Monday, February 21, 2011


My mom remarried when I was twelve. That marriage granted me not only an amazing step-dad, but also three adult siblings. Over the years, we have grown close and you will rarely hear me add the word "step" when I talk about them. The youngest, Tracey, and her husband Steve have been a light to me. They live in the Seattle area, but came to visit as soon as they heard of my diagnosis. They came to visit multiple times, each time cheering me up, making me laugh, taking my mind off cancer, and showering me with love and generous gifts. And when it was time to say good-bye, my heart sank and I held back tears. They are so special to me!
There is no blood relation. We didn't grow up together. I guess that's why it was such a shock when I got the call last Thursday.
"We are sisters again." Tracey said.
I didn't understand.
Then she said very casually, "I have breast cancer."
"No, you're not serious."
How could this be? I couldn't breathe. I wanted to hang up right then and completely break down, but I needed the details. I needed to know how she was.
We talked.
She was doing great. God's grace was upon her just like it was on me.
I, on the other hand, didn't handle it so well. We got off the phone and I collapsed. I've never cried like that. Sobs. Gut-wrenching, heaving sobs. I couldn't stop.
I would do anything to take this from her.
I don't want her to go through this. Not one moment of it.
Yet I can already see how God has graciously prepared her, every detail of her life. God will carry her through. The refiners fire will shape her, and make her even more beautiful than she already is.
She can do this.

But can I?
Wasn't my own battle with breast cancer enough?
How can I watch her endure this, knowing every detail of the battle, every pain, every frustration, every heart break?
I want to scream, "Stop! Pause! Rewind! Delete!"
I want to wake up from this cancer nightmare.

Oh, how I long for Heaven! No more suffering. No more bad news. No more tears. So often, I wish I could go there now. But God has chosen to preserve my life. I want to use each day to the fullest. I have one mission:
To teach my kids and to tell the world
about a God who loves them beyond measure,
about a God who can satisfy the deepest longings of their hearts,
about a God who can rescue them from a broken world.

Tracey & I


  1. Steph, our stories and our lives are not for us. They are for those He will place in our lives to bring hope to them. The strength that He gives us to fight with is the strength they need to see, to know that they too can overcome the battles in their lives...

  2. Oh Steph....I can understand your grief....even harder from your view when you yourself have had to endure the flames. I'm so sorry and will pray for Tracey. I love you!!

  3. I was so blessed to see you worshiping the Lord with all of your heart yesterday. That was for Tracey, I know, but it was such a blessing to all of us who have prayed for your through this journey.

    The Lord is at work again. Please be assured that you are in our prayers.

    Love you!

  4. Praying for you, Steph. And for healing for Tracy. Love you.

  5. On this journey of life, we are first students and then mentors. Our trials become the lessons we teach to others that God places in our path. You are NOW the mentor.

    Here's something I found in my reading that I want to share as encouragement for you and for Tracey as you both start a new journey together.

    “Careful! I’ve put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion, a stone you can’t get around. But the stone is Me! If you’re looking for Me, you’ll find Me on the way, not in the way.” (Romans 9:33, The Message)

    Application: Throughout this time on earth, trials will enter our lives. It's a given. And when we find ourselves caught between a rock and a hard place, we need to press into the Rock rather than trying to get around Him. We'll find Him on the way, not in the way.

    Sara Jones

  6. I don't have many accomplishments that rate bragging rights, but I certainly have three beautiful daughters. It pains me that I can't take on the burdens of breast cancer from both of you. If loving you would do the trick I would have your burdens in a minute.