Day 2832 (Day 43)

Good evening to Catie’s family,

Today is day 43 since we were told of Catie’s tumor regrowth, but it is also day 2832. Catie, who is quite the budding mathematician worked out the number of days she has been alive. When she came up with the number, it made her tired, so she is in bed fast asleep, and we are blessed. Her pain is not causing her sleepless nights, and for those that have been following from the beginning, that is where we began. We thank you all for your prayers and for God’s blessings that she is not in pain. I need to look for these small blessings in the midst of Catie’s journey, because at times, the desire to give in to the pressure and the circumstances and just wallow is overwhelming. Christine calls it cracks in the veneer. We have chosen to share what Catie is going through, how it impacts our family, and the effects both deleterious and beneficial to our marriage. We have never attempted to put on a brave front, and that is why we ask for your prayers. The closer we get to our departure to Lourdes, the more we are tempted to lose hope and to lash out at the people we love. From a spiritual point of view, this makes perfect sense. If Catie and her battle have led and continue to lead people to Jesus, there is a being who has a vested interest in her failing in this mission. The father of lies is attacking us and tempting us to wallow, hide, despair, and lose hope. He has moments of success. From a purely human point of view, the nearness of our impending departure causes trepidation. We have set ourselves up for another disappointment. With each decision we have made since Catie’s diagnosis, we placed our faith, trust, and confidence in whatever treatment plan lay before us. To this point, all have failed. As we take this journey and rest our hope in the healing waters of a faraway land, we know that if no miraculous cure occurs, we as humans will open ourselves up to despair.

As we sat at dinner last night, Max was kind enough to bring me a cold Diet Coke. I discovered how cold it really was as the can exploded in my hand and the CSI team we brought in found soda as far away as the neighbor’s house. Thoughtfully, he had “chilled” a few more cans in the freezer which had similarly erupted and with as much patience as I could muster, I finished defrosting and cleaning the freezer at 11pm. If the same event had occurred tonight, my control and calm would have tainted my reaction. Thank you God for the blessing of your grace to keep my peacefulness and calm. I know that your grace is always there, and yet I fall victim to my own frailty and find myself yelling at Christine or one of the kids. Please help me to be the father and husband that I desire to be and that You created me to be. While I know we are journeying to Lourdes to ask for a miracle healing for Catie, I need to be healed as well. I also need to be strengthened for the journey still to come, it will carry its own challenges and opportunities to turn either towards or away from God. I humbly ask for your prayers that I make the right choice. I pledge to carry your intentions will me as well.

As I sit here, Christine is reading e-mails, Catie and M.E. are reading Christine’s favorite book, Someday by Allison Maghee for the eighth time. Soon, we will all go to bed, but these moments with both Catie and M.E. in the middle of the night are too precious to cut short. So even though it is almost midnight, we share this time together and with the eyes of faith, see it for the blessing that it is. M.E. has just brought Catie’s empty bowl to me asking for more………very good, you have been paying attention……pumpkin pie. Our little prophetess is growing in wisdom, and when I listen to her, I am usually amazed and filled with awe as she offers a prayer at just the right time, and for what we need at that time. I struggle with knowing that she is destined for eternity with God and yet I am selfish enough to want her to stay here and delay her eternal reward. I am glad that decision is God’s alone because I could not handle that choice.

We leave for France in less than 2 days, and we have 23 pilgrims joining us. We go with your blessings and prayers, your intentions and your support, and for all of these, we are grateful and humbled. Please know that as you hold Catie up in prayer, we will hold all of you as well. Assuming we can find an internet connection, we will be sending our next update from Europe. Pray that rest comes easily for the kids on the flight and for Christine and me each day as we continue to wrestle and agonize over the challenges of our everyday.

May God bless you, cause the sun to shine on your face, and grant you His peace,

Praying for a miracle,

Christine, Kevin, Maggie, Max, Catie, Mia, Molly, and M.E.

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