Wishes, Wants, and Secret Fantasies: Surviving the Storm Series

I wishI wish I could pen an eloquent post, something thought-provoking and inspirational. I’ve started thirteen different drafts with thirteen different topics. I even downloaded some cool visual aids.visual aids

But every time I try to finish this blog, my fingers freeze on the keys and all the energy I thought I had to put into some life-changing revelation drains away.

I wanted to write a beautiful story of the way my family has bonded and pulled together over Kyle’s fight with cancer.

I wanted to say I’m a servant, a martyr, willing to do anything and everything for my son with an attitude of grace.

I wanted to say Kyle is quietly strong and humbled by what God is doing in his life.

I wanted to say Alek has shed the role of selfish, teenage boy and strapped on his superhero brother cape and that my boys spend time together cementing a relationship that can never be broken.

I wanted to say even though I can’t be there 24/7 for Maddy, she trusts in my love and feels secure in our family and believes God will heal Kyle.

I wanted to say Pat and I have rallied as partners and parents.

But I can’t, because those things are only my secret fantasies.

So here’s the truth. Cancer destroys—cells, bodies, lives, relationships, families.


I do love my son. But I’m not a martyr. I have no grace. I’m a lousy servant. I get tired and angry and let my emotions explode all over the place.

Kyle is quietly strong, but there’s nothing quiet about his anger. Alek has stepped up in many ways, but he’d rather escape our new life than settle into it and he’s gone more than he’s home. Maddy cries. A lot. Especially on Wednesday mornings. Clinic mornings. She’s afraid to go to school because she thinks Kyle will die and she won’t be here and it will be her fault.

Pat and I argue about stupid things, like cookie sheets left unwashed on the counter and laundry going moldy in the washer.

I wish I could say because we’re Christians, things in our house are different. I wish I could say we’ve risen to the task set before us and that we don’t doubt or cry or fight or wonder if God is even here.

But I can’t.

I can say this—what gets me through the hard days, and there are a lot of hard days, is knowing God doesn’t deal in wishes or wants or fantasies.

God deals in promises. Promises that my feelings and my fears and my disbelief can’t change.

God Promises

 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who[a] have been called according to his purpose”

(Romans 8:28 NIV).

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you

and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

(Jeremiah 29:11.)


I claim these promises for my family. I believe God wants us not only to survive Kyle’s cancer, but to thrive, to come out on the other end as better, stronger, more compassionate people. I believe He means for our family to grow closer together. I believe He wants to use our dark moments for His good.

I don’t have the first clue how that can even happen, but I do know that God is the only one who can take something terrible and tragic and create something amazing and beautiful.

I’ve seen it before. The first time Kyle conquered cancer. And the work God’s done in the past is what I’m holding onto for our future.


*If you missed the first post in the series, you can find it here: When Life Stops.



  1. Hugs. I will be praying for you all.

    • Lori Freeland |

      Thank you for that. Sometimes praying is all anyone can do, but it gets the most results. I always appreciate knowing people have my back because there are days I can’t pray for us.


    HUGS , you can not imagine.

  3. You did the best writing in this post after all! You wrote the unvarnished truth, and for that we all are the benefactors. Oh Lori! I am so sad for those who endure this worldly struggle–cancer–disease–decay. We have never met in person but THIS POST is a place we can all “gather around” and “meet” in person. Our lives are all touched by cancer in some way or another. Your family “touched” MORE SO than many of us. Your honest reflections serve as a “tour guide” and encouragement. In the midst of such pains you give this gift! Be blessed!!

  4. Thank you for being real. When my best friend was going through cancer, I designated myself her “cancer sucks” friend — the person who frankly stated that the whole thing was a crapload of nasty and we all wished it were different. But we also clung to God’s promises.

    I especially find comfort in Isaiah 43:1-2, which says that we’re going to go through major challenges in life and God’s role is not to make it all go away but to walk with us every step of the way: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” May you feel His hand on you and your family.

    • Lori Freeland |

      I think everyone needs a cancer-sucks friend, someone to vent to when you don’t feel like being brave.

  5. Lori,

    I’m so sorry to learn that Kyle and your family is going through this battle again. You did a wonderful job of spewing your emotions and telling it like it is. I pray God will hold you and your family close during these times you’re all struggling. Praying for you guys.

    • Lori Freeland |

      Thank you. I will miss our breakfasts in Tulsa. If I run Kyle up to ORU to see his friends, maybe we can “breakfast” one more time.

  6. Thank you for your honesty, and may you have another victory over cancer. Your writing is touching.

  7. Hurray! Hallelujah! You’ve spoken truth. And truth is always the best encourager. The best healer. The best medicine. Life is always hard, but God is good. Pain and grief are the roto-rooters God uses to increase our capacity for joy.

    So with every twist and turn of the blades, know that God is doing major construction. The signs of don’t walk there, danger falling objects, bridge is out, are posted all along Freeland Avenue right now. But the Master Builder is at work, and you all will be open for business soon.

    He promised!
    Thank you for this post, Lori.


  8. Lynn Shoemate |

    Thanks for the truth and not pretending everything is great because you are Christians. I’m so sorry this is happening again. I’m praying for your family.
    If I know when you’re coming to Children’s in Dallas I would come see you. I’m close.

  9. Polly Eckert |

    We are all God’s “beautiful messes.” You’ve just let us witness yours up close and personal. I cannot imagine the exhaustion–emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Should you need anything it would be a pleasure to help you at this difficult time.

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. But He did not say it does so perfectly. Love never fails. It’s what you’re doing.

  10. Julia Graves |

    Oh Lori, so beautifully said. I so hate that we now live so far. I so badly wish I were there to wash your moldy laundry, to wipe the cookie crumbles and wash the dirty pans, to hold Maddy on Wednesdays while you take Kyle to Chemo, to do anything else that I could do to help you and Pat. But, since I can’t be there in person, I can pray, and pray, and pray for each of you! Hope you are feeling the prayers!

  11. Lovely post. God is working through even all of this.

    And definitely hold to the work he’s done in the past. Psalm 143 has something to say about fighting black times by remembering what God has done in the past.

    Praying for you all.

  12. One if the most eloquent and inspirTional posts I’ve read. It is rW and real and true. God bless you for not prettying it up.

  13. Well, I’m the “bad friend”, I guess, but I read this and just cried, and I’m angry. I’m angry that Kyle has to go through this again. I’m angry that all of you have to go through this again, and I want it to stop. I want it over. I want a magic wand to be waved and for it to all be done and for Kyle to be healthy and y’all to have a joyful life and never fear this thing again. And I wish I had some eloquent response with great encouragement and…anything that would remotely make anything remotely better, and I don’t. Instead, I’m just sitting here crying praying, “God, please…Please so many things I can’t find words for but are in my heart…please…I’ve walked through my own version of hell that I won’t compare with this, but, God, I know you are faithful…please…I know you can carry them…please…I know these hearts and lives are not condemned to being shattered…please…help them remember and cling to this when everything else seems beyond them…you are God, and you are good. Please help them remember that.”

    Wishing and praying…

  14. Sometimes, honesty on paper helps. My heart breaks for your family. I will continue to pray for you. Only God can heal your pain. I know He will walk through this valley with you & bring you to the other side. Only He knows that kind of struggle.

    • Lori Freeland |

      Thank you. I actually feel better telling the truth. That way no one has any expectations. Lol. No, for real, I believe God works in our weakness and for that I’m grateful.

  15. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. 3 weeks well spent.
    XOX. ~D~

  16. Terah Coffman |

    Honesty is always the most beautiful writing. May God bless you and your family and give you strength, unity and His peace through this journey.

  17. Lori, it doesn’t matter right now how long it takes to write your posts. What matters is that they’re good. If taking a little extra time produces work like this, it’s completely worth it. Your truth is beautiful — your transparent writing makes it so.

  18. Lori, this post is more valuable than any posts talking about your family’s strength or wisdom, etc. You’re human. And you’re going through one of the most difficult journeys imaginable. And other people who are also going through difficult journeys will be able to read this post and identify with your struggles. Just because we’re Christians does not mean we’re super-human or somehow immune to the harsh trials of life. I’ve been thinking of you and praying for Kyle and your entire family as you take this journey together. You are an inspiration to so many. May your faith remain strong and may God Bless you.

  19. Kirsten Johnson |

    I am sending you some more scriptures/promises that we can stand on together. I believe in the promises of God even when things don’t seem to be going well. We continue to hold the arms of your family up during this episode of faith. xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *