Asking for Prayers from You, Dear Friends

February 22, 2016 | 33 comments

Hi friends,

This is my Dad.


I realize I’ve been a little vague about Dad, and all that he’s been going through.

I’ve written things like: “Dad continues to work through some major health problems.” “These are tough times right now.” “Please pray.”

And pray, you have. We are grateful.

It’s time to fill you in. Dad had surgery to remove an infection in his leg several weeks ago at Mayo Clinic. At that time, we found out that Dad may need an amputation. We hoped it wouldn’t come to that, … but it has to come to that. 

On Thursday, Dad will have his lower leg amputated at Mayo Clinic.

Here are some things God is teaching us through all of this:


On Sunday morning, Dad stood up in our little country church, and through tears, thanked all the people who have prayed and stood with us — even when Dad could barely stand.

As Dad spoke, I thought about those verses that say, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” All of us need three-stranded cords: us, friends, and Jesus. That cord grew even stronger on Sunday morning.

A friend, sitting in the pew behind us, rose up, and “interrupted” the service. “Let’s pray for Phil right now.” And that’s what the whole church did. They came over to our pew, laid hands on my dad. And they prayed.

No one should face adversity alone. We are always better together.


About six weeks ago, Dad ended up in a nursing home. We were all heartbroken for him. AND HE WAS HEARTBROKEN! But you know what? Last week, when Dad was released from the home, he was actually a little bit sad! I mean, there were actual tears. Here’s why. Mom and Dad had met some really fine folks at the nursing home. They made friends. They laughed a lot. They hosted actual parties in the gathering room! They shared their faith with others. They found purpose in the midst of adversity.

Adversity can steal your health. But it can’t steal your purpose!


One of the things I have learned from my Dad through all of this … is how to find the happy in the hard. Dad has maintained a terrific sense of humor. (“Some people get cold feet,” he joked. “I will get cold foot!”)

A few weeks ago, I started ‪#‎TheHappinessDare‬. Let me tell you what: Dad is daring to be happy. He shows us what it looks like to fight back against all the negativity. He finds humor inside hospitals. He cracks jokes with the doctors. He hugs us and tells us how much he loves us.


True happiness makes space for tears. We have learned not to be alarmed by our wide-swinging emotions. We cry together — in church pews, around nursing home dinner tables, over coffee in the morning. That’s a part of what makes Dad’s happiness so real and durable — his willingness to embrace the breadth of emotions that swirl inside of him.


Well, I realize this is a rather long way around to a prayer request. But I had a lot to say — a lot that has been unsaid so far. But Mom and Dad said it would be good to tell you. So that’s what I’m doing (see Point Number One above). We would be so grateful for your prayers.

In honor of my Dad, as a part of #TheHappinessDare this week, I pledge to look for God’s hand on the hardest days. I pledge to make space for my tears. I choose to believe that there is greater purpose in whatever adversity our family faces. And I refuse to face adversity alone.

Thanks for being with us on this journey.

Love, Jennifer


by | February 22, 2016 | 33 comments


  1. Jo-Ann

    I don’t often comment but I read your posts regularly and I want you to know you and your family will be in my prayers as you face you Dad’s surgery on Thursday and the recovery.

  2. Linda

    Praying for your family and the Mayo staff that will care for your father.

  3. Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    “The fervent prayer of the righteous avails much.” Many fervent prayers being lifted on behalf of your dad (and mom). Much, much love xoxo

  4. Dawn Camp

    Oh, Jennifer! I can’t imagine how you both must feel. Your daddy is a blessed man to have you beside him. I love his sense of humor. Praying for you both today.

  5. Sophia DeLonghi

    Dear sweet Jeennifer! What a blessed man your Dad is to have such a beautiful, infectious outlook and to share it with the people he encounters. Father God, I pray that your hand would be guiding the surgeon’s hands as the surgery on Jennifer’s Dad takes place. I pray for your protection over him and thank you that you have gone before him, you go with him, and you stay with him. I pray for uneventful surgery and quick healing and recovery. Thank you Lord for giving him such a beautiful daughter whose love is so evident. Bless them and protect them. And make your face shine upon them as they trust in the storm and drop anchor with you. In Jesus’ name I pray and ask these things. Amen!

  6. Richella Parham

    Jennifer, just this past weekend I “met” your dad through the pages of Love Idol (which I ordered after reading your Ash Wednesday post here). I know you have many longstanding friends here who will have been praying for you and your dad. I am honored to add my voice to theirs. May God bless you all as your dad meets this new challenge with love and grace. May he go on to greet many more race-finishers by name.

  7. Lynn Mosher

    Oh, sweet Jennifer, I’m so sorry for all the pain in your family. What a blessings to have such a loving, caring community of believers to fall back on. I’ve prayed for your dad but will ramp up my prayers for his surgery and for all your hurting hearts. May the Lord bless you all with a special touch of His presence and peace. Blessings, dear one. ❤

  8. Martha Orlando

    Prayers lifted for your dear father, Jennifer, and for all of you! No, you are not going through this alone and that is in and of itself a tremendous blessing. Sending love!

  9. gainesgang

    Oh, Jennifer. Thank you so much for sharing your dad’s challenge. I know what a scary thing illness is and it’s so hard when we can’t make things all better, like the way it was. our daddies aren’t supposed to be sick, aren’t supposed to be hurting. They’re the big strong ones who protect us. Father, I pray that Jennifer and her family will fell your presence wrapped around them like a warm blanket during the weeks to come. I pray for the surgeons who will be operating on her dad, that they will make wise decisions, and for the nurses and staff as they minister to him. Father, I pray that you will bring people around them to love on them, to wipe away their tears and touch their hearts as they walk through this frightening valley. In your name, we pray. Blessings to you all.

  10. Claresa

    I had a great aunt who experienced something very similar so I know exactly what you’re going through. I just pray for God’s grace and mercy in all of this, for your dad’s continued strength, and for the strength of you all and you bear this burden with him.

  11. Trudy Den Hoed

    I’m so sorry, Jennifer. I am “happy” you have such a supportive and caring community to surround you. I am “happy” that your dad’s infection didn’t spread to his blood and throughout his body. I am “happy” that through this adversity your dad is a living witness shining for Jesus. And so are you, Jennifer. I’m “happy” you allow yourself to cry. It’s not going to be easy for your dad to adjust without his leg, but I’m “happy” he has the powerful love of Jesus within him to get him through this. I’m so amazed how he can even joke about it. I have a brother-in-law who lost an arm. It’s uncanny, but his arm gets cold even though it’s not there. I pray God will give your dad and all of you special strength and peace!

  12. Joy Lenton

    Jennifer, we appreciate being invited to help share the burden your family are carrying. Thank you for being so transparent and open here. Your dad sounds like an amazing, inspiring man of faith, a real joy seeker in life’s dark places. And to deliberately look for the happy in the hard is no mean feat. Sending love and prayers for all of you. May you sense the way you are being held and strengthened, supported by God’s abundant love and grace. <3

  13. Drusilla Barron

    So happy to pray for your dad and for you and your entire family. So honoured that you have included us.

  14. Jeannie

    Jennifer, thank you so much for allowing us to come along side you in prayer for your dad and family. Praying with you and am blessed by your words on above. Thank you for sharing the lessons you are learning along this journey with your dad. All truth. Lifting you up in prayer and sending you a strong embrace. Hold fast and stand firm. He is ABLE to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask or think. Eph 3: 20-21

  15. Gretchen Hall Mercer

    Jennifer, your dad seems to be a wonderful man. It sounds like he finds happiness in whatever situation he finds himself in. He will be free of pain and free of worry over the spread of the infection. Hopefully, God will show him how to accept this loss with grace. I pray that he and his medical team will be completely covered by God’s protection and guidance. And that all of your family will be blessed with God’s kind of peace. Thank you for so eloquently describing the sweet love and support from your church family. Oh, what a blessing!

  16. Cheryl Smith

    Dear Jennifer! Tears came to my eyes, as I read your words. I SO understand how you feel, having walked through the loss of both of my precious parents, with many devastating, long-lasting health crises beforehand. I can truly say that God was absolutely faithful in every surgery, ER visit, nursing home stay, hospital stay, and anxiety-filled moment spent sitting by the side of their beds. There were things we faced together that I NEVER thought I would get through…but, by God’s grace, I did,. He is the God of all comfort, and I just trust Him to wrap all of you in His arms of love and hold you extra-close in the days ahead. SO very thankful you have a loving church family who are covering you and loving you through this. I will be praying for your Dad…and for you, too, dear friend. Wish I were close enough to bring you a casserole and a cake. Sending you much love and big hugs across the miles!

  17. Leah Adams

    Jennifer, I have walked the path of becoming the caretaker of my parents. Although both of mine are in heaven now, I would not take anything for the time I spent with them, loving them, caring for them, and being with them to help them navigate the world of the new normal. I will be praying for your Daddy and your family. Jesus is already in tomorrow’s events, working all of them out for the good of your precious Daddy.

  18. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Jennifer, I’m so very sorry for all your dear daddy has gone through. I think it’s ok to be sorry and grieve physical loss. It’s difficult and not what we would choose. I remember talking to your dad by phone when he was in a hospital in Missouri. He was so nice and had such a great attitude. And his attitude is so amazing now….in his acceptance and humor and trust in the Lord. He is so kind to have given you permission to share his news so that we can continue to lift him up in prayer, but very specifically. I am glad that even in the midst of this, he received the best expert care America has to offer (Mayo is stellar), and that he has the love and support of a wonderful wife and daughter and family and devoted church family. As a daughter, I have a glimpse of what it is like to be there for your parents, and how deeply you care and feel all they are going through physically. It’s very difficult, and my heart goes out to you.Please know you are so very loved and surrounded by our prayers. Please let Phil know that he is too.

  19. karen

    Praying for you and your family right now! Psalm 18:1-2 nlt

  20. Angela Howard

    Praying for your dear father and knowing that through it all your choice to be real about the struggle and still choose gratitude will be a light in the darkness!

  21. Hollyko

    I am praying for your Dad, your family and the Mayo physicians and staff as they care for him. Jesus is the Great Physician and He will put Dad in the capable hands of skilled, caring healthcare providers. God bless you all.

  22. Jajala

    My prayers are for you and your family today. I might be so far away, but my thoughts are there, close to you. Take care. Be well. God bless you all!…

  23. Hope

    So sorry for all you are going through. I can’t help but be thankful to The Lord for the positive spirit your dad has during this storm of life. What an amazing testimony.

  24. Deborah Will

    Crying a few tears right now with you Jennifer. My mom broke her leg, had an operation and got a horrible infection/bacteria and a year later amputated. I know some of what you are feeling and I’m about to stop here and lift you up. HUGS to you! Mom lived several years because of the amputation. It gave us more time with her. I am praying for many more years for you to spend with your Dad.

  25. Brenda

    Continued prayers for your dad, Jennifer. ((hug))

  26. Kathy/

    such utter tenderness Jennifer and I can feel the great, Godly love of your family flowing from my computer. What blessings to have such love and grace — the fuel that makes adversity a true gift. May your dad stay strong and may happiness stream through your gorgeous family!

  27. Pam Ecrement

    Thanks for sharing this, Jennifer. Thoughts and prayers for all of you as you walk through tomorrow and all the days afterward. The testimony of how your dad has responded to all this is such a gift!

  28. Anna Smit

    Continuing to lift you all up in prayer. So lovely to see a photo of your Dad and put a face to a name. It’s so hard seeing our parents suffer and not be able to take it away. Hugs from afar.

    Your words here are a powerful testimony to God’s pursuing Love and I know will encourage many.

  29. Carly

    Praying for you and your family.

  30. Laura Hicks

    Praying for you all! Thank you for allowing us in to hold you all up in prayer.

  31. Linda Perkins

    Great post, Jennifer. I’ve been going through my own tough journey with my mother, who has only been out of the hospital for about a week since the beginning of the year – including three days on life support – and I’ve been leaning heavily on the Lord to learn those lessons also. I wrote about the last one “It’s okay to cry” in my own blog ( this past week. I will keep you and your dad in my prayers. ((hugs))

  32. R. M. Jackson

    I only just saw this (Third World Internet woes) but I’ll be praying, Jennifer. God is faithful.


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