Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Today at 3:15pm, Jon and I will meet with his neurosurgeon to get the results from his MRI.  This MRI will reveal if Jon's tumor really is growing as fast as they found it to be growing at his 6 month, post-op MRI.  At 3:15pm we will find out if Jon needs to have radiation on his brain or even a possible 2nd brain surgery.

Our kids are attending a water sports camp down in San Diego this week, so I just drove up to meet Jon at his appointment.  I didn't hit any traffic, so here I am, 90 minutes early.  I glanced over at my passenger seat and there sat my laptop.  God's gift to me in this moment.  A chance to write.  To process.  To gather this jumbled mess of emotion inside of me and try to put it into words.  God bless Starbucks and their free wi-fi.  :)

I have never believed more in the faithfulness of God.  God has been SO faithful to us in this season. I don't doubt His goodness.  He is so good.  He can be trusted.  His people have surrounded us.  He has provided for us.  Sustained us.  So what do I feel right now?

I am dreading this appointment.

I remember driving Jon to the Emergency Room 9 months and 7 days ago.  Jon and I were both certain they were going to send him home with a dose of Extra-Stregnth Something for his headache and we'd call it a night.  Instead, they said he had a brain tumor and admitted him to ICU.

I remember driving Jon to his 6 month, Post-Operation neurosurgery appointment.  Jon and I were both certain that they were going to send him home with a clean bill of health.  I mean, he had the surgery. They removed 98% of the tumor and cauterized the tiny sliver left, it so it wouldn't grow any more.  It was successful.  He now has SSD (Single Sided Deafness) and facial paralysis to prove it.  He's paid his dues.  Instead, they said the tumor was growing back at an alarmingly fast rate.  They scheduled him to start Radiation a week later.

After canceling his Radiation to buy us some time to make an educated decision, Jon and I got 2nd and 3rd opinions.  We drove to USC to be seen by "the best." Then he was a Case Study at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.  Each time, we were hoping someone would say, "You're good!  Your journey is coming to an end!"  Instead, each time we were told action would need to be taken.  Different doctors had their differing opinions on the timeline, but all agreed that action is needed.

We got our neurosurgeon to agree to a 3 month "Pause Button."  Basically, let us wait 3 months and then do another MRI.  If this MRI reveals the tumor really is growing as fast as you say it is, we will move forward with more treatment.  There is no harm in double checking.  Today, those 3 months are up.

We're now 60 minutes away from our next "big" appointment.  And I am dreading it.  This isn't my first rodeo.  I've driven into this driveway.  I've been hopeful.  I've expected the best.  And I've walked out feeling like I got socked in the gut.

I realize these feelings are raw.  Not polished.  I probably shouldn't even hit the "publish" button when I'm done writing this.  Not sure if I will.

It has nothing to do with the faithfulness of God.  It has nothing to do with His goodness or His provision or His grace.  It has everything to do with my flesh.  My flesh is so weak.  It's tired.  I know that I know that I know that whatever 3:15pm holds from the doctor will also be accompanied by whatever it is we need from God.  God has NEVER left us lacking anything.  He has provided what we need - and abundantly more - for each leg of this journey.  So my dread is not that I worry about our needs being met.  It's just the dread of knowing that we live in an imperfect, fallen, broken, sin-filled, disease-ridden world.  And it's painful and hard and exhausting and scary and unsure.

I don't have answers. Yet.  I don't see or know what God sees and knows.  But I will tell you that I've prayed.  A lot.  I've asked God for good things.  I've told him my fears and expressed my dread.  And what is amazing and beautiful?  He is near to me.  So present.  I can feel Him.

I'm going to hit "publish" on this blog.  I realize I may offend some people, because I'm sure there are people who can't rectify the "rub" of believing God to be faithful and at the same time dreading something.  But I'm going to hit "publish" anyway - because I realize there are many people who are afraid to tell God that they are mad or scared or feel dread.  Sometimes we think our prayers need to be all sunshine and rainbows.  We think we should be grateful for our blessings and that's it.  Well let me give you permission to be real with God.  God can handle it.  Tell Him exactly how you feel.  Tell Him what your worries are.  Tell Him your struggles.  I am telling God today, I believe you.  I have faith in you.  I know You to be faithful.  But I am dreading this appointment.  I resonate with Mark 9:24:  "I do believe!  But help me with my unbelief!"

Would you pray with Jon and me?  That God would bring healing.  And that God would give us peace.  And that if we need to make decisions, that He would give us wisdom.

We are SO grateful for the gift of His presence through all of this.  And we are SO grateful for the prayer support from all of you - who live literally all around the world.  God hears us.  He cares for us.  He knows our story.  He is able.  He is faithful.  He is good and generous and extravagant in His love and grace applied to our lives.  We are so grateful.

I want to encourage you to invite God into your journey.  Invite Him into those painful places.  He alone can heal.  He alone can bring true peace. He alone can bring comfort.  Be real.  Even with God. He can handle it.  Don't think that's what prayers and talking to God should look like?  The Bible says otherwise:

Psalm 55:22 - Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.
1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

Join me.  I'm taking my dread and "casting it onto Him."  My palms are wide open.  I'm not pretending like unicorns are sitting in my hands.  It's dread.  And God will take it from me and sustain me because He cares for me.

Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.

Well, it's 3:03.  I gotta jet.
Courageously hitting "publish" now....


  1. Just reading your blog for the first time. This made me think of a quote from C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed. It isn't dread exactly he is speaking to, but I think it works
    “What do people mean when they say, 'I am not afraid of God because I know He is good'? Have they never even been to a dentist?”

    ― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

    We can love Him, trust Him and still dread. For goodness sake, Christ sweat blood knowing what He was facing. If that isn't dread, I am not sure what qualifies. And you are facing something scary. I think you are allowed any emotion you feel and God knows your heart. Don't worry about what we humans think. Prayers to you.

  2. Thank you for hitting the Publish button.
    Psalm 13

  3. Thank you for putting all of that into words. It resonates with me. Agreeing in prayer with you on all that you asked for.

  4. Dear Deanna, You do not know me but I have been praying for you since Jon's surgery (we met Jon's folks, MaryAnn &Rick at EVFree some years back. I have a group called the Cheerleaders online of women all over US and we have prayed for lots of folks in these last years--Cancer, Open-Heart surgery, heart transplant, and have included your dear family. When Jon came out of his serious surgery, all us Cheerleaders rejoiced as if your sweet family was our very own. It saddens me to know "today" is upon you both again...more decisions, more of it all again? Will get this out to my (your) Cheerleaders asap for us to once again bring the Ramsey family before the throne of grace. Thank you for putting so well into words that speak for a lot of us--we just don't say it as well as you. You both are being used by our Lord for His very special reasons. Bless you, Jon, and kiddos. Jennifer Richardson

  5. Praying for you. Knowing that you most likely are sitting in the office right now, hearing whatever news you will hear. The thing that's crazy is that it's not news to God. I don't even get that. Why we don't get to know. We have to wait. But it's in the waiting sometimes that we lean on Him more than ever. I don't even have anything significant to say. I know that you both know God is good. That He'll get you through. And you also know it sucks beyond all else to be in this waiting game. Thinking it's over time and time again. Lame, right?!

    I pray that THIS is the "miracle news" day. Please, God!

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It's in your story that we all kind find glimpses of our own stories. You are loved and covered in prayer all over the globe.

    Sorry for the hot mess of words that I don't even know make any sense. Just wanted to say that I'm praying for you guys! xox

  6. publish away! the world needs more REAL more RAW, so that they can see that apprentices to Jesus are not people who have no negative emotions when life is rough. Thanks for hitting publish! we all need to be more real. and hey, we're praying for you and want God's best as you travel this very very rough road.
    Greg Leith

  7. Deanna,
    Love your honesty and they way you are glorifying God in your life and trials right now. I was at Biola with Jon and will be praying for your family and for His presence and peace to be overwhelming!

  8. Jesus dreaded the cross. And I'm sure there was no one more convinced of the Father's faithfulness than Jesus. Embrace his understanding and compassion for where you are. I hold this tenderly in prayer with you.

  9. Prayers for all to be better.

  10. We all dread bad news but because God is with us through it all, we will make it!! God loves us and upholds us in all things of this life.