The Last Leg of the Journey

I don’t really know how to start an update like this one. About a week ago, Elizabeth’s health started declining. It has dropped precipitously over the last four days; she’s no longer able to get out of bed, sleeps much of the time, and needs some very significant meds to manage the pain, although thankfully so far they are doing so. There’s never a road map for these things, but we are certainly very close to the end.

We so appreciate your prayers for her, that she might have comfort these last few days before she sees the savior she loves so dearly face to face. Please also pray for our children—we have long believed that lying to your children, like lying to yourself, is trading the avoidance of temporary pain for much greater suffering down the line, so we have told them honestly where things stand. It is so hard to watch our little ones grieve, knowing that this is an agony we cannot protect them from. Pray for our extended families and friends. Pray for me, that I might love and serve them all well in this twilight time.

So many people continue to share with us what a blessing Elizabeth has been to them. How she is so hopeful, even in the face of death. The thing I know she wishes people would understand, more than anything, is that her faith is not great because of its subject. It is great because of its object, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, the Bridegroom and Savior of His church. She sometimes gets frustrated when people heap up praise for her, remarking to me, “I’m not great. Jesus is great. I just wish they could see His greatness.” As you grieve with us for her loss—and we ought to grieve—may your tears be a lens through which you see magnified the true Christian hope: the cross that paid our debts and made rebels like us into children of God and the empty tomb which promises that our bodies, like Christ’s, will be raised in the life of eternity. Soon she will enter that hope, and we will too, like grass that flowers in the sun and then is gone.

“Christ, the sure and steady anchor
As we face the wave of death,
When these trials give way to glory,
As we draw our final breath;
We will cross that great horizon,
Clouds behind and life secure,
And the calm will be the better
For the storms that we endure.
Christ, the shore of our salvation,
Ever faithful, ever true;
We will hold fast to the anchor;
It shall never be removed.”