Visit Rebekah's Page to get updates, read messages and send messages to Rebekah and her family through comments. This is a public "diary" of a family whose little girl started a battle with inoperable cancer in April 2005. In December 2007 our house burned down. And in September 2009 Mommy was diagnosed with a terminal disease (a genetic form of ALS) that took her to Heaven in July, 2011, leaving Daddy and two young girls to make it on their own. Over several years of ups and downs, you will get into our hearts, minds and souls as we share joys and sorrows. It can sometimes be very difficult to read. We hope it is also uplifting. Please find joy in what you read here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thoughts, thoughts and more thoughts...

We have been absent from the blog. Absent because it was hard to share what we were feeling. Absent because we have not known what or how to share. Over the next few days we will try and catch you up. And probably, though no promises, bring you on the last steps of this journey with us. Right now we will jump back about a week. As Frances was coming to terms with her thoughts, she wrote the following around the end of June. As you read this, keep in mind that she writes with a computer controlled by her eyes, clicking on each letter individually by blinking. A LOT of thought and time went into this. Hopefully it will help you understand how she came to this decision. Hopefully it will help you:

I spend a lot of time thinking about my life and my death. I am in a weird place. The only reason that I am alive is because of life support machines. I am secure in my faith. There was a time in college when I accepted Christ's death on the cross and the blood he shed as an atonement for my sin and I asked the Holy Spirit into my heart to work within me to guide me in the ways of God. I know that when my earthly body dies, I will be with Jesus and that will be in heaven. I can in effect choose when I want this body to die and get a new pain free body in heaven. But that is a difficult choice to make. There is a kind of constant turmoil in my heart and in my mind. When have I given my family enough of me? When have I endured enough pain? When is my job here on earth finished? What else do I need to do? What other life do I need to touch? When is the time that Jesus is calling me home?

I grieve over the milestones and such that the girls will not have Mommy with them. I wonder who will take my place when they get married, since no one is supposed to be seated after the mother of the bride has been seated and who will determine when to stand and when to sit since the people follow the mother of the bride. I wonder if I have passed this nasty disease's gene to either of my girls. And if so will there be a cure before they are diagnosed with it. And will they choose to be tested for the gene mutation before deciding to have children of their own.

Often it seems that the girls only come in to see me when they are told to and the adults only when they have to. Meanwhile the world and in many ways my family continues to go on with their lives. How much am I holding them back by continuing to live? At what point am I being a disservice?

So often I am left to my own thoughts and so often my eyes well up with tears and I can do nothing about it on my own.

Some of you may be wondering how I can be so sure. Let me tell you. I believe in the Bible and I see it as truth, I see it as applicable today and for many tomorrows.

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." John 3:36 (NIV) I do believe in Jesus Christ, God's son, therefore I will have eternal life.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3 (NIV) Jesus has promised that he is making a place for me in heaven. What a wonderful thing to contemplate!

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." John 1:12-13 (NIV) God is my father, but he does not take the place of my earthly father and they can both be called Daddy. Wow!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) When I trust in Jesus he will show me which way to go. There have been many times that he has guided me and at least once save my life. Quite a few years ago when we lived in Ohio, we took a trip to Watkins Glen, New York on our motorcycles for a rally. It was a long drive mostly on freeways and the last thirty miles or so on twisty backroads. Scott liked to take the twisty roads a little faster than I, so would be a little ahead of me. As I was driving through the corners, I started to feel that something was wrong with the shock. I might have figured that we could look at it when we got to camp where we knew there would be a repair shop, but i could tell that God was telling me that I needed to stop quickly to see what the problem was. So I told Scott that something was wrong and I needed to stop and check it out. He found a nice gravel lot and stopped and in a few minutes I pulled up next to him and turned the bike off. As soon as I got off the bike and took weight off the bike the bike fell onto the back wheel and the shock fell to the ground. The eye bolts were still connected to the bike but the main part of the shock was sheered off at both ends. Had I not stopped, it could have come out and probably caused me to crash and injured me or killed me. I thank God for his guidance.

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved him, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:9-11 (NIV) God loved me well before I was even born. I try to follow Christ's example by loving those around me. I am not perfect and do not always do the things I am supposed to do. Most importantly Christ took all of my sins on himself when he died on the cross. He paid the penalty for my sins. There is no greater love than that.

You may find this amazing; God loves you no matter how many sins you have committed or how long you have turned your back on him or how unworthy you feel. If you believe in Christ and the sacrifice he made on the cross for you and for me, then you can ask Jesus to be with you and ask him to forgive you for your sins and thank him for paying the price for your sins and ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart to guide you for the rest of your life.

Here is a simple prayer that you may use. "Dear Heavenly Father, I believe in your Son Jesus Christ. I am thankful for him having paid the price for my sins on the cross. Please send the Holy Spirit to dwell in my heart to guide me. I love you God. Amen" If you have said that prayer, the best way to get to know God is by reading his word, the Bible (I would start with Matthew), and attending a church regularly. Tell any Christian friends about your commitment to God and let them be excited with you. May you find peace from your Heavenly Father and joy for a lifetime of learning about God and his promises.

If this has made a difference in your life, we would love to hear about it! Following are some additional verses that are meaningful to me.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him. John 3:36 (NIV)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in us as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NIV)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:37-38 (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

12 Shared:

At Sunday, July 10, 2011 11:15:00 AM, Blogger Valerie Left a thought...

What a beautiful and poignant post, Frances. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and most importantly, your steadfast faith in the Lord. There will be a special place in heaven for you, and you can watch over all of us (especially Scott and your girls) from up there, and pray for them constantly. And while you may not be physically present with them, your presence within them will be felt every day of their lives. My mom died when I was 14, and I think of her everyday, I still "talk" to her, and I still miss her. She wasn't here for my wedding or my graduations or the births of my children or grandchildren, but I felt her presence in a very tangible way, knowing how much she loved me and how much she had wanted to be there for me. With my whole heart, I know she is watching over me - just as I know you will be watching over your little family. I was blessed to have a couple of mother "figures" in my life to help me through some rough spots that my Dad didn't have a clue on what to do. It wasn't his fault - he just didn't know. Tell Scott to not put himself down if he's unsure about what to do - just have him ask for help. He can always send me an email, if he wants to. Take care, Frances. Until we meet again on the other side, just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and that I have been blessed to know you and love you. Valerie

At Sunday, July 10, 2011 12:17:00 PM, Blogger Stephanie Roscoe-AFN Ministries Left a thought...

Holding back tears as I read this. You are an amazing woman.

"Her children arise and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Prov. 31:28-31 (NIV)

At Sunday, July 10, 2011 1:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a thought...

Dear Frances,
Thank you for your beautiful sharing of your thoughts. I can not imagine this time you and your family are going through as something I can understand, but I feel for you all and pray for you all. I am very glad for knowing you and your family. I love you and my heart hurts. I believe the relationships we develop within the family of God, will continue on the other side. I know I will see you there. I will continue to be a friend and prayer support to your Scott, your girls,and your Mom.
Love and hugs,
Teresa Mathia

At Sunday, July 10, 2011 8:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a thought...

Thank you for sharing. Your strength and faith has been a blessing in my life.

At Sunday, July 10, 2011 8:13:00 PM, Blogger Mindy Left a thought...


Thank you so much for your post, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and self with all of us!

You gave us scripture and thoughts that I will copy and save forever. You have said the perfect words and shared your wisdom me and for my kids, I'm so grateful! Your girls are so blessed to have you as their Mom.

I love and admire you Frances. Thank you for taking your precious time to educate and inspire us all!

At Sunday, July 10, 2011 9:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a thought...

Thank you, Frances, for your words of love and encouragement. How God loves you, and how you have learned to return and share His love! Although I have only met you twice, your testimony is so tangible, His spirit has left a seal on your life. Bless you, Frances, for the sacrifice of lovingkindness you have shared this day.

Laura Lockhart

At Monday, July 11, 2011 12:07:00 AM, Blogger Amanders Left a thought...

Frances, You are a blessing. We were created for God's glory and reading your message caused me praise Him. I am sure that your Daddy in heaven can't wait to hold you, His precious daughter, in a new way. Oh to see Jesus face to face! I pray the Lord fills you with joy in Him to be your strength during the coming days. I pray the Lord shines His face right upon you and gives you peace. Your life is everlasting. Your testimony will bring many to the Lord, In Jesus' name. Your family is in God's hands and your little girls know and love Jesus because of your faithfulness. You are an inspiration to me.

Amanda Nehrer

At Monday, July 11, 2011 9:17:00 PM, Blogger Eva Left a thought...

Oh, Frances - you are such an amazing woman and example of Jesus on this earth in both word and deed. Knowing you - even if only in the virtual world - is a blessing to me. Rest assured that when you are in the presence of the Lord whom you so faithfully serve, He will provide for every physical and emotional need for your beloved family. And your example will live in the hearts and lives of many like myself who have joined you on your journey and who will never let your legacy and example be forgotten. God bless and keep you and bring you peace that passes all understanding for how ever many more days that you choose to hold on until you go to be with our heavenly Father!

At Tuesday, July 12, 2011 2:08:00 AM, Blogger Deb Left a thought...

Frances, you are amazing. Undoubtedly, you have touched countless lives here on this earth. Your strength and steadfast faith has been such an inspiration to me-- in ways you will never know. I am confident that Scott and your girls will always know and feel your love for them as you await the day when you all will be together. There is no boundary of time in heaven...a thousand years is as one day to the Lord....the time spent away from them in body may seem but an instant. And we can only imagine the inexplicable glories that await each of us who has made the Lord our Savior. Olivia reminded me just the other day that you will know when it's time to leave this earth because "Jesus will come and tell her that her house is ready." ...oh, the place He has prepared for you, Frances, will be more magnificent and grand than most, for you have been faithful to run the race and fight the good fight. You have exemplified Christ in this life.....and I love you for sharing your heart. Praying...always and still...

At Tuesday, July 12, 2011 3:02:00 PM, Blogger Char Left a thought...

Frances, I am at a loss for words except to say that you are a wonderful child of God, still leading others to Him as He leads you Home. I know you will spend eternity dancing and leaping in praise of Our Saviour. I know God will bless you and your family richly, and that there is also MUCH treasure laid up in Heaven with your names on it. You have fought the good fight. You have touched me and many others in ways that defy human comprehension. Continuing to pray...

At Wednesday, July 13, 2011 8:15:00 AM, Blogger Kara Left a thought...

Dear Frances,

I read this last night...and wept (for you, for Scott, for the girls)...went to sleep thinking about your words...
I've started this twice now...writing to you...trying to figure out what to say.

I know after Selah, that it's important to say something...

So, I want you to know--
--how much your words have touched my heart.
--how much your life points to Christ.
--how much your faith in Heaven and eternity encourages me, emboldens me.
--how seeing you face one of my greatest fears (leaving kiddos/husband) with honesty and pain...but trust in God...hits a place so deep within.

Our kiddos ask about you and Scott and the girls at least once a week and you have a special place on our board of people we pray for.

In part--because of our history together (your family--Scott in particular--was so used by God in our lives when Selah was dying).

In part--because I think every one of us mentally travels down this "what-if" road....and to see someone cling to God, even when it's see someone say with assurance...I will be with Him.

Well--that is such a gift.
Praying for you this morning. And my promise to continue...

I'm thinking of the reality now.
You will see Selah soon.
You will see Jesus soon.

Oh--Frances...just know how much your words here honor God and that He already has used your words and life to touch many hearts.

With Love,
Kara (for all The Chuppies)

At Thursday, July 14, 2011 9:40:00 PM, Blogger Kara Left a thought...

Your words are reaching so many Frances...


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