for me, "God grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

  11. I never met you & your family personally but I do enjoy reading your blog....I especially like the hymns you post for us to listen to. So encouraging. Blessings as you made decisions in the coming days. We have a friend in our church family dealing with colon & liver cancer. What a blessing to have a piano again :) Praying for you and your family in this challenging time.

  12. Elizabeth ParkinsonMarch 19, 2019 at 12:41 PM

    My heart goes out to you, Gina, as you face these difficult days and difficult decisions. I will be praying for you here in England. I always choose a verse for the year and this year while listening to Colossians 3 being read in church, it was "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...". The word LET leapt out at me but it's not easy I know!

  13. I'm glad you have such a wonderful family of support and support from many readers and people who wish your family only the best. May you find comfort, joy and hope which comes with spring. God Bless you and your darling family.

  14. So thankful God is by your side as you travel this path. Praying for peace, wisdom and joy today and in the future. Sending love and hugs!

  15. As I read this post, my eyes brim with tears and my throat aches... lots of thoughts and memories go through my mind. I remember Ed, recently diagnosed, going to visit Dad and how much that visit meant to Dad. I'm glad for your sakes that you've had this time with Ed. But it's so, so true that no amount of time feels like enough. My heart aches for you and the children as you face the inevitable. I'm praying for God's love and grace and strength to surround you in the coming months. Much love, Rachel

  16. I have followed you since before Ed’s diagnosis. Your families faith in our Lord and courage to continue living a “normal” during this trail, has been an encouragement to me and I’m sure many others. Please know, you and yours are in my prayers as y’all continue to fight! Since you appreciate encouragement through song, there is a contemporary Christian song that brings y’all to mind. Michael W. Smith’s Surrounded.... It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You...this is how I fight my battles.
    Continued prayers from Kentucky

  17. This morning I was reading in Joshua, and was struck by how often the Lord told Joshua "Be strong and courageous," and then the people themselves supported him by repeating the command and saying they would follow him like they did Moses. So often I don't want to be "strong and courageous;" I want to rest (and probably worry, and maybe also complain). It is so sustaining to know that the strength does not (can not) come from me. This week I am praying for strength and courage for you, and clear direction and perfect peace in decision-making. (Suz)

  18. Praying for all of you in this hard season of life. May God bless you, guide you, comfort and strengthen you.

  19. That is my favorite hymn - we sang it on Sunday in church and I just had to close my eyes and sing it straight to God. Your faith is beautiful and inspiring. I am praying for you and your family, your husband, for your children, for strength and a peace that passes all human understanding.

  20. Thank you for sharing with all of us this part, hard part, of your lives. You have been on my prayer list since the day you shared the diagnosis with us. No, no matter how long God gives you with Ed, it will certainly not be what your heart desires. Please know that we are committed to pray for you not only now but in the years to come.
    Lord, we need You, every hour we need You!!! Every moment.

  21. Big hugs from Australia, Gina. I am praying for you and your family. It will be a difficult few months for you all.

  22. I pray for you and your family.

  23. As a person with chronic illness I have cringed every time someone has offered you a "new" treatment. I know what it is to desperately search for a cure, and to feel as if I've been offered every thing under the sun. I'm glad you mentioned that in this post. You will need your emotional energy for other things. But thank you for the gracious ways you have answered along the way. I've been blessed and inspired. In the end, these decisions are yours to make, & it is such a gift when people are respectful of said decisions! Faith is never ceasing to believe that God can do it, but always trusting that He will carry you through whatever happens. We lift you up to our Heavenly Father.

  24. My heart aches for you and your children. I have read your blog for years. Ever since Ed's diagnosis we have been praying for you. We will continue to pray for you and your children.

  25. Praying for your family. May you be blessed with strength and courage in the face of these challenges. Your faith and the love your family shares shine through on your blog - what a beautiful life you have had together thus far - precious moments. Thinking of you sister and holding you in my heart.

  26. And after all, life is still stubbornly life, flowers and puppies and Spring. Praying for the peace past understanding as you all prepare to walk Ed home.

  27. Gina, I don't know you personally but have read your blog for several years. My prayers are with you as you walk this path that you would never have chosen of your own choosing, but God has set before you. And he will never leave you. Oh and that is my favorite song, one that has personally meant so much to me.

  28. Hugs to you! May God be near to you & give you strength & peace & wisdom for each day and decision ahead. I'll be praying. Rosene

  29. Decisions such as the ones you face never come easy. I know that you have lots of support from family and friends which will stand you in good stead.

    The hymn that you wrote about reminded me of the words to an old hymn that my mother had written in the front of her bible:

    God has not promised skies always blue.
    Flower stewn pathways all our lives through.

    God has not promised
    sun without rain,
    joy without sorrow,
    peace without pain.

    But god has promised
    strength for the day,
    rest from the labor
    light for the way.

    Grace for the trials,
    help from above
    unfailing sympathy
    undying love.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    1. A quote mama gave some time ago, I thought would be an encouragement...

      "Sometimes God calms the storm...sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child"

  30. I've been reading your blog for a number of years, but haven't commented often, though I always enjoy your posts and stories of life. Your family has been on my heart lately and I just wanted you to know I am praying for you. So thankful that you have so much support from your family and friends. Praying for the peace that passes all understanding for you through this time.

  31. You are in our prayers!! We walked a journey of GBM with my MIL. This month marks 5 yrs of her home going. I think of you often and thank God for the encouragement you have been to me.

  32. Gina, like so many that life up Ed, you and your precious family, we don't know each other personally but we are family in God. You have a gift of words and your journey has blest me beyond what I can describe. Every time I read your blog before and during this journey all I see is Jesus being glorified. What a testimony and what a legacy. Grateful and Thankful!

  33. Praying always for your family.

  34. Prayers being said for your beautiful family, across the ocean from Australia.

  35. Dear Gina, please know we think of you often. Making that hard decision is heartbreaking but it may also bring you rest and some peace. Katherine frm Russia.

  36. the warmfireplaceMarch 20, 2019 at 5:04 AM

    Dearest Gina, we are all praying earnestly for you all, I have followed your blog for years, your courage and strength shines through, there are no words for times like these just our prayers.
    God bless you all Sue x

  37. I am praying for you and Ed and your children. Much love and hugs to your family.

  38. Oh, Gina & Ed...how our hearts ache with the confirmation of your suspicion, and we continue to pray! For grace for even more memories to be made together, for healing, for wisdom for you as you make decisions and for the medical team...for strength for each next step you take. We love you! Randy & Eunice

  39. You are in my prayers, and may God hold you and give you peace! Your positive spirit often inspires me. Blessings to your family!

  40. Praying for you as you walk through this very hard path.

  41. I can’t begin to know what you’re going through...I think people send what they consider, helpful tips, because they want to help and can’t....it’s a horrible feeling.
    God Bless you all...praying.

  42. Gina, praying for wisdom for you and family as you make needed decisions. You are a pillar of strength through my eyes. Prayers for you. Cindy Jane

  43. Dear Gina,
    Your family and Ed's cancer are heavy on my heart whenever I use your sourdough recipes. <3

    I re-discovered the song "Enter In" as sung by Hallal since my brother passed away last June.

    Prayers on your behalf to the Almighty God-Who-Sees,
    -Rachel Habegger

    When the dreams are life are shattered
    and the body wastes away
    When all dignity's abandoned
    And the ones who care
    With broken hearts plead for mercy
    But it seems that Mercy hides His face
    That's when Heaven pierces through the cloud of darkness
    and the glory of the Father shines from Heaven's open door
    And the Son of Man standing at the right hand of the Father
    With a warm embrace gives welcome
    And the Father with a voice like rushing wind
    Says, "All Heaven has been waiting,
    Enter In, Enter In, Enter In."

  44. Prayers all the way from Germany.

  45. Continued prayers for your family! May you feel sheltered in the arms of God through your journey.

  46. Continuing prayers for a miracle healing by God's healing hands for Ed. God's blessings to you all.

  47. Such a beautiful song! Thank you for sharing! God's blessings to you all!

  48. We were sad to hear the diagnosis. Praying you will feel God's special love and care as you continue in this journey.

  49. Gina, I wanted you to know that my husband Glenn (who's a pastor) sent another prayer request for Ed, you & your children to his prayer team & encouragement group today. We are all holding you up in prayer for a miracle healing for Ed. Praise to God in the highest!

  50. Thank you for always sharing I'm sure sometimes you don't want to. Continued prayers for Ed and your whole family.

  51. Praying that God will continue to give you peace, strength and direction. I don't know you personally but have followed your blog for years. You have encouraged me and uplifted my spirit on many occasions. May all the prayers of everyone here do the same for you, Ed and your entire family.

  52. All I can say is that I am praying for your family.

  53. Your faith is so inspiring to me, Gina. I have been reading your posts and making your recipes for several years now. I think of you and your family often and am lifting you up in prayer. Emily from Minnesota .

  54. You are an inspiration to my heart! I pray and think about you and your family a lot. I still pray for a miracle since God is a God of miracles. But I know He will take care of you. May God comfort you and give you strength everyday!!

  55. Words fail me... you are continually in my prayers.

    I wish there was a way we could help you and I'm thankful you have such a supportive community. I'm going to go bookmark your Amazon link but is there another way we can support your family across the miles? Big hugs!

  56. Prayers from Oklahoma ��

  57. Prayers go up for you as you continue together in what God's providence has designed for you. My heart aches for the pain of what you are going through, but it also rejoices that you have the blessed hope that only Jesus can give. You are so, so loved by our heavenly Father. May His loving arms be felt by your family every day.

  58. We are praying for you and your family.
    Peter and Susan Hoover
    Waynesboro, PA

  59. I just ran across your blog today for the first time when searching for a recipe for a coffee cake to bake and take into work. I am so very sorry to hear of your husband's illness. I admire your strength and courage in sharing your struggles. Do know I am praying for you and Ed and your family. God bless. -Dawn

  60. One of my all time favorite hymns. I continue to pray for Ed, you, and your children. Thank you for the update.


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