We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prayer Request

I wanted to pass on a prayer request to you, as you have all been so faithful to pray for us over these years.

Some of you will remember me telling you about my friends Josh and Tania Julin and Tania's daughters Tamra and Jessica. (The girls' dad, Mark Rich was kidnapped and killed with my dad and their friend and co-worker, Rick Tenenoff.) During Ellie's memorial service in Florida, Jessica sang a song that she wrote while her new step-dad Josh accompanied her on the keyboard. During that time, Tania was pregnant and then lost the baby.

Well, Tania is again happily pregnant and due in April. I believe that things are going pretty well, other than Tania needing to be off of her feet more towards the end of the pregnancy. But they have just received the news that Josh has non-Hodgkin’s, high grade, Lymphoma. He just completed more tests to determine what stage it is, and they don't have the results back yet. Yesterday Josh had a port put in, and Monday he will start chemo. His schedule is six rounds of chemo - one every 2.5 - 3 weeks - just like Ellie's. The doctors feel that Josh's prognosis is quite good, but of course will know more once all test results are in.

I must admit that my first thought was "Oh Lord, no! Please don't let this sweet family go through one more thing. Why can't they just finally have some peace and happiness?" I cried off and on for the better part of a day. Tania and I have been emailing back and forth some over the past week about it all. I have to tell you - I just admire her so much. Tania always has this way of being able to be sad and even ask God the hard questions, all the while knowing that God is still faithful. It's hard to describe, but I've always seen her this way. When Tania feels sad, she is SAD. And even when God's plan doesn't make sense, she finds a way to both question Him and trust Him all at the same time.

Tania has also said that they have had some sweet times together as a family. Tamra is in college in Gainsville, and had just come through surgery on her knee when they got the news of Josh's cancer. Jessica is in her senior year of high school and living with Tania and Josh. They all gathered with Tamra as she recovered and had a very special time. I have been in such awe of the way that God brought their little family together. I believe that their bond is quite unusual. Those girls were teenagers when their mom remarried, but they love Josh with all of their hearts. They even decided that they didn't want to call him "Josh". They decided to call him "Papa." And Josh has been the best Papa ever. I have loved watching Tania and the girls flourish in his care.

The other day when I was picking Ethan up from school, I heard a song on the radio. I had never heard it before, and it took some doing to track it down on the Internet because I wasn't able to hear either the title or the singer. This song could have easily been written for and about Tania and her family.

Our Hope Endures - by Natalie Grant
(click on "pop-out player")


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Lyrics:

You would think only so much can go wrong
Calamity only strikes once
And you assume that this one has suffered her share
Life will be kinder from here

Sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
Sometimes the sky rains night after night
When will it clear
But our hope endures the worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
Let the earth quake
Our hope is unchanged

How do we comprehend peace within pain
Our joy at a good man's wake
Walk a mile with a woman whose body is torn
With illness but she marches on

Sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
Sometimes the sky rains night after night
When will it clear
But our hope endures the worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
Let the earth quake
Our hope is unchanged

Emanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient
Emanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient
Emanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient

We never walk alone
This is our hope
Our hope endures, the worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
let the earth quake
let the earth quake
let the earth quake
Our hope is unchanged

4 Comments:

At 11:06 AM, Blogger aliann said...

So very sorry to hear. Praying for Tania, Josh, and the girls.

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was soo hard to read... We will pray....les

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Holm said...

HI Sarah, I will be praying for Tania and Josh and the girls. Thanks for letting us know.
Love Karen

 
At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe it... that is too unbelievable... she was always an inspiration to me, while I went through my divorce... she was going through her husbands kidnapping, and set such a great example of trusting God. They will all be in my prayers, so sorry. Love you, Aunt B

 

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