“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now”

from Oceans by Hillsong

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credit: CarlaG Design and Photo

Last week I received some shocking and devastating news.  Tuesday of last week I received a phone call informing me that I have breast cancer. Never news you expect to hear, especially not at age 35!  I had found a lump the week before.  I was told that cysts and fibro adenoma (both benign) are relatively common in women my age, but I got a mammogram just to be sure.  Thank the Lord that I did.  There was more testing done, and Friday Justin and I sat with a surgeon who shared the news we didn’t want to hear; that the specific type of cancer was very aggressive and that it has spread to my lymph nodes.  They believe I haven’t had it for more than a few months.

I will start chemo likely next week, then surgery, then radiation.  This will be a long journey, but I know I do not journey alone.  Jesus, my true Treasure, promises He will NEVER leave me nor forsake me.  I am surrounded with family and friends who love and support me; and I have an amazing a gracious group of women’s ministry leaders and NEPC Staff whom I’ve grown to love like family.

THIS IS NOT EASY, and there have been many tears, but also just as much hope and peace from the Lord.  He has been so near to me and whispering Hope in the deepest parts of my soul.  I pray that God would squeeze every ounce of Glory out of this trial for Himself.  My deepest desire is that many would come to a saving relationship with Jesus through this trial.  I pray that I myself would know Him more.  Knowing Jesus and making Him known is life’s most worthy and joy-filled pursuit.  If God can use cancer to accomplish His purposes, in my life or the lives of others, I surrender and say “Yes, Lord”.

I plan to use this blog (in lieu of Caring Bridge) to provide a central place for updates, prayer requests, and to chronicle all of the glimpses of God’s grace I see while walking through this trial.

Glimpses of Grace

~Praising God for how loved we feel; truly feel enfolded in His embrace through loved ones.  From our family, to close friends, to NEPC and Pepsi co-workers, to my women’s ministry leaders, to the sweet high school girls I disciple…all have surrounded us with love, support, and offers to help in any way.

~My love, the man the God gave me to spend my life with, and to walk this journey closest with.  Justin Turner is a daily glimpse of God’s grace. He has been amazing.  Example: Yesterday (Wednesday) I had an MRI at 6pm, and a dear friend went with me so Justin could put the children to bed (trying to maintain as much normalcy as possible).  She and I went to dinner afterwards which was such a blessing  (I tried to think of it as a “girls night out”) 🙂  When I got home not only was the kitchen completely clean, all the laundry was finished AND put away.  You Mamas of little children know what a BLESSING that is!!!

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The one whom my soul loves 

~Praising God that He gave me the strength to lecture in Focus bible study just 2 days after I received the diagnosis.  I’ve never felt the Holy Spirit so present in my life than last Thursday!  It was truly a miracle~ Glory to GOD!

~my “front -line” warriors who encourage me, text me, send me scripture daily…basically hold my arms up like Aaron and Hur did with Moses in Exodus 17.  you know you you are and I love you fierce!!!

~That I was able to connect with my best friend from college, Renee, TWICE in  person over the last week. She’s been an oncology nurse for 15 years, so she has been priceless to help me understand everything.

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with Renee, 1998 or 1999 during our time at Clemson

SO many more glimmers of His grace I could share!! Mostly in the form of people’s love, generosity and support.  God has been so near to me

Please Pray:

~God’s PERFECT healing!

~ for the Lord to protect the hearts of my three precious children (Samuel & Selah age 4 & Hannah age 3)   Pray that He uses this in their life as well.  I pray that they would know and FEEL how much they are loved.

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my three precious arrows: Selah, Samuel, and Hannah. praying for God’s all-covering grace over these sweet lives!

~Pray for Justin, for continued strength as he holds my hand through this journey, and does extra laundry, cleaning, etc around the house 🙂  Just praying for God to sustain him daily and that I could be a blessing to him even through sickness.

~ pray that the JOY of the Lord would be my strength, and that the Lord would draw me nearer to Him

~pray for grace for the appointment with the oncologist, Dr. Stillwell, on TODAY (Thursday 4/30) at 2:15. We will find out results from the PET scan (completed Tuesday 4/28 -full body to identify if/where the cancer has spread and determine what stage of cancer I have), results from the MRI (completed Wed 4/29 at 6pm- on breasts ), and get the treatment timeline.  Boldly praying cancer has not metastasized.

~pray for sweet family times with Justin and the children, and that it would be possible for us to get away for a weekend trip

I covet your prayers during this journey.  I am optimistic, and I have HOPE!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end.” (Lamentations 3:22)

His Grace Abounds,

Brooke

update!

PRAISING GOD! The cancer has not spread past the lymph nodes.  I have stage 2 breast cancer, which I am thankful is not stage 3 or 4!  We feel so confirmed with the medical team God has assembled, and Dr. Stillwell even held my hand and prayed for me at the end of the appointment, giving ALL glory to God!  God is so good to me and His plan is perfect!!