Pain: The Welcomed Guest

frontdoor

WHAT IF: you heard a “knock” at your door and you opened it to find a big bundle of painful moments,grief, loss? Would you open it and welcome it into your house? Would you invite it in for coffee, let it put it’s feet on your coffee table and stretch out on your sectional?

Why not?

Have you ever thought about the fact that there are so many people groups in the world– so many ethnicities, cultures, races and nations and one thing that we all have in common is a fear of feeling pain?  We hate pain. We run when we think of it. I know my own walk through a painful past, painful loss, and extreme pain with our battle with fertility. I’ve walked through so many forms of pain in the last few years. It has taken me years to realize that my “door bell” was ringing and I knew that what stood on the other side was extremely painful. Instead of opening the door and inviting the pain in to “stay a while”, I so often just ignored the ringing. But pain can be relentless and so can our escape methods. We have become REALLY good at dodging pain, friends.

Here in the United States, our culture works to relieve pain as soon as humanly possible. We hate to actually FEEL pain. Think about it…we have built a monstrosity of a pharmacological battle with overly-prescribed narcotics and opiates. We have the worst opiate epidemic going on right now than EVER before in history. And, on average, America spends over $19.9 BILLION dollars on liquor in ONE (yes, one) calendar year (thank you, Google, for that info). That is absolutely insane.

Keep thinking with me about this for a second. There is a mentality that if you just pour yourself another glass of wine it will wash away whatever pain or stress that has been incessantly knocking at your “door”. Does it bother anyone else that it i’s now acceptable for moms to joke about their excessive need for booze just to get through one day of caring for their kids?? Hmm…Soooo…What does this say about what we are teaching our children about ACTUALLY dealing with a difficult day?!  And how often does our culture self-medicate with smoking whatever plant brings some amount of “peace” to our pain?

And think about our constant need for technology. I recently have found myself buried in my phone from sun-up to sun-down— watching Facebook, watching Insta…checking a million e-mails. Really?! What are we scrolling through so much for–over & over again?? What do we think is going to happen? And do we really post our TRUE and realest selves on social media? Or are we living in a fantasy of what we wish we were? By utilizing my phone so much,  I knew I just wanted an escape and I wanted to distract myself from that nagging painful *knock* at my “door”.

We all have our ways of tuning out that knock…

Guess what I have found? That pain standing on the outside of your “door”? It is not going away simply because you do not answer the door. It is not anything like the annoying sales person that comes knocking at the front door at 6:00pm and leaves shortly after you ignore him for a minute or two.

Writing from my heart and from experience here guys–

Most recently Josh and I have walked through the pain and heartbreak of infertility. But, we also know the pain of grief and saying “good-bye”, the pain of watching people we love make destructive choices and tear their entire lives apart, the pain of dysfunction that was never dealt with from our childhood wreaking havoc as we approach our 30’s, the pain of our hearts’ greatest desires not met yet. For the entirety of our marriage, we have marched on with broken hearts through days and days of pain and searing loss.  For years, I  sprinted as far away as I could as soon as I heard the “footsteps” of pain making its way up to my “door”. No way was I letting it in! I certainly was not going to sit and face it. I could never look it in the eye– my heart was full of fear.

And I got to the point when my pain beat my “door” down:

After the doctor said that we were never going to have children of our own or on our own, I literally had absolutely no strength remaining to keep the “door” closed. The pain came barreling in like a flood. Without asking, it invaded every part of me– my heart, my mind, my bones. I couldn’t tell you how I functioned after that day, because I felt like a zombie. I tried so hard to ignore it and I tried so hard to push it out, but there was no shoving this pain back out the door and locking it out. I had to deal. I had to face it. I had no choice. I found myself talking to the pain as if it was sitting in front of me. I acknowledged it, finally came to a place of welcoming it and spelled out SHARP boundaries that the pain had to go by:

It could not steal my joy and it could not steal my peace. 

Shortly afterward, I realized that my pain had some majorly deep roots.  In all this crap, there were roots that had the word “disappointment” written all over them. Each time I let myself feel comfortable in the same “room” with my pain, it became easier and easier to lift out the roots of disappointment and throw them away. I stripped myself of distraction, of self medicating, of trying to numb myself and I forced myself to feel. I survived and it was absolutely beautiful. Each time I gained courage and strength, each time I felt like a part of my wounded heart was healing. We’ve sought counsel, confided in friends, and our support community lifts us up on their prayers so often. Most importantly, I’ve learned to keep the “door” open. I have learned that pain that I feel does not define or control me. It does, however, help me to grow stronger in faith and plant deeper roots of PEACE when I face the pain and work THROUGH it instead of ignoring it.

I’ve written about the pain that infertility brings before.  It’s layers and layers of hurt from the negative lab reports from a fertility specialist, to the disappointment. From negative pregnancy tests over and over again to the hurt of a “not this time” or “it is not ever likely to happen”.

The pain continues to be real.

Our journey has had so many unexpected turns. We’ve gone through a looong season of “no’s” and a season of “negatives” and we have finally reached a place of surrender. Whatever happens from here, happens, painful or not. We welcome it because we know that our pain is a catalyst that sets us ablaze with courage and hope.

Speaking of hope, if I haven’t lost you yet (kudos if you are still reading), I had an HSG test this past week and the doctor found that every part of my body that is supposed to contribute to a healthy pregnancy is doing what it is supposed to do. He encouraged us; he held my hand and looked me in the eye and said, “Until I get worried, you are not allowed to be worried. Don’t jump this ship yet!” He showed me my test results and pointed out how perfect everything in my body looked. The positive news almost made my heart explode!! In the midst of this pain, we have something to celebrate!!

I encourage all of us to be brave, unlock our “doors”, and welcome in whatever pain is standing on the other side. The best news is, you get to give it boundaries. You can dictate what it is and isn’t allowed to touch.  Think about this for a moment: With your pain sitting in front of you, you can essentially do whatever you want with it. You can work through it, or tell it that it can’t stay. You can give it to Jesus (1 Peter 5:7) or you can even cuss it out if you want to! You do not have to lose your peace and  you deserve to face your pain and grow from the things that you’ve gone through. Let the pain you feel be what gives you bigger wings to soar in freedom.

Answer that door!! Make your pain your welcomed guest !! Freedom awaits, friends!

 

 

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Green grass and pink lines.

Finally! There are so many beautiful blooms in our backyard. The grass is finally every shade of green and, as if over night, our peonies are standing tall and almost ready to burst open in full bloom! The sweet birds serenade us from the trees and even the rainstorms are smelling like “spring”. I think of how badly I’ve longed for the Spring season to be here. Did it not feel like the LONGEST winter ever?! I felt like a little kid on Christmas when I went outside and saw the tulips and daffodils popping up from the ground for the first time. ( And, yes… I cried. Ha!) I find it so amazing that after months of a harsh winter and bitter cold,  a plant can not only find its way through the dirt into the sunlight, but it slowly strengthens its roots and eventually stands strong enough to hold a giant bloom. The timing of each bloom is so precise. Almost overnight, our blooming cherry tree blossomed and showered our front lawn with beautiful pink petals. All I want is to have the windows open and the sun pouring in. This Spring has been one like no other. Not only is the beauty that surrounds us reminding us of the precise timing and order in our lives, it has exploded LIFE in abundance in a season when we need to see LIFE all around us, the most.

This post is brutally honest, vulnerable, and open… Just a disclaimer. ❤

In February, Josh and I spent time praying into what it would look like to try our first round of fertility treatments in March. I wanted to be intentional about letting myself fully feel the anniversary of my dad’s death at the beginning of the month, and we had planned on going forward with things with the timing of my cycle– which happened to be on the first day of Spring. If you know me, you know how much I love what some call “coincidences”, but I call “divine timing”. We loved the idea that our first round of IUI would be on the first official day of Spring — the season we’ve spiritually, physically, and emotionally been waiting for. After a little bit of complication, the first procedure went well, and the next few weeks of waiting were KILLER. “Just go home and try not to think about it for the next 14 days”…. Rigggghhhht. No. That’s not how this girl works. It’s been on my mind 24/7 for the last 4 years and you want me to just “try not to think about it” for two weeks. Anyway– we prayed every day that God’s will would be done and we tried to find rest in knowing He was ultimately in control.

A few days after our first IUI, the doctor ordered a lab to check my Progesterone levels to make sure that my lining would be cozy enough for a little baby to call home and to make sure that I ovulated as strongly as I should have. Normal level is above 10. The nurse called  and said, “Hi Bre. The doctor is a little concerned with your level. It is at 7.4 and he would like you to start taking Progesterone right away to make sure that you keep the embryo, if one develops. You’ll stay on this for the next 12 weeks.” My heart sank to my toes. All I could think about was the safety of an embryo inside me (that is…*IF* there was one)…and there’s THAT part of it…not even knowing for SURE. Then there was the cost of the progesterone supplements, and the side effects, and the fact that my body isn’t normal….This was not the way we wanted things to go, but I accepted it and thanked God for a solution and we moved on. Fast forward two weeks to a very early morning pregnancy test…and one pink line indicating it was, indeed, negative.

After calling to let them know how things went and fighting back falling apart like a little baby on the phone with the nurse, I took the day off work to make sure I was allowing myself the space and time to grieve…. grieving something we never even had in the first place. It is such a weird concept….and yet, it is so powerful. The doctor wanted me to turn right back around and start a medicine called Clomid before my next go around- Clomid helps thousands of women ovulate successfully and strongly enough to get pregnant, but it comes on the scene as swiftly as an elephant in church, and takes charge over your hormones like a jail keeper. The timing came and went, and each day we placed the situation in the Lord’s hands, knowing that what he wants is the best outcome for us.

Our next try of IUI was in April. This time we felt pretty positive. The procedure, however, was pretty difficult. After THREE nurses and a physician couldn’t complete it, they moved me to an ultrasound room. Nothing screams *VULNERABLE* like this moment of my life. The nurses were so kind and quickly saw beyond the fake smile that I was nervous and upset that this wasn’t as simple as it normally is. Yet again, my body wasn’t normal. The physician stayed with me to make sure I was ok and the ultrasound tech gently rubbed my arm to assure me that it was going to be “ok”. Then I hear, as she looks up from the ultrasound screen,  “This happens all the time… don’t worry!” … Uh huh, sure.

My next progesterone level lab came back a few days later. ( Normal at 10, my level was 21!) I will never forget the excitement in the nurse’s voice when she said, “Way to go on that STRONG ovulation!” If it was possible to hug my ovaries, I would have done it right then and there. Again, we were told to wait another two weeks to test. This time the symptoms began almost right away. I started having nausea and horrible mood swings. (So sorry, babe) and… oh my gosh, the tears! I naturally cry all the time, but this was out of control. I felt bloated and crampy and I definitely felt like this could be it. Fast forward to a very early morning pregnancy test… and it was one pink line…indicating, yet again, I was not pregnant.

I can’t say it still doesn’t make me come to tears. That feeling of being punched in the gut, mixed with having your heart ripped out and torn to shreds. That feeling of wanting to punch out a wall and yet be held by everyone in the world and soothed with a hug. Yep. That feeling.

The doctor returned my call later that day and said that he would like to perform a test called an HSG to get a very clear picture of my anatomy, and to be able to tell for certain if the Fallopian tubes are fully open. He explained that there is no point in going forward with what we are trying if the pathway is blocked completely. The good news ( like this is “good” ) is that during this procedure, the dye they use flushes out the fallopian tubes and allows them to open up… most of the time. And the best time to try a round of IUI is RIGHT after an HSG because everything is open and ready to go. After praying and talking with the doctor, we asked him if he was ok with us taking a few months off from trying, so that we can regain some strength and have time to process our journey in full.

Right after us finding out that we were not pregnant we had our water heater give out about 50 gallons of water throughout our house. Josh and I can (somewhat, lol) laugh about it now and we joked that we had a flood to cleanse our house and start fresh. But in the hassle of demolishing walls and tearing out damaged flooring, I started to realize how this same situation mimicked what I felt like on the inside. I felt flooded with emotions and we felt as if our very foundation was being ripped away from us. Thank goodness for Homeowner’s Insurance…. but I honestly hope we never have to use them again.

We are…exhausted. Yes, I’m aware that some people to back to back rounds of IFV or IUI for years and never see results. BUT-YES, I have found that this journey is so much more taxing emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually than we ever imagined. All of me feels like a puddly mess of all kinds of emotions. (I may *slightly* blame the hormones and the medications that just toss my emotions around like baseballs).  It is the encouragement in the PROMISES of God that picks me up and puts me together again. Even in our weakest season, we still feel so supported by our family and our closest friends who have walked with us every step of the way…. checking in with us and constantly cheering us on. We are so thankful for the timing of texts, calls, and cards in the mail encouraging us to KEEP BELIEVING. It’s amazing how God provides things at *just* the right time. Like providing the beauty in our backyard and the beauty of this Spring season to remind us that we are surrounded by LIFE every single day, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I am reminded of how long I waited through seriously the LONGEST winter season ever for spring to finally arrive and how often I missed the beauty around me in winter because I was just longing for what was ahead and not being fully present in the moment… I just wanted to move on and forget about it.

I can’t say that we still don’t currently feel that way at all. Honestly, I tell Josh all the time how much I just want to fast  forward through all of this awful, awful heartbreak and just get to when we get to be a family. But, I would be doing myself a major disservice if I didn’t stop to see the beauty in our brokenness and notice how much this season is teaching us. We literally are depending on the Lord for strength every single day. We’ve been to this place before, especially during the season of saying Goodbye to my daddy. But this is different. What better way for Josh to learn what it means to be an excellent father, than to learn how to be comforted from his Father in Heaven. What better way for us to learn how to truly appreciate each other, than to be stripped of every comfort and being forced to realize how much we truly are FOR one another in our marriage. What better way for us to learn how to APPRECIATE our future children, than to have to wait for them and pray for them to arrive.

It is JUST like God to have orchestrated that during this season of grieving, we would wake up every single day to the sound of birds cheerfully singing right next to our window. It is JUST like him to make sure that every time we look outside, we see the GREEN so deep against the blooms so bright. He is inside every detail and I know he has a plan for us.

Would you partner with us in praying for our family and our babies over the next few months? We would be SO honored to have your prayers. Especially as we navigate through the testing and the next few rounds of IUI. We would also feel honored if you felt led to donate financially to our “Baby Fund” in order to help make our dream of becoming a family a reality. We SO appreciate those who have given to us already. Unfortunately, in the state of Indiana, most, if not ALL, insurance policies DO NOT have infertility coverage built into their packages. (In the state of Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan it is a possibility, but not here… a real crock of crap). Anyway–the financial burden of infertility is SO ridiculous. There is nothing like it in the world. Because of the precise timing, the nature of needing tons of lab work done, and the cost of the procedure—it  is a MAJOR expense. This test that they are recommending has an astronomical cost as well. We would be honored if you felt like giving and the link you can use to do so is listed here:

https://www.youcaring.com/joshuaandbrevire-1105925

Thanks for taking the time to invest in us by reading all of this, friends. If you stuck it out to read it all, I applaud you and I thank you. And thank you for supporting us in prayer and encouragement during this time. It really is an honor and we love you.

Believing in faith and standing on hope,

  • The Vire’s

Multiple Sclerosis won’t win.

 

This week is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness week around the country and this topic is so important to our family. During my senior year of high school, my mama was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after a horrible bout of symptoms that took weeks to recover from. During that time, the optic nerve behind her eye had swollen so much that she went temporarily blind- a moment that was, no doubt, extremely frightening for her and for us as a family as we navigated the best way to help her get back to normal. Doctors ran a slew of tests for what seemed like weeks and put her on a heavy round of steroids to help reduce the optic nerve swelling. A few weeks later, my mom regained her vision in that eye, but was hit with the words: “We think you may have Multiple Sclerosis”.

According to Healthline.com Multiple Sclerosis affects between 110-140 out of every 100,000 people in the northern states of the US. More people are diagnosed on the northern half of the country than the southern half. Multiple Sclerosis is diagnosed when doctors see weakening or destruction by one’s own body of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves. Without this myelin sheath, the “messages” that are being sent through nerves become extremely slow or non-existent. This means that someone with Multiple Sclerosis may experience lack of movement with limbs, lack of the ability to concentrate, inability to walk with a normal gait, joint pain, neurological pain or depression. It also means that the disease can cause extreme disabilities and abnormal ability to function on a daily basis.

Treatment for MS involves utilizing what they call “MS Modifiers”. These medicines typically fight back against ones own body to protect the myelin sheaths from being destroyed. There is no current “cure all” available, but the medicines being used to slow down the progress have been proven successful for many people. Due to the nature of the medicine, it’s extremely expensive and it also can cause some nasty side effects. Doctors typically like to watch a patient carefully and examine how the medicine is affecting them in all areas.

Battling MS is costly, strenuous, exhausting and sometimes debilitating, but my mama has battled against this nasty disease with so much power and strength. She has utilized the help of her neurologists and the team of physicians that all make sure that her symptoms are managed well. She’s been on some MS modifiers over the years– at times, you have to out weigh the risk with the benefit. She’s seen some nasty side effects, she’s been in several “experimental” categories, and she’s researched every medicine there is out there.

At the moment of her diagnosis, my mom was a full-time working nurse in an Alzheimer’s unit of a skilled nursing facility. She was loving her job and we were in a place of financial stability. And..suddenly this diagnosis and disease comes barging in like an unwelcome guest. She had to step away from her position, as she focused on healing and finding a new normal. But her strength was/is so inspiring. She never gave up hope and she knew that, somehow, it was all going to work out. For years, I have watched her put her faith in a loving God above all of her challenges and all of her weaknesses.

These days she does not let her disease stop her. She volunteered for Parkview Hospital and American Red Cross loving people through her ability to shine God’s love to them even through her  darkness. She has taken up volunteering her time to sew for a company called Little Angel Gowns- they use used wedding gowns to make bereavement gowns for still born babies. Personally, she has been such an amazing example of unconditional love. She held me at my best friend’s funeral. She was right by my side the entire time that I cared for my dad. She came to the most difficult appointments and she held my dad during intense, awful pain. She has helped Josh and I immensely in our fundraising and the products she has made are professional level.

More importantly, she’s kept her faith and her dependence on God. It has never wavered. She is full of light and love. She gives her strength to praying for others and she is always available for a friendly phone call or visit. Even 10 years after her diagnosis, she’s beaming with LIFE. I’m so thankful for the ability to have a friendship and relationship with her even through everything she faces every day.

MS won’t beat her down and it won’t win. Research has come so far over the last decade to provide ways to better manage symptoms, but also to keep the disease from spreading. Breakthrough discoveries have taken place on how the disease could be linked to certain viruses or environmental factors. My hope and prayer is that through awareness, research, and donations, we will one  day have a cure for this awful disease and be able to beat it down once and for all.

 

We love you, mama. ❤

Reaping joy.

13680119_10208227733308662_4851610872238949341_oHello there! Bre here, currently writing from the couch while relaxing with a “De-stress” mud mask on my face. I am not sure what it is doing for my current stress levels, but my face has now dried and it is stuck in a classic “grouchy old man at a busy grocery store” expression.  How lovely!

Anyway….anyone else feeling the itch to leave this wintery, blustery, yuck behind us and finally wake up to the sunshine and some temperatures above freezing? I’m so antsy to move into a new season, especially one full of life and greenery, sunshine, and flowers. If I am honest, I think it is that I’m just antsy to get through this part and into the next season in our journey.

We have had a very busy few weeks in this journey of fighting back against infertility And… let me tell ya, it is not a simple or easy fight, folks. I know that, unfortunately, there are so many couples in our lives and around the world that know what I’m talking about. Just being real– there are some days that I have to willingly stand up and knock out the lie that we will never become parents. Everyday, we willing choose to believe that God’s promises for us are “yes” and “amen” and that he will fulfill every promise that he has spoken to us. But, it is a minute-by-minutes process of throwing down the lies of impossibilities and clothing ourselves in the truth in the promises. There are days when the emotional side effects of the supplements the doctors have me on make it feel like Josh and I are literally living on the set of “This is Us”… those are the days  when we have literally run out of tissues in our house. There are days when the anxiety that I feel about all these unknowns knocks at the door of my heart and threatens to choke out the hope that I have, but I will not let it in.

The fight is ugly. It’s marked with tears and heartache. For us it has been three years, but for some it’s been decades. We know the pain of bitterness and the fight to feel genuine joy for others when they are celebrating pregnancies or new arrivals in their family. We know the pain of not being able to face certain people who you know will greet you with questions about, “Sooo…when will your family be growing?!” or “You two having any kids yet?!”… Boy. If I had a nickel for every time we have been asked those two questions…

We also hold on to the hope that some day soon we may face the very real possibility of holding a sweet baby in our arms. Josh will someday know what it is like to kick a soccer ball to our child. I will someday know the joy of being celebrated on Mother’s Day. Josh will feel the tiny hands of our baby wrapped around his finger, as he rocks them to sleep. We will have our promise fulfilled. I know we will.

And, if you know the searing pain of infertility… we are believing along side you that YOU TOO will have your  promise fulfilled. Although I know it does not soften the heartache and feeling incomplete, we firmly believe that His plan is not a “no”, but a redirection.

We have started a fundraising site to help with the expenses of the next part of our journey. Doctors have monitored my hormones to make sure that my body is where it needs to be. Each visit, each lab draw, each appointment heaps on to the pile of expenses we are accruing during this journey. Our insurance, like most, refuses to cover any part of infertility treatment or testing. It’s a crock of crap, if you ask me, but that’s another topic for another day.

Below is the link to the site that we are using to help raise us to our goal of $3,000. This will help us be able to complete the diagnostic testing, and the procedure that the fertility specialist has recommended to help us have our babies. We hope to have as much of the funds as we can to continue on in our journey to see our promise fulfilled.  Thank you for all who have been so faithful in praying with us and fighting along side us. Thank you to all who have messaged us, and written us letters and sent us encouraging notes. And thank you to all who have given or will give financially to help us see this dream fulfilled. We can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate your generosity!

https://www.youcaring.com/joshuaandbrevire-1105925

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy! They weep as they go to plant their seed, but sing as they return the with harvest.” Psalm 126:5-6

 

The journey to Baby V

Mountain Rise

I always love this time of year. There is excitement in the air. The new year brings forward new possibilities, adventures. But, if Josh and I are honest, a new year also brings a slew of other emotions. The arrival of 2018 means that it has now been three years of the pursuit, waiting, praying, tears, and planning for our family to grow. It is often explained that a couple battling infertility can go through something like the five stages of grief as they endure the struggle of finding answers, trying procedures, redirection, disappointment, loss….etc. We can attest to that. For a while, it seemed like the five stages a grief were happening almost simultaneously– if that’s even possible. Towards the beginning of the process, every month that we were not pregnant was a time of grieving and each step towards figuring out what was behind our struggle, was consumed with the emotions that were evoked.

We have been through all the feelings, and now find ourselves in a place of peace. We got here through the power of God’s grace, his constant companionship and his love for us. There has been a shift in our perception of where we are. We’ve gone from seeing our placement in this valley as being stuck in the lowest place, surrounded by the biggest challenges, to embracing and learning to love the season we are in and be expectant for what is to come.

Over the past two years, this process has led us through countless tests and appointments. The doctor’s suggested focusing on our individual fertility one at time to make conclusions on what is going on. If you have been following along with our infertility journey, you know that we have traveled as far as the Cleveland Clinic to visit the best infertility specialist in the Midwest. We’ve developed relationships with a slew of physicians in our city (my OB-GYN as well endocrinologists, oncologists, urologists, and general practitioners) Not all of them have been kind, caring, and subtle with sharing their opinions about what is going on, as well as what our next steps can be. Some of them have had the bedside manner of a bed pan. Seriously. But! Our options have been made clear–we can look into exploratory surgery to see if our chances of pregnancy are higher than they thought, just hiding. Or we could do another type of procedure here in Fort Wayne using a new fertility specialist. Of course, we also always have the option of adoption. Our hearts have always skipped beats to the idea of adopting children, but we feel that it may be later in life, further down the road.

So…we march on. We took a leap towards marching towards one of the two options above. This last week we met with a fertility specialist in town. I don’t know about you, but I do not enjoy first time visits with new physicians. I despise having to go through explaining our story, what we’ve tried, and trying to get a word in edge wise to let them know that… yes,we know what we are facing. We walked into our consultation with the new specialist, and on his wall is a picture of a newborn baby that says, “God’s no is not a rejection, it is a redirection”. Immediately, we felt confirmation. The physician explained that the procedure available to us to try and get pregnant is VERY possible. He supported our decision, led us through what it would look like, and encouraged us. He first would like to do some more labs and a work up on me (Bre) to make sure that my body would be ready for receiving help in getting pregnant. This would mean that I would do some more tests (my least favorite part about this whole thing), BUT! if those labs come back in normal ranges, we would be a GREEN LIGHT GO!!!

I can’t put into words what it means to have a physician say, “2018 is your year for a baby!!”  In that moment, as many times before, the aching parts of our hearts felt the warm soothing kindness of God. I could feel His presence wrapping us up, as if to say, “I’ve got you!” I could also only imagine the smile on my dad’s face from the Heavens as he saw the joy that exploded in my smile.

These next steps are available to us at any time. Of course, we are super excited to make everything happen. However, due to the testing and the nature of our appointments and procedures falling under “Infertility” coding, our insurance will not cover the next steps that are available to us. The cost for everything depends on how many procedures it takes for us to achieve pregnancy. One of the tests that they are encouraging us to do is about $800. If all of the testing that occurs comes back “fine”, and we only have to try one time (which I am believing for), the cost will stay between $2000 and $3000. But, in the case that my labs aren’t normal, and they have to intervene OR we attempt to try, and we have to try multiple times, that cost increases by an unknown margin, all of which will not be covered by our insurance. (I could go on and on about how messed up the lack of infertility coverage is, but that’s another story for another day)

We have been in prayer every day about what these next few steps look like. We keep hearing the Lord say to us that he will bless us immensely. We also felt the urge to create beauty from our ashes. So… in a few weeks, Josh and I will be hopping on here again to present to you several handmade pieces of artwork, accessories, clothing items, and projects that we are in the works of creating, in order to raise funds to be able to move forward in our pursuit of expanding our family. Several have asked how they can help us. If you feel led to donate financially, we will be setting up a webpage in order to make that simple and easy for you to do. We also would love items that you would want to donate in hopes of creating more funds by sale. We are humbled by how much support we have received already. So many have been praying for us, so many have checked in with us about how our hearts are doing. Our families have been amazing in holding us up when we are too weak to stand.

And! We appreciate YOU. We are honored that so many are invested us and are cheering us on during this difficult time of waiting. Thank you, thank you! We will be keeping this blog up to date as we continue on with updates on our process, as well as use this platform and others to help us gain financial support to be able to continue the pursuit towards our babies! We would be honored to have your continued prayers.  The prayers of many have carried us through for so long, and we feel humbled by the love we have been shown. We are believing for GREAT BLESSINGS in 2018 both for Josh and I AND for YOU!!

Thankful for your support and expectant for what is to come,

♥ The Vire’s

 

“Write for me.”

 

A few months ago, I had a dream. I was sitting in the doughnut shop that my dad and I used to go to when I was a little girl, a little tiny shop called Tom’s. I ordered my dad’s favorite kind– the chocolate frosted ones with the fluffy whipped sugary middle stuffing. I sat down and, soon after, my dad walked through the door. He walked straight to me. He was smiling in the way he would when he was laughing. His eyes would get lost in his smiling cheeks.  He spoke and then came the words:

“Hey, Bre! Wow. I did it all. I did everything I wanted to do before I left, except one thing… I need you to write for me, because I didn’t get the chance to do that before it was time for me to go. Write it all out.”

Then, as if he had come to see me just to say that one thing, he turned and walked out the door.  I’ve been moved ever since. I’ve explored pages and pages of his writings— pages of books that, at any given time, you could find him buried in nose deep trying to gain every spec of knowledge he could. He was so passionate about learning and gaining knowledge.  But, I’m finding in his years of journal writing that he was also passionate in sharing knowledge.

Tomorrow would have been his 68th birthday. Never in a million years would I have thought that he would be absent for his birthday at such a young age. But, my focus has been on the legacy that he has left behind for me to carry on. I came across something he wrote that was so powerful it shook me which is odd because I’ve heard these stories many times– they are the accounts his first and third visits to Heaven during his time on Earth.  For some reason, reading them after he has been welcomed Home for eternity has made his accounts of the events that happened seem so much more real.
So, dad, this one is for you. Every day you’re on my mind. All the time you’re in my heart.

The following is an account of the first time my dad went to the other side:

Written on April 4th, 2016:

“November 1981- I wrecked my car. I left my  body and went into a tunnel. I came out in darkness. There was a faint yellow glow off to my near left. Two angels came out and said I couldn’t come here now. They told me that I needed to go back. At this point, I was blaming God for all of the bad in my life and I wanted to meet with him and discuss the issue. There was a tube of the darkest darkness. The blackest black. The emptiest empty. One of the angels said to me, ‘Put your left arm in there.’  I put my hand in it and it was a tube of darkness so dense it felt like grease.  I knew it was a godless zone. One could not move once in the tube of darkness. The angel said that because my name was not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life that I had only two choices– to go into the darkness in the tube or to go back and get my name written in the Book… I went back. I woke up in the hospital the next day. The doctor and nurse were making sounds. The doctor was swearing at me as he was reading my chart. I asked the nurse why he was swearing at me. She told me, “Do you see that chart he is holding? That  chart says you are dead and you are here talking with us and he is struggling with that.”

I have not come across any entries from my dad which tell in detail about his second trip to the other side. But, I do remember every detail of that trip he made because he shared in detail with me about the occurrance on multiple occassions. In February of 2003, my dad was driving to work at Parkview Behavioral Health in Fort Wayne. He was T-boned on the passenger side of his truck by a MUCH bigger truck who ran a red light and was pinned his the truck for more than 30 minutes before they could get him out. He has given the account of leaving his body for a second time. This time he stood at the gates of Heaven— light was all around him. The father stood before him– the brightest light. My dad told me about the multitude of colors the beauty of the flowers and LIFE that was surrounding him. I remember specifically arriving to the Emergency Room as a 13 year old to find my dad bleeding profusly, glass empaled in his forehead, tubes everywhere, his clothes torn to shreds his eyes shut and he was not responding. I held his hand and squeezed as hard as I could. “Daddy! I’m here!” No response. “Daddy! It’s Bre! I’m here!” It took a minute but I got a slight squeeze back and his eyes barely opened. “It’s going to be ok, hun! It’s going to be alright! I’m going to make it, okay?!” His memory of that time was totally different then mine. He remembers standing at the gate. He asked, “Am I staying this time?” My dad said that it was then that my face flashed as if on a screen next to him. The Lord replied, “You can stay if you’d like, or you can go back to take care of her.” He chose to come back to me and bear all the pain that he had to face once he woke up. He faced weeks of rehabilitation, healing a broken back, a punctured lung, and a fractured collar bone.  He came back.

The next entry was written about his third trip to the other side. This occured in June of 2014:

“June of 2014 I was on the other side while the medical team and my family were here on this side praying and fighting for my life. In this time, I was fighting five evil spirits all at one time. They all had swords drawn and I had a sword of my own. My Lord Jesus was standing with me. He was encouraging me to fight them all at one time. I complained that this was not a fair fight, and he agreed with me. It was not a fair fight because they do not stand a chance. We fought for a long time when one of them snuck around behind me and slashed me in the back. Down I went, in great pain. I cried out to the Lord and he gave me strength and lifted me onto my feet. After a while, all five spirits left. The Lord took me to Zechariah 3 and put me through removing of my dirty clothes and turban and giving me new ones. On the third day, the Lord and I were walking by the sea of glass talking about my new mission. The Lord spoke. I listened. He said that after I returned to my body I would forget most of the details. He said I was to go back and rest and prepare for what was next.”

The final account of my dad’s journey to Heaven has yet to be written. I can’t wait to one day hear about all of the beautiful details about his journey to Heaven on the spiritual side during his last few days on Earth. I have been amazed at the experiences that he has faced over his lifetime and the constant flow of grace and protection from the Lord over my dad’s life. There seems to be countless stories of the Lord directing my dad over his 67 years.  It is so facinating to think about the eternal timeline– oxymoron I know, but what an amazing thought. What is he doing in Heaven today? And how extravagant will the celebration be for his birthday tomorrow? I imagine the singing and the dancing and the fullness of joy in the presence of God.  So much excitement and happiness!

He may not be here on Earth to celebrate, but his legacy lives on and will for many years to come!

Written for you, Dad. Love you always.

 

 

 

19.

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November 7th, 1998

Nineteen years ago today I was eight years old on a cold, foggy Saturday morning–I remember it like yesterday. I woke up super early at 6:00am so eager and excited to get into my bathing suit and get to church to proclaim my faith and be raised to newness of life. A few hours later, my dad packed up the car with a few towels, a change of clothes, and his Bible. Waiting for me at the church was a warm buzzing baptismal tank, my mom, and my youth pastor. The church was almost silent except for the pastor’s voice booming in a practically empty sanctuary as he spoke out the confession of faith that I was to repeat. There may have been empty pews and empty space in that room that day, but I felt like my whole world was full to the brim.  The plunge that marked me so incredibly deeply. It thundered through my spirit like a baby’s first breath, or the crack of thunder during a storm.  And it was the confession of faith that anchored the deep roots that my parents had been watering throughout my young life. That day was like an eternal light for me. It has never been blown out by the winds of change, never put out by discouragement, fear, or disappointment.  It has only gotten stronger and has anchored me for seasons like this one.

I believe that when the circumstances around you are dark, when the situations you face are difficult and shake your faith, when you feel the weight of grief — in the world, in your heart– that darkness is best overcome with LIGHT.  Tonight, on a day and a season when we feel the weight of darkness and grief so heavily – I felt the urge to SEE what God has done. I dug out my container of journals. 16 to be exact. 16 journals– thousands of pages full of prayers and answers to prayers and promises and dreams.  Prayers for freedom and healing— which have come to pass. Promises that the Lord has spoken into my life– one of which is sitting next to me as I type this 😉 I couldn’t hold by tears as I realized how much the Lord has heard– how much he has responded to. The prayers that were answered in ways that were totally unexpected. Recorded conversations with my dad about my future spouse– his words about how he trusted Josh and how he was so excited for our relationship to bloom.

I sat covered in pages of promises, pages of LIFE, pages of things yet to come. And as I reflected on the journey of my ever growing relationship with God– I realized how many blessings we’ve been given, how sensitive God’s ears are to my prayers, how GOOD God is as a Father & a Friend, and how trustworthy He is even when we can not see. My face was bathed in tears, my heart bathed in gratitude as I sat in awe of a God who never stops. He never stops fulfilling his promises- ever. We needed the reminders–both the gentle and the big ones that smack ya straight in the face!!

This current season, friends. Wow. It’s been… stretching.

Recently a very close cousin of mine faced a vicious battle with an aggressive cancer and in a few short weeks he was gone. Saying goodbye to him was extremely hard– probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but as a family we hold each other really close and we are rooting ourselves in the hope that is eternal. We will all be together again, one day. Jared was an amazing man who was loved by so many.

Of course we continue to grieve my sweet daddy being gone. Everyday our hearts miss his laugh, his quirky comments, his wisdom. We miss our coffee dates, our favorite shows we use to watch together. We will forever miss our inside jokes and his ability to understand Josh and I’s mutual silliness. Our hearts, still broken, are being mended by the kindness and the comfort only God can bring.

We’ve had several others around us battling illnesses, some great and some small. Our hearts are heavy for those around us that face big mountains, we are praying in faith for some big time MIRACLES! We ourselves have battled what seems to be a never ending strew of minor infections— this week I busted out the probiotics, antibiotics, essential oils, hand sanitizer, tissues, orange juice, cough drops, Vick’s and Nyquil. Sickness get out!

We’ve been working hard to make our house a home. We are so thankful for this place we call our “Bethany House”– more on that later. This is a place to heal, grieve and rest and go deep in preparation for what is to come. The house has been a blessing and a giant learning curve. No complaining– just being real. How many times can I repeat to myself– “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, try, …oh and TRY again.” Ha! We have no idea what we are doing as first time home buyers–but we try not to show it. 😉

As we prepare our home, our children are always on the forefront of our minds. Everything we seem to do in our home seems to tie into them being with us at some point. Josh and I have decided to seriously pursue a few of the options that have been given to us from the physicians at the Cleveland Clinic last year, starting at the beginning of next year. Prayerfully and carefully and slowly we have been praying through our insecurities, our grief and our deep heartfelt emotions about each of the options that are available to us to try to have children. My heart leaps at the thought of us raising children in our house– as we become the Vire family. We are hopeful and we feel the timing of the Lord will be perfect. Always.

I’ve called this current season we are in our “Night Season”.  It feels so dark and difficult to see through the darkness around us but throughout this season and the ones to come– we hold on TIGHT to the light that comes from the past promises fulfilled and the GOODNESS of a GREAT God. He’s our light and our peace and our comfort. He has and will continue to lead us through this seasons and hills and valleys. He’s done amazing things. 19 years and counting.

Darkness is always darkest before the dawn. Hold on tight, lovely ones! The current season you are in won’t last forever. Soak it in, dwell in its midst, and let it teach you more about who you are and about the characteristics of Heaven. Remember what he has promised you, what he has said about you, and what is AHEAD for you.

We love you, friends. Thank you for your love and your prayers!!

 

Beauty in a new season

A new season is here. Autumn- It is a beautiful season every year. The season where the beauty of death is exhibited in vibrant colors. The harvest becomes ready and the fields are picked. The trees explode with brilliancy almost over night. In their season of change, the trees somehow still illustrate beauty and extravagance.  This is a season where old life passes on and this allows new life to begin to burst forth. The old is going so that that the new can come; yet, the deep roots still remain, anchoring nature to the ground. 
I believe that seasons in our lives are not abruptly planned by God. He has intricately planned our seasons of life, the changing of tides in our souls. He already has stones of victory ready for us to use to be victorious over giants that we dont even know about yet. 
Our season of grief has been a welcomed guest. We have learned to nurture and “baby” the wounds that ache so deeply. Self care is the best care!  We let grief stay as long as it needs to be present. We fully embrace it, fully feel it. There’s no running from it in this house. But we also choose to look deeper than just the surface- because we know that blessing is reaped from a season sown in tears.

Internally my “fall season” began about a year ago. A year ago today, my grandmother (my dad’s mom) passed into Jesus’ open arms after a heart breaking 10 days of decline due to a massive stroke. Twenty minutes before she died, my dad and I were having a consultation in the hospital about being admitted to hospice care. I was actually in his hospital room on the inpatient oncology unit when I got the news that she was gone. It was a horrible time for our entire family. My grandmother was a woman who always had an open door, a hot meal, some sweet treats, lots of laughs, and extra sass! She was amazing. As terrible as it was that my Grandma Maxson was no longer here with us, the event of her going Home birthed a stronger bond between my dad and I. Her death  created a loss in his life. Both of his parents were gone. After learning my dad had less than six months to live and hospice would take over his care, I found that same sting of loss in my heart too.

The most profound memory I have with my dad was sitting next to him at my grandmother’s funeral, gazing forward at her…. both of us caught up in processing the moment. I leaned over and put my head on his shoulder. My daddy was holding me in my loss as tears streamed down my face, down his suit jacket, and onto the floor. He knew that he was journeying closer to the moment when he too would be standing before Jesus…and I knew that I would be sitting in his exact chair gazing at him when the time came. Oh the pain in that moment. It cut deeper than ever.

I know my grandmother was greeted by the Father, my Aunt Patty, and my grandpa and she is living in a new body with a new mind, free of dementia and memory loss….free of hurt, free of pain. And at that moment when my dad’s shoulder caught all my tears, I realized that he would be free from pain, free from hurt, free from grieving and loss. In Heaven– there are NO funerals. No goodbyes. In his Heavenly Home with his Father– he would face no more loss, no more broken bones. No more cancer and no more sickness. I knew that there was beauty even in death. Just like fall’s season it was vibrant and showing through in all its glory.

My fall season…

My soul’s roots were still firmly planted, but the leaves all around me were bursting forth in color and vibrancy even as they were dying. The Lord was whispering to me all of the gentle words I needed to hear to get me through that day– but also all the words I needed to hear to realize that there was PURPOSE behind this pain. There was new blessing and growth ahead. Grief did not have to swallow us. We had beauty in the ashes.

I pray that in your “Fall Season” you see the vibrancy of life, even in the midst of your pain. If you’re burdened and aching, I pray you would look higher and deeper and see that harvest of blessing that is promised to you. (Galatians 6:9) Whatever has brought you the aches of loss, the pain in the waiting, the promise yet unfulfilled,  I pray that you see that there is purpose in your pain. There is purpose even in midst of horrible, gut wrenching loss. There is beauty even under the weight of grief. There is hope, even when you are hurting. There is LIFE. There is vibrancy. Just like Autumn.
Missing you, Grandma. 

“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:3 (NLT)

 

Crossing into new land.

Joshua here.

Right now I am sitting in the living room of our new house. It is such a peaceful home and I’m thankful for the gift it is to have a place where we can rest. We have been here around a month which has felt like a lifetime. I barely remember the small one bedroom apartment we just moved out of.

But its a new season. God is on the move again. Tonight I am feeling and sensing something new on the horizon. It’s an oddly familiar feeling; when you know that you have crossed over into new land but you aren’t exactly sure what’s out there. I have felt like its a time of exploration: of learning new things in places I have never been to, or even places I have been to but under way different circumstances.

Let’s go back 21 years ago…

My family was in one of the worst states it could be in. Months before my parents had rushed me to the hospital in our small Michigan town. When I got to the ER a familiar face of a doctor, whom happened to be a family friend, entered into the room. After running a few tests and trying to calm down my symptoms and my parents, he suggested we go to the children’s hospital in Grand Rapids. As we drove the hour to the next hospital all I can remember is sitting in our van with my pillow and stuffed animals as my parents kept the conversation quiet.

When we arrived I was rushed to do more scans and tests. After a long night full of examinations, blood work, and visits from various doctors my parents were given the startling news that no one wanted to speak. I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a cancer primarily in children and something that had been present in my cells since birth. My parents, gut-wrenched and stricken by the news, had to face some pretty serious decisions very quickly. They had to choose between trying to save my life or enjoying the time the doctors thought I had left and letting the disease take over.

It was a long shot. Stage IV of any cancer is nothing to mess with. But my parents trusted the Lord to walk them through the process, to see what could be done to save my life. After several months treatment, an attempt at surgery was made only to have the doctor come out crying and saying there was nothing he could do. The doctor explained that the cancer tumor was so extensive that it went from my abdomen around my left adrenal gland up and around my aorta, trying to squeeze out my heart. But, what my family, doctors, and prayer warriors around the country didn’t know, was that we were about to cross over into new land.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation vision is “to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition” (wish.org). I was given the opportunity to take a trip to do whatever I wanted to do. Now, I’ve had some conversations with my parents recently that lead me to believe that I may have had a hint of how bad things were back when they were going on. But now I cannot seem to remember much of anything from that time of my life, let alone how bad it was. Either way, I had a decision to make. While my brothers tried to influence me and I’m sure it worked somewhat, I decided to go to every kid’s dream vacation spot: Disney World!!

It was this trip that brought me into new territory.

I remember getting on the small plane that would take my family and I (including my pregnant mother and soon to be sister) to Florida. A place I had never been to. At this point though I was weak and had lost my hair from treatment as the cancer tried to take over. I could barely move on the plane as I held on to each seat trying to muster the strength to get to where we were going to be for the duration of the flight. With assistance I made it to my seat and settled in.

I don’t remember much after that. There are a few memories of the rides and shows that we experienced, the rainy night we saw the fireworks around Magic Kingdom. And the fully stocked fridge at our Ronald McDonald house full of Lunchables, every kids favorite meal.

Some time after we got back from our trip the doctors decided to do some more scans and see where things were at with the cancer. Before I left, we had been given the no go on the surgery due to the tumor being so extensive. After the new scans, the doctors came back dumbfounded. The tumor they saw inside of me was half the size it was before. They couldn’t explain it. They had done nothing. But the change in the tumor’s size was enough that they were able to do the surgery and get the tumor out of my body. There was still a long road ahead. But we had crossed over into new land.

Back to present day…

I’m sitting here writing this and it just so happens to be the eve before Bre and I leave for vacation. Not just any vacation though. This is our honeymoon, the one we never had. (For all those who don’t know our story: Bre and I got married 3 years ago, a few months earlier than planned when her dad was diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer. We got married in his hospital room and then again a few months later so our friends and family could celebrate with us. But we never had our honeymoon.)

And where are we going you might ask…

Florida.

In just a few short hours after I finish writing this post we will be hopping on a plane and going down to Florida. We have everything all set, packed, and ready for us when we get there. A nice rental car to drive around in, a comfy hotel to stay in, and some great adventures to beaches and other spots we look forward to seeing. The great part about this vacation is that Bre and I have never done anything like this before. We will be doing things that we have never done before, or things that we have never done together before; all in a place that we have never been to together before. It’s a new season, a time to learn new things, try new things.

We are crossing into new land.

And even though we are still facing grief and mourning,  still battling infertility, just learning to be homeowners, and continuing to grow to new depths in our marriage one thing has remained the same: no matter what circumstances will come our way we will continue to trust the one who has started a good work in us.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Eccelsiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”   —  (3/1 also being the date that Bre’s dad passed away)

21 years is a long time. Yet that is when the battle got serious. Just a few short years after being diagnosed with my disease I received a new diagnosis:

Cancer Free.

A title I will gladly shout and jump for joy and praise my God for His healing. For my doctors did not know what to do. But, He did. And He still does.

There was medical proof that I was not supposed to make it through what I did. And years later, I have come to find out that my oncologist was the best in the country at that time and now the best in the world at clinical cancer treatment for children. But even the best doctor in the world gave up and told my family to accept death. Accept the end of a life that had barely begun at just 6 six years old.

So I will continue to trust in His mysterious ways. I will continue to trust in Him because He has always been there. And I know He always will.

Waves.

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Lately, I’ve been day dreaming of going off to a sunshiney beach. Jusssst about every day… I go there in my mind. The sun shine & beautiful water keeping my Serotonin levels and my rear end afloat. Have you ever frolicked in the ocean? A refreshing current moves around you and decide to just float along with the waves. Your feet hit the bottom of the ocean floor and you feel the certainty of having a foundation underneath you in case you suddenly feel out of your comfort zone. Just in case… Yep.Simplicity. Stillness. That is until a sudden wave, unexpected, & totally unseen comes to sweeps you off your feet and it knocks you over. You know, the kind that makes you stumble… so you grab your footing on whatever you can and try to push yourself up. You pull yourself up hoping to spare your pride in hopes that no one saw JUST how unprepared you were for what just hit you.

So often the journey in life can be illustrated by this. I know that some of you reading this have faced some enormous waves that came so unexpectedly & knocked you clear down. Here’s where I speak courage over you and tell you to put those strong feet down and push yourself up to rise again. But then, friends, there are those moments that leave us in water that is WAY over our heads, not to mention over our comfort zones. The sea floor is out of sight. No clarity, no firm foundation felt under our feet. Those moments when we simply can not find the strength to push ourselves out of the deep. They are the unforseen waves that threaten our sense of safety and will will steal our peace, IF we let them.

Let’s first say, before I go on to anything else, that if that description up there ^ seems all too familiar, we get you. We get it SO completely.  I think after you face numerous “giant” waves, one after another for so long, you begin to learn the best way of trusting and the roots of  your faith grow deeper with each battering blow. The anchor of hope just gets more and more secure each time.

This week we are being stretched. A massive wave moment, if you will.

Josh had a regular check up at the doctor’s office a few weeks ago. Due to his history  with conquering childhood cancer, we are extremely proactive about doing a slew of blood tests each year to see where things are at. Josh went to his appointment– doctor says some numbers were off- but due to some of his bodily systems being affected by the many rounds of chemo and radiation he had years ago, the doctor said it wasn’t in the “concerning realm”. I felt relief and we moved on. After talking with some nurses in our family, and a few friends with health care backgrounds, I looked at the numbers again. I looked at the big picture over and the same tests taken the last few years. The numbers had all declined. So… Josh calls the physician back and asks her opinion. Her response was, “Because of your history I can’t do much else for you. I can refer to you Fort Wayne Hematology and Oncology”.  Our hearts sank. Don’t panic. Don’t start tredding water, Bre. Keep focused. It’s ok.

I called to set up Josh’s appointment. I have the number for the office programmed into my phone, because my dad’s oncologist practices there. The number sent me to the automated recording. The lady’s voice hit me like a giant wave. I haven’t called the number since October of 2016 when my dad left and went to Hospice. I swallowed my fear and pressed the correct extension. The intake nurse asked me some questions and then asked me about setting up the consultation. “Which oncologist would you like to work with?” … …. …. “Um….. I have only worked with Dr. Sadiq– he gave me three beautiful years with my dad…. and I trust him so much. Can we see him?” Tears flooded my face as the wave of the words we were exchanging smacked against my heart. “Sure!”

Waves. And more waves. Waves of emotion. Waves.

After an emotional wait in the waiting room- sitting in the exact chair that my dad always chose- Dr. Sadiq’s nurse greeted us with a smile. She took us back to the room. Josh was sitting in the patient’s chair….. no. He needs to be next to me.

Dr. Sadiq enters the room and sees that it is us. Waves. Waves of emotion. Tears fill his eyes. “Hi, my friends. I’m so incredibly sorry about your father. He was an excellent man. And he fought so hard. He is definitely in a better place.” Another giant wave.

He examined Josh’s numbers. Said some scary words — diagnosis’ that would be his main concern due to the history of chemotherapy and radiation. I can’t even type them out. He asked some questions, and tried to get a thorough understanding of the background. “I can’t make any conclusion as to why his blood levels are down except for to do more testing. I’m going to go overkill and try to find out as much as I can. I’m ordering a CT scan, an echo cardiogram, and a lot of bloodwork. At this point, I don’t see a reason for concern. But I want to be sure.”

He gave us a hug and looked me straight in the eyes. “Did he go peacefully?” I couldn’t even find the words. I mumbled a few things about “Yes… he was heavily medicated”.  We walked away from Dr. Sadiq as he had tears welling in his eyes. Another round of waves.

After gathering our thoughts, and feeling the peace that comes from the words, “no” and “concern”,  Josh and I spent time watching “The Shack”– Talk about a cry fest. Oh Lord!!! If you haven’t seen it, there is a part where the main character Mack is spending time with Jesus personified– and Mack is in a boat on a lake. The boat spews a leak and starts sinking. Black water starts consuming the boat, and the Mack starts to panic. The water starts to rise… and he’s freaking out. Out of no where Jesus’ voice comes like a gentle hug and says,. “Eyes on me, Mack. Focus on me. Don’t take your  eyes off me, Mack. Eyes forward. Eyes on me. I’m right here!” Jesus’ character appears in front of him and as Mack faces him with eyes gazing, the water leaves the boat. Mack reaches out to Jesus’ hand and he lifts him up out of the boat– only to teach him to walk on the water.

All I could think of after the appointment–all I could hear, friends, was the voice of God. The waves just pounding the crap out of Josh and I in our tiny little boat…. and all I could hear was “Eyes on me, Bre. Focus on me. It’s ok. Don’t take your eyes off me, Bre. I’m right here.”

We would be SO honored to have your prayers friends. We face so many changes in the coming weeks. We move in 5 days to our first home. I’m just now getting acquainted to my amazing job. Josh has numerous tests this week. We now will be visiting Dr. Sadiq again in August to go over the results of all of the testing he has asked for. Our anchor has gotten really strong, friends. Just like before we are believing for positive results. Wave after wave. Eyes on him. Eyes forward. It’s ok. He’s got you.

“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:29

He’s got us, friends. Keep trusting,

The Vire’s