Hi. My name is Kristin, and I have brain cancer. And while this defines me at this season in my life, it does not define who I am in the eyes of the Lord.
You see, back in October, I entered a season of thankfulness. Looking back, I can see clearly what the Lord was doing, but looking ahead, my future is hazy and I struggle with thanks.
I remember the day. October 28, 2022. It was a rainy day. My sweet husband was at work. I had stopped working at my desk to go outside before the storms came in and feed all the animals on our farm. I remember while I was feeding the animals how thankful I was for the critters who depended on us, but I felt this conviction of taking these small things for granted. I love the rain and the storms but this day, I found myself annoyed by the squishy ground and the mess that the ducks make in the cage. However, I felt this urge to count the days until the end of the year and to be thankful for what God had provided our family. We had not experienced crazy storms that had torn our home apart. We had great jobs. We have two kids in private school and our blessed with an income to provide them with a Christian education where they hear and study the Word of God every day. I have a wonderful marriage and a husband who I absolutely love with my whole heart and I had a good relationship with Jesus. I was thankful for these things. But, I needed to be reminded more.
So, on that day, I posted a picture to social media with this caption:
Little did I know what God had in store that evening. A car wreck would change the course of my life. Forever.
It wasn’t a terrible wreck. A sweet boy pulled out of a parking lot, t-boning me and sending me across into oncoming traffic, stopped by a turn lane median. Neither of us was going fast (thank goodness), but it was enough to do some damage to me internally. I’ve been in an uphill battle ever since. Despite the car accident issues with me physically and the weeks of therapy to get me back on track from accident-related injuries, God revealed Himself to us in a big way in this accident.
During that accident, I lost consciousness. The impact of the wreck likely knocked me out for a brief second, though I have no recollection of this. But regardless, I am thankful this kid was put in my path. I am thankful to know he walked away from that accident.
Since that car accident, God has kept me in this sweet season of thankfulness. There were days when I struggled to find things to be thankful for and days when being thankful was hard to choose as I had too many reasons to list. There were days when I was thankful for petty things, and there were days when I was thankful for more deep and profound things, such as specific people or relationships. In those 65 days of thankfulness, looking back, I realize that God was preparing me this time, right here, right now, where being thankful for the road in front of me would be incredibly difficult, and my faith would be tested beyond what I think I can bare.
But God is faithful. He is the reason that I wake up each day and the reason I can do the things I can do. He is the reason I have a job. He is the reason I have two exceptional children. He is the reason I have a husband who loves me and forgives all of my faults. He is the reason we have the provision we do. He is the reason the sun shines, and the rain pours down.
During this time, God slowly started peeling away responsibilities from me. I volunteer a lot. I love to volunteer at our school. This has slowly started to wind down for me. I like to volunteer to help friends and neighbors. God has taken away my ability to drive. I like to volunteer to do hard labor. God has taken away the use of my knee through that accident. I like to spend hours at the computer working away. God has given me headaches.
On December 26, though, I wasn’t prepared for what God laid in my lap. Doctors found a tumor in my brain. They have classified it as a grade 2 malignant glioma. It’s been there a while and never caused seizures or strokes, or even headaches. But God took a car accident and used this to show my family and me about something He was about to do in our lives and how He was going to alert us to it early so that we could do something. But, as God would have it, my desire to control the timeline hasn’t been ideal. One doctor wanted to rush. Another doctor said, “within a few months.”
Since that day, I’ve spent so many days in my own feelings. I have good days. Days where I’m not scared and days where I’m ready to take on the fight. I have bad days. Days where I feel like I’ve lost all faith and I’m questioning what God is really doing. I’ve cried. I’ve questioned God. I’ve asked Him, “Why me?” And in true God style, He keeps responding with, “Why not you?”
Cancer sucks. Those around me know my strong, independent will. They know I’m a fighter, and I’ll stand at cancer’s door, ready to take on the world. There’s another side to me, too. I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a sister. I’m a daughter. And I’m scared.
I feel in my soul that this is going to be a big deal. I don’t feel like death is at my door, but it doesn’t stop me from preparing. The devil is a liar. He will use any of this to make me question my steps. Any preparation I take, I hear him saying things like, “Go ahead. Prepare a will. You know God can’t save you.” “You know if you write that will, it means you don’t have faith that God is going to do anything. I told God you couldn’t do this.” “I’ve done this to you. You aren’t going to win.” “You’re going to get tired. Just give up.”
But, you see, that’s the thing. While there are days that I lack faith, God knows my heart. He knows that on the days when I can’t hold myself up anymore, He sends friends. He sends the right messengers. He isn’t ringing my phone off the hook. He isn’t sending me a bunch of people. He’s doing this all in His timing.
This brings me back to my season of thankfulness. Looking back on those 65 days, I had a lot of people asking me, “Are you still doing that?” I would respond. Sometimes I got looks. Sometimes people rolled their eyes. As if broadcasting my thanks was bothering them. Because most of the time, it was about God. It was something He was showing me.
I hear God telling me over and over what to do. So, today, I’m going to remain thankful. I’m going to remember how looking back, God put me into a season of thankfulness for a reason, and you can see the proof of that. I will remember that each day is a gift. I am loved by my Father. I have a purpose. My purpose is so strong that the enemy is out to destroy me. He’s tried to do it through gossip, isolation, envy, greed, jealousy, anger, and more. But since those have failed, he’s taking on my health and my family. I’m not sure what’s in God’s plan for me. But I’m sure it’s making Hell angry. And if that’s the case, I must be on the right path if the enemy is scared.
So today, I pray for protection. I claim victory in Jesus’ name because where Jesus is, the enemy cannot remain.