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Friday, July 4, 2014

The road home

Photo Jun 30, 3 09 51 PM
We are still at the hospital with Kelsey. She seems to be standing at the doorway of this life and the next. Seems strangely appropriate to be writing this post on Independence Day. I am not sure how soon it will be, but without a miracle, Kelsey will be declaring her independence, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Her independence of sin, sickness, sorrow and death. From the first biopsy results we learned this was a nasty cancer, now, Kelsey has the opportunity to be completely cancer free. No worries of recurrence, no lingering pain from nerve damage, no reduced functionality in her right arm, no pain in her hips from some crazy alignment issues (probably due to a combination of the stereotactic treatment as well as favoring her right leg when the tumor was growing there), no trouble breathing, no more fluid on her lungs, no more confusion about where she is or what day it is. And, oh, the rapture of being in the presence of Jesus and hearing “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Photo Jul 03, 10 28 27 AM

Here is Kelsey with her armor on. Yesterday morning (July 3), she decided it was time to put her shirt on. As she was putting it on, she stated that anyone who wore the shirt would need to be ready to share about the love of Christ with others. Several nurses who have worked with us either have, or will soon have, their own shirt to wear. A lot has changed since that time. Yesterday she was still very coherent, continuing to encourage people who came to visit her and thanking her nurses. Yesterday evening, her speech began to slip a bit. I had the impossible task of talking with Alexa about the reality of the situation. Unless God does a miracle, the next time we go to our house, Mommy is not going to ever walk through the door again. No more cheerful Kelsey smile, no more new touches around the house, no more beautiful outfits picked out by mommy, no more fun adventures with mommy, the list continues. Telling your daughter who is four years old the one who is the dearest to her on earth is going to be with Jesus is heartbreaking. This world is not our home and I feel that more acutely than ever. I do not want pity, I do not want those knowing glances, I do not say this for any other reason than I continue to covet your prayers.

The battle is not over, but the end appears to be drawing nearer. After the most recent nurse shift change at 7:00 this morning (when she once again thanked her nurse for all her help), she has not really spoken or even attempted to speak. She has rarely opened her eyes and even when she does, I am not sure that she is seeing this world each time – in the times of clarity, it has been a privilege to read the encouraging testimonies of how Kelsey has touched so many lives on the Praying for Kelsey Facebook group. Whether God takes Kelsey home, or heals her, we will figure out a way to get all of the posts together. It will either be a start to the book, or perhaps the main content of her book should God choose to take her home. Another example of Kelsey still being Kelsey, last night she offered to pay our nurse to stay with her throughout the whole night. Kelsey loves Brenda – one of the many special nurses we have had during this stay at the hospital. We told her that Brenda’s other patients may not appreciate not having a nurse to help them out throughout the night. Now, we are listening to songs playing on Kelsey’s Pandora station – which she seeded with Chris Rice.

Prayer requests

-- Pray that Kelsey would have no fear, but would be filled with the knowledge of the deep love of her Savior, and that He will either heal her or call her home. Pray we will be able to manage her pain, so that she is not needlessly suffering.

-- Please pray for my sweet daughter, Alexa. Pray this will be a chapter in her book which will make her a strong follower of you. Please pray for protection against this being used by the evil one to keep Alexa from being everything she can be for the kingdom. Please pray that she will come to know Christ soon, perhaps even out of this painful time.

For those of you who may not be in the Praying for Kelsey Facebook group, but are following the blog, here is a slightly modified version of the prayer I posted there:

Now, Lord, if her work on earth is done, please take her quickly (but not before she has brought You the maximum amount of glory she can bring by being present here on earth). What a joy to know that she will be able to fully use her hand (I anticipate her enjoying shooting a perfected jump shot and throwing an even more perfect spiral than she threw before surgery), she will have no more pain or tears, she can dance with you in heaven, she can hold our two dear children who we never got to hold in this life, and will be able to speak with You and praise You clearly! If her work is not yet done, and You choose to let her tarry awhile longer in her hospital bed, fill her with a real sense of your presence and love and cast out any fears or doubts that may assail her. While the opportunity is there, I do continue to petition your throne for your total, complete earthly healing! Thank you for all of your saints who have come around us and thank you Jesus that you ARE so much greater and more powerful than cancer! Amen

18 comments:

  1. I've been praying exactly these things for Kelsey, for you, and for Alexa. Thanking God that He is allowing you both to see that her departure into His presence is near. God keep you and your families in perfect peace. Much love, Linda Mc

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  2. Chris, having lost my younger sister to cancer just 10 months ago, I know and understand the pain and heartache you are experiencing. Although the pain is sometimes too much to bear, it is undergirded with the sweet comfort of knowing that my sister is in the arms of Jesus. I have been and will continue to pray for your last minute miracle of earthly healing for Kelsey, but, if we are not granted that miracle, please know that it is ok to grieve the loss of your precious wife for however long you need. People often think we, as Christians, should just buck up and be glad they're in heaven, and, of course, that is a wonderful comfort, but it doesn't really ease the hurt and pain for those of us left behind. So, dear one, if Kelsey joins my sister in heaven, go ahead and grieve all the while knowing that your heavenly Father knows, understands, and cares. I am a friend of Holly's from EFBC although I moved to Kansas last year, so, although we will never meet, please know that I have been and will continue to pray for you and your sweet family, no matter the outcome. Love in Christ, Jennie Lathrop

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  3. Just continually lifting Kelsey, Alex, and you the Throne of Grace.

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  4. Chris, Kelsey, and Alexa--we continue to pray. You guys are constantly in our hearts and have been for most of this journey. Kelsey, we love you so much, beautiful sister. You truly show us that C>c. So we continue to pray. --Annie Fuller

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  5. jacob blackwelderJuly 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Chris I continue to pray for you guys. I think of Kelsey and her fun God loving spirit often as the journey has continued.What ever happens God has been glorified by her life on earth.Praying today for you,kelsey,Alexa,Eddie,Marilyn,holly. May God bless you greatly thru this time.

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  6. Chris, I weep for Alexa and for you - it is not pity; it is grief. I find myself praying for Alexa often (especially when I am driving). I cannot fathom what this will be like for her (and for all of you as you minister to her). I found myself listening over and over again to Carrie Underwood's "See You Again" and praying that if Kelsey does go HOME that Alexa Hope would come to know that in Jesus she will see her mommy again. Don't fear weeping with your daughter often. Don't hesitate to call upon my family whenever ... Timothy Gibson

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  7. Can't help but shed tears reading your post. I can't imagine how hard it is to tell sweet Alexa about her Mommy. Your prayer was beautiful. I prayed a similar when we lost our 8 year old to leukemia many, many years ago. Not an easy prayer to pray, but if an earthly healing is not God's plan for Kelsey, even so Lord Jesus come.I will continue to pray for you and your precious family, regardless of the outcome. Much love and prayers.

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  8. God bless you for the beautiful prayer. Bless your baby, Jesus said bring the little children to me. I believe your 4 year old will understand and trust in Jesus. I am praying that Kelsey will go in peace to her Heavenly Father.

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  9. 7:19 Praying for sweet release. May you catch a glimmer of heaven as the door opens for Kelsey. To God be the glory.

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  10. Chris I've had a huge lump in my throat all day thinking about you and your family and Kelsey's family...my heart aches for you all...I am however so thankful that you have God as your main source for strength...No pity from me, Kelsey has set up this whole journey from a fighting spirit....so I may be sad, I may cry, but I'll do as you asked and continue to pray for you...God will use all of this for His glory and I think this is only the beginning...Kelsey may physically leave but I have a feeling she just planted her legend the past year and her spirit will live on for a long,long time. You both are amazing and you are doing a wonderful job as her husband and Alexa's Daddy. That strength you have now is God's handiwork...thank you for sharing your heart and love for Kelsey on here with us ... we have all truly been blessed by this journey you have allowed us to take with you both. <3 Love, Tammie M. <3

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  11. Continuing in prayer for you all

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  12. My family and I are praying for all of you. My sisters and I played every summer with Holly and Kelsey when we went to see our grandparents. My parents have known Marilyn and Eddy all of their lives and I feel very close to them too.
    Your faith is so amazing! Just know that The Buchanan's are praying for each of you.

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  13. Continually praying for all of you for comfort and peace in the midst of this road home. One of the songsthat has ministered to my heart in times of brokeness has been "Redeemeer" by Nicole Mullen. "And those same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken, they conquered death to bring me victory. I know my Redeemer lives." Praying that our Redeemer holds each of you gently in His loving hands.

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  14. My family is praying for you. I keep hearing this hymn by Thomas Kelly in my mind as I think of you: "Then we shall be where we would be, Then we shall be what we should be, Things that are not now, nor could be, Soon shall be our own." May the Lord be with all of you.

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  15. Praying for Kelsey and all of your family...that you may feel His presence and He will provide you all with His peace and comfort.

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  16. Each of you have been in our prayers continually. We have walked this road,holding tightly to our Father's hand as I know you are. He is faithful. He is for us. He is sufficient - even when you don't know He could be. We love you in Christ.

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  17. Prayers and love for kelsey, you, and sweet Alexa!!

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  18. I did not know Kelsey but met her wonderful family at the Mercy Hospital. My Uncle George was in a room just down the hall from her. I saw the C>c shirts and had to stop and inquire about them and the young lady they represented. I know she must of been a wonderful person as there was so much love and support for her. I talked a little with her husband and could see the love for his wife in his eyes. Her daughter Alexa played and danced around spreading her joy to everyone who came by. She put a smile on my face everyday I saw her. Her dad told me stories and I can tell he is so proud of her and he loves Kelsey so much. Kelsey is in the arms of our Lord now singing and dancing with the Angels. I pray for peace and comfort for all her family and friends.

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