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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pray for Jana

Sometimes life just moves along, and you just sort of move along with it.

Other times? You get side-swiped by something totally and completely unexpected.
Something that you read about, and grieve about for other people, but never for yourself.

My sister Melanie recently shared with me about her husbands cousin, Jana.

Jana is 15 years old. Her and her family were just moving along with life, when suddenly they were side-swiped by something totally and completely unexpected.

Jana was having back pain last summer and around Christmas she started having face paralysis on one side of her face. 
After some tests they found that she had a tumor on her spine
The Doctors said they thought for sure it was not cancerous. 
So she went in for surgery to have it removed and that is when the doctor explained that he did NOT remove a neurofibroma, but something that resembled malignant tissue. 
This is when they found out that it was cancerous.  

Jana's mom shared about the results: "Jana has a Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor located on the L3 Spine.  We consulted with Dr. Jennifer Elster (Oncologist), she told us that the actual tumor itself isn't the main problem, it's the location of that tumor.  Dr. Gump (our Neurosurgeon) removed 95% of the tumor and said that the remaining amount could NOT be removed without damaging the nerve and the spinal chord.  So the challenge we have is to deal with this tumor non-surgically. "

They have found more spots up by her neck. They are not sure (without a biopsy) if they are malignant, but are treating them as that...so she has been undergoing very strong proton radiation the past two weeks.

***this is their biggest prayer during the radiation....

"We are praying specifically during radiation that the beams would kill the cancer cells and that God would protect everything else surrounding those areas."

She goes 5 days a week for the radiation. It's over a 2 hour drive each way. 

Life going along normally?
Not even close.
As a mother, even typing these words and thinking about what this family is going through absolutely breaks my heart.

I wanted to share Jana's story for a couple of reasons.
One reason is because I am amazed and challenged as I watch this family go through such painful struggles with such a great hope. 
Their hope is not in thinking positive thoughts, or wishing good things.
Their hope clearly lies in their relationship with a loving Heavenly Father.
This is the foundation of their lives and they are showing that with each and every step that they are taking.
Her mom wrote this today:

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." This word from our God has spoken so deeply to our family. Jana led us to this verse and it continues to strengthen, comfort, and give us peace. A friend who continually encourages me sent these words to me: "Thinking of how still she must be" (during radiation) and how He (the Lord) urges for that stillness in His sweet verse (Exodus 14:14) for her...His job is to heal...Her job is to be still. He will equip her. She's in His ever caring hands." Please pray for the cancer to be killed and everything else to be protected by His ever caring hands 

I am challenged and I knew you would be challenged to trust our Father that much.

The second reason is because prayer works.
I mean for real.
God's Word is truth.
Everything in it.
HE says that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
HE says that the prayer of faith will heal the one who is sick.

I believe that with everything in me.
God is Jehovah Rapha - The God who heals.
It is His very name. His character. Who He is.
He is a healer. And He is mighty to save.

Will you pray for Jana?
Will you take a minute to pray for peace and strength for her and her family?
Will you pray for the doctors to have wisdom in treating her?
Will you stop what you are doing right now and beg God to heal sweet Jana?

This family is strong. Their foundation is secure. Their hope is real. Their God is faithful.
But they are human. And they have feelings and emotions and struggles and pain.
And it is through times like these, that God wants for us to rise up around His children and cover them in prayer. 
He wants us to pray when they can not utter words.
He wants us to love. to support. to give when they have nothing left to give.
We can be His hands and feet. 
Will you join me in committing to pray and support this family?

You can follow her journey here and like her Facebook prayer page here.
You can instagram #pray4jana

God is mighty to save.
He is mighty to save.

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