I got the photo in my email inbox this morning.
It came from Janelle, a friend who blogs over at A Life That is Changed. She’s a cyber-pal, but she’s also a real-life friend who lives about four miles away from my front door.
She sent me this precious reminder that she is praying for my father-in-law. Just to make sure she doesn’t forget to pray, she has his name written on the back of her hand. When the ink starts to wear off, she pulls out the marker and writes it again. She’s been doing this over and over — since December 22.
And then, over at Choose Joy, a beautiful and gifted woman, Carol, is now asking all of her readers to pray for our family.
That’s the kind of love we’ve felt from friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, as my husband’s father has battled leukemia for the last year.
That’s the kind of love that has overwhelmed us as we wait now in the valley. My father-in-law, Paul, is a fighter who has come through many battles: Vietnam, the 1980s farm crisis, an earlier lymphoma diagnosis. I’d love for you to meet him in real life, but for those of you who don’t know him, I’ve written about him here.
He’s my little girls’ mud-puddle buddy, pumpkin-carver and tea-party guest. He’s my husband’s partner, working the land that surrounds our two houses.
But this week, the brave soldier decided to stop fighting and just do some livin’. We stand behind Paul, and we salute him — a man of honor and quiet strength.
Dear friends, I humbly ask for your prayers for Paul, his wife and our whole family.
Here’s part of his Caring Bridge post:
Paul came home to the farm last night.
Paul, his family and a capable team of doctors have determined that it no longer makes sense to fight the two diseases in his body — the fungus and the leukemia. He will, instead, enjoy time at home, making memories with family and good friends.
We received the news a few days ago that Paul’s leukemia has returned. That left us with some big decisions. It is not medically advised to fight the leukemia and the fungus simultaneously. There are a number of medical reasons for this, which would take a great deal of explanation here, but suffice it to say that it is best for Paul to come home.
At the farm, he will be treated for any pain he is experiencing, find the rest he needs and enjoy some of the things he loves best.
We ask for prayers for healing, for miracles, for controlled pain, and for Paul to enjoy each day to the fullest. Really, that is what life is all about. Jesus says in John 10:10 that He came down to Earth “so that we may have life, and have it to the full.” He didn’t say we wouldn’t suffer in this life, but He did promise to stand with us in our storms.
Paul is feeling quite good now, and is happy to be home. We anticipate some good days ahead where we can sit, talk, laugh, reminisce and count our many blessings.
Even in the midst of suffering and trial, we know this truth: God is good.
Love, the Lees