I recently found out that I had cancer. . . again.
The very next Monday my husband called me from his car. “Babe, something’s wrong.” He was on the way to the emergency room with pressure and pain in his chest, worse than anything he had ever experienced.
“I don’t think I’m going to make it,” he said. I thought he was talking about making it to the emergency room.
That’s not what he meant. When I reached the emergency room I ran back to him and found my healthy-eating runner in a full-blown heart attack. Two days later they did a double bypass.
It’s been a hard few days, friends. He’s had a double bypass. I’ll have a double mastectomy in a few weeks. Good friends and close family have thrown up their hands. “What’s going on, Suzie?” they ask. “Where is God in all of this?” They are looking for things that will help this make sense. Because that’s what we do when it feels like too much.
What I tell my friends is that God hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s right here — over us, under us, behind us, before us. His presence is close.
We sometimes think that faith is about having an easy life. If we are good, then life will be good. But if you look at scripture, you find good people going through difficult times. The goodness we experience is him. It’s the reality of his character in those hard places. It’s the character of his people as they show up with chicken soup and hand-written cards and lots and lots of hugs.
Knowing this doesn’t mean there aren’t moments where we struggle with all of it. The morning after Richard’s heart attack I walked through the parking lot to find his car. It was completely encased in ice and I didn’t have anything to get rid of the ice. So I climbed in the ice-tombed car and pushed the heat up to 90 and sat for 30 minutes. While it thawed was the perfect time to cry without anyone hearing me.
I wept over the fear of almost losing him. I wept over the double dose of news we had received in less than a week. I wept over the fact that I didn’t have an ice scraper when I needed one.
Since that time, our news has got a little better and I’m grateful. Richard came through the double bypass well. Though I still have to have a double mastectomy, they caught it earlier this time. No chemo for this girl!
Why am I sharing this?
Because I’m not the only one who sometimes feels like it’s too much. We all land in that trench at some point. What I love best about our Savior is that he has already climbed in that trench with us. We are not alone. He’s a deep well of peace that holds us until we come out on the other side.
If you will, pray for #teamEller over the next few weeks. I’ll still be sharing and writing, for that’s a privilege. But I’d also be honored if you’ll pray as we face this mountain, climb it, and arrive on the other side. I treasure that you are fighting with me.
Want to worship with me today? Let’s shut it all down for a moment and lean into these words:
Peace be still.
You are here so it is well.
I’m not going to be afraid.
You are greater than this storm.
Praying for you as you pray with me. For that’s what friends do.
If this encouraged you, these blog posts might encourage you as well.
- The riches we find in the deep
- Following Jesus isn’t a charmed life; it’s a changed life
- 10 scriptures that help you in the battle
Read this book: Come With Me Devotional: A Year-Long Adventure in Following Jesus
Praying for and with #teameller. I’m brand new here and noticed your post was today, which it has only been today for about 3 hrs.
If you get a chance plz read my description and you can see what is going on with me and why I’m here.
May God Bless you and your husband. I can’t wait to meet you someday as I live I South Central Arkansas and my mom and I would LOVE to come to both of your retreats. As beginners I assume we need to go through your Fall retreat first. Hoping we haven’t missed it for this year. Anyway, I know you know this but I always tell people anyway for a reminder because in our hurts, pain, sufferings, trials, etc sometimes we forget to KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS! Just to emphasize not yelling at you.
Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor. I think I’ll add that to my profile.
With love, hugs, and prayers coming your way.
Thank you Suzie for this! Your strength & inner peace is so contagious! Praise be to the almighty God.
Prayers lifted up for you and your husband, family and friends…
Praying for continued peace in your storm. Our daughter is in the middle of a battle tonight with an eating disorder that is trying to take her life. If you have the strength in your battle will you pray for her? It is fierce and consuming every part of her life.
Dear Suzie, your confession of faith, hope and pure humanity have reached me so far away from where you are right now… Writing is such a precious gift! Your words blessed all of us who are in battle fields at the moment. I send my prayers and love to you and your beloved runner…
Denise, from Brazil
Ever since we heard about your husband we have been praying for you all. You may not even realize just how much Team Eller is covered in prayer. Thank you for sharing with us and for your faithful example through it all. You’ve given so much to others. Now we get a chance to give back to you and pay it forward. ❤️
I am giving thanks with you that your husband didn’t succumb to a “widow maker” but is going to be alive and well with a new lease on life.
My heart goes out to you on this emotional journey you are now on to give up your “ta tas.” They certainly don’t define you and now represent death rather than life. So, goodbye ta tas!
Grab your girlfriends who will hold you up as you go through this. I’ll be holding you up in prayer too.💜
Dearest Suzie, this is the first post I’ve read of yours. I’d just finished praying and crying over my situation and my first e-mail was your story. I cried for Team Eller as I was still crying for myself. I watched the video link. I realized it’s so easy to think you are the only one experiencing pain right now. In one click on an email link, God showed me how untrue that was. Nasty, nasty things are increasing thrown at our Brothers and Sisters in Christ as we head through the beginning of the end times. It’s not just me, it’s everyone. God just spoke to me and said ‘I will take care of your situation but go out and spread My Word to unbelievers as I will be here in but a whisper’ I will pray for you Team Eller. Please look up occasionally and fix your eyes on our Father’s face. Feel the intense white light burning through His Eyes, His perfect love for us. Be still and watch His plans for us unfold. They will ALWAYS be consistent with the perfect Love He has for us. I call now for the mercy of His healing hands to envelop your family and restore full health to you all. Thank you for posting Suzie x
Suzie, I love you and am so grateful for your witness. I’m praying for you and Richard, and just wish I was closer to be able to help out in person. You are such a blessing to me and so many others. Praying you through #teameller ♥️🙏🏻
Your devotionals have meant a lot to me over the years. I even have a separate folder under my Inbox titled “Eller”. When I read about you and your husband this morning, I immediately lifted you two up in prayer.
I’m so sorry that you and your husband are going through this difficult time. I pray that the double mastectomy will end your bout with cancer!
Praise God that no chemo is required. Also, praises to God that your husband survived his heart attack and is doing well.
Continued prayers for your quick recovery and healing, and for your husband and family.
I read this tonight…just after drying tears over spilled spaghetti…just the one thing too much after a year of battling breast cancer (mastectomy,chemo,radiation and continued targeted therapy);my mother on laws recent ovarian cancer diagnosis,my poor husband needing knee replacement but putting that on hold for now. His chest pains that have come now. Did I mention we’re raising a 7 year old grandchild b/c our son and her momma choose drugs over her? Yes, we cry it’s just too much. Too much to bear without Jesus,and his promises. Prayers!!
Suzy, your writing has blessed and encouraged me so much over th past few years.I feel like I know you, so it hurt when I read what you are going through. Praise God your husband is getting better. I will pray for you both right now. What an amazing post. I will be passing it on to a friend right now who is in the trench, as you so eloquently put it, to remind her that Jesus is in the trench with her. ❤️
Blessings and prayers to you and your entire family. So thankful no chemo is needed but it’s still hard Im sure. Keep looking up and I pray a total healing for you!
Suzie,I’m praying for you .. I love your writing .your faith will get you through rough journey .. so thankful your husband is doing good now ..🙏🏻❤️
Beautifully written! Continuing to pray for #TeamEller as you walk through this tough but blessed path.
I definitely needed this reminder as I continue to go through my own health issue.
My prayers are with you and your husband through this journey. Cheering for God’s Team Eller!!!! Thank you for being real and vulnerable. You have shown us what a good Father we have in the hard places of life. Psalm 23, Psalm 27. The boat does rock throughout the seasons of our lives…but Jesus still walks with us through the waves! Father’s blessings of peace and His abiding strength. Love and hugs, Linda
Sorry to hear you and your family are going through all this. I will be praying. God will comfort, heal, and provide for all your needs.
(breast cancer survivor)
Suzie, Honored to be praying with you and for TeamEller. I love the tranquility and earntness to this song. “Let faith rise up, Oh heart beleive. Let faith Rise up in me. Peace be still, Say the word and I will Set my feet upon the sea. Till I’m dancing in the deep” Suzie, I see you dancing….. Blessings and much love-Susan
Suzy – Praying for #TeamEller. I am so sorry yet another trial. I have no doubt God will strengthen you and carry you through it every step of the way. Thank you for your vulnerability and for pointing all of us to GOD. Yes, he is the source. I will be sharing your post in hopes of adding to your team of prayer warriors. Plus, to allow my readers to be blessed by your words.
Blessings and prayers, Maree
Oh, I loved the song. Adding it to my playlist. Maree
Thank you for this amazing how God talk with me today it be okay I had long hard day yesterday at work IAM long term nurse and I want to throw towel and give up and just quit my job
Thank you for sharing your story with us all. It melts my heart how strong your faith is. You are someone we all need to look up to. I believe that is the only reason, you make it through.
May Jesus’ healing rain down on you and Richard, today, tomorrow, and as long as His will be done.
I think I can speak for all of us here, we are all praying for you, Richard, and #TeamEller!
Thanks for sharing!! I will be praying for you and your family!!Love you!!Praise the Lord !!
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and My covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
As a fellow sister who is coming through my own reckoning, know I will pray every time I think of you. That you will continually lean into Him and that His plan will be full of loving kindness and mercy as you walk it.
Oh Suzie, praying for you through tears. I so admire your heart and faithfulness to the Lord through all the ups and downs. You were one the Lord placed in my life through your blog and books and podcasts after my husband didn’t make it past the heart attack at age 46. Your willingness to speak the “real” while leading us to Jesus has meant so much to me. So sad for these painful things in your life but wanted you to know how much you have meant in mine. Much love and prayers❤️
Through your writing, your words and strong faith in Jesus have been a rock for me in times when my heart so needed it – and for that, I thank you. I pray that you have a strong team surrounding you that can be your rock now when you need it. And of course, always remember that Jesus is walking alongside you, holding you tightly and guiding your hands and feet. Praying for you, #teameller with many love and hugs!
Oh Suzy — Your words really hit home this morning. I am a six-year cancer free breast cancer survivor who often battles fear or recurrence. I’m sorry that your cancer is back and that you must undergo a double mastectomy. I give you my breast cancer verse and hope that it takes you through the hills and valleys as it has carried me. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be dismayed (the past). Do not be afraid (the future). The Lord, your God, will go with you wherever you go (all the doctors appointments, the surgery, the reconstruction). Joshua 1:9 *emphasis mine. Bless you, Suzy. I will be thinking of you. #teameller
Praying for Teameller! Thank you for sharing <3 this message was much needed in my life today & please pray from my Tribe as well, we too are facing adversaries and difficulties Thank you<3
May God continue to bless you on your journey! #teameller is on our prayer list at home, and at church in Robinson, Illinois. Continued prayers for swift recovery for Richard and for you, Suzie after your surgery!
Praying for #teameller! Suzie we serve a God who can do all things, there is nothing too hard or impossible with him. I ask Jesus to completely heal your Husband and to be with you during your surgery and give you a speedy recovery. I Pray that God will give you a Peace that passes all understanding. All we can do is trust the one who knows all things!
Praying for #TeamEller! God’s got you and Richard. Thank you for your words of wisdom and guiding us to never forgot that Christ is always in our corner; He’s there for you two as well. Blessings are you navigate this journey.
I’m so sorry for this storm in your lives, Suzie. May God hold both of you so close to His heart that you will hear the steady, calming rhythm of His love for you!
Thanks friends. Your comments are encouraging. I’m combing through these today and praying with and for you as well.
Susie, May you feel God’s loving arms wrapped around you and carrying you. Only be very courageous and rest in God. The battle is the Lord’s.
I am praying for you and your husband.
Even in the midst of your own storm, you give us hope and encouragement. I listen to your podcast every week and you ladies are such a true testament to God’s faithfulness and love. Thank you for being obedient. I will be praying for you and #TeamEller and may the Lord continue to bless you and use you for His glory. You are an inspiration💜
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Humbled and honored to pray for you and your hubby. You may not remember me, but we had some wonderful interactions when I was in Compel. What a joy you are and I have gleaned from your beautiful and heartfelt writing. Prayers for you and your family, Suzie. Much love in Christ. #teamEller.
Doris, I can never forget you!
Praying for you and your husband as you begin to heal again
Suzie, praying and trusting God for His healing touch. I know you are a woman of faith in the living God. You have poured into so many lives the Word of God and I now join others as we pray over and for you. You are in the Great Physician’s Hands and there is no better place to be. Praying now for the team of doctors and nurses that God directs them and that what you and your family are going through leads them, and all of us, closer to Christ. May God continue to bless you, your family and your ministry. In JESUS’ name I pray.
Praying for you Suzie and for your husband.
I pray for healing for Suzie and her husband. Keep them in your loving care as they draw close to you and give them your peace in the knowledge that you are in control and hold them in the palm of your hand. In Jesus name Amen.
Hello dear Suzie,
Just so you know we are here waiting to read the next articles of testimony.
You are winning cause Christ has won this already.
Suzie, I’m so sorry to hear this. Lifting you and your family up today. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 NIV).
I’m so very sorry your family has to go through all this.
I’m glad you don’t need chemo and that your hubs got fixed.
The ladies of Hillside Church are saying some extra prayers for you. God’s not done with you yet!