Dear Church Family,
This week my family received some terrible news. On Wednesday, an MRI told us that my wife Kellie had a lemon-sized tumor on the left side of her brain. Friday morning she went into surgery to have it removed. The surgeon was quite certain from his professional eye that is was malignant. A formal biopsy is being done and at that point the Doctors will inform us on our next steps. This is a difficult time for our family and we covet your prayers right now. While the news is still fresh to us, one might imagine that there has already been an incredible outpouring of love from our church, friends and family. So many people have asked, “What do you need?” and I thought I would sit down and give you a list of immediate things that will help our family navigate this journey better.
Please respect our family's privacy. Being the wife and children of a public figure can be difficult. We want to create as much of a sense of normalcy as possible for our children.
Please pray for, but not with, us. I know this feels incredibly impersonal but let me explain: As I have spoken to mentors who have been through similar circumstances, they all spoke of the incredible weight they and their children had to carry when every week hundreds of people would ask them ,“How are you doing?” and then wanting to lay hands on them to pray. God is a mighty God, he can heal and and comfort from any prayer. Your proximity to us is not an issue for him.
Continue being the church! The Lord has used us in so many ways over the last two years. Let’s not let the enemy take any ground. I will be back in the pulpit in two weeks and plan on preaching my heart out!
We would love meals! My boys eat a lot :) (Please don’t just drop food off. The church will set up a system of delivery to protect our privacy.)
What we know:
“This is news and not the truth” is a quote from Lysa Terkeurst that came up in Kellie’s devotional the morning we received the news from the neurologist.. The news we received was devastating, and to be honest it still does not feel real. I know if you’re like me, you have always equated news and truth as the same thing or somewhat similar. What our doctor told us was honest news based on test results and medical facts.
But the truth always transcends the news. Things that seem impossible when heard as “the news” become much more livable when you know the truth. We are asking God for a full healing but we also believe that his will is always better than ours.
So let me give you the truth.
HE IS THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
HE IS FOREVER FAITHFUL.
“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever.” (Psalm 146:6)
HE IS HOLDING US.
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23, NIV)
HE WILL NEVER LET GO.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Kellies Surgery was on Friday morning and it went incredibly well. The surgeon was able to extract 95% of the tumor with only minor damage to the speaking portion of the brain. Her speech is good and will get better as she works with a speech therapist. The formal biopsy is still being run on the tumor but the surgeon was certain it was an aggressive level four cancerous tumor. Her recovery has been faster than normal due to the fact that Kellie is very fit, eats clean and has thousands praying for her. She is up walking and has even walked around the block a few times! We will meet next Wednesday with her team of doctors as we plan to go to war against cancer.
We Love You,
Shawn and Kellie