Sunday, March 10, 2019

See The Conqueror

Several of you have asked if we have support.

We do. We feel supported in both practical ways and through prayers and encouragement.

I'll give this week as an example. We have revival meetings at our church this week. My family set up a schedule (without me asking) for someone to stay with Ed each evening so the rest of us could attend church.

Several people brought meals this week, in fact, we were given so many meals that some had to be frozen. Since November, my freezer has never run out of meals. For months I have cooked only when I felt like it. If I feel busy or Ed had a appointment, I go to the freezer and decide if I'm hungry for soup, lasagna, or chicken/rice casserole. Meals might be the way that Mennonites show love best. For a  mom going through a stressful time, having meals prepared is a huge blessing.

Sometimes I feel almost guilty. I have friends who are going through difficult times. They need support as much as I do, maybe more. But since their needs are quieter, they are not the getting meals, cards, and gifts of cash that we are.

I'm glad not everyone has bold needs like a husband with brain cancer. But I hope that I can be one who supports others who have pain that no one talks about at prayer meeting.

This week our family's needs felt large. Since Ed has been declining, his doctor decided to push up his MRI. Because of a cancellation, we were able to get his MRI quickly. The MRI showed that Ed's tumor is now growing in a new area of his brain.

I wasn't shocked; Ed's symptoms had to be caused by something. But I had held onto hope that there would be a different cause. Something easily fixable. Now that hope is gone.

This is the third time we've received news of tumor progression. In some ways it gets harder each time since Ed's options for treatment are dwindling. Glioblastoma tends to adapt and morph into new forms. Ed's specific form of GBM is super aggressive. We are so thankful that treatment has given Ed more time than the average, but we sure wish the statistics were not stacked against him.

Which is why I was grateful for the services this week. Revival week is always busy, and because of appointments we were not able to go every night. But each of the services were a blessing. To hear the Word of God, to hear the Truth applied to our everyday lives, and to be reminded of Hope in Jesus is soul strengthening.

I find myself being drawn to hymns that remind me of God's glory. The first night we sang See The Conqueror Mounts in Triumph. These words tell of Christ's power over sin and the grave.

See the Conqueror Mounts In Triumph

By Christopher Wordsworth
Hymns of the Church #260

See, the Conqueror mounts in triumph; See the King in royal state,
Riding on the clouds, His chariot, To His heavenly palace gate.
Hark! the choirs of angel voices Joyful alleluias sing,
And the portals high are lifted To receive their heavenly King.

Who is this that comes in glory, With the trump of jubilee?
Lord of battles, God of armies, He has gained the victory.

He who on the cross did suffer, He who from the grave arose,
He has vanquished sin and Satan, He by death has spoiled His foes.

He has raised our human nature In the clouds to God’s right hand;
There we sit in heavenly places, There with Him in glory stand:

Jesus reigns, adored by angels; Man with God is on the throne;
Mighty Lord, in Thine ascension We by faith behold our own.

Glory be to God the Father, glory be to God the Son,
Dying, risen, ascending for us, Who the heavenly realm has won;

Glory to the Holy Spirit, To one God in persons Three;
Glory both in earth and heaven, Glory, endless glory, be.


  1. I'm sorry you're facing this, Gina! The 19-year-old young man I told you about some months ago is rapidly declining too. I admit I do not understand God's ways at times...but I am so thankful we have hope beyond this life, for otherwise we would be "of all men most miserable." Praying for you all, that God's peace would rest upon you...

  2. My heart is breaking for you. You are far braver than I am. Hopefully they can try something else to give your family more time.

  3. Gina and Ed, You are in my prayers each day. I am so grateful you have so much support from family and friends. I am grateful that you have such a strong faith in God and his son Jesus Christ. Know that there is life beyond this life. I pray that you will feel peace and comfort during this time.

  4. Big hugs to you from the other side of the world, Gina. I will keep praying for your family at this difficult time. Thank goodness you are in such a wonderfully supportive community.

  5. Gina I'm so glad you have such a wonderful faith in our Lord. What a beautiful hymn and the words are so ministering. I will continue to pray for you all. Sending cyberhug to you!

  6. Thanks for sharing! I am praying for you.

  7. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I'm praying for you.

  8. Dear Gina, it saddened my heart to hear that Ed's declining due to a new tumor growth. How you both are fighting this is so inspirational & hope-filled! Always remember, God is constantly with us, there to catch us when our faith falters, when our hearts are heavy, when it feels like the burdens are too heavy. All we have to do is keep our gaze on Him & trust in His guidance. I pray for Ed, you & your children as you endure this trial. God bless you all.

  9. the warmfireplaceMarch 11, 2019 at 3:59 AM

    Holding you all in prayer. Sue x

  10. I am SO sorry it wasn't better news...
    And maybe at the next meeting you could bring up other's needing assistance, as well.
    Prayers to you all

  11. I understand that guilt/ gratitude for an abundance of support so well as our family has walked the cancer road too. The thing that pushed me out of the guilt and more fully into the gratitude was making a promise to myself and to my Heavenly Father that I would do my best to show the same care for others when the time was right. "To every thing there is a season."

  12. Still continuing to pray for you and your family.

    It truly is a blessing to have such good support. Anabaptists/Mennonites know how to show hospitality and community support in a special way. I have experienced it myself. Having come from an evangelical background I see the difference. I am so glad that you have this as you go through your families hard journey.

    1. Mrs. Beth, I have noticed the kindness also. I think those of us who have not grown up as Mennonite/Anabaptist have a better appreciation for the love shown through the believers in difficult time! Thank God there are still people who desire to fulfill His commands! - K

  13. Dear Gina! It is heartbreaking to see Ed in such a state. God bless his soul, he looks like he is already gone to the better place where we will all meet someday.Prayers to you and the children from Russia. I am from Russian Orthodox Church, but I am sure God is the same here and there at your place.

  14. May God grant you peace as this journey continues. I am thankful for all the support you have. I will continue to lift Ed, you and the children to the throne of grace. Gaylene, Bastrop, TX

  15. Gina, I read your blog faithfully and although I rarely comment, I want you to know that you are truly inspiring. You and your family put God's glory on display as you move through this great present trial. I praise Him for what I see of Him in you. It seems that words fail when I try to encourage or comfort someone, so I will just say, "I care." Deeply.
    Recently, I listened to part of a talk by Joni Eareckson Tada on the Christian's view of the end of life. I found it very insightful. I will send the link, in case you ever want to hear it. (I know that one can get very selective with listening options while in distress)
    Blessings on you, my friend whom I've not met yet in person!

  16. Oh, Ed & Gina...we are so sorry that these are the results! We're continuing to pray for a miracle, and that God will continue to give you grace, peace and wisdom in this journey! ~Randy & Eunice

  17. Oh how our hearts ache for what you are experiencing & this new news. I love the song & the picture of power, glory and conquering strength when you must feel so weak. Praying that you can continue to lean into that might & strength & have peace and hope. Abounding in hope!!

    1. Our family is keeping you all in our prayers-"Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him." Psalm 2:12b**** the Stephens family from CT

  18. Hello, I have read your blog over the years and am so very sorry for your husband. Have you laid your hands on him according to Mark 16:18? From this scripture it seems to me that baptized believers are able to, among other things, lay hands on the sick and the sick shall recover.

    1. Yes. Immediately when Ed found out he had a brain tumor, nearly three years ago, he asked for the men at church to pray and lay hands on him. We asked for healing if it was God's will. We know that God will give what is the best He has for us.

  19. Oh, Gina, I suppose we are not to be surprised by this news since Ed has deteriorated so much. My heart breaks for you and the children and the rest of your families and community. Thankful that the Lord has used the services and the teaching to comfort your hearts. Prayers for you all as you put one foot in front of the other. Keep us posted as you can.

  20. We are praying for you and your family every night.

  21. Gina, I'm so sorry. We have been remembering you all in prayer. I've been blessed by your words you write here on your blog. May God continue to strengthen you and give you peace.

  22. Dear Gina, I am so sorry to hear this news. I have been following silently and praying for you all during this journey. I pray you may feel the hand of God in power on your lives, overwhelming you with his love and filling you with his strength. It is beautiful to watch how you lean on the Lord during all the pain. Thank you for sharing with us. Love and prayers,

  23. Dear Gina,
    I am so sorry that Ed tumour has moved. I am praying for you all as you deal with everything at this time. It must be such a blessing to have such a supportive family and church. I'm so glad that you are wrapped in such love and support. Praying for you all you are all such an inspiration to me in the circumstances with my sons.
    Blessing and prayers
    shelley p
    from over the pond


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