Hope has a name.
There isn’t a place to start with this family. They are so dear to us. As in, we’ve got heart strings tied together (even if Scott won’t admit it). ; ) We joined forces [if you will] eight and a half years ago (Josh knew them prior from college and we all ended up in VA). And just to be clear, by joined forces I mean, we forced our way into their life basically by showing up on their door step every night for at least the first four or five years! haha They were so gracious to invite us in. We truly believe the Lord has used their lives mightily in ours and in our marriage, showing us so much of the gospel. We literally would go (mostly for the food ha!) and ended up just watching and observing. So much. Their marriage. Their parenting. Creepy, we know! But we had no clue at the time why the Lord gave us these opportunities. Or that they even were opportunities. We certainly weren’t thinking it would be a means of personal gain, until we saw the Spirit working in our own hearts, beginning the process of molding us into his likeness (ps. still in the beginning stages of this! but leaps and bounds beyond where we started). We are so thankful. We love them so much. And I can’t really find the words to express this. It just runs deep in our hearts. God has been generous and always is.
It’s difficult to see at times, His generosity, especially during suffering. However, this family has proven otherwise. Their faith continues to shine brightly in our lives. Two days after Josh and I welcomed our sweet second child into this world, we were also faced with accepting some difficult news. Our sweet friend Chelle had an episode that brought them to discover a large mass on her brain. This lead to surgery to remove and biopsy the tumor. What a trying day for all. Approximately five hours later, she was out, awake and smiling at a joke. There was much rejoicing in that room, I’m sure! The surgeon was able to remove 80% of the tumor and about a week later, the biopsy report came in. Their response through this has been so amazing to watch. We have been able to witness where their hope lies. Hope has a name. It’s Jesus.
Thought I would share Scott’s update that was posted on our Redemption Church facebook page after her surgery and results came in, he explains it best…
Many of you are desiring more information regarding Chelle and her brain cancer, so without too much cranial jargon I will attempt to bring you up to speed.
First, How is Chelle? Chelle is doing great and encouraged that God has counted her worthy to suffer in this way. We are home! and enjoying being back with our family. She is still very tired, with relatively little to no pain, so we are thankful for this.
Second, what is the tumor? She does have a grade II tumor (oligoastrocytoma), which is cancerous. They don’t do “stages” with brain tumors, only “grades.” In fact, brain cancer is much different than other body cancers. So her tumor is a relatively slow-growing mass, which is good. It could be a grade III or grade IV.
Third, What is the follow-up treatment? Her treatment is still up in the air. So if you would pray for us as we continue to seek the Lord about how to move forward we would greatly appreciate it. This is our next step, and we meet with our neurosurgeon next week to talk through options. Some of the possible options include radiation, Proton Beam therapy, or even possibly waiting to see what the tumor does. Chemo does not work on this particular tumor, or say most studies. One of the “problems” with this particular type of tumor is the relatively scarcity of it. It accounts for only 1% of all brain tumors–I knew she was unique! So this is why treatment can be somewhat confusing.
Fourth, what is the long term prognosis? This is the question everyone wants to know and doesn’t ask, but really there is not much to go on. Some people die within years others live far longer. It depends on so many variables–does it turn into stage III, where it is it growing (many people die from stage I cancer because of the location), how effective is the treatment, does God just heal her, and many other variables. However, we have been clinging to the truth that she belongs to God through her union with Jesus by the Spirit and that He can take her whenever he wants to, just like me and you. Further, since it is only stage II and she is doing great, we believe that God has a lot more for her to do! And we can’t wait to see what impact she will have for the Kingdom because of this trial.
Fifth, what about our kids? All of our kids know that mommy has cancer, so they won’t be shocked if they hear you talk about it. Tyler may punch you but not because he heard you say cancer, but because he is a bully! Some understand more than others, obviously. But we are being honest with them and telling them everything. I am often tempted to despair over our kids potentially losing their mommy several years down the road, but we are believing that trial is what God is and will use to preserve our children in the Gospel. How foolish for me to think what is best for our kids! Our ultimate goal for them is to be part of the consummated New Creation, so however God wants to get that accomplished we are fine with.
So let me conclude with these points:
(1) Please don’t pity us but help us by praying that we both will remain faithful to the One who gave himself for us. We really believe that God has counted her worthy to have this cancer, and we are rejoicing, albeit sometimes with tears, in this trial. We are praying unashamedly for healing!
(2) I hope and pray that this trial will spur Redemption to love and good works. That we will recognize the fragility of our lives and the purpose of our lives. God has been refining me in this area over the last few years, and over the last few weeks he has done much in this regard. Our lives are vapors and don’t waste your vapor! Stop living for yourselves and live for the One who died and rose again on your behalf (2 Corinthians 5.15). Get on mission and serve one another in love, live together as a family, and go as missionaries into your arenas of life. I will stop preaching now and wait ’til Sunday!
(3) We thank God for you! Thanks for praying and caring. So many of you have been so generous and kind to us! We are thankful to God for the body that he is building at Redemption. And we are praying that God will use this “crushing” to bring redemption to thousands in Hampton Roads.
Since this post, they have a way forward, starting with radiation for six weeks. We pray the Lord would use this treatment to reduce the size of the remaining tumor and produce the results needed so further treatment is not needed. Please continue to pray for this family and for our church body to encourage them and remind them of the good news of the gospel!
Jesus is alive and is reigning on his throne! Through His sacrifice of death, he made a way for us to come and be welcomed into His family, for all eternity. We have nothing in ourselves to give, but just to bless his name (which is also a work of the Spirit in us). He is our hope and our joy.
A few days before her surgery, I was able to capture a few fun images of their family. This involved enduring a pool noodle beating, a most wonderful idea by my husband to produce some smiles. It ended up being a pretty good idea… and totally worth the abuse. ha! I loved the result. These… are the Osborne’s!