February 12, 2013

It’s Thursday morning and I’m rushing to get kids out the door for school. My phone rings: It’s dad. For a moment I hesitate before answering, wondering if I should wait until the kids are gone. I choose to pick up:

“Hi Dad.”

“Hi honey.”

We share a little small talk about our service group for church from the night before -- cleaning and prepping a kitchen area at a local shelter we’ll paint the following week -- and how much we both enjoy it. 

Then he casually asks, “You remember last week when I went to the VA for a biopsy of my prostate?”

“Yes,” I cautiously reply.

“Well, they called me this morning and the tests came back positive.”


I ask more questions, wanting more details, more specifics. Things I can reason, assess. I want hope to hang on to. He does his best to answer my inquiries.

“I’ll go back in the morning and they’ll tell me about treatment options and what they recommend.”

“Ok, dad.”

And I know I should pray for him now before we hang up, but I just can’t do it. I just can’t form the words. I'm too afraid I’ll burst into tears.

“I’ll be praying,” I lamely say.

“I know you will. And I’m glad,” he responds.

“I love you, dad.”

“Love you, too.”

The conversation ends and my mind is brought back to the present. I still have children to get out the door, others to get dressed. Little ones to bring to preschool. Errands to run. 

“Don’t forget Valentine cards for next week, mom!” And I need to pick up treats for the boys sleep over tomorrow night. And I need to stop at the grocery store. Drop off videos. A list of things to keep me going all morning when all I really want is to sit. Sit in my living room with my coffee and Bible. I know I need time with the Lord, but it’ll have to wait. So I listlessly go through the motions, getting everything checked off, all the while the word swirling around in my brain: Cancer. Dad has cancer. 

It’s not a word unfamiliar to me or anyone in my family. My sister Katrina battled cancer for five years before dying at the ripe old age of 28. I know what cancer can do. And I hate it. 

I know most of the time people like to tell stories looking back, in hindsight. And although that can be so encouraging to hear how someone survived, overcame, or made it through, what of the times when you’re still waiting? Still in the middle of the mess? Wondering what the end result will be?

That’s the place I’m in today. 

As I now sit in my living room after a too-busy morning and everyone rests in their rooms, I finally have a chance to open my Bible. Lord, you know I need to hear from you today. Please speak to me.

I open up to John 15:

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.” (vs. 4)

The words soak into my mind: Remain in me.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (vs. 9)

And again the words go deeper, resonate in my heart: Remain in my love.

Remain. But what does that mean? To abide. Cling. Persist. Reside. All words to describe what it means to remain. 

So simple and yet somehow profound. Easy to almost overlook if I’m not careful, unaware. But today my senses are heightened. Waiting for a word of hope. 

And now I have what I will cling to, if just for this day: Remain.

Lord Jesus, I lift up every person who finds themselves today in a place of unknown. A place of waiting. I ask that you would encourage them, hold them close. Lord, may we cling to you today. Cling to your promises of hope, peace, and love. May we choose to ignore the voices of doubt, fear, and worry that try to invade our thoughts, that bang on the door of our hearts. May we instead turn to you, abide in you. And listen to your truths, no matter how simple they may seem. Wrap us up in your arms of love. Stay close to us during this time. Close enough for us to hear your heartbeat in our ear, your breath on our heads. And we will choose to remain in you. In Jesus Name, Amen.


  1. Hi Kendra,

    I plan on retyping your prayer and putting it in my planner and Bible and read it daily...Have you ever had this feeling, but couldn't get it on paper or get the words out? It is frustrating...but your prayer got what I have been wrestling with on paper. Kendra, I will be praying for your dad. You are a woman of deep faith. Howard, Annie, Crissy and you inspire me to grow deeper in my faith. I have been meaning to tell you this, but "life" pulls me away to focus on the meaningless. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your life. Hugs, Candis

    1. Candis,

      Thank your your kind words and prayers! I will be praying for you as well. Even though we all face different things, hard things, it's nice to know we're not alone. Blessings to you my dear cousin, Kendra

  2. Kendra, I'm so sorry to read of your dad's diagnosis. I am praying for him and for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    1. Thank you for praying Nancy, it means a lot.

  3. Marin and I will be praying as well! We love you!