To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain: Update On My Dad

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I received this email from my mom on July 11th. Six days ago. I’ve been processing it ever since.

Good Evening One and All,

A very deep and heartfelt thanks for all who prayed for Daron today, we could feel the prayers, our spirits were calm and at rest all day today!

It was a good 2 days. We went to Eugene yesterday so that Daron could play disc golf with the head nurse, Zach, from Dr. T’s office. They had a good time. I spent the time waiting for my phone to charge in the hotel room, it was restful. Today Daron found another disc golf buddy, Mike, from the imaging office who does his MRI’s. So, as I told Daron today, if he hadn’t enjoyed playing disc golf so much, and hadn’t been blessed with cancer, he wouldn’t have met these two men, who need to hear about Daron’s journey and where our faith lies! So, out of ashes and storms, there always is a blessing….so as some of you ask, “why Daron?” that is why. To reach others, that wouldn’t otherwise be reached….

We got both good news and bad. The good news is there are no more tumors in his brain, YEA!

The not so good news: the tumors in his lungs are growing. There are 2 in his left lung and 1 in his right. Dr. Trezona is putting him on the newest treatment Zelboraf. The treatment is a pill that he will take daily for the rest of his life, unless he has heart problems with it, or it stops working. Tomorrow he goes in for an EKG, then has weekly blood draws, and EKG’s for awile. The main side affect that is of consequence is he will get very sensitive to the sun, and has to be careful when outside. It’s the only treatment that we both are comfortable in accepting. Believe it or not, it is an answer to your prayers.

So, our adventure is taking a turn, not for the worst, but for the better, because, we won’t lose this battle, we win no matter the outcome! So, come along with us, enjoy the ride, there are some ups and downs, sharp corners to navigate, but otherwise, it’s an awesome trip! Jeremiah 29:11

So, for today, we are going to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually, then tomorrow get back on the ride, buckle up, say a prayer, knowing that God is there and waiting for us at the end……

Love you all,
Tonya

Some of you already know this information, as I reached out to a few intimate friends, or as individuals asked me. My dad had called me the same day this was sent out, and went over everything with me. He was blunt, and told me this new treatment is a “last-ditch” effort.

There is nothing else to try after this.

That is a sentence that has come true far too soon for my taste in all of this. Mom, my sisters, and I are all a little unsure of how ready we are for this.

Yet, we are all sure of one thing: God’s timing in this is perfect. I know that now.

Why my dad? Because God needs to be glorified and revealed to a whole crowd of people who may never have had the chance to see his love, were it not for Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma. What our enemy meant for evil, God is using for good.

Cancer sucks, but the light of the Gospel beautifies it.

The Good News of Jesus Christ, crucified for our sins, dead, buried, but raised again on the third day, blows cancer out of the water. I will gladly prepare myself to let my Dad go, if it means that even one person will lay their life down at the foot of the Cross, and receive the free gift of salvation.

I don’t just write these words this morning.

I believe them.

I look inside my heart, and find that nothing matters more to me than that the Gospel be spread – no matter the cost. Ultimately, all the cost is Christ’s anyway. He paid it on the Cross, and it is an honor and a privilege to be asked to give up my earthly father in the name of Jesus.

To live is Christ. To die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

Now, I understand what that means.

And I can say it with honesty.

To live is Christ. To die is gain. Praise God!

Dad will never be out of his hands, and his healing will be complete. If not on earth, then on the other side of death’s door.

Yes, it hurts. Yes, I find myself crying and grieving at times. But not without hope.

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” ~Romans 5:3-5 (NIV – emphasis mine)

Once again, in the midst of a storm, I find my feet planted firmly on a Rock. His name is Jesus, and it is his peace that guards my heart and my mind. Weeping may endure for a night (in this life), but joy comes in the morning (the next life)!

Cancer or no cancer, I find that I must live and walk in peace. I cannot help it, because it is Christ in me enduring all of this for me. It’s his love that keeps my eyes lifted to his beautiful face! A face that weeps with those who weep, but brings joy in the midst of pain anyway.

I could not do this without his love sustaining me.

The grace of God really is amazing.

Do you know him? Open up your heart – today is the day of salvation. You are not guaranteed tomorrow. Do you know if you are ready to stand before God? Does he know you?

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

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11 thoughts on “To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain: Update On My Dad

  1. I am so blessed by your family and always have been. The strength, the peace, the whole- hearted trust in God inspires me to share my faith more boldly.

    • If that were the only thing that I helped with in this life, I would be satisfied. Love you, friendly friend. πŸ™‚

  2. Tiff, know that we are standing with you in prayer and believing for miracles. His ways are not our ways, and I am so glad. When you get to Oregon give them both a big hug from us. Love and miss you.

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