On Tuesday October 11, 2011 Leanne (Chin) was diagnosed with breast cancer. This blog will follow her journey. It will share the peaks and valleys along the way. But it will also serve as a way to communicate prayer requests and praises. Join us as we partner with Chin and fight along side her for she "...can do all things through Christ who strengthens her." Phil. 4:13

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The meaning behind Chin ... There is a Chinese restaurant in the Twin Cities named Leann Chin. While Leanne was attending a basketball camp in middle school, a fellow camper had a bag from the restaurant. This camper made the connection between the name of the restaurant and Leanne's name. And the nickname Chin stuck!

Thursday, May 19, 2016


An excerpt from this article titled Why Everything Does Not Happen For A Reason
In this way, I believe in suffering as a sacred space; one where we get to choose.
I can remember all the horrid details, but I'll only list a few here:
  • The exit # I was at when Aimee called to say Leanne was given only days to live ... #89
  • Taking the steering wheel and making Bret go north on 35 when my mom texted "we need everyone here"
  • Literally holding a plastic bag in my hands from Ankeny to Ames because the urge to throw up was so strong
  • Sitting at my best friends house in Ames nursing Claire and sobbing so hard we could not talk
  • Driving in the pounding rain from Albert Lea to Abbott Northwestern hospital begging God for a miracle 
  • Running into the hospital and seeing my dad, one of the strongest men I know looking more defeated and devastated than I have ever seen him before
  • Walking into that ICU room and seeing my sister laying in that bed, her body ravaged from the cancer that was killing her
  • Watching Leo, Mollie, and Crosby happily run the halls of the hospital while trying to process how we would ever tell them that Leanne was dying 
I could focus only on all that. And become bitter. And angry. And resentful. 

I had a choice to make. Because grief is a lifelong process, I will still experience all the anger, bitterness, denial, sadness, and every other emotion that comes along with grief. But I don't have to stay there. 

I was in a bible study this year and we studied the book of Revelation. Throughout this study I saw how God displays great mercy in all He does. During one lesson on suffering, the lecturer made this statement. "Sometimes all God wants us to do is to rejoice in suffering." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

So I made a choice to rejoice in this suffering. I made a list of some of the ways God showed mercy to me during Leanne's death and in the two years since then.

  • God allowing numerous people to come to salvation in Jesus because of her faith filled life and death
  • Bittersweet moments together in the hospital before Leanne died, including sweet goodbyes to each of my girls 
  • Our entire family making it to the hospital in time to see Leanne and say good bye before she was put on meds to ease her pain
  • Sweet family time in the week between Leanne's death and her Celebration of Life service
  • New relationships made with those who have also lost family members
  • Seeing God use my grief to help others navigate their own journey of grief
  • The reminder that nothing we do can trump God's sovereign plan for our lives
  • A perspective of looking at people and circumstances in light of eternity
Do I choose to rejoice all the time? No. But I do have to say that it is getting easier and easier each time I choose joy over anger.

What is God calling you to rejoice in? Even though it may seem like God's mercy isn't there, it is. You just may have to look a little deeper to find it. The choice is worth it.

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