Monday, January 28, 2008

My thoughts

Well, I have procrastinated writing on the blog. I haven't forgotten, and Joseph is not doing badly, and we aren't really that busy. I just don't know what to write. We are thrilled with his progress. He is sleeping well, playing, laughing, resuming normal 3 yr. old activities and generally being his old self again. It is an answer to prayer and a real joy to see. I just have so many mixed emotions and thoughts it is hard to really enjoy this without fear and doubt creeping in. I finally had to have a talk with God about this, about why this is happening, how are we supposed to deal with this, how could he take our precious son? When I have some quiet moments I feel like he brought several verses to mind:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
I realized that God doesn't say you will get what you want in this verse, but that he promises his peace. I think that is enough for me.
Then another verse was:
"I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to take that which I've entrusted unto him against that day."
In this verse I was reminded that we have entrusted Joseph to Jesus, and He will take care of him no matter what the earthly outcome is.
The next verse is more of a's about Jesus's followers asking about a man born blind, and they are wondering, "Whose sin made this man blind?" Well, here is the exact scripture: (John 9)
His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Jesus answered, "Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him, "Go wash 3 in the Pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

This one gave me a glimmer of hope.
The last verse is:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."

This verse reminded me not to put too much stock in my own reasoning and predictions (which lately have been pretty pessimistic) or even in others' reasoning or statistics, but to trust that God has the power and wisdom to do what He thinks best for Joseph and for all involved.
I write all this because honestly, Allen and I are sad a lot of the time, worried, heartsick, fearful, etc... my words would probably just make you depressed. But, God is faithful, and his words are true no matter how we are feeling. And they are a lot more hopeful and certain and powerful.
Thank you all for contintuing to pray for us. We will post more pictures soon...Joseph got a stylish new haircut this weekend and had a lot of fun around town so we snapped lots of shots. Oh, and Holly got some new bows to match her red shirts (she has decided that jeans and red shirts are IT). Now tech-unsavvy parents have to figure out how to post them.


carriehayes said...

wow! thanks so much for these Words. thank you for being so honest! i am still praying for you all! i am praying for healing for Joseph! praying for you guys to cast your burdens on Jesus! praying for good sleep and double rest! praying for good food and happy tummies! praying for all those around you who are seeing the Light in the darkness to come to know that Light! praying that you will know His comfort while you are away from home. praying that you will not be lonely and to remember he says, "never will I leave you, never will I forsake you." we are here to hold up your arm when you get tired. we are all here for you! even though i have never met you i am walking with you so close!!! and when you have done everything you can do, just stand there...the Lord will fight for you. thanks so much for sharing your is such a precious gift to me.
much love, carrie

Sarah said...

I have been following Joseph's story. I found out through a friend, Boothe Blanton Farley. I went to church with Allen in high school but he was a few years older. He may not remember me. I am committed to praying for your family. My husband has a chronic illness in which he experiences a daily migraine that never goes away. We are traveling next week to Chicago where he will be hospitalized for awhile. All this to say that I can empathize with the fear and the helplessness you are both feeling, and how overwhelming it is to have your life altered from what you hoped it would be. I have found strength in this verse.
2 Chronicles 20: 12
For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us...We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
I will pray for him to uphold you day by day. He gives us enough grace for each day. I know that some days are harder to bear than others.
Sarah Coggeshall Shipley

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the updates; I am sure they are so hard to write.

Your journey has impacted me in so many ways. I have a 4 year old little boy who seems to be similar in passion and spirit to Joseph. I look at him (and all my children - and even all of life) with new eyes now. I am trying to learn to capture every moment I can and enjoy the "now" more often - even the mundane things like brushing teeth or even watching him as he passes through the hallway on his way to do something he wants to do.

Thank you for allowing all of us to share this journey with you. I check this blog first thing every morning and pray immediately after. Your family is a real blessing to me.

Chris Austin
Knoxville, TN

Ann said...

Hi Allen en Gillian That is an amazing piece of writing and honesty. We are with you all the time even if it is so far away.Love you all Ann Ben & the lads

Sara Wade said...

Gillian- Thanks so much for sharing that. I can imagine that it is tough to make yourself write anything right now. Your sheer honesty, though- God is using that to bless so many people. I wish so badly that y'all were here or some of us were there-- just to give you guys a hug and serve you. We are praying and having hope.
-Sara Wade

Jean Joiner said...

We'll be praying those verses for you guys. Thanks for sharing with us.

susan and brian said...

We are sad that you all have to go through these hard times, it seems unfair. Our thoughts are with you so much of the time and we think of all the good times we shared. We are glad to hear of all the happy times you are sharing together and hope they are outnumbering the not so happy times. Hope that this week will be good for you all. Love Susan Brian Killian Shane Marie and Susan

Anonymous said...

My heart just wants to hug and hold you so tight! The ups and downs that come with daily challenges is quite a lot for us human beings to face and carry, and especially it seems when it's about your children. We are praying daily for Joseph and all of you. God has been giving His comfort to you is quite evident; but of course we are always in need of it daily, so it seems to happen over and over again that we need more comfort, more love, more grace. These kind of growing pains hurt, but He knows what we need, n'est-ce pas? So we lift you all up to JEHOVAH-ROPHE ("The Lord Who Heals" Ex. 15:22-26); and is present at all times within His temple (you) that He ever dwells in. Just keep hanging on to Him! love, margaret and art

BJ and Beth said...

The Slotkins love the Peabodys!!!! Thanks for sharing your heart. We're so excited to see you guys and Joe P. soon.

Anonymous said...

Gillian and Allen,

Each time I read your blog I am in awe of your strength and faith. I do not get depressed reading your words, but am carried even deeper into my own faith. The MSM family continues to pray for Joseph and your family.

Josh & Heather said...

I just found your blog today. We are praying for Joseph and you all.
Josh & Heather Pitts

Chris and Melissa said...

We appreciate you opening your heart to us so we can know what to pray for you. May God bless you with his peace this week.

Em said...

i simply can't imagine the fear, grief, and overwhelming anxiety that comes with this uncharted territory. i won't even begin to say i can relate to what you are experiencing, but there is One who can, and can carry this burden for you. I pray you're able to rest in Him, find peace in Him and trust in Him, He is good, He is sovereign, He is faithful.. He is the ultimate physician, and bigger and beyond statistics. Remember that He is the "I am" and is still in control.

On my knees for your sweet Joseph...

Mary Vagnoni said...

What an inspirational update. My bags are packed and I can't wait to see you this weekend.
love and prayers

Wrights said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and what the Lord is teaching you through all you are walking through. We pray that He really will be your peace, as He has promised. And that He will allow you to enjoy Joseph with no fear. You are really on our hearts a lot of the time and we are praying constantly.
Nathaniel, Rebekah, Anna Walton and Olivia

ksusha said...

hey this is ksusha i am soooo happy that joseph is doing well.we love u gues and are praying for ya'll

Nana said...

Gillian after talking to you a little while ago i found myself singing these hymns unconcially the first one was "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing'..Proverbs 10;22The next one I bellowed out was 'Arise,My Soul,Arise'Hebrews 7;25.Then I sang Spirit of the Living God".Galations 5;16.the next hymn was Freely, Freely Matthew 10 ;8 .This one you may not remember.I will try and jog your memory. when we lived in Dun Emer in Ireland on a Monday night Lynn and Sarah-jane and you and Siobhan Saunders and Anne Murtagh and Erica Shipman and Heather Pinkerton would go to that little church beside Wesley College and play games and learn some bible stories and also sing.Onmothers Day one year you all sang that and in church they gave all the Moms a choclate!! i have never forgotten the melody to that hymn.The scripture says"Heal the sick(Joseph),raise the dead,cleanse those who have leprosy,drive out demons.Freely you have received,freely give"The last hymn i sang was "Jesus Loves Me "Ephesians 5;1-3 "Be imitators of God,therefore,as dearly loved children and live a life of love,just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" Thanks for sharing so honestly how you and Allen feel.Now we all know how to pray .We love you all dearly lots of love and kisses and hugs Mom aka Nana aka Guido .ps.Go Ashley for teaching us how to shop for free!!If you bloggers are curious ask Lynn Sarah-jane or Gillian(Gillian is just learning) or me or Sam or Ashley!!!!!

Leslie Hill said...

I have been praying for you and check almost everyday for a post from you. I am AMAZED at the trust and faith that the Lord has bestowed upon you. Your story has become such a testimony to more than you will ever know. You are a true testament to the Lord's faithfulness and Grace. Thank you for your honesty and involving all of us in your journey.
The Lord Bless you and Keep you!

~Leslie Hill (You know me better as Leslie Logan and sometimes so do I!)

Anonymous said...

Psalm 54:4: Surely God is my help;the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Psalm 56:3: When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Psalm 59:9: O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
Psalm 62:5-7: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God, he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Pslam 71:12: Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me.
Psalm 73:25-26: Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but Gdo is the strength of my heat and my portion forever.
Praying that God's Word will be your strength today. Mimi

Lisa Allen said...

My heart is aching for all of you as I know you are questioning why this has happened. What a blessing that you are Christians and know to rely on the Lord even in extremely difficult circumstances. You are such an example to many who are facing or will face hard times, and God will bless you for your faith in Him.

Much love, Bill and Lisa Allen

Caleb Cangelosi said...

Allen and Gillian,
Hi, this is Caleb Cangelosi, your former intern at UT. I am now the pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Cookeville, and one of our elders' wives forwarded your site to me. A happy providence, since now my family and church can remember you in prayer! It's been awhile since I've seen you or anyone else from UT, and I hoped that I would eventually make contact with some of you - though not necessarily in the midst of these circumstances. I am thankful to see you continuing to walk in the truth, even through great affliction. Never forget that "behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face." I have taken great comfort lately in Philippians 1:29, "For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake." May God give you and Joseph grace as He gives you suffering.

I hope to see you one day soon!
Caleb Cangelosi (

Courtney said...

I'm so thankful to have read your recent thoughts. I appreciate that you fully acknowledge the truth of scripture without discounting your human experience. Your honesty is encouraging.

Good seeing you Sunday night!

Anonymous said...

i know its hard because you feel like you have to keep posting encouraging thingsand i know that you know this but dont feel like you have to do that. i am praying so much for you guys and thoseverses were amazing. i just put you on my blog again to have people pray.

Joann said...

thanks for all the updates. we are praying and praying and will continue from the rosenbaums

Anonymous said...

God bless your precious son & family. I am praying for miracles & the peace of the Lord around each of you as our faithful father tends to every detail...

Anonymous said...

We still continue praying for you all and checking your updates often. Your sweet little Joseph is being lifted up in prayer regularly in Colorado......

Drew, Jenny and Samuel Matthews

courtney said...

Praying for you all tonight........
Praying that God would bring Joseph relief from his symptoms and that you all can get some rest. Thank you for letting us know how to pray for you where you are.We are praying that God would surround you with loved ones who you are able to be raw and real with as you walk through all of this-

Many, many prayers and much love-

Courtney Ashburn

Christy said...

Thinking of you tonight ...

Can't wait to see the new pictures. Does Memphis have a Badd Boyz Barber Shop? (That's the only place to go around here if you want to look cool)

Lynn T said...

Gill, Allen,

Thanks for sharing so openly. I think of you all the time. I'm praying tonight and missing you all.

Love, Lynn

Nana said...

Iam praying especially for sweet Joseph tonight and for all of you too.Sleep soumd in Jesus..Love from Nana

trmills said...

Hello Dear Peabodys. We've been out of touch but wanted to make sure you know that we are still praying in Bangkok. Thank you for sharing what's going on in your heart and mind during this time of so many emotions. Love to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Praying that today will be a better day for you all. For healing for Allen and that the rest of you don't get what he has. For Joseph, that his stomach will be able to handle the treatment today. For Holly that she will have a good day with Nana loving on her, and for you, Gillian. That God will give you the strength and grace to go through the day. My class will be praying this morning for you all. Love, Mimi

Pam said...


I don't think I've ever met you, but I am a member at Christ Community and I've been following your blog. I am praying for Joseph all the time and for you and Allen and for Joseph's grandparents. Now that I am a grandparent, I have a better understanding of how hard this experience is for them, too. Don't you ever worry about sounding "depressing". We all want you to bare your heart and we want to share in the mystery of God allowing us to help bear your burden. We love you and Joseph in a way that is irrational, considering some of us don't even know you face-to-face, but in a way that surpasses human understanding. God bless Joseph, your marriage, your whole family, and all who care for Joseph. Thank you for faithfully sharing your thoughts and God's Word.

Anonymous said...

We want you all to know that many of our friends are keeping you in their prayers. We are always thinking of you and praying as well. Love, Karl and Martha

Anonymous said...

Pauline, Gillian & Allen, Joseph & Holly,
Thinking of you and praying for all of you to feel well. Today at BSF we studied Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14, and I was thinking of how we tend to look around us in a storm. Peter cried out, "Lord, save me!" and He did immediately. What a reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus, to know He is always there to save us and carry us through. He was praying for the disciples even as they were in the storm and then walked out to them. Even now He is praying for you, together with all the saints!! His love never ceases and His mercies are new every morning! He is faithful!
Love, Paula

Vivi said...

Your faith in this time of struggle is an encouragement to us all. We are all on our knees for your continued strength. All our love goes to you all.

Jeanne said...

Thanks so much for sharing your heart, Gillian. You're honesty encourages us to live our faith and lives in real ways! Thanks for your transparency, and willingness to make the effort to write. Glad that the day to day is becoming more routine, praying for the deeper, heart wondering issues.
This William Cowper hymn has been in my heart and mine for you recently:

Sometimes a Light Surprises

1. Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord Who rises
With healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after the rain

2. In holy contemplation
We sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation,
And find it ever new;
Set free from present sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow
Bring with it what it may.

3. Tomorrow can bring us nothing,
But He will bear us through:
Who gives the lilies clothing
Will clothe His people, too:
Beneath the spreading heavens
No creature but is fed;
And He Who feeds the ravens
Will give His children bread.

4. Though vine nor fig tree neither
Their wonted fruit should bear,
Though all the fields should wither,
Nor flocks or herds be there
Yet, God the same abiding,
His praise shall tune my voice;
For, while in Him confiding,
I cannot but rejoice.

©2001 Kevin Twit Music.

Thinking of you often, praying for you persistently, Love, Jeanne for the Fell's

Laurie said...

Thinking about Joseph and praying all the time that the Lord sustains him and heals him. I am especially praying for your hearts as this is so hard to watch your sweet boy go through this. Asking God to flood you with His peace that passes all understanding and give you HOPE in your hurting hearts. Thank you so much for the honest update, letting us know how best we can continue praying for you.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Emily said...

Gillian, thank you for writing despite your reluctance. I hope it was therapeutic in some way. It certainly is for those of us reading what you wrote. Connor and I prayed that Joe would have the best sleep last night. I hope he did. We miss you guys. Have fun this weekend with the Slotkin's and your family! Holly has the same birthday as my mom.

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you constantly. Thank you for your honesty. Glad that God can handle our questions, heartaches and fears. May His Spirit comfort you.
love, vann and norma

Kelly said...

May God's peace that transcends all understanding be with you. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. We will continue to lift you up in prayer. Love, Kelly and Evan Lathem

the harmans said...

your faith is a testament to all! and still praying faithfully for healing.

lindsey harman

So Blessed said...

praying for your family...

Tiffany said...

This post made me think of these words to the song "Be Thou My Vision":
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

Blessings to you 4.

Chloe said...

gill, it is good, albeit sad, to hear how you are feeling. your bravery is inspiring. love chloe. x

Brea said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Gillian. As a mother, I know how immeasurably precious our children are to us, and I can't even begin to fathom why this would be part of God's plan. I'm thankful you are able to be honest with God about what you are feeling.

My heart aches with you, and I keep asking God to give you all the grace you need to live each day He gives you. As always, we are asking Him to display His work in Joseph's life and to heal him completely, and we will pray for you according to the Scriptures you have shared.

The Trone's: James, Misty, and Bella Grace said...


I knew you in college through Campus Crusade & found out about sweet Joseph through many mutual friends. I am praying for rest for each of you. Not only physical rest but also spiritual rest. "Come to ME all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." He promises to do that for you and that will be my particular prayer for you as well. My sweet mother-in-law was just diagnosed with Stage III brain tumor. We are just beginning to walk through this journey with her. There is a site I wanted to share with you that has given us much hope. A friend of mine in California goes to church with a young mother who was diagnosed with a GBM. Her story is remarkable & I believe will give you great hope.

Praying for Rest,
Misty Woodson Trone

The Trone's: James, Misty, and Bella Grace said...

Or maybe it was RUF? I cannot remember...but I do remember you!

Vanessa said...

Hold on to those verses especially when times get really tough...i treasure those same ones and the "lean not on your undestanding" is on my living room wall always reminding. God bless you and your handsome boy!