Sunday, June 15, 2014

the starting line


 
June 12th turned out to be a day that changed my life forever.
 
The Captain had an MRI, and when we saw the doctor, we got the news we knew would come one day. Treatment is no longer working... the tumor is growing.
we sat and talked through options... really there were only 2.
1. continue with treatment we know is not stopping the growth but may slow it down
or
2. Stop treatment altogether.
 
The Captain was able to understand all that was said. I asked him what he wanted to do.
He chose option 2. And I support him 100%.
 
So on a nondescript Thursday afternoon... my life changed forever.
 
There is no good time frame. The doctor said "months".
So we will try to plan all that we want to do as soon as possible.
We will try to soak up time. Make memories... see people.
 
People keep asking me how we are doing.
I respond with OK.
Because it's true. We are.
We have our moments... those waves of sadness or desperation that grip your heart and squeeze... but they ease, they pass, and we remember that one day, we will sit and cry and grieve because we miss the Captain. One day will be a day of sorrow because he is gone...
But friends, that day is not today.
So we will chose to live... while we can.
 
I think one reason I am doing as well as I am is because the news wasn't something that I was completely unprepared for.
I feel like the past year and a half we have been walking... marching toward a starting line. Keeping it always on our horizon. It is there... this starting line, whatever else I am doing... I have thought about the starting line, mentally prepared for the starting line (as much as one can for this kind of thing), made plans regarding the starting line...
And last Thursday... June 12th 2014, we not only reached the starting line,
we broke the tape.
We began the journey to the finish line.
 
And because I have always had the starting line in my thoughts... I am not so shaken.
The decision to stop treatment just made it real, no longer a "when" it is a "now".
 
The idea of a man dying at such a young age, leaving a wife and two little boys is heartbreaking... when I think on it, it can overwhelm me.
I get caught up in the sadness of it all. And the how will I's...
I think of my boys and what they will miss, how this will shape their lives.
But when I can look up, away from myself long enough to focus on Christ and the things I know to be true, I am reminded of this:
 
I do not know if God has allowed this to happen to us, as He allowed Satan to touch Job's life, or if He has ordained this Himself, like the man born blind in John 9:1-3.
And, quite frankly, I'm not sure it matters.
What I do know is this.
I am a born-again child of God.
The Captain has been covered in the blood of the lamb.
We are saved.
And because of this God says,
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
 
God will use this for good. He is not only working and orchestrating things now for us...but He has already been at work long before today. Preparing us, shaping us, teaching us, and putting people in our lives to guide us, and help us finish well.
 
God is a gap-filler. What we see as deficits, God sees as opportunities. What we look upon as bad or horrible, God sees His purpose and plan.
 
I have already, long before the brain tumor, put my trust in a faithful God.
I choose not to take it back just because I do not know what my future holds.
God holds my future... therefore I will not fear.
 
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.
Psalm 46:1-2
 

 
 
 


23 comments:

Ashley Watts said...

Cari,
You are such an inspiration. God is truly smiling down on you right now, so grateful that through all of this He continues to get the glory! Continued prayers for all of you!
-Ashley Watts

Anonymous said...

You are wise beyond your years. I have never heard anyone express this challenge like this and I pray that God will be with you and Andy every moment as you finish well. God bless your family and give you joy & peace.
Tracie Richey

Mary said...

I am just a reader who found you years ago when you lost your Caden. I followed you thru the birth of your boys and have always loved how you write. I love how you share from your heart and I admire your love for Jesus thru it all. I just feel so compelled to tell you that I am praying for you. Each time you post, I pray for you. I am sorry you have to go thru the pain of this chapter but know your words are reaching many and your love for Christ is evident. Just couldn't pass by this post without saying something today.
Love to you and your family.

Stacey said...

Beautifully said.....God is going to use you in big ways...He already is. Hugs from Kokomo

Cheryl McCormack said...

Cari,

You are one amazing woman! God is already using you in a big way...you touch so many lives through your writing. I know you and Andy will make the most of the days ahead and have memories to cherish for a lifetime. God Bless you both!

Christina said...

I have been reading here since before your boys were born. I don't even remember how I found your blog. I do know that you have said some wonderfully, beautifully profound things along this journey and I have often thought that I hope if I am ever touched by such life-changing events as you have been, that I hope that I can be as inspiring a witness for Christ as you have been.

God will indeed use this for His glory. And He is using you even now...

Many prayers as you and your family finish this journey. Prayers for strength and courage and beauty and joy in the midst of the challenges. May God wrap you in His arms and hold you there as you walk this path. You are not alone.

Joy Altman said...

Cari, my heart breaks for you, and yet it rejoices with you. Our lives on this earth are but a twinkling of an eye, compared to the eternity that awaits. There is not an end to the story. So thankful that you already know this and are holding tight to our Lord Jesus, who is more than enough.
~ joy in denver

cherylsblogdoodles.blogspot.com said...

Oh Cari...I continue to "follow" your journey. I'm so sorry for your painful moments but so thankful for the days you can rejoice!! It gives us all hope...the hope we only find in Jesus Christ, our Savior. I will join with you in prayer for the days to come knowing not even one moment will come w/o the knowledge and comfort of our sovereign God.
May God bless you beyond ALL you can ever think or imagine!

Praying in NWI and trusting in HIS faithfulness to bring you all through the valley's of this world.

Julie : ) said...

May have read it twice.....one time was not enough. Will prob read it tomorrow again....probably twice. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Cari, I was in your BSF group a while ago. Thank you for writing these things that are so hard to write-so that others can see you walk by faith. I got down on my knees and prayed for you and your family after reading this.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Just wow....inspiration for my heart & soul.

Boyka,Sasho & Garik said...

Oh,Cari!
I cried and cried while reading your post...
You are really one in a million - so brave and so devored to God, our Lord! You give all of us SO MUCH courage and inspiration...and actually it was us, who were supposed to give you the courage, consolation and comfort...
You ARE an example to follow, my dearest girl! I am grateful to God for having the privilege to know Andy - this wonderful man, and you - through you...
Give our love to Andy! Love you and your family!!!

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for you and your family. You are so much stronger than I think I could ever be. Prayers for continued strength and much love, prayers and thoughts from Southern California.

SK said...

Beautiful words. You are so strong.

Anonymous said...

Bless you, beautiful Family. You are in my prayers. I pray for comfort from pain, from fear , from anxiety. I pray for lightness and joy and warm affection in the time ahead as you approach the finish line hand in hand. I pray for love to surround you. I pray with gratitude for the love that you have shown by sharing your story. May His love hold you close.

Andrea Whitley said...

When I first read the news on facebook, my heart sank and I just wanted to write "ugh"...not "ugh" as in an annoying occurance but "ugh" as in someone just punched you in the belly after a large meal and that is the noise that erupts as you try to not throw up after having the wind knocked out of you. We may not have ever met but I pray so hard for you and your family. You're an amazing woman and I really look up to you for being so positive in such a hard time. I wish I could fix this for you and the boys...if I dont meet yall here, I cant WAIT to meet yall face to face in heaven!!

Suzanne Howell said...

Praying for you ALL!!! May God hold you so very close and give you an overabundance of love, peace and grace.

Kate said...

Cari,

You, Andy, and your boys are in my thoughts and prayers. There are some things that are simply too difficult, at least for me, to understand in this life, but I know that God is good no matter what. I'll pray for him to give you strength and peace.

Mama Mia said...

Dear Chastain Family,

I have followed your blog for a few years and never commented before. Although you have often been in my thoughts and prayers. I can only tell you that I continue to pray for you all and sincerely wish the very best for each and every one of you. Your faith and courage are awe inspiring and I am sure will ease this part of your journey.
An English Grandma x

Mrs. Case said...

Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cari-
We wanted to extend our hands with you in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. Interesting way I found your blog years ago...I had a womens group and a young women ask for prayer for you and your husband. She did not give your name just hte situation and then I had a coworker who was friends with you and asked us to pray for you around the same time!Long story but she gave me your blog and we have been following a nd praying. We just wanted to extend our hands out to you and ask you feel led to meet so we can come together and stand in prayer with you and the Captain? I know you have had many do this and we are definitely no one special but feel led to ask...if the Lord leads to to reach out to us you can reach me at cheesetoter@comcast.net.
We have never met but feel so much for you and your family.
Kristina and Kent

In My Heart said...

Keeping y'all in my thoughts and prayers

~Jill

Anonymous said...

Cari: you Don t really know me very well, I am Kathy scotts sister Iin law. But, in being such, I have had the privilege to a birds eye peek behind the curtain of your parent's lives before they were married, newly married, parenthood as it developed, and all the changes, illnesses,
blessings, sorrows along the way! When you list your daughter, I prayed hard, and quietly slipped in to lift you up in prayer during the service. Also, it has been a privilege to lift your family up in prayer on this leg of your journey. I did not know about the blog until today and your mom sen
t me the link. I am still praying the lord' s will.....petitioning perfect candidate for miracle...tho...still!!!
your words, courage and faith are an inspiration! May you and yours experience peace....on your journey.. much love and many prayers, anetta