Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

May 17, 2013

Our daughter’s journey – documented

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 8:00 am

(For readers that do not know our family personally, we have a son-in-law that has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Our daughter keeps friends and family informed through her blog.  The following is a recent posting and the website for her blog if you wish to follow their journey)


Faith During A Crisis

Many of you have faced a real crisis and know how your faith stands.  Others have not.  I was one of those until about a month ago.  We’ve had hard life struggles, but never a serious crisis.  Before the storm hits, I think it is hard to predict how you will respond spiritually.  Will you question God?  Get angry?  Be on your knees rejoicing in the bad times as well as good (you know the song….. Blessed be the Name of the Lord)?

Now that I’ve entered a storm, I have a different perspective.  As I think about my children, each relates differently to me when they have trouble.  I have one that is very logical and not as emotional.  I have one that is very emotional and needs to talk her way through the valleys.  And one that I’ve not quite figured out b/c she keeps pulling surprises out of her bag.  So the way they relate to me when they have problems is different for each.

I think it is that way with God and his children.

For two weeks, Dave was in a diagnostic phase.  It was extremely stressful.  Part of that time was hospitalization b/c the tests were significant.  One test was a brain biopsy.  They had to go into the center of his brain to get a sample of the tumor.  He was in ICU for two days b/c of that test.  Then the waiting.  I think the waiting was worse than hearing the diagnosis.

Life went on during this period.  The farm animals fed, the children taken care of and running back/forth to Houston almost daily which was an hour commute each way.  And I had to retain self control during this time b/c no one needed a wife and mom in hysterics.  The kids were not aware of the potential seriousness of Dave’s condition and I didn’t want to alarm them until we had more facts.

One of the fruits of the Spirit is self control.  Dave and I had this gift when we needed it.  Most of the time, we were both calm and deliberate.  We were also very sad and concerned, but we tried to keep our emotions intact.  There were a couple of times at home I had a cry like I’d never had in my life and I had a few outbursts with friends/family on the phone.  But I learned these were dangerous in times when there’s much to be done.  They physically zapped my energy and brought me down even further.

One thing I did was avoid anything that brought out emotion.  This included prayer.  I did not pray for my husband or family during this time.  I know I sound like a bad Christian, but I am not.  During this time, God understood my heart.  I knew God understood my heart.  I didn’t have to feel guilty about anything.  I knew He was proud of the way I cared for my husband and children.  I decided not to do ANYTHING spiritually and let God handle that department.  I didn’t have the emotional resources or brain power.  This is where God carries you and you rest in His goodness – guilt free.

I learned during hard times, I’m not one to pray, read scriptures, praise, or do anything.  This is the time where the Holy Spirit intercedes on your behalf and other Christians lift you up.  God is not a God of works and I don’t have to get up a 4 am to read/pray so He might heal my husband.  God knows my heart and the groundwork of prayer and Bible reading was laid years before this event.  I had a foundation of years of spiritual growth and am so thankful I entered this time knowing where I stand with God.

Dave’s faith has also been strong during this time.  Neither of us are angry and questioning why us?  We live in a fallen world and we all get something.  If we get our something at age 80, we accept it.  But when a young person gets something, we can get angry.  We get mad at timing but accept that the ‘it’ will happen at old age.  We don’t like the struggle we’re facing, but I know it is part of living in a fallen world.

Cancer is evil.  It is not from God.  Could God have stopped it? Yes.  But living in an evil world means we will all be touched at some point.  I believe this grieves God.  He is not a God throwing punches or curve balls.  He set up a perfect world and Adam/Eve allowed evil to enter.  God has a remedy and Dave and I have accepted his remedy – Jesus Christ.  That is enough.  I don’t like that evil will be with us until we depart from this world, but it is what it is.  We can fight that fact or accept it.

This is new and I can’t say how we will respond spiritually in the years ahead.  Today, I’m trusting in God to take care of Dave and our family.  We have much hope.  But hope is not a treatment plan.  So today we’re headed to the hospital for radiation and to get on with life.

I’m not a spiritual saint and have had my breakdowns during this whole ordeal.  Dave has also had very down days.  But I am grateful that I’ve learned more about my relationship with God during this time.  It is stronger than I would have thought.  Not because of me, but it is a gift from God.

I have more thoughts on faith that I’ll be sharing.  Please know this is not a one size fits all.  Rather, I’m giving you a glimpse into how we have responded.  Your ‘it’ will be different and your relationship with God is unique.



  1. Kris, I can certainly identify with you in your crisis. I’ve certainly had a few, the worst one, losing Becca. Something that has helped me in dealing with this crazy life is this. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The experience is just a short-lived, and then we will go back to our forever, spiritual existence. And there are so many souls I have had the pleasure to walk through this world with for a while! The Keel family has been a blessing to me. God bless you and Dave as you continue on your human experience AND as you leave here permanently, whenever that may be.

    Comment by Sally Clifton — May 18, 2013 @ 10:41 am | Reply

  2. Your Hemphill church family will be lifting Kris, Dave, and all the family in prayer. I remember Kris as a lovely young girl growing up in church. This is the foundation for the great faith she has today. I will follow her blog with much admiration for her strength.

    Comment by Pat Friese — May 17, 2013 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

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