Bad Genes?

As the day of my genetic testing draws closer, I find the emotional battle against fear exhausting.


Tomorrow they will take vials of blood and send them to a lab to determine whether or not my cancers are genetic… whether or not I will have to test my children… whether or not brain and stomach cancers and bone sarcomas are a likely part of my future.

And the battle rages. Fear ravages and Satan seeks to tear down and destroy joy.

It is overwhelming to think about what could be, so I desperately try to pack every moment full of life so we don’t lose time that I might not have, and it becomes a frantic pace that can steal joy, rather than a resting in the joy of the Lord.

Ultimately, all this fear, it’s about loss of control, because I am under the illusion that I have some control to begin with. I want to feel in control of something in my life, because I am getting ready to go find out if I have mutant genes in my body. They will tell me what this means for my life, my children, my future.

And so I wake in the night, when the darkness seems so oppressive, and the whispered prayers fly furiously.


Drunken. Like Hannah’s prayer in the temple. Pouring out all bitterness of soul before the Lord.

And I am begging God for mercy for us, for Brian, for our children. But not just for us. For others… stage four cancer in the life of a friend… hurting hearts from painful broken relationships… tragedies striking leaving friends reeling in agony… Every day I hear something new. This doesn’t even touch the ones i am already aching with and for and begging for healing and strength and protection.

Oh, for all of us. I pray.

Mostly I pray to see Him, because this fallen world seems more fallen these days.

I sing to Bella-girl at bedtime as I’m tucking her in.

She is just sad and scared these days. We all are.

But I remind her God is watching us… the angel of the Lord encamps round those who fear His name, to save them and deliver them from harm. Though lions roar with hunger, we lack for no good thing… We picture it together. A whole host of angels watching over us. And I sing…At all times I will bless Him, His praise will be in my mouth. My soul makes it boast in the Lord…”

Even if I learn in the weeks ahead that I have “bad genes” or that my children have inherited those “bad genes”… I remember, we all have bad genes from Adam. This is life in a fallen world.

This is what we do. When it all feels hard and hopeless and out of control.

We acknowledge that it is hard, that we are not in control, and that there is hope… there is always hope.

The Gospel doesn’t stop being true when life is hard.

So I seek to trust.

I seek to dwell on what is rather than on what might be.

And I remember His faithfulness.

This is my dwelling place… my abiding place… my resting place…my refuge.

(I will be at UVA tomorrow–Thursday–for the afternoon for testing. It will be several weeks before we know results. Would you praise God with me that we learned the test will be covered 100% by insurance?! Would you pray for our hearts while we wait for results… that our waiting would not be on results, but on God?)

13 responses to “Bad Genes?”

  1. Carol Crabtree Avatar
    Carol Crabtree

    Oh my dear, precious friend. Your words have wisdom that run so deep. You will be wrapped in my prayers Angie. Prayers are with you at this moment. Thank you for sharing. The Lord is so using you. Love you. Carol


  2. Dearest Angie, you have my prayers…always will. I hate those fears you’re battling, and the enemy who sends them. I love the One who holds you and your future and your family in His beautiful hands. And I love you.


  3. Dear one, I have been praying for you all week and will continue to do so that God will give you peace for whatever the results! I love you so much!


  4. Hi Angie,

    I will be praying for you and your family now and in the coming weeks. “The Gospel doesn’t stop being true when life is hard.” That is so true, and I’m so grateful for it!

    By the way, I remember years ago having a conversation with you about starting this blog and you asked my advice on a category strategy. The rooms of the home… We came up with that together, and how amazing to see how this blog has blossomed into a place where you let us into your “home.”

    And, I’ve enjoyed watching you up front at VBS this week. I love that my girl can watch you praising God with your whole heart. 🙂


  5. Absolutely praying…


  6. Ken & Debbie Fields Avatar
    Ken & Debbie Fields

    We love you!


  7. We will be thinking of you all and praying with you tomorrow and beyond! Genetic testing is scary – I think I may find myself doing it sometime soon, given the prevalence of breast cancer on my dad’s side of the family. And I have been avoiding it, even though me, the cancer biologist who has spent years studying these very things, knows that I certainly shouldn’t delay!

    Scared or not, this is just another sign of your incredible bravery: you’re so smart to do this, because knowing your genetic status can change the plan for vigilance for both you and the kids, and that could mean early intervention, greater success of treatment, and maybe even by the time the kids are older and would be thinking of these things, prevention!

    Those of us on the cancer research side think of these things daily, and although the pace of research can be interminably slow, there is an awful lot of innovation happening out there, and 16 years of work in the field still hasn’t convinced me that we won’t win the war someday.

    Take hope, too: those genes may be bad (although, I will be thinking and praying that they are not!), but you know this, I’m sure – there are so many other genes that have made you uniquely you, that come from your mom and your dad and your grandparents and your great-grandparents and beyond. And so many of those genes, those tiny things that come together to make physical characteristics, personalities, health, and who knows what else, are blessings that you’ve passed on to your beautiful, smart, good and kind children, and that they will carry forward, too.

    How about those genes that make you an incredible photographer and writer, eh? Not so shabby. 🙂

    Love to you all, and we’re thinking of you tomorrow especially and every day, really!



  8. Praying for you Angie! I will offer my Mass intentions for you and your family tomorrow (Thursday).


  9. My dear Angie,

    I rejoice in what the Lord has done in your life. It is grace to all of those who hear. Those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up as wings of an eagle, they will run and not grow weary, and will walk and not faint, so we will wait on Him.. What a strength that is given. Our trials changing us for eternity.

    May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing that you may dwell in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Standing in agreement with you,
    Love and blessings,


  10. Blessed Be Your Name
    In the land that is plentiful
    Where Your streams of abundance flow
    Blessed be Your name

    Blessed Be Your name
    When I’m found in the desert place
    Though I walk through the wilderness
    Blessed Be Your name

    Blessed be Your name
    When the sun’s shining down on me
    When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
    Blessed be Your name

    Blessed be Your name
    On the road marked with suffering
    Though there’s pain in the offering
    Blessed be Your name

    Every blessing You pour out
    I’ll turn back to praise
    When the darkness closes in, Lord
    Still I will say

    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your name
    Blessed be the name of the Lord
    Blessed be Your glorious name

    You give and take away
    You give and take away
    My heart will choose to say
    Lord, blessed be Your name


  11. Dearest friend, I’ve been watching you during VBS this week and marveled at your strength and testimony. Despite your concerns and fears you were glowing during the time of worship and doing the motions for the songs. You are an inspiration to all of us of God’s grace. You demonstrate His peace and joy.

    Psalm 84:11 “The Lord is a sun and shield, He bestows favor and honor. No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.”


  12. praying and hoping in Him with and for you and your family, Angie.


  13. Angie, I don’t even know how to say the right words that will cause you to say, ” aha, I no longer have any worries!” Isn’t it just like me to want the credit for God’s wisdom. Notice that wasn’t a question. I will be praying that The Holy Spirit will minister to you and your family as only HE can. I love you and Brian and your babies. I remember with such joy, the days spent with all 3 of them on the golf cart. Audrey sitting on my lap, steering, and the boys hanging on for dear life. I was manning the gas pedal and most of the time we were flying in circles. Both boys took turns flying off, I never told you that. I was afraid you wouldn’t let me keep them again. The boys would head the golf cart straight for the fence and sometimes I would practically stand up on the brakes to stop in time. On Sunday, I loved it when David O talked about God invading the earth and our space etc. and I thought, I am soooooo glad He does. These trails are not for nothing. I have to remember that, when it feels like I can’t do this anymore. Not knowing. And then I have to remember, who better to trust with my daughter? With Him there is unfailing love and FULL REDEMPTION. Can you even believe that? That’s almost too good to be true, but it is. I don’t know why He is allowing us to know HIM so personally but we are blessed abundantly, and I know you know that. I love you so much Angie.


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