Monday, June 25, 2012

Fingerprints Of Kindness, Unending Faithfulness

The days are running together and the waiting today is agony.  At first this morning I kind of forgot that we'd be getting news from Dr. Garrington, I've been so focused on Tuesday...that Tuesday we will enter the doors of Children's Hospital and it all gets very, very real.

Update (5pm)
Some good news: The test results so far indicate that the cancer is the Neuroblastoma type and NOT the sarcoma. They still have more tests to run. It's likely Esther will have 5 straight days of inpatient chemo starting Thursday or Friday. The doctor's concern is that because the cancer is in a weird location (in her skull) that it might have started somewhere else. Please pray that this is not the case. But praise God that all indicators are that it is not the sarcoma! We'll be at Children's Hospital starting tomorrow when she has her chemo port put in (surgery starting at 1pm) and more tests done and we'll come home after her first round of treatment is done. (update from Anthony)

The last week has been such a blur, so dull and so vivid.  I keep finding myself in a room and no idea why I'm there or stopping mid-sentence.  I am overwhelmed by fear in circumstances, sadness for a little girl who has really no idea the journey she will endure, heartbroken for my other four children who are doing their best to understand all of the new needs and who are scared for their little sister.

At the same time I am overwhelmed by the kindness and love shown to us.  Thank you for praying and asking others to join in prayer.  We are desperate for it and feel lifted up.  For the amazing friends who spent a hot Saturday afternoon scrubbing my un-airconditioned house, washing every sheet, towel, blanket, stuffed animal and piece of clothing they could find.  I am thankful for the generous friends and family who see our needs when we're just walking in circles.  We feel so unworthy of such love. 

I am striving to continually remind myself, from simple VBS lessons, I can trust matter who you are, no matter how you feel, no matter what people do, no matter what happens,no matter where you are.

The morning of Esther's biopsy I was fighting to remember that God is a kind and generous God who willingly gave His son's life for my own, that He doesn't punish.  This trial isn't because of something we have or have not done.  The One Year Bible reading for that day was 2 Kings 3-4:17, there were three stories of God's kindness.  He united three kings & gave them victory against enemies even though they hadn't honored God's ways.  He generously provided for a woman about to lose her children to a creditor by multiplying the only thing of value she had...a small jar of oil.  She trusted God and He multiplied that oil.  He saved her sons.  Right after that is the story of a Shunammite woman who had shown the prophet Elisha hospitality when he was in town.  She was not a Jew and did not culturally follow the ways of the Israelites.  She could bring God nothing, she did not know the religious rules and standards, yet God had a kindness planned for her. She had no son and her husband was old.  Elisha inquired about what be a way for them to thank her.  She was too afraid to ask, it was just too painful so another had to tell Elisha her want for a son.  When Elisha told her she would have a son she said, "No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant." The next year she held her son.

I was right there...scared to hope.  From my journal..

"You poured goodness over undeserving kings and faithful people.  Yu are the same---you are my jar filler, my child giver--hope where none is found, the Shunammite woman couldn't fathom to believe--it just hurt too much, but you did it!"

God is good and kind no matter what.  I can trust God not because I am good and faithful but because HE is good and faithful.  I continually see his fingerprints of kindness.  There are two other families we know with children fighting cancer...God has given us friends to pray with, talk with, eat with.  While we'd rather be spending time together under different circumstances, this too is a kindness.  These families would love your prayers too and we'd love for you to lift up their lives along with Esther's.  You can read about Thomas' journey here: and Aly's journey here:

Thank you for your prayers and support.  Pray we would continue to see God's fingerprints, that we would remember His unending faithfulness.


  1. Praise God, Sam. Thank you for telling us how you are really doing. Thank you for being real. Let me know, or let Robin know, if there is anything specific you need. We love you so much and will continue to pray fervently! I thought of you this weekend when the kids at our church got up to sing "Nothing is impossible, everything is possible with God!" I read this morning in Hebrews 11 about not shrinking back but having faith like Abraham and Joseph and Moses! Keep believing that God is faithful! Love you much! Liz

  2. Sam you are such an amazing testimony of faith. What a blessing to read your journey of faith in the midst of seemingly impossible circumstances. Praying for the kids, for you and Anthony and for the many, many who will hear of Esther who may not know the Lord.

    Our church and our parents' churches are all praying for Esther. So glad you have some good news and that God is continually showing you His grace, His love and using His people to bless you.

  3. hi, iam a stranger to you but not to cancer.My mother was diagnosed with stage four lung and colon cancer. i saw your families story and thought you may like to look into this. - the gerson therapy provides something conventional treatment medicine doesn't, true cures for cancer. without horrible side effects such as cutting, burning, and poisoning. Please know that i say this in love. i was once not educated on the alternatives and there are reasons we are not told. my heart goes out to you, i too have a almost four year old daughter. i encourage you also to watch a free video on the subject at . There is no money to be made in this, it is a raw juice diet combined with coffee enemas to promote the bodes natural immune system to heal. The man who came up with it was a doctor and found it did cure and it still does. may god bless you and lead you. Sincerely, Bethany Barr , if you have any other questions

  4. Sam, I have been praying for your family and for Esther all weekend, specifically that her cancer would be the more treatable neuroblastoma. Thank you for the update and I will continue to pray.
    Nikki Grimes

  5. Sam and Anthony, You are continally on our hearts. We are lifting up little Esther and your family throughout the day and even when I wake up in the night. I loved the truths that you guys shared and are believing in. I will pray that God drowns you in His love and truth. I will also pray that God drowns little Esther in the simple, but powerful truths that you guys have built into her little soul.
    Much love to you all,
    Kathleen Nelson and family

  6. Hi Sam, you guys have been on my heart and mind. Thank you for your testimony and faith in God that can help encourage others in similar situations. Prayers continue to be with Esther and your entire family.

  7. Samantha, we just want you to know that your family in Alaska is praying daily for little Esther and for strength for all of you. Bruce was glad to have seen you and met your little ones when he was in Colorado last summer.What a testimony your lives already are in your daily posts. Our great God has you all in His loving hands and we will pray daily. Love Pam & Bruce, Rachel,Sara & Hannah Markwood

  8. Sam, John and I have been praying for sweet Esther and for all of you. Thank you for the update, please continue to let us know how we can pray and if the is anything we can do. You are absolutely right that this isn't a punishment. I think of John 9:1 when Jesus heals a blind man. "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him." I think God will display his works through your sweet daughter. Keep trusting God!! With love,
    John and Lindsay

  9. Sam my heart is breaking for you, but I am so encouraged that you can still see our good God in this. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I was touched that on Sunday night while so many were gathered to pray for you and so many more were praying from home, God sent the rain we have all been asking for these past few weeks. He hears us! He cares! I will pray that you continue to see Him. We love you guys so much!

  10. We know Thomas' through some mutual friends as my husband and I were nurses for their (mutual friends) son when he went through his BMT in 2001-2. I was a cancer patient myself from 2008-2012 and now we are awaiting final news on our 5 1/2 year old daughter's diagnosis of lymphoma at the end of this week when she undergoes an excisional biopsy. We are praying for your family when we pray for Thomas. Just wanted to stop by and let you know. So thankful it looks like neuroblastoma!

  11. Sam, We are praying for you all as well. You are precious!

  12. Your faith is such a gift from our good father in this hard time I am praying for you and will ask our Father to make you " strong and courageous". Love in Christ,
    Sarah Schwindt
    ( liz's sister)

  13. I am praying. This is so sad and I won't stop praying. She is precious.

  14. Samantha & Anthony,
    I have been praying for courage and faith for all of your family & that the Lord will grant sweet Esther health and wholeness. God bless you all in this journey.