Monday, July 20, 2009

Shock and Awe

I remember sitting in my dorm room sophmore year of college with then President Bush ordered the attack on Iraq with the now infamous "shock and awe" approach. It was something to behold. I remember mourning the fact that we were entering a state of war, that lives of those living in that region would forever be changed (in some ways for good, in others for bad). I'm not going to get into whether or not this war was a good choice- its not the point (and any comment left pertaining to such will be deleted).

The point is that with something so sad, yet exciting came exactly what it was named- shock and awe. Shock of the power of our forces. Shock at the power of our weapons. Shock at the humanity that had been lost under such a terrible dictator. Shock that life as we knew as Americans and Iraqi's had changed forever. But at the same time Awe. Awe in the power. Awe in the amazing commitment of our armed forces as a whole and as individuals. Awe in the unity of our country (at the time).

Strangely enough, I approach today with many of the same feelings. Shock. Awe. Life as I have known it has forever changed. Life as my husband's family has known has forever changed.

On Friday, my husband's maternal grandfather- Grandpa Morgan was rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be a stroke. We were all concerned and knew life would change- but knew that there was recovery. Stroke symptoms can be reconciled. Things can get better. Things change- but there is hope.

By Saturday morning, hope seemed to have faded. Grandpa did not have a stroke. Grandpa had a brain tumor. The worst kind of cancer you can have. The tumor is covering half of his brain. This tumor has grown fast. It was not present less than a year ago when he had a cat scan after falling last september. Surgery is not an option. Chemo and Radiation would not extend his life much, if at all, and without much quality. Grandpa has cancer. Grandpa is dying.

Thats the first time I have written or said these words since we found out. Its hard to accept. Its hard to move on.



Shock at what will now be a hard, uknown road. We don't know how long. None of us know the number of our days- only our God, our Creator knows- but the wisdom and experience of doctors tell us it will be months, and perhaps not many, 3-4 is what I'm hearing often.

Shock as to what is to happen next. How do we cope? How do we function? How do we care for him? How do we care for his wife- dear Grandma? How do we explain to the many little great grandchildren all under the age of 10 or so- most of them 5 and under? Shock as to why this is happening. Cancer. Out of no where. No warning. No symptoms. Shock.

As I lay in bed early this morning, unable to sleep- I suddenly felt a sense of awe. Awe in the fact that we serve an Amazing God!!! A God who is not surprised. A God who is all knowing. A God who is in control. A God we can count on. A God who mourns with us. A God who grieves with us. A God who rejoices with us.


God loves us so much that He hurts when we hurt.

God enjoyes us so much as His children that He is glad when we our glad.

A God of emotion.

But yet, a God that is not surprised. As shocked as we are all feeling at this moment, I find comfort in the fact that God is not surprised. God is not shocked. God knew. God cares.

God knows. God cares.

God Loves.

I pray this is the catalyst for something great. This is what was needed to do something big, something unexpected. I'm not sure what it will look like. God does.

Please pray for our family. Pray for Grandpa and Grandma as they face the coming days- that clarity of what is happening comes. Pray for their children. Pray for their grandchildren. Pray for their great grandchildren.

I've lost one grandfather to cancer. I didn't think I would be asked to walk this road again. But I am. Pray for my husband. He has rarely walked the road of loss. Pray for me as I help him on this journey. Pray for us as we try to explain what is going on to our 3 year old. Give us comfort as we come to grips that our grandfather will most likely not meet the little one that is moving inside me at this moment.

Shock. Awe.

Shocked by circumstance. Awed by God.


anne said...

Oh Jen, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine the heartache your family is going through right now. I can tell he is so much loved by all of you! We'll be praying with you.

Kelly said...


This road is a sad road. One you try to spend every waking moment with those you love. Cancer makes us appreciate God and the little things he places in our lives. I just lost a good friend's father to brain cancer, he had chemo/radiation for 3 years.. and his quality of life this past year has devastated his family.

May you find comfort in family, faith and your love as you face this difficult time.


Nikki said...

Jen, I'm so sorry to hear this news. Praying for you, your family, and most of all Grandpa...