Sunday, November 22, 2015

Update 22nd of November

     I was twenty years old.  More humble than the Autumn before, but just as stubborn.  I thought I would never marry and end up teaching in an orphanage an ocean away.  After a summer in Latvia I realized my weakness and need, but still knew little of my heart.  I first noticed Jeff explaining his sculpture piece to a disgruntled professor in the middle of a courtyard.  The professor did not go easy on Jeff.  Jeff spoke of God and our frailty and the professor disagreed with everything he shared.  I hid in the bushes that surrounded the courtyard listening to his response and was late to English.
      That began a friendship that grew into a relationship.  We were both independent, stubborn, and unwilling to settle.  We both knew God had amazing things in store for us as individuals and struggled  with the thought of lifetime commitment.  What I saw in Jeff that first day carried through some difficult seasons as we dated, got engaged, broke up, and began to date again.  Even in the harder seasons I saw integrity, an unwillingness to be fake, and a lion heart.  He didn't talk about loving others he just did it.  He didn't talk himself up or down he just showed up faithfully.  And through his eyes I saw more than what I thought sacrifice was all about and began to understand what it meant to take one faithful step at a time.  Jeff had and still has an unwavering love of Christ.  Not an easily won, nicely packaged love.  But a bleeding, broken love that doesn't quit.  He sticks it out, he plods on trusting that it is less about him and more about HIM.  When Jeff and I decided to get married (the second time) we knew full well that our hearts were still afraid.  Afraid we would mess it up, afraid we would not know how to love when feelings ebbed and hard times came.  But we made vows knowing God was bigger than our fears.  That the God who called us together would help us walk the million steps forward.  I remember thinking there were many in the world I could laugh with, many I could walk the normal days with.  But when I looked at Jeff I knew I could walk hard days also.  I knew I was safe.  I knew I could laugh, walk, and even struggle beside him.
     We still joke that it was only God that could have brought us together.  We naturally messed so much up it shouldn't have happened.  But we made it.  We stood face to face on June 9th and repeated our vows in humility and love.  And after years of good and hard I am so grateful I said I do that day.
     We took some weeks to fully settle into Jeff's childhood home.  The boys explored the same woods he did and biked the same trails.  We had nightly fires and smores, and early morning back porch bible readings while sipping coffee.  I began teaching the boys and Jeff helped to check their work.  I started emailing friends back and having them slowly trickle in to see Jeff and share memories.
   And then the next wave hit.  It started as the normal cough,dry turning to deep chested and rattling.  It has come and gone many times in this past year.  But this time it stayed.  It racked his body and stole his breath away.  He began sleeping more and his legs weakened.  Oxygen was delivered and he became breathless walking from room to room.  The hospice nurses brought more medicine to dry him out and cough medicine to give him rest in the late hours of the night.  Nothing seemed to work.  In one week we went from "we can do this" to "no please, not yet".  Jeff is confined now from bed to recliner.  He is tired, he sleeps more than he is awake.  The nurse will now come twice a week instead of once.  His voice is weaker still, his body thinner.  His heart however is not wasting away.  His heart beats as strongly for God and for us.  Not because God has healed him, or made this path easier.  And he loves us deeply.  He uses the little words he can speak now to whisper prayers and love.  His body is spent.  His heart is not.
     And the nights when God has seemed too silent and too distant, we talked about how in heaven there will be no distance, no silence.  There will be no pain, or weak limbs.  No fear, no tears, no more questions.  When we stand face to face with our Maker we will be known and know in full.  Jeff knows this and there have been many nights he would have gone gladly.  But tonight he asks me not to give up on him.  He prays to stay longer to raise his boys.  He asks to have more time in a world that is broken and so far from perfect.  A request more motivated by love than fear.
     Tonight after a seeing Jeff's body heave and cough Ian ran to his room.  I stayed to help Jeff and checked on Ian after.  He was at his desk drawing so I came back and wrote a quick update to friends asking for prayer and sharing the hard.  Just as I finished he ran up with a drawing for Jeff for me to see.  "Remember in the cabin when we read the story of Jesus in the boat sleeping during the storm?"  I answered yes.  "Remember when we prayed and asked him to wake up."  I answered yes again.  "Well this is him waking up!"  He walked over and gave the picture to Jeff.  With shaking hands and heavy lids he took the picture and thanked him.  I framed it and hung it above the basket of pills.
     We don't know how this storm will end but we know it will end.  We know the waves will eventually be stilled.  We know Jeff's body will be made whole.  This part of the journey feels unbelievably hard.  We are broken watching Jeff's body fail.  But we cling to the hope we have in Christ.  The hope that all things will be used a thousand times over what we can comprehend.  Jeff has reminded the boys, that in all the many ways this can go down, he has already won.  So grateful I said yes to this life shared with him.  We love you all and continue to covet your prayers.  Much love, Becca


  1. What wonderful boys you have Becca, Jeff must of melted when Ian gave him this picture, how special it must be. The boys are so blessed to have such amazing parents. You are all in our hearts and prayers. We thank that you came to Scotland and showed us all how to be great parents and love each other as you and Jeff love each other, your boys are your world, to watch you as a family was one of the biggest lessons I have learnt, you have blessed us all just by living here and showing us how Jesus walks with you every step of the way. Give Jeff a kiss for me and thank him for the wondeful gift he gave Josh you both did, he holds your family close in his heart, we all do our heats beat with yours love and prayers always Jul xxxxx

  2. We are praying...for God's strong and sweet presence to manifest for Jeff, for you, for the boys, for all who love you. We are also praying for healing., for more time. Praying with fervor.
    Barb Branham ~ metro regional prayer team


  3. Dear brother Jeff, when you get to our heavenly home, please give my Christine a big hug for me and tell her that I'm doing okay but miss her badly every day. Also, thank you both for bringing my daughter Rachel back to a deep relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Love ya'll, Dean Moberley, Culpeper, Va.

  4. You continue in our prayers and in our hearts. Psalm 3:3 But you Lord are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
    May He lift your heads as you fix Your eyes on Him. Un abrazo.

  5. Joe and I have been praying for you all. Our hearts ache and we wish we could be there. You and Jeff have been an amazing testimony- of your love, God's love through you, and your love for the boys. May God's love be a blanket of comfort during this difficult time.

  6. You are often in our thoughts and prayers. Doug, lesley, cameron and Lucy x

  7. Becca----Pam and I continue to keep you guys in our prayers--- and in our hearts--- every day and night. Please thank Jeff for being our friend and thank you Becca, for being the love of his life.

  8. Dear Becca and Jeff, Thank you for sharing with us this update in your journey and struggle . We are inspired by your continuing trust in a good and loving God and at the same time, we ache because this is not at all what we have wanted for your precious family. We will continue to pray for you as you travel this stretch together that you will feel God's strong arms supporting you, meeting every need and bringing you comfort and peace. Much love to all of you, Gwen and John Sloop

  9. Our Prayers are with you ! Hope all will have a Happy Thanksgiving,Love To All..

  10. Continuing to pray over you all. Psalm 91 and Isaiah 53:4-5. May the Comforter renew His peace and drown you in His love.

  11. Dear Becca, your posts to Team Stables have been forwarded to me by a member of Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church. I am currently the interim pastor at Mossy Creek. I want you and Jeff to know that your strong faith and unwavering devotion are a powerful witness to others. Thank you for your posts. Mossy Creek's prayer warriors are with you all in intercessions and thanksgivings. If I can ever be of service in any way, please let me know. Yours in Christ, Glenn Coleman

  12. Dear Becca, your posts to Team Stables have been forwarded to me by a member of Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church. I am currently the interim pastor at Mossy Creek. I want you and Jeff to know that your strong faith and unwavering devotion are a powerful witness to others. Thank you for your posts. Mossy Creek's prayer warriors are with you all in intercessions and thanksgivings. If I can ever be of service in any way, please let me know. Yours in Christ, Glenn Coleman

  13. Team Stables,
    I woke up praying for you guys last night. I haven't said much to you all, but I want you to know that you are in my heart and prayers. The Father loves you deep and wide! My words fail me, but the Holy Spirit knows just how to comfort you and I know He is with you. And you can rest assured that He is reminding His army to stand in prayer for you!
    All my love & continuous prayers,
    Devon (Matthias) Rider

  14. Just sending my love to you...

  15. Becca, we continue to pray for you and your family. I'm in Fredericksburg, and have been in group therapy sessions with your Mom. My Grandson is a local group leader in his Chancellor High School YL club, and has a tremendous faith in God and Jesus. He is wise beyond his years, but nothing shakes his faith in God. He reminds me so much of you and Jeff. I spent the last couple of years taking care of my wife as her health declined until her death this past May, so I know what you are going through. I wish I had your strength and faith when I was going through my trials. Keep the faith, that you know he will be healed soon, and will be with my wife and all the angels, where there is no pain or suffering. We will all be together with those we love when it is our time. Thank you so much for the strength you show in your blog. It makes things a bit easier for me.

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    3. Why? Why would you say this during this time? There is a time to just respect others and keep your opinion to yourself.

  17. I read attentively and passionately this how much moving story.
    You love is built on a rock and this rock is the faith in Jesus , faith that lifts mountains .
    I feel unite in God with you all , Becca, Jeff and family .

  18. You are in our thoughts and prayers. David's psalm always strengthens me when times are dark. God is in control and HIs love is all consuming.

    Psalm 40:2-4New King James Version (NKJV)

    He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
    Out of the miry clay,
    And set my feet upon a rock,
    And established my steps.
    He has put a new song in my mouth—
    Praise to our God;
    Many will see it and fear,
    And will trust in the Lord.

    Love in Christ