Update Seventy-Nine

Wow, what a whirlwind!  I must admit this is an update I’ve sat down to write a few times, but the intimidation of having so much to catch up on paired with wanting to be able to express my heart, well, I got a bit paralyzed.

All that said, here we are. It’s time. I’m just going for it, and we’ll see what happens!:)

The new happenings:

For all of you that don’t know, Doug & I are expecting!!  And actually quite soon.  My official due date is December 18th and  as I write this, I am 32 weeks along. We are SO excited:)

The reason I say soon, is that instead of having 8 weeks to wait, we actually are most likely looking at 2.  My brain MRI’s have recently shown a re-occurrence in tumor growth.  This tumor  needs to be taken out with surgery and, as usual, the sooner the better.  My next MRI appointment to track the tumor growth will be on November 5th.  If it has continued to grow,  they will be quickly setting me up for my 3rd brain surgery– with a baby in the mix.

The plan at that point would be to check me into the hospital that night, and slide me into my reserved 9am c-section surgery slot.  They would then give me a week or two to recover and then usher me right into brain surgery.  Yes I know, totally crazy.  Is this really my life??   Or am I watching some fun dramatic medical show??:)  I have been assured, this IS my life… and you know what, I  STILL love it!

A lot of people wonder and some ask, “Sooo was this pregnancy an accident?”  Or perhaps in other words, “why in the world would you guys decide to get pregnant in your situation?”

This is our heart.  Doug & I decided from the very beginning of our relationship (including getting together in the first place) that we never ever wanted to let any of the decisions we make be based out of fear.  Let me tell you, there are plenty of fears to choose from!  We quickly realized that if we let our lives revolve around trying to avoid possible pain, or maintaining some perfect picture we wanted to create, we would never do anything.  I would have never agreed to go on that first date with Doug (which almost happened), we wouldn’t be married, and for sure children would NEVER be an option.  Too much potential pain.  We would also not have any close friends, close family, or dreams/excitement for the future.  The bigger the blessing, the bigger the loss.  Right?  It’s understandable at times to try to avoid that pain, but we knew it was no way either of us wanted to live life.  Doug made that decision when he chose to pursue me.  I’ve gone through a process of making  “no fear” choices in the past few years.  Together we solidified that “no fear” conviction (over a tearful cup of coffee) wondering how in the world this life together was supposed to look.  We knew God had brought us together as a gift, but it really was our choice for how to walk it out.  To me, accepting Doug was another way to accept LIFE–all its joys, all its pains, all the blessings God is so kind to lay in front of me–even if that means great sorrow if those gifts have to be taken away.  In the end, I’m choosing to LIVE!  WE are choosing to just LIVE as the Lord leads, asking for wisdom all along the way.  I love His statement in John 10:10,  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Abundant life.  That can’t mean, “unless you have cancer” or “unless your baby will have to be taken from the care of your body prematurely” or both!  Really it boils down to this.  Can we have “abundant life” when life takes a swerve that feels like it could crush us?

The answer is YES -– because Jesus said it and we believe Him. Not to mention all the ways He’s already so powerfully shown us that abundance over and over again even when all things could so easily point to despair.  So how are Doug and I choosing to believe the promise?  We choose to keep embracing the life we’ve been given–to live, and love, and laugh, and cry…  and praise Jesus all along the way.  He walks with us, and we trust Him–not to eventually mold His will to ours, but to fill us with His strength and His joy.  He is teaching us to experience and reflect (in the good times and the hard) our beautiful God, every chance we get to breathe in the gift of another day on this earth.

This isn’t to say we’re not living in the full reality of our situation.  We know it’ll be hard.  We know we can’t do it without help.  I’m imagining the trauma of my last surgery, my current energy level,  then throwing a sweet little pre-mature baby in the mix. Impossible!  But you know what?  Our God is the God of the impossible.  I will admit to you I’ve had my meltdowns, I’ve had my pleas with God, “I just want to be normal!  I just want to be an energetic go-getter wife who takes care of her man, a athletic young woman who can train for half-marathons with her friends.  I want to do the pregnancy to birth thing without stupid cancer getting in the way.  I want to be the best mom to that baby boy I can possibly be!!”  But what if I think he deserves better?  What if I become disabled, what if I die, what if I have to leave my Douglas alone to raise our little boy? Where is the abundant life now?

Here’s the truth. The abundant life is everywhere.  All along the way–all intertwined in the beautiful complexity of God’s all encompassing care.

It’s strength when you want to collapse.
It’s joy in the despair.
It’s loving friends coming out with sledgehammers to break down your walls.
It’s laughter through the tears.
It’s family to surround us with comfort and love.
It’s flooding me with trust when causing pain to those close to me is my greatest fear.
It’s hope when it doesn’t make sense.
It’s understanding what a thankful heart really means.
It’s trusting the Great Healer to heal me in the way He sees fit.
It’s getting to talk about my Jesus more often.
It’s even seeing others come to Him!

My new greatest fear is wasting the life God’s given me:) “Normal” does not exist and is never worth striving for. Abundant life does not mean easy, and easy is not likely on the schedule for a while:)  But we walk forward ecstatic for the birth of our son, little Isaiah Douglas:)  We trust Him with our future, whatever it may be.

Please pray with us, friends.  We need every one of those prayers.  Will you pray for the health and growth of little Isaiah, for a successful surgery, and an easier recovery this go around?  Will you pray for Doug watching me go through this for the first time?  And will you pray for my friends and family to experience Jesus as they surround our little family?  Will you pray for everyone who encounters this story to experience the amazing love and presence of our God?  These are the greatest gifts we could ask for.

We love you.  We are thankful for you.  We will figure out how to keep this updated somehow, as a gift to our friends that fill our hearts with such joy.

Until next time,
Christina Nevill:)

43 thoughts on “Update Seventy-Nine

    • I don’t usually post on these things, but I was too moved not too. Don’t know what to say other than that your life makes we want to know Jesus more. I don’t think there is anything more amazing than that. Thank you Christina.

  1. Thanks, Christina! Your writing speaks right to the heart–with ALL the emotion you are experiencing right now. Wow! Naps are so called for! Haha… I love you so much and am praying for you, Doug, little Isaiah and for all those walking closely with you. Hugs to you…

  2. Thank You, Christina, for choosing to shake off the arrows of fear of the “what ifs” and replacing them with faith and trust in the God of the impossible. And thank You, Jesus, for providing eyes and the heart to see Your provisions of abundant blessings and even joy in the midst of hard, impossible times. Your choice greatly encourages me!

  3. Beautiful, sweet friend, simply beautiful! :-) We love you, we love your heart, and we love your precious little family! Our God is BIG and He is GOOD! Praying for you always :-) May you be flooded with His perfect peace as you rest, truly rest in His sovereignty and goodness. Yuv you yots!!!

  4. I have followed your journey for many years Christina … God is Faithful. He is turning you into an incredible young woman, wife, and now mother. My prayers are once again with you as you head down this latest fork in the road. Jesus is with you …

  5. Ohh Christina! :) What a beatiful post. Thank you for sharing. I am completely moved by your abundant life, and long to be even just a little like you. Praying for you, and Doug, and little Isaiah. I love you all so very much, and pray that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will continue to guard your hearts and your minds.

    P.S. Remember to laugh about the little things… Even bunnies in the road. ;)

  6. YOU (and Jesus in YOU) are my hero! You have said it well, fellow warrior! You are and continue to be an inspiration. Thank you for pointing me (us) to Jesus. Life in Him is everything. He is enough. AND He is big enough to do amazing things. Entrusting you (and Doug and Isaiah) to Him and believing that He is in this…all of it and asking Him to show Himself to be all of Who He is.

  7. Christina! I almost started tearing up reading this… wow… I’ve always been impressed by you – you are truly an inspiring person. Thank you! You, Doug and little Isaiah are in my prayers!

  8. Oh, my hero…you are so right, who wants normal anyway?!?!? Well you have done a great job at making sure you have the best story and you are so amazing at giving God all the glory. Your heart to not fear is compelling and convicting and I pray I can live half of the faith filled life you do. It is breathtaking, spellbinding and all together lovely and abundant. We are praying for you and for the already, very much loved, Isaiah. Oh, and the promises that come with that name.

    We love you.

    LOve, Anna, Matt and our little Ruthie girl (potential future girlfriend…)

  9. Your update is inspirational in a way that only God could make happen. You’ve been specially chosen to represent Him in a way few ever could. It’s a privilege that has brought pain. No doubt it will bring countless blessings and already has. You have another prayer warrior on staff.

  10. You shine Jesus brighter than anyone I know. What a gift it has been to have had you as a best friend ever since…well you know! :) Your trust in The Lord is so real and so deep. It is an encouragement to everyone you are around. I cannot wait to see you be a mom! We have talked about this day ever since we were little! Can you believe it? I so wish I could be there for these two major events. It kills me that I can’t just drive on over. Know that I will be praying for you and if you need someone to take milk of magnesia with we can always do it over Skype! Love you!

    • I am so glad I got to meet you through our wonderful mutual friend Mandy. Speaking from a first time mom with a 2 month old, God definitely gives you what you can handle and when you think you can’t, He brings just the right people into your life at just the right time to pick you up (literally and figuratively!). Ben and I will definitely be praying for you and Doug as you enter this exciting and unnerving time. And I’ll add you to my middle-of-the-night prayer times when I’m nursing Serafina (another potential girlfriend for Isaiah should you guys move this way!). Thanks for sharing your heart and for encouraging the rest of us through your faith!

  11. Christina,

    Just the other night I had a dream that I was up visiting your mom and dad. After reading your update, I now believe that God was asking me to pray for all of you. I feel that God has for the last couple of months been speaking to me of a situation taking place, through two verses that he has continued to show me. The first one is Isaiah 41:10, I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So, do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you with my righteous hand. The second verse is Psalms 46:10, Be still and know that I am God. I will be exhaulted among the nations. I will be exhaulted in the earth. You have through all that you have gone through, been the example that Christ has asked us all to be. Through your journey, I can only imagine how many people have asked Jesus Christ into their lives. I can only tell you how proud I am of you for continuing to allow God to take that control of fear in all situations. You are such a blessing to all of us and have taught so many the true meaning of faith, love, joy and peace in which we receive all of this through such a loving God. Through your journey, I have even looked at life differently. I have learned to slow down to take more time outs with God, love life that God has given me and to take more time to enjoy the things that God has placed in my path. I have also learned that each day is a gift from God and in knowing this I have learned to take the time to see his miracles, wonders and signs through the beauty of all things that he places before me. I hope that you don’t mind, but I have shared your story with so many here in Houston. We are all praying for God’s miracles and wonders for you, your husband, your family and little Isaiah.

    Much love to all of you,
    Kathy Matheson

  12. Thank you so so much for being real, vulnerable, joy filled…and giving so much glory to Jesus. I love reading your story even if I wish I could change the painful stuff. Praying for your sweet family.

  13. Hi Christina, My name is Sarah and Doug’s mom Lisa is my first cousin. I have followed your story through Doug and read your book. God is certainly using you and I am standing in prayer with both of you declaring health, healing, and wholeness in every area of your life. May His perfect love cast out all fear and may His peace that passes understanding guard your heart and mind through Christ!
    Love, Sarah

  14. Jesus just shines from you friend. I am overwhelmed by this beautiful post. Praying for you, your boys and family.

  15. What a beautiful, honest, painful reminder that we have to seize every moment we are given – and live alive and full every single day. May the Lord comfort you and your family. Your amazing personal strength can only come from Him.

  16. I read your story on fb and I will pray for you and your family. I’ll put you on my churchs prayers also. I know your mom in law and the Anderson family. They are a great family and I’m sure there are a lot of prayers going up for you all the time. You’re a brave young lady and a wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing your story.

  17. jan :)….you so clearly display God’s strength, His grace. it shines as brightly through you as your flickery candles in Isaish’s room. i love it :). i wish there were some perfect compilation of words to capture how very proud i am of you for grasping onto Jesus and never letting go. I think Jesus put it well – ‘well done!’ (girl!) :). All 3++++ are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. constantly. thanks for just being YOU. Beautiful inside and out. I love you so very much!

  18. Oh, Christina, your updates always thrill me and challenge me with the beauty of God’s obvious presence and your moment-by-moment choices to receive His love in the midst of the challenges of life. Thank you so much for sharing with us. I am praying. . .

  19. Christina & Doug (& Baby Isaiah),

    Thankfully, you were able to put into words what has been in your heart and, once again, remind us of the bountiful love and mercy with which Christ has blessed you, that fear has no part in your life! Hallelujah! May we all be so bold a witness. Your journey continues to breakdown barriers with the soul-saving message of Jesus’ love, and we are privileged to be a part. Fervent prayers are being lifted daily for you, your family and precious little one as you face this next step; and we hope for the best possible outcome in this battle. HUGS!!

    Mark & GInger Leffers

  20. I am so sorry to here that you have to go through this a third time.I will be praying for you and your family. Your post has been an encouragement, I love your faith.

  21. I was reading your post to Bill but had to stop several times because of tears. We love you guys so much and continue to stand in prayer with you both and precious little Isaiah. Your choice to live the abundant life free of fear is so inspiring. We are privileged to share in your lives and your story and see Jesus through it all.

    “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Oh Lord Almighty, blessed are those who trust in you.”
    Psalm 84:11-12

  22. For several years I have been blessed as I follow your journey, and pray daily for you, and the path that God has guided you to take. I am reminded of Luke 1:37
    “Nothing is impossible with God” I remember all of the impossible situations that you have already had, and how you have been led, and of how this has been of enormous blessing. This is what will happen again. God will be glorified, and I can hardly wait to see what happens. Much much love, Janet

  23. I just read in an NT Wright book the line, “can you imagine a life without fear?” And now I think I can after reading your update, and guess what? It’s beautiful! Love how you move towards Christ and others in your fear and pain, and bring us along, on the way. Praying . . . on so many levels! I love you and miss you, and btw think you’re gonna be the best mom in the world!!! :)))))

  24. Christina,
    You are truly an inspiration to the rest of us people who strive to be “normal.” Normal is obviously different for everyone. You, Doug, Isaiah and all the people who surround you during this time will be in our prayers continually.
    Abundance. Wow! Only through Christ’s amazing love for all. And an unwavering Faith.
    You Will be fine no matter what, because you have the ultimate gift of Believing in our Awesome maker.
    Love and prayers. Gramma Carol and Gail

  25. Christina,
    This moved me to tears. You are an inspiration and an example of how God calls us to live. Thank you. Keep focusing on His faithfulness. I love you and am praying for you, Doug, and Isaiah.

  26. Christina,

    As usual, your thoughts are so inspiring. What wisdom and faith God has given you! Thank you for sharing your journey and your joy. We will contiue to pray for you and your family and we know that whatever takes place during these next weeks, God will be gloified! We love you!

    Jon & Mary Raymond

  27. Praise God! Wow! Thank you so very much for joyfully proclaiming God’s perfectly loving presence, even throughout such bind blowing adversity! May The Lord Heal you completely and give you what is absolutely best for you!

  28. Precious Christina, what a profound witness you have given with your life.I know your unlce through face book and have learned of the recent birth of your precious son Isiah…God’s miracle…And you are a miracle too.May God continue to give you strength and energy and Faith to face the tasks ahead of you…I and my husband are praying for you and your family as I type this… Love and prayer’s to you ….Happiness is facing life with whatever it brings and believing God will help you through every moment…..with much love for Our Jesus and you and family,Loma Blackwell….

    • Dear Christina,As I am writing this my husband of 24 years and I are praying for you and your family and situation, your uncle brought this to my attention as he friended me on facebook…I know the love of God as he had helped me through many trials and now disablement with fibromyalgia, but I admire your Faith and strength.God will continue to give you and your new baby boy and husband…I will keep you in my prayer’s….God is the almighty and He alone is Able…..Bless you dear faithful one…with much Christian Love and prayers,Loma Blackwell

  29. What a beautiful testimony you are :). The wonderful thing about our God is that he gives us strength and peace beyond us, and of this I can tell you’ve received. I can understand your heartache. Christina, please know that Bailey and I are praying for you, Doug, and lil man Isaiah. His ways are not our own, but I know he has great things in store for you and your family. I pray for a quick recovery for both you and Isaiah (before you know it he’ll be slurping down bottles). If you have any NICU questions you are more then welcome to contact me.

  30. Dear Chistina,
    I have not had the priviledge of meeting you. I do know your mom. I also was one of Dougs teachers at Olympic Christian School.

    I was not aware of all that has been going on with you and Doug. I had heard awhile back that he got married.

    I’ve read your stories and testimony..You are an amazing woman! You are God’s favorite! He loves you beyond measure! He is well pleased with you! Keep trusting Him in all things! He is with you and will never leave you. You are His beautiful daughter! Words can’t express His love for you and your family!

    Doug is an awesome man, husband and now daddy! You have a beautiful family and God is going to pour out many blessings on your family. His word says to praise Him in all things. He is very proud of the way you and Doug are standing firm in the knowledge of Him. Continue being faithful to Him. He has so many wonderful things in store for you and your family.

    I am praying for healing. I speak to the cancer. Cancer you don’t belong here, you must go now in Jesus name. I speak life into Christina’s body and as it says in your word, on earth as it is in heaven. There is no cancer in heaven so cancer does not belong here on earth. I release healing over Christina in Jesus name. I pray that her body will come into alignment with you Holy Spirit as it was created to be. Bless Christina Jesus and bless her newborn baby Isaiah. I pray also for him and ask that he would learn to breathe on his own and not forget. I pray that he grow up to be a man that is healthy and that loves you with all of his heart. I pray blessings over Doug as he helps his family through this journey. I pray for a quick recovery for both Christina and Isaiah without complications. I thank you Lord for the blessings that this family brings to you and every life that touches theirs. We give you all the Glory for all things in Jesus name Amen.

    Christina, I’m looking forward to hearing good things about you and your wonderful family. Blessings to you and your.

    Jo-Ann Himmelber (Or as Doug knows me, Mrs. H)

  31. Christine, You are an amazing woman. You are so strong and brave. You testimony has had such an impact on my life. God is using you in an amazing way. Your baby is so beautiful and you family is to. I want you to know that you are in my prayers always. I love you sister and I pray that your recovery will be an easy one for you. God bless you.

    Karla Johnson

  32. You don’t know me, but I’ve been following your story throughout, and pray for you. I haven’t known anyone to be as “real” in writing about the tests/trials life can bring. Thank you for sharing so honestly, and writing about your walk with the Lord.
    Praying for you, Doug, and baby!

  33. Christina your story made my heart full with the wonders God can do. You are an inspiration and your honesty and bravery are an example to be followed. I admire your faith and hope to humble myself to the will of God as you have. I will pray for your life, your little man and your family. God bless you.

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