“pain is no measure of his faithfulness”

May 22, 2014 by 15 Comments

“I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain
That broken find healing in love
Pain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us.” 

~’Open my Hands’ by Sara Groves

I want to be real honest here. This is the painful part. We knew this day would come. We knew that this cancer would ultimately take over my husband’s body and that He would enter Heaven & see His Savior’s face, at the end of this cancer journey. However, as much I prepared for this, we are never really ready.

We are in this in-between-part.

We are somewhere near the end of Mark’ journey here on earth and he is that much closer to Heaven. We are in the part of the movie where we know that the good guys will win, but haven’t seen the resolution yet. We are in the ‘already but not yet’ part of the story where our tears are constantly flowing because we can’t wait for him to be released from his physical discomforts & pain.

Maybe others are in that particular spot too? The spot we all secretly want to avoid at all costs, but in the providence of the Lord, we can’t. He knows that it’s in these places where we are waiting; we see our need to trust Him more, despite our pain. I am finding it a lot harder than I ever thought.

My heart is breaking.

I hate seeing my sweet Marky suffer. He is not able to walk and living now with his parent’s because of the peace of quite it brings in a house with no small children and no stairs needed to climb. The kindness of the Lord is not far; his parents only live a mile away. So frequent visits are possible. Yet, still there is the aspect I am facing of not seeing him 24/7. I see him about an hour at the most a-day. We are hoping to change that so that I can have more hours. Juggling the 3 kids is tricky. It’s not like I can take them with me for visits. It’s just too much for Mark to be around children.

Even his own children.

I took our oldest there yesterday for about 15minutes. She is a typical 4 year old girl. Who is busy and really into wearing her ballerina leotard everywhere we go. Lately, when she sees me crying at the house, she tries to offer encouragement by singing to me songs about Jesus or even having these profound one-liners that I have told her previously. Yet somehow when she tells them to me back, they are exactly what I need to hear in the moment. “Mommy! Don’t worry, daddy is almost going to be with Jesus forever and will not be sick anymore. Everything is going to be okay. Jesus loves us.” Those little phrases from our girl melt away at my heart and remind me of the promises of our Lord! It’s still very abstract to her with everything that is going on, yet she seems very much at peace with everything at the same time. This must be a form of some answered prayers we’ve been praying. Please keep praying for our precious children.

And for Mark, would you pray that the Lord would give the desires of His heart and allow him soon be released from his body to be in Heaven forever with His Savior, Jesus Christ. Would you pray that Lord to take him before more and more sufferings occur in his body. His communication is limited and his tears are quick to be shed when we read verses to him or pray. The other night, I read a simple verse that was shared by our preaching pastor Ryan Fullerton last week. And I can’t get it out of my head.

“And the angel said to me, “Write this:

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”


This is where my broken heart can rest. I can rest that the Healer of broken hearts has been truly kind. He in so much has invited me, a weak sinner, to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! For those who don’t know what that is. It’s the Big & final feast when all of the saints who have been forgiven through the blood of Christ and have been given faith will feast with their King in Heaven. Every tear will be wiped away and every sorrow replaced with joy at the seeing of our King on His throne! And friends, those who are invited to this feast are truly blessed. This is where my sweet Marky will be. He has been invited to this Supper of the Lamb. He is closer to this reality than ever before. And friends, this is true peace. Peace that my Marky will not have to continue on in pain and suffering from his cancer. Peace that his former sins have been completely washed away. Peace that the Lord has invited him to be with Him forever, and that truly is peace with God.

Do you have peace with God? Consider Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can have peace with God or can be invited to His heaven without repenting of their sins and trusting in Jesus for salvation-full forgiveness and made new!

Please pray for the Lord’s love to be evident to Mark at his bedside. That he would be filled with peace, joy, and greater faith that the Lord even now sings loudly over him with great delight (Zephaniah 3:17) and that soon the Lord will embrace him in His arms and have peace for eternity. And every wrong will be made right.

Mark and I may not get to share long life of marriage together here on earth. But one things for certain, we were both invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and for that we are blessed to share eternity together in worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Truly, we are blessed.




15 Responses to ““pain is no measure of his faithfulness””
  1. jacey says:

    anna…i am so sorry; my heart aches for you right now! my continued prayers are for you, mark and your precious children. love you so much!

  2. Ali says:


    I ❤ you and Mark.

    I am praying.

    I’m so proud of the two of you.

    ❤ Ali

  3. Carla Anderson says:

    Anna, I went to be near my uncle last January for 3 weeks while he finished the same journey that Mark is on right now. I know it is so so different when its your own husband, but yours and Mark’s trust in the Lord and reliance on his promises remind me SO much of my aunt and uncle’s, and at the end, God was SO gracious every day – giving them just what they needed for each moment, and just FILLED my aunt with joy that is continuing to flow ABUNDANTLY out of her heart, bringing others to Jesus, even today. I know God will continue to give you both that same grace and peace of his presence as you walk this journey, even in the hardest moments. I wish I could live near you to help with your kids so that you could spend the most time possible with Mark in these last days – I will pray that friends will rise up to do that for you.
    Continuing to pray with you guys. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

  4. Kristin Peterson says:

    Oh Dear Anna – I should have said this to you in person when I saw you Tuesday, but wanted you to know I pray for you all several times every day. Praying the Lord would keep His song in your heart, that you would continue to find strength to carry on and endure these long days of waiting. What a sweet kindness of the Lord to speak to you through precious little M. Praying for Mark to continually keep his mind on Jesus and the joy to come and for all the things you asked in this post.

  5. Kari says:

    Anna & Mark,

    My heart hurts for your family and I have prayed for all of you since the day I learned of Marks condition. I’ll continue to pray and think of you often.

    Kari (Lawrence) Parsons

  6. Iverson Warinner says:

    Anna, I keep praying for God strength guiding you and Mark through this life passage. My heart breaks for you and him, but in my sorrow, I know that there is the triumph of the cross. John 14:1…..let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me, for in my Father’s house are many rooms, and I go to prepare a place for you…..”

  7. Rob, Melissa and Adam Kleber says:

    We went to HMA with Mark and have a lot of fond memories of our time there with him. We are holding him and your entire family in our hearts and prayers. We pray for a swift and peaceful transition into eternal life for Mark and God’s loving embrace for you and your family.
    Rob, Melissa and Adam Kleber

  8. Melissa Bugno says:

    To my sweet sister in Christ, Iam from Christ Fellowship and was at your mom’s Memorial service. Iam so sorry for the loss of your precious mom, she was so special. I have been reading your blog for a while and am so taken by your heart for Christ and the gospel. It spurs me on to follow Christ with intensity. Iam so sorry you have to watch Mark hurt physically and emotionally. I have been lifting you, Mark and the kids up and will continue to pray God’s will over his body. I can’t imagine your pain but iam so grateful for our big God who does and he is present with you in a special way. Thank you for your obedience to the calling of this blog, iam changed eternally for it like so many others. Going to fall asleep praying for you and your family now….

  9. Gayleen Montgomery says:

    Heaven’s gates are opening wide for sweet Mark.
    Praise our Lord for this new life in His presence for Mark!
    Praise our Lord for His promises to you and the babies, Anna!

    Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
    This is my story, this is my song,
    Praising my Savior all the day long;
    This is my story, this is my song,
    Praising my Savior all the day long.
    Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels, descending, bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
    Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
    I love you all!

  10. CoCo Repass says:

    Anna, you, Mark and your clikdren are in my prayers. You are a beautiful example of Gods grace in action. I pray that this hard journey will soon be over for Mark and he sees our Savour Jesus Christ face to face. I pray for you to know that peace that passes all understanding that only comes from Jesus. I love you and Mark and will continue to lift you up in pyayer. CoCo

  11. Mark and Libbie Timmons says:

    We love you Anna and Mark! Praying for you both!

  12. Bethany says:

    Dear Anna, I woke up praying for you guys this morning, and then saw your update. Lifting Mark up especially to clearly know the Lord’s nearness and help and love at his bedside, and to have his faith strengthened more and more as you asked.

  13. Jackie McKim says:


    My name is Jackie McKim. My three children, Jessica, Gabriella and James, and I were members of Mark’s HMA family. My kids, 10, 5 and 3 at the time, are now, 22, 18 and 15.

    Mark was such a huge part of our lives over a 6-7 year span. His huge smile and exuberant personality will always be fondly remembered. Mark was actually the one that got me involved in taking Tae Kwon Do classes with my children, who were already enrolled at HMA.

    We were so saddened to hear about Mark’s suffering. We pray that God take his pain and suffering away. Between Gabriella and myself, we could offer you some time kid-free so that you may spend more time with Mark.

    Mark, you and your wonderful children are in our thoughts and prayers. Please email me if you need anything.

    The McKim Family

  14. Amarilys says:

    As difficult as it will be for me, I’ll pray as you’ve asked. Thank you for your posts, I know it takes time and emotional energy–another sacrifice not unseen by the Lord and that doesn’t return empty. Treading on with you from afar,

  15. Angela A says:

    I will continue to pray for you, Mark, your children and Rebecca. You are an amazing, selfless example of God’s love. Thank you! I offer my help in any way that would be helpful: babysit, run errands, go to grocery, or whatever! Please feel free to reach out for help. Prayers! (Rebecca’s friend)

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