New Growth

Growth can be fast or it can be slow.

Growth can be a pleasant experience or a more painful one.

Growth can be seen or unseen.

Growth can happen in an orderly way or it can seem to jump around in all directions.

Sometimes growth can be tangibly measured and sometimes it cannot.

Since Jasmine came home from the hospital, there have been so many forms of growth for her and the whole family!

There has been new growth physically for Jasmine: new hair (curly!) growing on her head and new beautifully long and thick eyelashes. Her muscles are strong, as well as her stamina and endurance. Her body is healthy and full of new cells fighting for her, not against.

Gearing up to go dirt biking.

This summer season brought normal, as well as new activities. The Adams family were able to go on their annual camping trip with wonderful friends, and also joined their family at the annual Taber Corn Fest. Jasmine was thrilled to try some new adventures like wakeboarding and dirt biking, and cancer has not slowed her down one bit!

The Adams family also grew by one number, adding a new female Whippet puppy named Samus. She is cuddly and adorable – the perfect addition.

Jasmine cuddling Samus.

Today was Jasmine’s first day back at school since the beginning of January. She will be going at her own pace with regards to full days at school (depending on how she is feeling) but she is very determined and optimistic, and delighted to be back. We are so thankful for the normalcy of her being back in school.

Eli is in Grade 7 and Jasmine is in Grade 8.

There have been many areas of growth that can be noticed and measured, and the hope from these things is life-changing. But there has also been a lot of growth below the surface, out of sight, that we need to acknowledge too, even if it is harder to measure.

There has been the growth of HOPE, especially since the dark days in the ICU. Our capacity for hope has grown as God has led us through discouragement and trials and brought us out the other side.

There has been growth of JOY as the little things suddenly become more noticeable and important, and gratitude for them increases. Touching deeper sorrows brings heightened joy, and regular laughter has been one evidence of that.

There has been new growth of FAITH in who God is, as we have seen what He can do and how He does not change even when things look hopeless.

Lastly, there has been the slow growth of TRUST; trust that God is still good, that He is still faithful, and that He is still worthy of leading our lives. It can be scary to let go of the safety nets and not live waiting for the next bomb to drop. But this new growth is even more secure than before, and the baby steps of trust bring freedom.

It has been hard to process and put to words how things have been since our last update, mostly because a lot of this growth is slow, not orderly at all, and much is below the surface.

But after 3.5 months of Jasmine being home, we are able to see more clearly the bigger picture of all God has done and is continuing to do.

Thank you, Army, for journeying with us.

Much love!

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

The To Do List

This blog post is from Connie (Jasmine’s Gram):

I have a To Do List on my kitchen island. It’s not a grocery list. It’s not a list of errands or chores. It’s a list of names of really good friends who have left messages or texted or emailed in the last few days asking the same question: “How are you? How is it going?”

I don’t know how to answer their question in a text and I don’t have the emotional energy to return the calls. So every day the list grows.

I am discovering that this hospital-discharge recovery phase of Jasmine’s leukaemia treatment has new difficulties, challenges and surprises. Not the least of which is mental and emotional fatigue that manifests in: tears over “nothing”; manic activity; guilt about Everything (especially The List); panicky fear that comes out of “nowhere”; wanting to isolate myself; and, of course, insomnia.

And that’s just ME! A grandparent. Christine and Jasmine have all that and more.

Even though we are “happy” to be home, there is a deep sadness that lurks just below the surface. This doesn’t mean we are ungrateful for the prayers, miracles (no fifth round), gifts, love, fellowship, kindness, lavish generosity of friends and strangers, and So Much More! We are overwhelmed with gratitude! We’ve been supported beyond our wildest expectations. We will never be able to pay it back (or forward) enough to show how much we appreciate it.

But ironically, our heavy-heartedness in light of such an outpouring of love and support simply adds to the burden of guilt we feel for having emotions that are anything but positive, euphoric, and grateful!

Our sadness does not come from Jasmine’s physical recovery. Every day she grows stronger and is able to do a little more. This morning I resisted the urge to film her as she demonstrated the line dance she learned in school three years ago. Her movements were slower and a bit stiff but she had the grin and the uplifted chin bang on!

For Jasmine, the physical toll has been severe. Her little body is ravaged: bruised, scabbed, scarred, denuded, emaciated. The damage to internal organs can’t be seen by the naked eye but various tests have alerted us to that reality. In addition, the emotional/ psychological toll, invisible and immeasurable, will take years to rebuild and will change her forever.

Of course, that’s not all bad. Some of those changes will equip her for greater maturity, empathy, tolerance, perseverance, endurance, compassion, spiritual depth and more.

But her new normal means she has a one in four chance of AML coming back. There is a greater likelihood of getting other cancers. Sunlight is no longer benign and she will have to protect her skin from exposure. She will need echocardiograms annually for life because of the potential heart damage from treatment.

But we’re home now! We dreamed of, prayed for, and anticipated with joy our final discharge day! It came and went and we were too tired, in every way, to celebrate.

We feel internal pressure to return to the old normal which  included family meals, jobs, friends, church, fitness, gardening, camping…. But we know that our new normal means we first need to take time for rest, counselling, fresh air, good food, spiritual renewal, recreation, massage, light exercise, visits with friends, and no big changes or new challenges for a season.

So for those I love on The List and for anyone else who has been following Jasmine’s AML journey: How am I and how are we doing? Happy to be home. Saddened by suffering. Battle scarred but still standing. Aware that the recovery will take time. SO SO grateful to God and to our family, church, community, schools, coworkers, friends, employers, pray-ers, and supporters. We would not have chosen to travel this road alone and because of you, we didn’t have to.

Something New

Since finding out the news last week that Jasmine will not need a fifth round of chemo, it seemed, for me, like everything stopped. We are done (Lord willing) with chemotherapy and the suffering through atrocious side effects.

It’s like we’ve been in the trenches for the past four months, sitting in the dirt, trudging through the muck, the mud, the wet and cold; being exposed to the harsh elements and only being able to see two steps in front of us.

And this good news of no more chemo was a breath of fresh air, like coming up out of the trench for the first time in months, and having a shower. Like washing off the gunk caked on from the last four months and finally feeling clean. And it feels good. It feels so good in fact, that now I don’t want to get back into the trenches; I don’t want to get dirty again.

Moving out

Jasmine was discharged from the hospital two days ago (Thursday), and her and Christine will be staying at Gram’s house for a few days while Eli recovers from chicken pox. Jasmine has come alive since being “home”!

But the fight is not over. Chemotherapy is over, but there is so much healing needed still. There is so much recovery, and for the Adams (and therefore, the army), there is a battle still going on. We’ve climbed up out of one trench, only to climb into a new one.

And the temptation for me is to hide – to avoid the battle still going on around me and cling to that feeling of being comfortable, pretending everything is fine. Or it’s to rush the recovery process, to assume that everything will instantly be restored and go back to normal.

We have a new normal now: life will not be the same and we will not be the same. Healing and new growth will take time. This new part of the journey is still scary, still unfamiliar, and will still take a whole lot of faith as God restores what was broken.

But in this new season, God is doing something new.

“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:19‬ ‭

A new season means new unknowns, new challenges, and new ways of reliving the old pain. It also means new joys, new steps of faith, and new ways of encountering God’s presence.

It will be hard, but it will be new. And God will be with us.

“I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:2

Back in the kitchen baking and cooking


We suddenly received the devastating news back in January of Jasmine’s AML diagnosis, and we were just as suddenly celebrating the news Thursday night that Jasmine will NOT need a fifth round of chemotherapy! The oncologists determined that four rounds of chemo were just as effective in Jasmine’s case as five rounds. This means she is done chemotherapy treatment, though her journey is not over. She will continue receiving antibiotics to fight off this infection she has, and her counts (immune system) still need to come up, not to mention the lengthy physical and emotional recovery.

But for today we are thankful. And still in shock.

In the past few weeks, we faced some low points in this journey, and were terrified at the thought of Jasmine proceeding with another round of chemo and infection because the past and current rounds were so hard. Our prayers became cries of desperation, begging God to stop the suffering, heal Jasmine quickly and remind us how He was already at work.

In that desperation, God answered our prayers. He helped us to pray something similar to what Jesus prayed the night before He was crucified: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me – nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

And in the moments where we feared what the future would hold, and we didn’t think we could face another day like this, God showed us He was holding us all along. This news of no more chemo treatments is the biggest gift and surprise we could have received.

Christine and Jasmine got to go home yesterday for a 4-hour pass which was so needed. If Jasmine continues to recover, these 4-hour passes will become more regular. The future details are still unknown, as the oncologists determine the course of recovery. Jas will either remain in the hospital for four weeks of antibiotics, or be monitored at home via home care nurses.

There is no guarantee that the leukemia will not return, so we move forward cautiously but full of hope and faith, and incredibly grateful to be done the chemo phase.

Thank you for celebrating this good news with us and we ask that you continue praying for physical healing and recovery, as well as emotional healing for the whole family.

“The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘Lord, save me!’
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” 

(Psalm 116:3-7)

Smiles and peach rings

One Surrender at a Time

Jasmine is still fighting infection and is thankfully out of the ICU, but very sick with many horrible side effects causing much discouragement.

Jasmine’s Army group has been praying around the clock for the past 48 hours and continuing. With half-hour time slots (one person signs up for each slot), many people joined in to cover the family in prayer and really be intentional with asking for God’s presence and healing.

Saturday night as JP and I were praying, I was thinking about the idea of trusting God’s plan in all of this and surrendering, or letting go of, our own desires so we can follow Him. Because it is only when we surrender and trust, that we have peace and are able to enjoy life in any circumstance, even the worst ones.

And thinking about Jasmine specifically, it seems that the farther we are removed from her illness, the easier it is to trust God and surrender to Him. The closer we are to the front lines, the harder that gets. The focus is narrower and the effects of the disease are felt in increasing measure. So the idea of trusting God to take complete care of Jasmine is hard for those on the outside, but nearly impossible for those continuously with her.

How do we trust and surrender when we care so much?

Cuddles with mom.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and Christine was constantly on my mind. It is a mother’s purpose and privilege to care for their children, to make sure they are healthy and loved and have everything they need. Not only that, mothers long to make their kids’ dreams come true, going above their needs to give them their hopes and desires.

Kids are a mother’s most special treasure, so the thought of surrendering something so valuable into God’s care can be unthinkable, especially when our surrender does not guarantee a favorable outcome. It’s too big – even contradictory to what a mother is supposed to do.

And yet, scripture is full of verses telling us to trust God with everything: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Jesus said in John 14:1, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”

King David said in Psalm 62:7-8, “My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.”

The Bible says that God’s way involves us trusting Him and surrendering our worries and problems so He can be our refuge and we can have peace. But does our trust and surrender happen all at once? Is it a one-time decision to trust and then for the rest of our lives we’re all good?

Doing a puzzle back in February.

Perhaps, with some people, that is the case. But not for me. I seem to need to surrender continuously and ask God to help me trust Him all the time.

I see it like a building a puzzle. There are a thousand tiny pieces scattered across the table, all manner of colours, shades, and lines. How do so many individual pieces become one coherent picture?

One piece at a time.

It’s the same with trust and surrender; it’s one thing at a time. Our lives are so intertwined with thoughts, feelings, hopes, and pain, that surrendering it all at once feels impossible. What if God knows this, and He knows our human weakness and limitations, so He made a way for us to surrender it little by little?

Connie talks about this idea in her book Following God One Yes at a Time, where instead of tackling everything at once, we can simply “trust Jesus and step out, even when the way looks impossible” by saying YES to one thing at a time.

We could surrender for the next five minutes. Surrender this one decision. Surrender to His leading in this one area. Surrender this feeling about this situation today. Give up control for one day.

We can surrender when we trust the character of the One who holds our trust, and that He has our BEST interest at heart. He ALWAYS wants to bring us life.

Matthew 6:34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”


Our pastor, Jasmine’s Papa Gerry, walked up to the front of our church yesterday morning, about to preach his sermon. Seconds earlier, he had answered a call from Connie at the hospital, and received the news that Jasmine was being transferred to the ICU. Her blood pressure was low and unstable, she was being given two antibiotics for an infection, and her vomit contained blood.

A broken-hearted grandfather and pastor asked the church to pray. In that moment of desperation, crying out to God was the only option, but also the very place we wanted to be. In a situation that is completely out of our hands, we turned to hoping that, just maybe, it could be in the hands of Someone who can handle it.

Pastor Gerry then proceeded to preach a message full of encouragement about having faith as we run this race of life. He reminded us of the great people of faith who have gone before us, the great cloud of witnesses, the ones who made it to the end and now cheer us on.

What struck me about these mighty heroes of faith, was that it was their weakness that was turned into their strength, and they became powerful in battle. They did not start out as strong, powerful or victorious. They became these things as they took steps of faith with the Lord.

And if we have ever been at a place of weakness in this journey with Jasmine, it is now. This is the part of the race where the runners have aching cramps, and muscle pain and exhaustion from lactic acid buildup; it’s where putting one foot in front of the other seems impossible. And there’s still a ways to go.

We seem to be at a standstill in this journey – afraid to breathe or move or even think about it.

But here was our pastor and family patriarch standing firm on Sunday morning. He had only heard the awful news minutes before and was aching for his granddaughter. Yet he stood there as living proof of how to run this race with faith: standing with our church family proclaiming that God is good and trustworthy and faithful and all-powerful.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

As I considered the starting place of our forefathers in the faith, I couldn’t help but notice the similarity between their position of weakness and ours – both up against a battle that is unwinnable without God. Besides the leukemia, our battle has been the fear creeping in with each dangerous infection (after each round of chemo), threatening to be more powerful than anything else.

Could God use our weakness of helplessness and fear, and turn it into strength as well?

Our fear brings us to the place of realization that we can’t fix the problem. It brings us to our knees in weakness as we have nothing to offer, no way to help, frail in our hopelessness. And it is the point of surrender where we invite all-powerful Jesus to take over. That is strength.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us; fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2

What does running this race with perseverance look like when it’s so hard?

It is exchanging what we are not for who He is.

It’s surrendering our inability to be strong, our failure to be fearless, our obvious weakness – for more of Him.

It’s our church family praying together at the start of the service. And after the service gathered in a basement room. And all the way home in cars. It’s people believing with faith on our behalf when we aren’t there yet.

It’s fixing our eyes on Jesus so we can stand firm and have faith.

Keep praying, dear warriors, faith in God is victory.

Beautiful Jas wearing her wig a few weeks ago.

Valuable Treasure

Easter Sunday is the day to remember and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection to life from death in the grave. So what a fitting celebration that we got to have Jas home for Easter! She made a miraculous recovery from her infections and pneumonia, making it possible for her to be home for a few days before round 4.

Sunday afternoon Jas hid eggs throughout the yard for her little cousins to find. The little girls were elated and overjoyed, running throughout the yard gathering eggs into their giant Easter baskets, while their older cousin made sure every last egg was found.

Hiding the eggs.

Seventy eggs later, everyone gathered in the house to see what goodies the little girls had accumulated. There were so many colourful plastic eggs to open up! And yet these brightly enticing plastic eggs didn’t compare to the real treasure found inside – gold and silver coins! Since dairy allergies prevent the usual chocolate eggs, receiving coins has been a highly anticipated consolation.

That pocket change seemed like a million bucks to those delighted kids. And not just the goodies, but the whole experience of being with their beloved cousin contributed to “the best Easter ever”, according to the five year-old. The whole day was a treasure and we are grateful.

Out for a walk with Mom and Dad.

The few days after Easter were treasures as well. Jasmine was able to rest and relax at home with her parents while her brother Eli is enjoying his Easter break in the States at Granny’s.

On Wednesday she was back at the hospital early in the morning for some procedures in preparation for round 4. She received a lumbar puncture, bone marrow biopsy, and a new central line put into her chest for the chemo and medications.

And chemo round 4 began on Thursday. This round is six days of chemo, and the treatments seem to be getting more and more difficult. We are so thankful for the love and prayers from the army marching with us.

And we praise God for the truth of this verse:

“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but now in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9

Early Wednesday morning before the procedures.

Continue praying:
1. For maximum effect of chemo on the cancer cells and minimal effect on Jasmine’s body
2. That God would protect her from infection and for her counts to rise quickly after the chemo is done
3. For hope and encouragement in the middle of the struggles
4. That they would be anchored to God who is the Rock

When Life is a Roller Coaster

If you have been along for even part of this wild ride, you will know that it resembles a roller coaster to some degree. The highs have been miraculously high and the lows have been discouragingly low. One day we are celebrating all the good and the next we are battling in prayer because there is so much suffering.

This journey reminds me of a roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland, in Toronto, called the Behemoth. It is known for its (literal) breathtaking first drop, reaching speeds of 125 km/hour, and the thrilling ups and downs that follow. The one-two hours waiting in line are spent wondering why this was ever a good idea, and seeking distractions from the anticipation of what is about to come. Every glance at the track towering in front of you causes your heart to pound and each time the coaster thunders by you tremble a little bit.


Once on the ride, as the car click-click-clicks up higher and higher, your awareness grows that you have zero control over anything that happens. The only thing holding you in your seat is a lap bar – no upper body restraints, and all you can do is hold on.

These past few months have been like riding the Behemoth over and over and over. With each round of chemo, the anticipation builds, the loss of control overwhelms, and the ups and downs are so unpredictable. But unlike a roller coaster, this ride has a whole lot more pain and suffering.

I am not trying to minimize what Jasmine is going through, nor put it on the same level as a simple amusement park ride. But the unpredictability and the speed of ups-and-downs help paint a picture of what she is facing.

This week Jasmine got a bacterial infection in her central line, the same as round 2. Yet this time the infection was worse so they removed the line and now she receives everything through IV. The antibiotics were slow to work, Jas was put on oxygen, and her blood counts were still at zero, meaning her body couldn’t fight. This week was full of suffering: low blood pressure, loss of appetite, blood transfusions, exhaustion, tears, and hopelessness.

From yesterday, the biggest smile all week!

Sunday night was a particularly low point. A chest x-ray revealed that Jasmine has pneumonia on top of everything else. Helplessness reminded us that we were completely at the mercy of God and that the only thing to do was hold onto Him and pray.

Then yesterday (Monday) we received some amazing news – an answer to prayer! Jasmine’s blood counts were coming up on their own, meaning her body will be able to start fighting the infections. This was the quickest her counts recovered out of all three chemo rounds (Day 20). Praise the Lord! Jasmine was also more talkative and hopeful!

This ride is far from over. However, through the joy and the suffering, we have an anchor. Like the seat restraints holding a person onto the ride, we have an anchor to hold us firmly through all the craziness. And He’s completely faithful and reliable. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19).

Timely reminder from Neen that the power will be of God and not from us.

He is the one holding us. Even if you let go on the ride, if you lift your hands high above your head, the restraint will still hold you in. You may lift off your seat, but you won’t fall off. When God is holding us, we will be afflicted but not crushed; perplexed but not despaired; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed.

It has never been up to us! God’s got Jasmine, and He’s got all of us. Nothing can separate us from Him.

When you get to the end of the ride, there’s a sense of satisfaction because despite what you just endured, you’re alright. The Behemoth was daunting but you conquered it.

We are not at the end yet. We are just past halfway, with two rounds left. But if we remain anchored to God through everything, no matter what circumstances we face, we will be conquerors.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

We may not all be struggling with the same thing as Jasmine, but all of us face ups and downs. This promise rings true no matter what we are walking through: Do not fear for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Some things to pray for:
1. That her body and the antibiotics will fight off the infections
2. That Jas will be able to eat and regain her strength
3. For renewed hope and encouragement
4. It is Jasmine’s wish that she get to be home for Easter and do an egg hunt with her cousins

Choose Joy

It is day 12 of the third round of chemo. Jasmine finished receiving chemo treatments on day 5, and has been resting this past week, waiting for her blood to recover. Since the very beginning, cancer has attempted to steal many things from Jasmine: her freedom, community, hope, strength, peace, normalcy – but it has not stolen her joy.

Trying on wigs at the salon.

“For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.”
Jeremiah 31:25

This courageous beauty continuously puts a smile on her face. She doesn’t complain, and when she does speak up about not feeling well, you know she’s suffering. She embraces every step of this painful process with gentleness and kindness.

On the first day of this chemo round, Jasmine was able to go on a pass with her mom and aunties to visit a wig salon. The wig made with her own hair is due to arrive in a few weeks, but she was thrilled to have another one, and sooner. This round of chemo was the shortest (5 days), but also the hardest, so having a beautiful wig was a highlight.

Jasmine loves doing hair; before cancer you would find her with hair styled exactly how she intended it, each individual hair in its place. Or she would have an extravagant updo that she did herself, learning new techniques from tutorial videos. Losing her hair was one of the hardest realities of cancer, so it was refreshing for her to have hair to style and play with again.

Ice cream with Dad!

Every picture with Jasmine smiling brings hope to us all. She reminds us that joy is possible even in the worst of circumstances. Cancer can force certain realities (like losing hair), but joylessness is not one of those. Joy is a choice, so nothing can take it away.

Joy is only up for grabs if we let it.

“Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:5

“Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future.”
Psalm 16:5

Worry is a joy stealer. Fear is a joy stealer. These things can occupy the space in our minds if we let them. But thank you dear Jasmine, for being living proof that joy is always possible – that we can choose it. We can choose to let go of the joy stealers and rest in knowing God is with us and He’s taking care of us.

Choosing joy doesn’t change the circumstances, but it changes how we walk through them.

Enjoying time outside at Grammy’s during yesterday’s pass home.

We are praising God this week for:
1. Currently no side effects from the chemo
2. Jasmine’s eyes stopped hurting and an eye exam showed no leukemia in her eyes and 20/20 vision
3. She is able to go home on daily four-hour passes
4. Her new wig
5. Moments of joy

Please pray:
1. With each round, Jasmine’s body grows weaker, meaning she doesn’t feel well and can do less to help pass the time
2. Jasmine and Christine are quite tired and still have a long road ahead
3. For no infections or viruses
4. For her blood and immune system to recover
5. Continued health, stamina and strength for Jasmine’s caregivers
6. For renewed joy, strength and courage as they rest/recover from round three and gear up for round four

The Army

Almost daily I am reminded of the impact Jasmine’s army is having in this battle. A whole army of people who care. A whole army of people who support and love and show up. It’s days like this week that we need the reminder.

Jasmine was having a hard day yesterday. She was laying in her dark hospital room, unable to do anything because of nausea and her eyes were hurting (a side effect of one of the chemo drugs this time around). She was unable to eat or drink for two days, and she was on day four out of five chemo days before recovery can begin.

It is hard on Christine to be with Jas yet unable to alleviate her suffering. It must be one of the most difficult things to endure, being powerless to help your child. Time can pass slowly in that hospital room, especially when there are no distractions from the misery.

But there is an army.

No, none of us can change this reality for them. But every little part played by someone in this army is helping to fight this battle.

When the family needs encouragement, there is an army sending messages and gifts and financial support. When the family has prayed everything they can think of, there is an army continuing to petition on their behalf. When despair sinks in and hope evaporates, there is an army to spur on the fight. When giving up seems like a good option, there is an army to remind them of God’s truth and to keep going.

Photo of Calgary taken from an airplane.

This is a photo of the city of Calgary. From the sky, it looks impressive, yet it is made of up many individual houses, roads, fields and skyscrapers. There are countless parts to this magnificent city.

This is just like Jasmine’s army – many individual people coming together to form something mighty and magnificent.

In the Bible (Exodus 17), Moses was tasked with keeping his hands raised above his head during a battle that his people were fighting against the Amalekites. When his hands were raised, Moses’ people, the Israelites, were winning the battle. When he got tired and his hands lowered, his army was losing.

So Moses’ brother Aaron and another man, Hur, put a stone under him so he could sit on it. Then each of them held one of Moses’ hands up in the air for the duration of the battle. They helped Moses’ hands remain steady until the sun went down, and the Amalekites were defeated.

Christine may not be able to take away what Jasmine is going through, but her presence with her daughter means that Jasmine is not going through this alone. Similarly, each of you is so special and your role is important. Your presence in this army means that we are in this together, and that means that this is not just Jasmine’s battle, but it is OUR battle.

It is the army’s battle, and ultimately, it is God’s battle. This battle is in God’s hands; it has been since before we got the diagnosis, and it will be in the months to come. And this army is helping to hold up Christine and Brad’s hands as they walk through this with Jasmine.

This battle is bigger than one person, but it is not too big for God and the army He has built and is continuing to grow.

“Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

God knows what each person needs in this very moment, so let us ask Him with boldness to help this precious girl and her family.

Wednesday’s four-hour pass included a fun outing!

What is your role in this battle? Is it to pray? Is it to give of your time or money? Is it to serve? Is it to encourage? Is it to love? Is it to support? Is it to show up? Is it to spur them on because you’ve been here before? They need you.

Since yesterday, many people in the army were praying specifically for Jasmine, and she is feeling SO much better today! In fact, she is on a four-hour pass home. Thank you God and thank you army!

Thank you for being present and continuing to fight alongside these brave warriors. God has brought you to be apart of this army and there is a reason for it. Thank you for showing up, it means more than we know how to say.