Thursday, May 12, 2016

When Friends are Grieving

Trent, Steve, Chrissie and Ryan
A few days ago our friends lost their son.  Though they no longer live in Port Angeles, we feel their loss.  He was two weeks from high school graduation and in a car accident.  Trent Basden is with Jesus but his family and friends are left here to cope without him.  

All who love the Basden family would love to turn back the clock and not let that deer cross the road at that exact moment.  Or we want to remove the pain.  Or we want to wake up from a bad dream.    None of those things are possible.  We feel helpless.  We can't imagine going through anything like this.  

So what are we left with?

I know of two simple things I pray at times like this.  Two things that made a HUGE difference whenever Christina was facing difficulty.  

The first was this--God promises peace when we tell Him our concerns.  (Philippians 4:6-8)  That peace is called incomprehensible.  It makes no sense.  How can we have peace when we are in the middle of death or disease or trauma?  Well, that is the miracle that our loving God provides.  We had no explanation for the immense peace that came at the most trying times.  But it did.  

So, I pray that the Basden family will experience incomprehensible peace.  It does not take away pain or make the situation easy but it is a gift that only God can provide.

The second thing I pray is for God's presence to be recognized at every turn.  Psalm 23:4  says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me."  Our Shepherd, Jesus, walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death.   Death casts a long shadow on this earth.  Anyone who has been around for a while has experienced the shadow of death.  It is everywhere.  There is nothing better than to see God's activity and feel His presence in the midst of the most horrible circumstances.  He shines brightly.  Our faith increases.  And we walk on with Him.  Not without pain.  Not without loss.  But we walk with hope. 

And so we pray, Lord, that you will surround this family with your peace that is beyond understanding.  And we ask that they will be able to see your hand clearly.  We pray that your presence is palpable, that in the midst of struggle and grief, your power and your grace will be seen in unexpected ways.  In Jesus' name,  AMEN

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Story Telling Across America

Rob visiting last month.
In one month, I will be heading across the United States writing about Christina, brain cancer, our journey, our faith--all in the context of following a grueling ultra endurance bike race across America.  Christina's high school friend, Rob DeCou, has decided to test his endurance on the Race Across America, while riding to honor Christina.  The organization, 3000 Miles to a Cure, has asked me to write (not ride) my way across America in one of their media vans.
When Rob shared his desire to do this race from San Diego to Annapolis, I knew I wanted to drive along and watch this unfold.  The beautiful gift to me is the invitation to write for 3000 Miles to a Cure blog while riding in one of their media vans.

I have some new friends that I will be traveling with.  Maria Parker founded this organization and raced in RAAM 3 years ago to honor her sister.  The story can be found at this link.  It is an hour long movie that tells the remarkable story of Maria's ride and features her sister's life.  

Lucia and Maria Parker, Rob DeCou
Maria and I have so much in common.  Our faith, our loss of very special people, and a desire to live fully and with purpose.  Maria's daughter, Lucia, is organizing the media teams and we will all make this journey together.
Last month we had a few days together in Port Angeles.  I loved the time with Maria and Lucia in our home and am very excited to head down to San Diego on June 11th.  The race starts June 14th--the day after Christina's heavenly birthday.  This feels like a great way to celebrate her life and her courage and her faith.  

If you are a person who prays, I would appreciate prayer for this journey.  I don't want to miss anything God has planned--the conversations, the people we meet along the way, the events that can't be anticipated.  I will certainly link what I am writing with this blog.  Prayer for Rob would be appreciated also.  This can be a dangerous race and super challenging on every level--physically, spiritually, and emotionally.   Thank you in advance for all your love and support. 

Maria and I