Letters

During the bouts of cancer diagnosis and treatments, Rachel writes e-mails to keep her friends and family updated on her thoughts and spiritual walk.

Dying is hard

April 20, 2009

Dying is hard.

 

I’m not sure what I thought it would be like but I think I hoped it would be easier than this. But, admittedly, I’m not that tough.

 

First of all, I’ve never done it before and there’s no one around who’s done it before to ask how to do it well. You have to prioritize and plan your days, weeks, months, without knowing how much time you actually have. You have to find the balance between complaining so that you can get relief and not complaining so that you don’t annoy all the nice people who are trying to help you. All this, I am learning, I am not that good at.

 

I went to bed the other night feeling ok but woke up an hour later with searing pain in my head. If it didn’t sound so odd, I’d say that I can feel the cancer growing. My face went more numb and I had crazy pain in my jaw and head. The cancer has spread to my shoulders too so those ache often as well. I took some pain medication and it’s subsided somewhat but was then wide awake and couldn’t stop thinking about how this is all going to go down. Will it be fast? Slow? More painful than it is now? I ask but there are, of course, no answers.

 

The last couple of weeks have been a bit more rough. More bad days. Fewer good days. I’ve had some more radiation on my other hip and my sternum where the cancer has spread and was causing discomfort. I usually get a little “bounce” a few days after the radiation when the nausea and fatigue from the treatment have worn off. Today was one of those days – kind of. I got to to go out for lunch with a friend. I got to take the kids to their art class. I got to get the groceries for supper. And then I came home and spent the rest of the day in bed…and my head started hurting. It’s like that. Ups and downs. And it can vary by the hour. Which I’m sure, if it is frustrating for me, must be maddening to those around me who have to deal with me. One moment I am insisting that I am perfectly fine to do something and the next am asking for help to get a sip of water.

 

Dying is hard. And now I better understand some of the things people struggle with as they near death.

 

I remember my grandmother who, at the end of her life could not move, see or hear very well and wondered what Jesus was waiting for – why wouldn’t he take her home now? I understand how she felt. I remember my grandfather, who died just last year, as he patiently endured our entreaties to eat, our constant asking of “How are you feeling?” or our efforts to make him more comfortable. I understand how he felt. And then there are the moments where the kids ask, “Mom, how come you got cancer?” Those questions, of course, are the hardest.

 

Although I do very little these days, the one thing I do is pray more. I’ve never been a great person of prayer, to my shame. But when I’m lying awake at night or trying not to throw up or just alone in bed – I pray. I pray because it is the only useful thing I can do. And, that said, it is a very good investment of the time I do have. I pray for Neil. A lot. How grateful I am for him and for strength to endure what is being asked of him. I pray for Quinn and Kate – while I still can. And I pray for the many people that God brings to my mind in the midst of my darkness.

 

So all that to say, I’m not very good at this. I am trying though. And when I think of the end, of how hard dying already is, and of how hard it will be for those I love when I’m gone, these are the verses that come to mind:

 

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2

 

Dying is hard. But not as hard as it could be.

 

with love,
rb

128 Comments

  1. Hi Rachel –

     

    Unbelievably, I’ve just learned today about the fact your cancer came back. I had sometimes wondered where you and Neil were, and what you were doing.

    My parents and I, along with my brother Reg and Edi, just just watched your video from March. We were all very impressed – and to say we were moved is a considerable understatement.

    I have fond memories of the time you worked in connection with the BC Liberal caucus, but more so when I think of our childhood days at Sardis Community Church.

    Where are you now? Are your parents nearby? It’s been years since I’ve seen them.

    I hope you are able to receive this message and to know that I am thinking of you and praying for your family.

     

    Barry

  2. Hi Rachel,

     

    You don’t know me. But I know your story by reading your journal. I just would like to thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories with everyone who may have chance to read them like me. I believe readers would learn something from you — the way how you face to pain from the disease; the way how you trust who you turst; the way how you love your family.

     

    Thank you.

     

    Cindy

  3. Rachel,
    Your story is beautiful and your testimony is so encouraging. God is definitely with you and at work in you so that others may come to know Him. God bless. I will pray for you and your family.
    In Christ,
    Michelle

  4. Rachel;
    You don’t know us, but we’ve been praying daily for you now for the last few months…even before your speaking “Death is not Dying”. And we pray for Neil and your two adorable children. I’m sure you have read the many accounts of the martyrs for Jesus Christ. There is an account of two sisters, both believers and followers of Jesus Christ who were tried and sentence to death for their faith, to be burnt at the stake the next day. That night they made a pact that whichever one went first, would give some sign or statement that their hope and faith in Jesus was real and worth dying for. The next morning, the one was tied to the stake while the other one watched and waited as the smoke and flames consumed her beloved sister until she could no longer see her. She waited and waited, almost giving up hope to have any sign or word, when her sister yelled “come on…it’s true”!! That is our hope and confidence! Soon we will see you home! Even so come Lord Jesus.

  5. A friend sent me this link….I have to admit I listened to your story and cried…I have so much to learn. Hearing you say things like, “no, I don’t want a mess from the crafts”, those are things I find myself saying, This has encouraged me to take the time. Moments like listening to your speech, remind me that, yes, Christ is the most important part of my life. May you feel his presence during the difficult times you are going thru. We will remember you and your family in prayer.

    Love stephanie

  6. You are with me in my prayers! I am truly inspired by what you have accomplished. Stand on the mountain top and shout it Rachel! You are an amazing woman. I hop eI can be as brave as you one day! Love Live Laugh babe!

  7. Thank you so much, Rachel….your ability to be so brave is incredibly inspiring and your words deeply encourage. My beloved father-in-law passed away from cancer a few days ago. He only had 5 weeks since getting his diagnosis. I know he’s with the Lord now and I sincerely thank you for helping me realize that “death is not dying”. I’m so glad I received your newsletter today! God bless you and your family.

  8. Rachel,
    You are loved with an everlasting love.
    And underneath are the everlasting arms.
    I praise God for your testimony. I have sent it out to everyone I can think of to magnify our great God and King. I pray through your sharing of the Gospel it will bring many to repentance and faith. I am praying for you right now sister. Cling to His promises as you long to be in His arms.

     

    Amy

     

    “The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
    He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
    Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
    but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
    they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.”

     

    Isaiah 40:27-31

  9. Rachel,
    I shared your story and the link to your video on my blog today. Thank you for your faithfulness to God and your willingness to share your story – you will never know how many you have inspired – but do know that you are an inspiration. Thank you and God Bless.

     

    http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com

  10. Hi Rachel,

     

    You don’t know us, but we are touched by your story and blessed by your willingness to share. (All the way in Singapore) My husband and I are both children of moms who died early from cancer.

     

    We want to encourage you in your journey and add love to you as you travel because we were blessed by moms who were also willing to share with us their hearts prior to their leaving.

     

    Our greatest memories, strengths and legacies left to us by our loving mothers’ was their faith, love and relationship with God. We were blessed by living demonstrations of faith, honesty(moms’ willing to share their fears) and love.

     

    Your children have the greatest gift in you.
    Your time with them is so deep, and connected to their spirits. You show them love within your relationship with your husband, with them and with your family and friends.

     

    The great gift of how to relate to people will be one of the most important that they will receive in their lifetime. You are giving that to them now, where most people wait a lifetime to learn.

     

    John 14:27
    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you asthe world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

     

    “God never gives strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute.”

     

    Oswald Chambers

     

    In Peace & God’s Love,

  11. Rachael,

     

    Thanks for sharing your story by the grace of God. I can not imagine how hard it is; we were not created for this. We were created to live eternally with God in the garden. Such is life in a fallen world. Praise God for making a way of restoration for all of us who believe in Him!!!

     

    1 John 3:2-3 (ESV)

     

    2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

     

    You and your family are in our prayers as well as the many who will hear your testimony. May God soften hearts that many may be won by your willingness to look to God in the midst of your affliction. May you and your family find strength, comfort, and hope in our risen Lord!! And may we all have such strong faith in God’s sovereignty when we are faced with life’s trials.

     

    May you be encouraged by God’s promise to make all things new: http://www.phatfish.net/video/thereisadayvideo.html

     

    Warmly,
    The Hankins Family

  12. Thank you for being a defender of the only truth & hope we have…Jesus Christ. I thank God for how he chooses to use us in ways that we never imagined, but know that because of his unending grace we can trust him to be glorified through us.

    I may not get to meet you now, but oh what a joy it is as I anticipate what is to come…Heaven! My love, tears & prayers are with you & your family.

  13. Thank you for sharing the truth of the love and grace in Christ!

     

    May you and yours find comfort in 2 Cor. 5:4 “…that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” Death in Christ is to be “further clothed” and “swallowed up by life”…
    More love and grace…eternal and infinite!

     

    Blessings to you all~
    Elizabeth and family

  14. Dear Rachel!

    I’ve listened to you testimony online and have passed it on to others. I would like to share this with you…
    LORD’S DAY 1
    1. Q. What is your only comfort
    in life and death?
    A. That I am not my own,1
    but belong with body and soul,
    both in life and in death,2
    to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.3
    He has fully paid for all my sins
    with His precious blood,4
    and has set me free
    from all the power of the devil.5
    He also preserves me in such a way6
    that without the will of my heavenly Father
    not a hair can fall from my head;7
    indeed, all things must work together
    for my salvation.8
    Therefore, by His Holy Spirit
    He also assures me
    of eternal life9
    and makes me heartily willing and ready
    from now on to live for Him.10
    1 1 Cor 6:19, 20.
    2 Rom 14:7-9.
    3 1 Cor 3:23; Tit 2:14.
    4 1 Pet 1:18, 19; 1 Jn 1:7; 2:2.
    5 Jn 8:34-36; Heb 2:14, 15; 1 Jn 3:8.
    6 Jn 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess 3:3; 1 Pet 1:5.
    7 Mt 10:29-31; Lk 21:16-18.
    8 Rom 8:28.
    2 Rom 8:15, 16; 2 Cor 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph 1:13, 14.
    10 Rom 8:14
    With love in Christ.

  15. with you in prayers!

  16. Rachel,

     

    Thank you for sharing your story. I only recently found out your cancer returned. I am so moved by your honesty and faith. You are special! Your strong faith in God our Saviour sets you apart and it’s so clear how it is carrying you through. Your family is so beautiful! Lifting you and your family up in prayer.

     

    In love,

    Iona

  17. Rachel

     

    Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us in London, UK. We are believing God for a miracle for you and your precious family.

     

    Right now, we can only see through a dim glass. Our understanding of what God is allowing is so very limited. But what can be clearly seen by us, is a “treasure” in your “earthen vessel” that shines brightly for all the world to see.

     

    Praying for you and your family that His great Shalom that passes all human understanding preserves you until He comes or calls you home.

  18. Dear Rachel
    i watched your testimony yesterday and sent it to everyone i know. I come from the Island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Rest assured that many souls are hearing about our LORD from your testimony miles and miles away from where you live. You may be physically in bed but spiritually your message, the message of the cross in a young woman’s life is impacting the world over. One precious soul at a time.

     

    I don’t know you but i love and care about you. The true body of Christ rejoices when one rejoices and hurts when one hurts. I am hurting and rejoicing with you. You, your husband and your children are in my prayers and will most probably always be in my prayers.

     

    To say your testimony made a massive impact on my life (i’m 23 years old) would be a massive understatement. It’s made me even more obsessed with the things above and even more less concerned with the things of this world.

     

    we love you Rachel!
    your sister in Christ
    Anjelle H

  19. My dear sister in Christ, I am so sorry for all the pain you are enduring, physically and emotionally. Please know that I will be praying for you as you live each day. But I cannot thank you enough for being a faithful witness for our Lord Jesus with your testimony and your willingness to step out in faith and continue to share with all of us. Many folks have left beautiful comments for you and I don’t want to duplicate here, but I do want to encourage you with this Word:

     

    “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

     

    Praying for you from the state of Maine.

  20. Hello

    Just watched the video here in Crewe, Cheshire, England.

    Your gift of encouragement is appreciated very much from an unemployed, sick 47 year old. My hope is in Him, Jesus. You testiimony strengthens me and encourages me to keep my hope and my mind set on Him!

     

    Unemployedsince 2001, single, no children, no pension, living on welfare alone and poor, but!

    But like you, I have Jesus, your Jesus, the Jesus you believe in is also my hope.

    Thank you for sharing with me, my eyes and heart look forward to meeting with you, when I don’t know. But we have much in common, we have Jesus, our hope, our life, our righteousness.

    You will be on my heart and in my prayers in the comming days and nights as I bring you my sister to Him, our brother and Lord, Jesus Christ, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

     

    Again

    Thank you Rachel

    Love in Him

    Nic

  21. Your words and life have encouraged me today. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    You (your family) remain in my prayers.

  22. Dear Neil, Rachel, Quinn and Kate,
    ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strenghthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’
    Isaiah 41v10

     

    Dear Rachel,
    ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
    Revelation 21v4

  23. I thank the Lord for “meeting you eletronically”, Rachel.
    One of my best pleasures in life is to know my brothers and sisters in Christ before heaven.

    It is a great pleasure “to know” you my sister in Christ.
    I don´t know whom will be there first, but again:
    It is a great privilege to meet you “this side of heaven”.

    your brother from Brazil, South America.

  24. Rachel,
    I was touched so much by your Blog and video. Recently, I have walked with loved ones through death and currently have a friend who is in a similar place as you. Your honest words are SO helpful! You’re right – we don’t know how to die. And certainly those of us who love those who are dying don’t know how to help. Your words help me understand and minister in such a valley.

     

    Blessings on you and your family now and in the coming weeks!

     

    – Meg Dreifuss
    Raleigh, NC

  25. Rachel,
    I just finished watching your video and you stated your purpose in life is to glorify God and that you did very clearly and very well. I admire your courage and strength and have been challenged to serve with joy.
    “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be…” and I will look forward to someday meeting you there.
    My prayers are with you and your family.
    Linda Pausley, Sebring, Florida

  26. Dear Rachel & Family,

    I stumbled across this link today and have been pondering the words I have read and heard throughout the day. As I struggle with my own humanness, and my fear of dying and what is to come, I am encouraged and strengthened by words from a stranger – words that challenge me not to stop believing in a God who is true and faithful and who has a plan for my life.
    I am challenged to consider my own unbelief and my commitment to allowing God to use me to bring glory to Him. I wanted to think of words of comfort, but nothing I can say expresses my heartfelt sadness as I am grieving this journey with you. But in the midst of that sadness I am overcome with the picture of God’s grace that you have presented to me at this time. For it is by grace, grace that I am seeing pictured by your life, that I see you standing to give such a testimony of faith.

    Many thanks for sharing your story and for your faithfulness – I will not forget.

  27. Rachel, we are the same age…I have a husband of 14 years and two young children as well. I am in awe of your faith and so thankful you know Jesus the way we all should! You are so amazingly strong. I will have you in my heart everyday and will pray with the children at night for comfort…for you and your family. I love you sister!

    Marley

  28. Hi Rach,

    Thank you again for sharing your soul. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I think of you often and of the rest of your family and send hugs to you all. You are impacting lives all over the world with your story Rach. I know that can’t take away the pain but I hope it gives you some comfort to know that God is using you the way He probably would like to use all of us if we’d just let Him. You continue to challenge me to spend more time in prayer and to invest in the things that really matter in life. Today I’ve been working on songs for Sunday worship team and one song has been in my head. Maybe God gave this one to me to pass onto you today – I hope it encourages you:

     

    Times of Refreshing:
    Well I thank you Lord that you are my Saviour, You’re my strength, you’re the rock on which I stand, you give me life and a grace that’s greater, when I humble myself beneath your mighty hand.
    For the day will come when we’ll all be gathered, and the sun will rise with healing in it’s wings, and all the years of pain won’t seem to matter, when our eyes behold our Teacher and our King.
    You bring times of refreshing, You bring times of refreshing, You bring times of refreshing to my soul, when I’m weary from the fight, trying to do what’s right, You bring times of refreshing to my soul.

     

    That is my prayer for you today!

    Love Jul

  29. Rachel- We don’t know each other, but I sure am looking forward to hugging your neck in heaven. Thank you for listening to God’s call to speak these words of deep truth to the hearts of so many strangers…my heart overflows with JOY as you reconfirm what I know to be true…God is good, no matter what our circumstances. I will be praying for you and your sweet Neil and precious children. May you be encouraged and strengthened to know that God is using you to change the lives of so many…thanks for pointing us to the cross! “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Rom 8:38
    Loving you from Greenville, North Carolina,
    Mel

  30. Dear Rachel,
    I heard about your diagnosis about 2 months ago from my Aunt Julie Smith and I was heartbroken. I pray for you almost everyday. I hope it is encouraging to know that our church here in Hanoi Vietnam is also praying for you, your husband, and your children.
    “Do not be dismayed for I am with you, do not fear for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!” – Isaiah

    Kristin Kennedy

  31. Dear Rachel
    Thank you very much for the video I could watch. I am a Christian just for a few years. I was very encouraged in my faith. I will pray for you and that God will help many people through your video (including me) to love people around us more, read Bible more carefully and not to be selfish! I will send the video to all who can understand English.
    Many greetings in the Lord from the heart of Europe
    Veronika

  32. Having read your written thoughts, I am reminded of the beautiful story of puritans Christopher and Mary Love. Their letters to each other as they awaited Christopher’s execution are very much like the love and trust you have written about. Here is a link that might be encouraging to you: http://www.believersencouragement.com/ChristopherLove.html

  33. Thank you for sharing with the world this very important message.

     

    Remember:
    Matthew 19:26
    Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

     

    We will pray for you, Neil & the girls.

     

    May God continue to bless you and your family and give you His peace.

     

    Philippians 4:7
    And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

     

    With love, in Christ
    Irene

  34. After hearing your story, I think of you often now, Rachel. I look forward to seeing you in heaven someday and how you have been restored and with your little ones and precious husband….laughing, in joyous union with our Father. May the Holy Spirit, from whom all peace and comfort and healing flow, abide in your home and in your body, which is the very temple of God.

    Love to you and much grace.
    Sara

  35. Rachel,

    I encourage you to die well, represent your Lord to the last second. Let me share with you one that died well.

    From the memoirs of Evanglist George Whitefield.

    “O, to end life well!” says he, “methinks I have now but one river to pass over. And we know of One that can carry us over, without being ankle deep.”

    His last full day on earth it was said to him ” Sir, you are more fit to go to bed than to preach.” To which Mr. Whitefield answered, “true sir” but turning aside, he clasped his hands together, and looking up said, “Lord Jesus I am weary in thy work, but not of thy work. If I have not yet finished my course, let me go and speak for thee once more in the fields, seal thy truth, and come home and die.” He went and preached his last and came back to his lodging and died.

  36. Rachel,

    You don’t know me but you may be familiar with my husband Josh’s website. Joshharris.com. I don’t know how you are doing right now but ever since hearing your story a few days ago, I began praying and carrying you on my heart daily. You are an inspiration to us all and to your family and your children. I pray that your discomfort right now is not unbearable and trust you are in the loving care of your wonderful husband, children and family. Thank you for sharing with us such a personal story and teaching us how to die for God’s glory.

  37. Dear Rachel,

    Thank you.
    Thank you for your witness. Thank you for using your last moments of life to inspire others.

    In His Love,
    A fellow Soul

  38. Dear Rachel,
    One of my friends sent me your video, and said “you must watch this” and I did, and you and your beautiful story have become a part of my heart. I just wanted to tell you from afar that your courage and strength is touching so many. You give the term “make me your instrument” a new definition for me. I will pray for you and your family, and just know that you are loved across the miles and through your pain.

    Karen, Greenville NC.

  39. Rachel,
    Thank you for just being real. Your message has been both challenging and encouraging to me. I have already shared the link with one friend and plan to share with more. I am happy to tell my friends that while your testimony brought me to tears at times, the power of the message was in the Truth of God that you shared as you challenged me to very deliberately live for Him each moment of each day. We are all weak vessels, clay pots, but He is gracious to use us. Thank you for allowing Him to use your affliction — and to use you in your affliction, all for His glory. I pray that God’s grace will continue to be upon you and your family and give you peace and comfort — spiritually and physically — as you seek to live well and die well. I pray for your husband and precious children in all that they face now and in the future. I know that so many of us who have heard your testimony and read your blog are lifting you by the spiritual arms, as it were, desiring to help you run this last leg of your race even as your heavenly home is so near.

  40. Rachel, I am moved to tears and prayer for you daily since I listened to your testimony this past week. Psalm 90:12 came to mind “So teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom”. After listening to you I was humbled by your relationship with Jesus Christ and by how clearly you communicated about a good God amidst your suffering and impending death. God has numbered your days for you and you have responded with a heart of wisdom. You, by God’s grace are leaving behind a mark on my heart and others that will be remembered. I say this with tears that I wish I could come by your bedside and pray with you, gently squeeze your hand in place of a hug because of knowing the hug would be too painful for you. I am grateful to God that He will be there to greet you with an embrace and to tell you job well done my daughter. Thank you for leaving a profound mark on my heart and so many other. May God gently lead you and care for you and your families souls during the following days. God bless you dear lady.
    With love and a hope of meeting you someday in heaven – Amanda

  41. Just letting you know that all the “street people” of Chilliwack BC are remembering you in their prayers…they do not forget once a prayer request is made….may this give you comfort.

  42. Dear Rachel,
    I have been so impacted by your testimony ever since I listened to you several days ago. The reality of what God can do through a life fully submitted to Him reminds me of His magnificence, goodness, and glory. I can only imagine the lives that God is drawing to Himself through your story. Thank you for allowing me to peer into your life and be a witness to you bringing glory to God through your life and through your death.
    As I’m sure He has with many others, God has placed you heavily on my heart, my sweet sister. I pray for you several times a day with tears of sadness and of joy. I can’t imagine your pain. His glory is seen so clearly in you in the midst of that pain that my gaze is diverted quickly to the God who is sustaining you.
    Thank you for sharing the truths that God has revealed to you with such candor, humor, and clarity. I’m praying many lives will continue to be given over to the magnificent, loving God who holds every tear in a bottle, numbers the hairs upon our heads, and holds the seas in the hollow of His hand. May your days be filled with great revelation of and sweet intimacy with your Jesus…Holder, Healer, Redeemer King.
    Much love,
    holly

  43. dear rachel:
    i sit here wondering what words i would want to hear, if i were to be given the news of terminal cancer, as i have a 9mth old little boy. i just listened to your presentation online and my heart is completely and wholly broken for you. yet, while being heartbroken, i am renewed in my faith that His peace and His mercies are new every day, and that you are experiencing that, for all to see. God is using you and i trust that MANY will come to the saving knowledge of Him, through your heart-wrenching experience. you speak from a special platform and His word does not return void. Is 55:11.
    i commit to pray for you and for neil, kate and quinn. you are running hard and your Savior is near. thank you for taking these moments and these days…and spurring us on, and for recognizing that all is meant for our good.
    THANK YOU for your faith! for your example! for your legacy….

  44. Hi Rachel
    I was moved to tears today as I listened to your talk. How very kind and humble of you to allow so many a look into the valley our savior is bringing you through. We live in a day where sadly much of what we hear in church is God wants you healthy,wealthy and overflowing with $$$, and if your not living in that …your out of his will. John Piper said “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him”. John the baptist said “he must increase and I must decrease”.Your story is and will continue to bring much glory to Christ. Well done Rachel. I’m so thankful God allowed cancer in my life , he used it to bring me to the wonderful cross of Christ. I’m sending your story to people I know who are and have been shaking their fists at God saying why me. May you be ever increasing in the awareness that Christ has risen.What a Savior. What hope.Dan

  45. Rachel, you are going before us, ahead of us, urging us onward as we follow our Jesus together. Thank you for turning to speak encouragement to us, even in the midst of your pain, fear, and questions. We see clearly the treasure in your jar of clay, and the excellency of His power is shining out very strong. We worship a scarred Savior, and your scars and suffering are so very precious to Him and to us. As you offer your suffering up to Him who bought you, I pray you will know a measure, on this side, of the pleasure you are bringing to Him. Thank you, dear sister.

  46. Rachel — On knowing how to say goodbye – you are doing it and doing it well. Your faith is an inspiration to me and so many others. I thought of you and your times of prayer and wanted to share this article with you. I think you will be encouraged. One question: If you were completely healed of the cancer – I am praying for a miracle of the healing kind – you are a miracle in that you give testimony to the peace and hope of God — But if it was gone, what would you do … I know that’s a huge question, but I’m so curious. I’d love to hear your dreams. Big Hugs!

    http://lynnehybels.com/article_conduits1.asp

  47. Dear Rachel,
    I just listened to your message today and wanted to thank you for letting the Lord use you in such a mighty way. Isn’t that just like Him- to choose to do wonderful things through our frail bodies. Even when we feel strong, we’re only just withering grass, aren’t we? Please know that I’m praying for you and your precious family. He will provide for each of you in His perfect way. I look forward to meeting you one day as we worship together with that great throng!

    Warmly,
    Maggie

  48. Rachel, you were truly “born for a time such as this”. Your message of what we as Christians are truly called to reminded me that I strive in vain for things of this world. Your courage and faith in this time of testing is a testament of God’s grace and how He is able to bring us through anything and everything. You are right, we are all dying, but most of us are in denial of that fact. I look forward to meeting you in person someday.

  49. Dear Rachel,

    I just wanted to thank you for your courage and honesty as you shared your testimony. My younger sister Nina passed away a little more than a year ago in somewhat similar circumstances. She was 28, had a rare condition, and passed away leaving her husband and three little girls behind. Hearing about your struggles and fears, challenges and hopes – it was a great blessing to me, as I believe they were many of the same feelings that Nina must have felt. Hearing you speak was in some ways like hearing from her, and I must thank you for you vulnerability in sharing those personal stories. Your passion for Jesus was also an encouragement & I hope it will come to mind again and again & draw me closer to Christ. What a blessing to be in the family of God! I was also comforted by your faith in God’s sovereignty – and let me try and encourage you by stating again what a blessing your speech has been to me. I know it must be small comfort, when you consider the time you will miss with your husband and children, for me to mention you blessing me. Yet I will say it again – sitting here on my couch, hundreds and hundreds of miles away – God is using your testimony and trial to strengthen and challenge me (my wife was in tears beside me) – and I know I am one among thousands. The Lord’s reasons for this time in your life are infinite and wonderful – trust in that – stand firm in His love – and dear sister – if the Lord does decide to take you home – I know you and Nina would become fast friends :) Another blessing – first to see your Wonderful Saviour – to be in Heaven – and then, the blessing of making so many new and awesome friends till we all come and meet you there! So many saints who will come with you to meet your children and husband at the gates of heaven and celebrate your reunion. I know I do no justice to the wonder and joy of being with God in heaven, but I can’t help but wonder :) I will praying for you and your family as often as God brings to mind. Thank you again Rachel, and praise the Lord for the work He is doing in your life,
    Nathan

  50. Thank you so much for your strength!
    Dear Lord
    I pray for continued strength for Rachel and family. May your comfort and strength see them through. Thank you for Rachel’s courageous heart. Lord … thank you for allowing Rachel to impact me and so many other people at this time. what an amazing gift she has given to us… a new and different Godly perspective.

    Blessings prayers and Love!

  51. Dear Rachel, you don’t know me but i have been so touched by your testemony ; Thank you for the strenght to journal your journey! And you are a testemony of God’s grace and power in THIS LIFE!

    I came across your page as i was listening to John Piper’s preaching .!
    i will be sending it to my friends too.

    and to know that we are connected by that same Awsome Love the Lord has for us, and we are part of the familly, it is a strange and warm feeling . i wil meet you one day, by the Grace of God !
    and i will pray for you and your earthly familly too , as often as i am reminded!
    lots of love
    inez

  52. I spent this morning listening to the talk that you gave. I found the link to it on the Desiring God website. Your honesty and faith broke my heart and reminded me of God’s goodness and mercy. When I hear of stories like your own my first reaction is usually frustration, anger and questions. I have been born again to a new and saving hope through the precious blood of Jesus, but I oftentimes fear and become despondent after being faced with the reality of death. I really want to thank-you for reminding me that it is not death to die, and that God is infinitely good and wise in all his dealings with us … He does not treat us as our sins deserve, but instead has given us salvation and hope through Christ. I have been reminded by you to, “Serve with JOY,” and I will do my best, with God’s help, to do so as long as He grants me breath. I have been filled with a new urgency to do all I can and “put my hand to the plow,” while it is yet day-time. I am earnestly beseeching God on your behalf. I pray that He overwhelms you with His grace as you face the pain and discomfort of death due to Cancer. I am praying for your family, as I too, am a wife and mother. Thank-you for reminding me never to doubt God’s goodness. I have lived a relatively pain free life, but I know that it is through much suffering that one must enter into the Kingdom of God. I know that, one day soon, my time will come, and I pray that I will react in the way God has given you the grace to do so. I will remember who God is, remind myself of who I am, review the blessed Gospel truths, and recall that my lot in life is to, “Glorify God by and enjoy Him forever.’ I am going to encourage all of my friends to listen to your message. I know a few people who are battling cancer. This will be of great help to them! The Lord bless and keep you <3

  53. Dear Rachel,
    Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. Your story has so impacted my life, I plan to share it with my little girl when she is older. Thank you for being a faithful witness of Jesus Christ.
    You exemplify the words in this psalm: Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63: 3,4.
    I will be praying for you and your family, Rachel.

    Love, Meghan

  54. What a privilege to hear of you, Rachel. Your story, your journey……is touching and changing lives all over this world. Thank you for sharing something so personal with us all.
    I am in awe!

    Father,
    Thank you for Rachel and her sweet love for you. Help her as she faces a reality that most of us do not have the courage to even discuss. Ease the pain…take away the discomfort and make her whole again.
    Amen.

  55. Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear sister in Christ. I hear loudly your boasting only in the cross. My prayers are with you and your family and friends. Much grace and peace be with you.

  56. Rachel,

    What an unbelievable gift that video was to me and my wife and what an even more unbelievable gift it will be some day for your children!

    You know this already. But they are loved. They are loved by the same Christ who loves you and they are loved by their mother in a way that no other but Him could ever understand.

    They are loved by their father and, because of how well you two have loved and served them, they will know Christ someday and they will understand that you gave them the best gift you could ever give them….

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s heartbreaking and I mourn those birthdays and Christmases with you. I can’t even imagine…

    It’s heartbreaking, but it is SO very encouraging! What a woman of God you are! My family will be lifting you up from this day forward. The Lord will be hearing from us on your behalf.

  57. Rachel, I pray you are still with us, and that God is calming your suffering. You have many beautiful compliments. You are a true reflection of our precious Lord and Saviour! I can’t wait to share you with others. Such a blessing to yeild yourself to him in such love, and trust! God is using you in a wonderful way!!! What he says he will do! I’m excited for you and I pray your family will clelebrate your Blessed Bithday in Heaven! I know they will miss you terribly but prayerfully they will join you in our promised beautiful Heavenly Home! What a beautiful Sister in Christ you are, I will look forward to meeting you someday! In Him, Marsha

  58. By God’s hand, the vapor of your life touched mine today.

    I will walk strengthened by the truth you shared, and I join the family of God in prayer for you, your family & friends.
    What a privilege.

    You will glorify & enjoy Him forever Rachel.

    ~Soli Deo gloria~

  59. Rachel, you are accomplishing the impossible, and I think it’s safe to say that we ALL want to be just like you.
    One day we will meet, and I can look you in the eye and call you ‘sister’.
    God’s speed.

  60. Dear Rachel,
    A friend referred me to your video, as I am on my own journey with breast cancer. I was deeply moved by your courage, your honesty, your understanding of grace and forgiveness and your deep love for the Lord. THANK YOU for sharing that with soooo many. I was compelled to read your blog as well and can relate very closely to your journey through surgeries and chemo … a journey I am still walking. Thank you for being honest and real and in the midst of it, to continue pointing us to Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. Altho we have never met, I feel a sense of kinship and will be praying for you, your husband and children … may God’s grace and peace continue to live in each one of you.

  61. Rachel,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was so challenged to know God more as I listened to your talk. My momentary troubles seem so trivial in comparison, and hearing what you said about us doubting God’s goodness in the face of trials brought me such conviction.

    This morning, I woke up to a sick child, and this song popped into my head. Perhaps you will find it encouraging today.

    1. He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
    He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
    To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
    To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
    2. When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
    3. Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
    Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
    Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
    The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
    4. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
    His power no boundary known unto men;
    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

  62. Thank you for your courage in sharing your life so publicly. You have challenged and encouraged me in my faith.
    “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:24-25

  63. Rachel,

    I only learned of your story today from reading the “Desiring God” blog post. I hope it is okay that I posted the link to your audio and video on my blog; it’s just that your talk was such a powerful presentation of the gospel that I wanted to share it with those who might stop by my blog.
    I am praying for you, your dear husband, and your precious children. May the peace of God which passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

  64. Rachel, thank you so much for sharing your testimony – I just found your site from the Girl Talk blog. Your talk was such an encouragement to me and a very sobering reminder of the things that really matter.

  65. Hi Rachel, A friend of mine posted this link on her facebook and on my day off from work I have had the privillage to hear the of all that the Lord is doing in your life all the way over in England. You are such an encoragemnet to live the life that I should and put Jesus Christ at the centre. Thank you I will be in prayer for you and your family. x

  66. Dear Rachel,
    There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. Jesus will wipe away all your tears dearest Rachel, and He will cradle you in HIs embrace.
    G-d speed dearest Rachel–His banner over you is love..
    In His Strong Grip,
    Catherine

  67. Rachel,

    As the mother of a 27-year-old son whose very aggressive form of cancer could return anytime, thank you. Thank you for being faithful to bring the message that God gave you.

    Well done good and faithful servant.

    Much love,
    Jenifer

  68. Dear Rachel,
    I was so blessed by your incredible testimony. It impacted me and then I shared it with my family and friends. We were all touched. In God’s providence, He put your video before me last week and today I was able to share the gospel with my cousin. He is an artist, so I was ready with an analogy about how “God has revealed Himself in creation”….because of your testimony. Your “Know God, know yourself, know the gospel, & know your purpose” will help me to share the gospel more. You are right, God is good. He has a plan. You are reaching people for Him without even meeting them (this side of heaven). In His unfathomable love, Kim

  69. You have painted yourself as a window with the brush of the truth of the word of God so that we could get a glimpse of Him. thank you. I began saying yes…so that I will decrease and He will increase.
    Thank you and my prayer specifically….with tears in my eyes is for God to send His angels to clense you for healing now for your children. And then if not, for God to draw them to Him and to use your window from now on to show Himself for others to see and know Him forevermore!

  70. Oh, Rachel…praying.

  71. I have cancer. And my hubby emailed me your video message. Thank you so much. Then I came to your “Letters” and I read where you quoted Isaiah 43:1-2 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
    When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.”
    This is a Scripture that was given to me by friend who also has cancer and when I was in the hospital for pre-chemo surgery, I hung onto these verses. They were great assurance for me. God bless you and your family.

  72. I am a doctorate student and in my pathology class we have been discussing Neoplasms. I came across an interesting article that i thought might be of interest to you…maybe not…some people are not into natural methods of treating cancers….but I would try anything if i were in your situation…i too have been married almost 10 years and have two beautiful daughters…i am a christian and though i am not ready to go… after reading 90 minutes in heaven i think i am more prepared than i was before… best of luck to you and God bless. Here is the link to the article… http://hubpages.com/hub/How-I-Cured-Stage-4-Cancer-in-Two-Weeks-For-Less-Than-The-Cost-Of-A-Night-At-The-Movies

  73. Dear Rachel-

    I came across your testimony today and to say I was moved does not begin to describe how I felt. What an incredible example of tenderness and grace and mercy you are to your children, your husband, the world. God is truly using you and your suffering to bring others into the fold. I will pray for you even now and lift you up. May we all lead by example in the we you are leading others to him now! grace & Peace to you!

    In His Grip-
    Shannon Stephens
    Nashville, Tn

  74. Rachel and family,

    We received this link today and watched the video. It was not by chance. We related and understood everything you said. Our 10 year old son, CJ, was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer in Sept 08. He is undergoing a 2 year chemotherapy regimen. God is good, faithful, just, and trustworthy! You can only truly say that and know you mean it when you walk through the fire.
    We are praying for you and for your comfort both physical and spiritual. We will look for you in heaven. You will be the one with many crowns, so we wil knwo how to find you.
    Thank you for using your pain to glorify our Father! You have fulfilled your purpose for him. Well done good and faithful one.

    The George Family
    Chris and Dawn
    Allie CJ Brett and Corey

    http://www.georgefamilyblog.com
    a blog about a boys journey through cancer, come what may.

  75. Dear Sister Rachel,

    I heard your testimony today and I was completely moved by it. Thank you for your true words and faithful witness to others. I do not know what to say to you since you’ve already say about God. Praise the Lord for He is Holy! Soon you will be in his presence and all the sorrows will be forgotten. I will keep you and your family in my prayers

    Your sister in Christ

    Magaly Weaver

  76. Dear Rachel,

    I was listening to your talk online via a facebook link, and doing my biblical studies revision, for my exam this morning. When you began to talk about 1 John, the passage I was studying for my exam, I decided that God doesn’t do coincidences and he probably wanted me to listen, and I am so glad I did. You are very inspiring, and I loved your spurgeon quote, I pinned it on my wall.
    I attend St. Andrews University in Scotland, and I want you to know that there are a number of us here who have been incredibly inspired by you, and moved to praise God even more for his goodness. God is using you to reach many people, and I hope that brings you hope.
    You are in our prayers, wherever you are in the world.
    God bless.

  77. Dear Rachel
    God our maker is sovereign, His love for us unquestionable and everlasting. His purposes are continuing unhindered even in these tough times and you are a great part of His Kingdom advance. Keep deeply connected to Him and I pray for strength, grace and mercy for from our father. Your children and husband are a great heritage, beloved and known specifically by God

    Praying for you.

  78. I found your site a few days ago. It has been very moving. Thank you for sharing your message.

  79. Dear Rachel,
    I heard about your talk through friends at church, and I am so thankful I could listen to it – twice! Thank you for your scriptural and balanced presentation of the gospel and other truths found in God’s Word! I am also thankful for how God used you to remind me of my priorities in life and to convict me of my calling to serve with joy!
    I pray He will give you grace for each day!
    Thank you.

  80. Dear Rachel,

    Thank you for so bravely and honestly sharing your faith and journey. The Lord is using you in mighty ways for His purposes and glory (Rom 8:28), thanks to the speed and efficacy of technology–you’re story is being shared around the world twice over.

    My only regret is that my family and I don’t live nearby to come alongside you and your family with prayers, food, love, and comfort. Know that you are all receiving numerous prayers from around the world.

    Our Lord is awesome and we will all one day be together praising Him with a thousand tongues!

    God bless.

  81. Thinking of you today and praying that the glory of God is ever present in your life and the lives of those around you.

     

    “Watching and waiting, our whole life through
    For the moment when we arrive in glory
    We’ll be standing before His emerald throne
    Oh what a day that will be

     

    All things resolved and suffering ceased
    Perfect new life with no earthly strife
    For we’ve finished the race
    Run to His embrace

     

    When we’ve finished the race
    Run to His embrace
    Oh what a day that will be

     

    When we’ve arrived stunned and surprised
    All things resolved, in the blink of an eye
    No more distractions no sin left to fight

     

    The first glimpse of Jesus and faith becomes sight.”
    (written by, Enfield, for Resolved Conference with John Piper, CJ Mahaney, Steve Lawson… )

     

    Blessings in His presence.

  82. May God bless you, Rachel, today and always.
    Your testimony brings me to my knees in thanksgiving for your witness and for what you have taught me. I thank God that He has given us you as a beautiful witness, revealing himself and bringing us closer to Him through your life.
    Your pain hurts us so much. I pray it has subsided. I will pray for you and your family every day.
    Again, thank you for granting us this gift of your testimony and instruction. It is one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received.
    With love in Christ,
    Mary

  83. Rachel, my first inclination is to give you a huge hug and since I can’t, I send one by way of the Lord who is always with us and in us. I am in absolute awe at how God can use one person so profoundly and honestly and bravely. What a vast difference from the world. Thank you for your obedience and willingness to use your suffering for His glory and our good. I am encouraged and reminded that He is the most important thing in the world, not TV, not Facebook, not those trivial things we spend time doing because eternity is not reality in our present minds. He reminds us to be on guard, to not sleep yet that is what we do because we have no concept of eternity and how close it truly is. And then you come along and remind us in a painful and real way. We think…”that could be me” and, you are right, it is us because we are all dying, we just don’t know when. Thank you, dear sister. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven.

  84. Thanks so much for the encouraging video you posted on this website. I found it through John Piper’s Desiring God blog. = ) you have been a great blessing to me and a reminder to live for God. Praying for you and your family.

  85. Dear Rachel,

    When you said that, if God has permitted this suffering to bring at least one person for him, it would be worth. My friend, I am sure through you testemony you have brought many.
    With love,
    valeria

  86. Rachel,
    Please accept another meager thank you- Jesus is changing our thinking through His work in your life, and we are all so so grateful. May you find many amazing surprises of His strength and comfort in the coming days.

  87. Rachel,

    Thank you so much for sharing your honest heart as you endure this journey. We lost my father-in-law to cancer almost a year and a half ago — I saw God provide Him with the kind of peace you spoke about in your testimony. Thank you for your faith and your boldness to speak for Christ. You and your family are in our prayers.

  88. Rachel,
    Words cannot explain how you have greatly touched my life. I am sure many people can say the same thing…you are incredibly brave and strong. You have encouraged me and reminded me that God is good and to “Serve With Joy”. Thank you – it was a blessing to hear your testimony.
    Your sister in Jesus and much love.
    Sarah

  89. Dear Rachel,

    I am really moved and touched by your testimony of God’s purposes through your cancer/suffering. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you and your family.

    My husband and I will be going to Africa to work long-term with those who are dying from AIDS, and I know that your “message” will be invaluable there. Thank you for boldy proclaiming the gospel during hard times! May God give you incredible grace for each challenge, I pray.

    Also, I recently worked on an oncology unit as a nurse in Minneapolis, and one of the patients had pancreatic cancer with liver mets. He was on a continuous infusion (5mg/hr), even at home, of a BAD drip – combination Benadryl, Ativan, and Dexamethasone to control a lot of the side effects from the liver cancer – nausea, vomiting, itching…I’m sure you have a great team of care providers, but I thought I would mention this as something that worked wonders for someone else with liver mets.

    May God provide many well-timed mercies today for you,
    Kristin

  90. Dearest Rachael:
    You are a beautiful representation of the glory of God in you. I watched your video of the conference Death is Not Dying. I wanted you to know that your testimony will be forever in my heart as you shared God’s great love for you. The Lord is my life and I so appreciated your words of encouragement as well as scripture references. Rachael, you have influenced so many in your life and even more so in your days of suffering with cancer. You are a testimony of the evidence of the grace of God in living well for His glory no matter what the circumstance or pain. Thank you, it is an honor to have heard your story and I praise God with you that He is with you and will walk you home. Much love to you and your family. Brenda

  91. Dear Rachel,
    Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story! For someone who’s said that they will “never” publicly speak – your words were eloquent, touching, and hopeful. Thank you for your wisdom, your personal touch -and your physical sacrifce to share about a faith that saves.
    Nikki

  92. Dear Rachel,
    Your testimony of love for the saviour and your family has so moved me and has become part of what the Lord is using to work in my life for his glory. Thank you for being obedient in sharing what the Lord has asked of you. Treasures for you and your family in heaven are many, I am sure. My prayers are with you and your family at this time. Just wanted you to know the Lord has so affected my heart and mothering through your words and life!
    May the Lord continue to reveal his tender graces to you each day!
    erin

  93. Job 14:14-15 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee…

    My sister Rachel,

    I am praying that your pains be few, your hope be full, and that you will find your rest in the bosom of Jesus. May your children love God will all their hearts and minds and souls and strength, and may your husband keep his hands to the plow, moving forward in full faith and reassurance. May your family and friends know His lovingkindness and all-compassionate comfort and strength. You will see JESUS face to face, what glory! Someday a multitude will rejoice with you in heaven, and you shall see the good of it all.

    With love
    Kerimae

  94. When the weight of all my dreams
    Is resting heavy on my head,
    And the thoughtful words of health and hope
    Have all been nicely said.

     

    But I’m still hurting,
    Wondering if I’ll ever be
    The one I think I am.

     

    I think I am.

     

    Then you gently re-remind me
    That you’ve made me from the first,
    And the more I try to be the best
    The more I get the worst.

     

    And I realize the good in me,
    Is only there because of who you are.

     

    Who you are…

     

    And all I ever have to be
    Is what you’ve made me.
    Any more or less would be a step
    Out of your plan.

     

    As you daily recreate me,
    Help me always keep in mind
    That I only have to do
    What I can find.

     

    And all I ever have to be
    All I have to be
    All I ever have to be
    Is what you’ve made me.

     

    This was one of my favorite songs when I was a teen – I haven’t thought of it for years but it came to me right now as I was reading and crying through these other comments from people all over the world. I so know that you are exactly what God made you to be Rachel, and we are blessed to know you and to have heard you share your story. Thank you. Sharla

  95. Here. Now. Committed to pray for your children and Neil. I will not stop. I will share. >)))’>

    Your brother in Christ,

    Brian

  96. Dear Rachel,
    2Corinthians 5 has been a tremendous blessing to me for the last several years. I pass on to you a thought from verses 14 and 15. The LOVE of Christ constrains (narrows) us so that we might not live unto ourselves but unto Christ who died for us. What a precious thing to be included in Christ’s love to the end that we might live unto perfection and altogether loveliness and not unto ourselves!
    In the Christ, Amy

  97. Dear Rachel,

    I do not know you but have been so touched by your testimony. Your suffering has become a platform from which you have beautifully proclaimed the sufficiency of Christ, declared the Glory of God, and you are holding fast to the purity of the gospel. Well done, you are running your race well. You are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses who have gone before, they are cheering you on. We are all journeying to that better country who’s builder and maker is God, I will see you over there dear friend. We are pilgrims in a strange land…soon we will all be home, never to suffer again. Our Sovereign God will watch over your children and give grace to your husband, rest in His sovereignty, He does all things well.

  98. Neil and Rachel,
    I was sent a link to your vidoe and it took me a week to watch it. You see our son has had cancer twice before age 5. He is a miracle child and we are thankful for the year remission and his strength to fight on. Neil, my prayers are for you to have the strength to care for Rachel and the kids. I too cared for our little boy and our other three kids. It was tears in my closet then pulling it together for play doo and board games. It wears you out. Stay strong. Rachel, you are a good and faithful servant. Well done.

    Believing,

    Missy – a mom of four and a wife to the man of my dreams

  99. I am moved to the deepest of my soul. You have help me realize my trials are trivial. Our God is sovereign and your testimony and witness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will result in God being Glorified through his Son. His word will not return unto Him void.

    Often times when a dear Saint passes into the everlasting presence of Christ our God, we sing this hymn from the “Believers Hymn Book” #353. I trust this Hymn will give you comfort as you finish your desert journey here.

    1.When we reach our peaceful dwelling
    on the strong, eternal Hills
    And our praise to Him is swelling
    Who the vast creation fills;
    When the path of prayer and duty
    And affliction, all are trod,
    And we wake and see the beauty
    Of our Saviour and our God:
    Chorus
    O’ twill be a glorious morrow
    To a dark and stormy day
    When we smile upon our sorrow,
    And the storms have passed away

    2. When the light of resurrection,
    When our change’ed bodies glow,
    And we gain the full perfection
    Of the bliss begun below;
    When the life the flesh obscureth
    In each radiant form shall shine,
    and the Joy that aye endureth
    Flashes forth in beams divine.

    4. We shall read the tender meaning
    Of the sorrows and alarms,
    As we trod the desert, leaning
    On his Everlasting Arms,
    And His rest will be the dearer
    When we think of weary ways,
    And His light will shine the clearer
    As we muse on cloudy days.

    This Hymn causes me to take my sight off of today’s troubles and by faith lean on the Christ of Calvary.

    During the storm on the sea The Lord Jesus told Peter to come out and meet him on the water, when he took his focus off of the Lord and began to burden himself with the storm around he began to sink.

    Keep your eyes on the Master as I must too.

    By His Grace and tender mercy
    A Brother in Christ
    Ross

  100. Dear Rachel,
    I was a friend of your parents and first met you in London.
    I haven’t seen you since I had dinner at your parent’s house back in 1982 on my way through Sardis. I have always remembered that intelligent, articulate, thoughtful and rather headstrong young woman, and I am not surprised that you have remained true to your beginnings.
    I am sorry for your suffering, and sorry that I cannot lighten your burden, but I hope that you take some comfort knowing that you have touched many people through your life, and made their lives brighter, or better, or more memorable.
    I will always remember you.

  101. Rachel….
    What can one say? I do not know you, but I feel such a connection. You seem like you could be my sister (I have 5 & 2 brothers) I wish we could have met here, this side of heaven.
    It is amazing that one day you are going to go in one instant from seeing the mortal faces of those here, to seeing His face, to seeing the saints that have gone before. Oh what a thought. I know we all, as believers will, too, but do you think about it much, since you have been told approx, time frames for your life (as most of us have not, yet)?
    When you are there, I will always remember you and consider you among the great cloud of witness that is cheering us on in the race down here. Then, before long, hopefully I will met you, too, face to face. :)
    You are an amazing woman — I know you feel just “normal” but believe me, m’dear, you are impacting more lives than you can imagine. Mine for sure.
    You are loved, my sister in Christ.
    See you “soon”…
    Ruth

  102. Hugs and prayers

  103. Your words are like a mighty battle cry and full of encouragement for all of us as we get ready to meet our Savior and run the last laps of the race. Thank-you Rachel for the honesty. “His strength is made perfect in weakness” II Cor 12:19. May Jesus hold you and your family especially close to His heart, as the apple of His eye, as you finish well FOR HIS GLORY!

  104. Your honesty has helped me identify that I look too much at myself. I want to make more of Jesus. I will join you to make much of Jesus as He will always be much more than what we make of Him.

     

    I thank God for His grace in revealing the things I am doing that are clouding my relationship with Him. Its not about me and it was never about me. I praise God for your willingness and openness during this extremely arduous time. God bless you!

     

    “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me,
    for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
    Matthew 11:29-30

     

    “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. But the Lord does as He pleases in the host of Heaven and with the inhabitants of the earth and none can ward off his hand or say to him, ‘what have you done?’”
    Daniel 4:35

     

    “Yet I am always with you. You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel. And afterward you lead me into your glory.
    Whom have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy al who are unfaithful to you.
    But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.”
    Psalm 73:23-28

     

    “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, because He cannot deny Himself.”
    2 Timothy 2:13

     

    Praying for you, Neil, Quinn and Kate.

    Love,
    Rebekah

  105. Dear Rachel,

    I found your video on a blog tonight, and just finished watching it. I’ve sent it to everyone in my email address book in the hope that many will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through your faithful testimony.

    “Well done thou good and faithful servant”

    Your sister in the bonds of Christ,
    Deborah

  106. Dear Rachel and Neil,

    Thank you so much for sharing your lifesong with us.
    I love the words by casting crown.

     

    Empty hands held high
    Such small sacrifice
    If not joined with my life
    I sing in vain tonight

     

    May the words I say
    And the things I do
    Make my lifesong sing
    Bring a smile to You

     

    Let my lifesong sing to You
    Let my lifesong sing to You
    I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
    Knowing that my heart was true
    Let my lifesong sing to You

     

    Lord I give my life
    A living sacrifice
    To reach a world in need
    To be Your hands and feet

     

    So may the words I say
    And the things I do
    Make my lifesong sing
    Bring a smile to You

     

    Hallelujah
    Hallelujah
    Let my lifesong sing to You

     

    Thank you Rachel for carrying your candle for all to see. With your testimony I am reminded of the truth of John 3:30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less

    With Love and Prayers,

    Charmaine

  107. Rachel….

    Thank you for “Serving with Joy.” I am so thankful to have been able to watch and be encouraged by your video. I am also living with terminal cancer, and someday…..when we meet in heaven….I look forward to praising God along with you! Lifting up in prayer, you, and those closest to you….

  108. Thank you for your honesty, Rachel. My father is also dying from cancer (CLL) and speaking as someone who has to watch a loved one die slowly and painfully it’s definitely not easy for anyone involved. Thank you for being honest on that front, and many others. My mom passed on the link to listen your video as it encouraged her. We do serve a good God and he can use every situation for his glory. Thanks again.

    Rebecca

  109. I just finished watching your event video. I want you to know how deeply it touched me. I watched my grandmother die of lung cancer. I will pray for you what I prayed for her: grace for dying. I will pray for you and your family every day until you are freed from pain. Jesus holds you. He will not let you go.

    In Christ Who is our Hope,
    Elizabeth

  110. I was directed to your website, and watched your video. My wife and I were very touched by your strong faith during this most trying time. Your message of the Gospel was so true and heartfelt. We are praying for you, that God will give you the grace you need to deal with your cancer, and for your husband and children that He will wrap His arms of love around them.

    God bless you Rachel,
    Kirk

  111. Dear Rachael,

    Thank you so very much for your testimony. You are surely blessed of God. Your love for Jesus is so real and the peace that you have is so evident of His Grace. I am praying for you and your family, for strength and comfort. My mother passed away of cancer 10 years ago and the Lord gave her such a peace and strength that she was lifting all of us (her family and friends) to Him with her faith and total surrender to Him. She told us that she felt the Lord’s arms around her and she said He had given her a ‘gift’ in her cancer. She was so in love with Him and He gave her absolute peace. Just as you said, your faith is in Him alone and He will lift you up. God Bless you Rachael, you have certainly blessed me. I will never forget you and your committment to knowing God, knowing yourself and knowing the Gospel. I will be praying with you. My love in Christ, Kathie

  112. I am praying for you. I have watched this video and thought about it SO much over the past two weeks. I cannot even express my gratitiude for your willingness to speak of Christ – to talk about the lessons you have learned and for your humble encouragement to be who we are called to be. May God hold you and your family SO close. Sunshine

  113. As we sail these dark seas…… let us hold fast as the tempest roars. Let us fix our eyes on the Captain of our salvation. Soon Rachel. Very soon you will be in the safe harbor forever.
    HOLD FAST!

  114. Hallelujah, All have is Christ,
    Hallelujah, Jesus Is My Life.
    Hallelujah, All have is Christ,
    Hallelujah, Jesus Is My Life!

    Hallelujah, All have is Christ,
    Hallelujah, Jesus Is My Life.
    Hallelujah, All have is Christ,
    Hallelujah, Jesus Is My Life!

    We sang this in church today. I pray it encourages you as it did me. Continuing to lift you up in prayer.

    Dawn George
    http://www.georgefamilyblog.com

  115. Dear Rachel,
    I am a complete stranger, but I had to write. I came across your talk and was moved deeply by it in many ways. Thank you.
    Loren, NY

  116. Dear Rachel,

    I don’t know you, but wanted you to know that I was very moved by your testimony. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year at the age of 31. So, in that way, I felt an instant connection to your story. I am so thankful that you know and love our Lord and will spend eternity praising Him. I do not know if you have tried any natural treatments, but there has been enormous success in the treatment of many cancers with just a diet change back to whole, raw foods. I realize this may be difficult, if not impossible, for you at this time, but I wanted to at least share. There are many amazing testimonies of cancer being cured by diet at hacres.com

    God bless you and yours,
    Dena

  117. They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall rise up with wings as eagles. They shall tun and not become weary, they shall walk and not faint, teach me, LORD, to wait… Isaiah

    As Aaron and Hur held upMoses weary arms as he lifted the staff according to God’s instructions, so too, we will hold your arms, Rachel. You are not alone, you will never be alone, ever.

  118. Hi, Rachel~~
    I hadn’t heard any updates for a while, and then someone told me that your emails were now on your website. Thank you for sharing them.

    Thank you, my young sister, for sharing of yourself so honestly here, as well as at River Rock on March 4th. It isn’t often we know someone who actually talks about what it is like to die physically. Not only is it helpful emotionally to walk through the valley with you this way, on numerous levels, but also spirtually as you help me to affirm God’s role and rule in my life. Thank you for being a willing vessel for Him.

    I have sent the link to your video to my unbelieving sister in Colorado, with a prayer that she will actually watch it and let herself be touched and opened up to the Lord. I’m asking God to show me others in my life to whom He wants me to send it. Right now, I am thinking of my next-door neighbour with whom I chatted this afternoon.

    As evidenced by the other comments here, your testimony of God’s goodness, despite incredibly painful circumstances, is winging its way around the world, blessing countless people and leading souls to the Lord.

    Continued prayers for you, for healing and strength; for Neil, Quinn and Kate, as well as the rest of your family.

    Much love and continued blessings~~Joan

  119. Hey Rachel,

    You know , I feel so pewerless to speak–what could I give you in the way of comfort? Who has not written you, given you Scripture, prayed for you, or ministered to you in some way? Still, I am moved to leave with you a few verses: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them, ” (Eph 2:10).
    I’m sure you know the word “workmanship’” is the same Greek.word (poema) from which we get our word poem. Is that not amazing–especially for a writer -to contemplate being written? God, sparing no ink, writes your life, for the reading of all who would see His gloryl! And for you, the best is yet to be… For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. II Cor. 4:17-18.
    I hope you are doing well, Rachel. I pray you and your family will be steeped in God’s rich, and inexhaustible mercy. And thank you for sharing your life.

    JL Pegram

  120. Dear Rachel,
    A few weeks ago, I watched your video ” Death is Not Dying”. I was truly impacted by your testimony and the way in which you expressed your relationship with Jesus. I was convicted and humbled by the things that you had to say. I cannot imagine what it must be like to know that you are leaving your precious little children and will not be able to mother them, love on them, take care of them, comfort them when you leave, and watch them grow up. God is truly overwhelming you with His grace. I watched my sister die from breast cancer three years ago. She had amazing courage and faith. She was not afraid to die but dying was hard.

  121. You are on my heart so often and I wonder how you are doing. Thankyou for having the courage to speak so that the gospel through your testimony could be shared. You made it real and believable and I pray that many souls are being saved as your testimony is shared. God be with you and your family especially with your husband as he goes through this with his beloved and faces everyday the inevitability of going on with life without you.
    Sue Beckner

  122. Hi Rachael, you don’ t know me.. I am Dan MacDonald’s sister, and friends with Janice Stott. She and Eric (her husband) are in our home group, we have prayed for you, and given thanks for you. I don’t have words to describe how much you have touched me. You are incredible. I know that you would rightly give all the praise to Jesus, but I do thank you, who has been obedient. You are teaching us all how to live in His grace and His hope, only. Thank you. Barb.

  123. I just finished listening to your beautifully impacting talk. Interestingly, you wrote this post on the 1-year anniversary of my dad’s Home-going.

    April 20th is day filled with so many mixed emotions for me. It is difficult to not dwell on the sight of my father’s incredible nausea and increasingly frail, malnourished body (shell – amen!) as his colon cancer enveloped his liver.

    My dad’s cancer journey was short – less than two months following his diagnosis, although his body had been hiding the cancer for two years or more.

    I still have dreams about him about once a week, and in all of them I am his sole caregiver, yet throughout each scene of the dream I feel helpless in that there is only so much I can do.

    I wake up shaken and broken, and then I remember that the suffering is what passed away, not my father. So how can I continue to grieve for sorrows that do not exist any longer? Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true. Is my dad still dealing with that horrible disease? – no! It is NOT true.

    Your talk helped me realize the honor it was for my dad to suffer, and to see the bigger, redemptive picture. Oh how we all would claw for Heaven if we knew what it is like to be rid of this sin-affected world.

    Thank you for a much needed eternal perspective. It is so easy to focus on the here and now when, in an instant, we will have a billion+++++ lifetimes in a perfect world with our Savior.

    I’m gonna wrap my arms around my daddy’s neck
    And tell him that I’ve missed him

    …When I finally make it Home

  124. Rest in Christ my sister….I will meet you one day! Where there is no pain, no sorrow, no more tears….all wiped away from Jesus our Savior!! I am so thankful for the life you lived here, the impact you had on my life will be forever engraved on my heart….I don’t think I will ever be the same after meeting you via the internet…I am so thankful I was able to. My prayers go out for your family & friends now, who will for sure miss you the deepest. May the God of ALL Comfort be ever close to their hearts at this time of temporary loss.

  125. How amazing that I am sitting here in Oklahoma on August 23, 2009 and Rachel’s message is still touching lives for God even after she is no longer on this earth. THAT IS AWESOME! That is having a purpose. Wow, that I could trust God & his ultimate goodness & wisdom like Rachel did. I am convicted that I have a purpose & it is to live for him- To serve with JOY! Thank you Jesus for this woman’s precious life & legacy. I pray many come to Christ & her death brings many people to you. I pray for Neil, Kate & Quinn that you are filled with a supernatural joy & peace. You were blessed to have lived with this wonderful lady. She was undeniably so in love with the three of you. Her strength on her video is so evident of her love for you.

  126. I can’t believe I’m actually hearing about this just now. I’ve been trying to get my life straight with God. I’m sorry for everything you have been through RIP Rachel

  127. Thank you for your message of truth and faith, Rachel. Even though you are no longer reading the notes here, I write because our Lord is infinite. With Him there is no time, and you are with Him. I have Multiple Myeloma, and wept while reading your letters. Living, dying; dying, living. You’re right. It’s hard to plan ahead, but it’s hard not to plan ahead. It’s hard. Thank you for telling how it was for you. I pray for your family. Thanks be to God for His mercy and grace.

  128. To the family of Rachel, my heart is broken for you, and I share your tears, your right Rachel will be greatly missed, her love for her God and family is truly divine, if I may. Such a amazing woman who cares more for others than herself. I look so forward to meeting her in heaven, just know loved ones, you will see her again, and God will comfort you during these trying times. Your in my prayers my precious ones. In Jesus Christ, your brother Tony C

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