Friday, September 25, 2015

Preparing For Heaven

The past few days we have not had much communication about our status because things have changed in very significant ways.  Krista's levels of pain became excruciating to the point that she felt like it was torture.  The pneumonia diagnosis was that it was neither bacterial nor fungal, most likely a virus which is very difficult to treat, especially with the unfunctional immune system left by the ever increasing leukemia. After reviewing her options, Krista made the decision that she wanted to go home under hospice care to enjoy her remaining days in the company of her family, kept comfortable under the extensive pain control they are allowed to do that hospitals aren't.  She is extremely happy about this whole thing, because the other alternatives were going to be awful for her.

Hospice care means that she is no longer being treated for her ailments, but they are helping her through the symptoms, especially the pain.  They have been very effective, so she is currently comfortable, though very weak and frail.  Since she is not getting treatments (including blood transfusions), we can make some rough guesses as to how long she has left with us, and it doesn't seem to be very long.  She is loosing red blood and platelets at a steady rate, so at this point we may have only days to a week left.  She was quite pale and not breathing regularly last night, so I was not going to be surprised if we lost her overnight.  Fortunately, this was not the case but she has the sense that it's not too far.

She has been reading a book by Randy Alcorn called Heaven, since she wants to know as much as she can about where she's going.  It's a very good perspective completely taken from the pages of the Bible rather than people's experiences, mythologies, or other less reputable sources.  God is the real expert on the subject, so I trust His revelation of what it's like more than any other source.  If you have any questions about heaven, I highly recommend that resource.  

I mentioned that book because there was a funny incident that happened last night that expresses so much of Krista's heart.  I had purchased the audiobook version of it because her reading ability is fading, but there's been so much going on that she hasn't had time to listen to it.  I played it for her last night while she slept without her knowing.  There was a startling noise in the middle of the night that woke her, though she was still in a partial dream state.  She heard the descriptions of some of the areas of heaven and, feeling disoriented, she said, "Where am I?  Is this heaven?  It seems like an airplane terminal.  This is boring!"  She was so disappointed that she wasn't already in heaven! Needless to say, that is not what heaven is like (and wasn't a judgement on the quality of the audiobook either).  We are glad to have some more time with here here.

This is a very difficult time between Krista's weakness, making sure that the kids are prepared, and making arrangements for when she passes.  Because of all this, we are going to need to back off direct communications with people and have a dear friend of our's, Catherine Grant, make limited private arrangements on our behalf.  You can email her at if you have any questions.  Our family intensely appreciates the outpouring of love we have received from family and friends, but this is a very private time for our family.  Please do not be offended that we are not generally accepting visitors at this time. There will be a wonderful memorial service that Krista is helping to plan to remember good times and celebrate life that we will invite everyone to participate in when the time comes. You may contact Catherine if you would like to help out with that service. We love you all!


JJ Gobbell; Allison Gobbell said...

Dear Krista,

It's me, Allison. I wanted to say goodbye before you go on your awesome adventure with Jesus. I will see you soon! I so wish it would have worked out where I could have organized for you while you bossed me from the bed or couch! But maybe I can just do it for Mike later. But really, it won't make him happy like it would make you! Of course, now we both know that's not all that important, is it? I have been praying for you whenever I think of you and I hate all the suffering you have had to go through, but I know God has a plan in all of it. Your hope and faith through all this, both you and Mike has been wonderful to see. So I really wish I could kneel by your bed and pray for you, and I will drop everything and do just that if you should so desire, but I thought if Jesus is coming to get you before there's opportunity I just wanted you to know I am so proud of you. You have been faithful through all of your trials. You have been a witness to your family, friends and strangers. You have praised God in the hard times and you can do this final thing well, I know you can. And here's a little something I figured out - we're all going to die! Ok, some will get raptured, but don't you just want more and more people to get saved? And who knows who your sons and husband will touch with the gospel? Oh I am so jealous because you'll get to ride a unicorn before me, and fly with the angels and hug Jesus first! Oh farewell my lovely sister. But only for a little bit. Please be there when I come home, please come and see me - oh, isn't it so exciting, you're going to get a new body! Oh I'm crying, but it's all true. I love you and my only regret is that we didn't get to spend more time together. I used to be afraid of dying but I asked God to fix me and he did. It is a holy time. I watched my father, my grandfather and my grandmother all pass on to Jesus and it's really amazing. Don't sneak off, let Mike be there. Show him that you live outside that flesh - he'll treasure it and he'll need that treasure to hold on to in the days to come.

So here's a Psalm for you darling:

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

All my love dear one,


Regina said...

I too wish I could be there and pray for you as you leave us. I love you dear sister! Until we meet again.

Rick and Lisa Weaver said...

Krista and Mike,

Our sweet neighbors from Bestview Way... we are so thankful that the Lord brought you into our lives and that we share the best Way... since He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life... We will miss you Krista, but so thankful that you will be with the One who is Life.... Who gave his Life!

We will continue to pray for your family!

Love in our sweet Savior!
Rick and Lisa Weaver

Rick and Lisa Weaver said...

Krista and Mike,

Our sweet neighbors from Bestview Way... we are so thankful that the Lord brought you into our lives and that we share the best Way... since He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life... We will miss you Krista, but so thankful that you will be with the One who is Life.... Who gave his Life!

We will continue to pray for your family!

Love in our sweet Savior!
Rick and Lisa Weaver

Aunt Mary Elliott said...

Dear sweet Krista, this is Aunt Mary. Though many miles have prevented an occasional Sunday afternoon family visit, you have been continually in my thoughts and prayers. From the happiness and joyous occasion of your wedding day, to the births of your two sons, my great nephews, to the present, I have been blessed. Your constant and expressive love for your family and our Lord Jesus, has undeniably been your strength and your Rock through the years. I am truly thankful that you have the assurance to know Heaven will be your eternal home and one day those of your family and friends who know Christ as their personal Savior, we see you again. We will rejoice and sing together as we walk those streets of gold, have no more pain,sadness or tears. Yes, I have tears of sadness as you are special to me, Krista. I pray you will continue to be comforted by your family that surrounds you, the many friends you have touched in your life and are sending their prayerful thoughts to you. I love you and your sweet family Krista. God's peace and comfort, Aunt Mary xo

Gina said...

Dear dear Krista,
My heart is in my stomach and I have tears in my eyes as I type this. I don't even know what to say, I so wish I could hug you right now. You have fought so long and so hard and through it all you have kept your eyes on Jesus, glorifying Him every step of the way. Now it seems as though He is preparing to bring you home - your eternal home in Heaven. I can only imagine what your heart is feeling. I want you to know that I love you and I will continue to be in prayer for you, Mike and your boys. And I'm holding on to the hope that we have in Jesus. We will meet again dear sister in heaven where there is no more sickness, sorrow or sin. With much love, Gina & Scott Aiken
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

Anonymous said...

Dear Krista,

His ways are not our ways. Your current condition is evidence of that. I would not have picked this ending. I prayed for a miraculous healing. I longed for the happily ever after survivor story. You have suffered for so long. Your loving husband and precious boys have suffered for so long. In my humanness, I ask, why? But then I realized, there is no greater ending to your story than you being face to face with Jesus, the lover of your soul, free from pain, free from suffering, free from worry and every earthly care.

Now, my prayer for you is peace. May God grant you and your man and your boys His peace that surpasses all understanding. "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

With love and much admiration,
Casie Duvall