About an hour after I posted below, my beautiful cousin was called home. She is now resting in the arms of our Savior pain free. And I believe she is dancing and rejoicing with our beloved Grandmother who we just lost 10 months ago. Please keep her family in your prayers. Especially her husband Chris, her 2 small children, her parents, and her sister.
(1 Corinthians 15:51-57)
“‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
My sweet Ellie- I was up most of the night again pounding the throne of heaven for you. I hope you know how many people are praying diligently for you and your whole family day and night.
As I lay awake last night, I couldn't help thinking just about you. About your blinding smile and how your whole life you have always put others above yourself.
When we were small children the tornado sirens went off once while I was at your house. Erin and I (of course) were crouching in the hallway in fear and you just put your arms around us and comforted us.
I was the idiot who fell off of the bleachers at your Jr. High basketball game and they had to stop the game to check on your dorky cousin laying on the floor. You couldn't ever go back into the game because you were so worried about me.
I called you the night before I had to make my decision on where to go to college. I am sure you were exhausted, but you stayed on the phone with me nearly 2 hours weighing all of the consequences and praying with me over the decision.
The night before I delivered Bennett and was in the hospital nervous as could be, you bounded into the hospital room with your Mom full of joy and life and your excitement calmed my nerves and comforted me.
And who else but you would be so upset that you had to miss my baby shower because we wouldn't let you drive an hour and a half in a monsoon with tornado sirens going off? You didn't give a thought about your safety on the road but instead were thinking of someone else.
Every time I pray for you, I am flooded with these memories and so many more. Always comparing Christmas presents after we opened them, playing colored eggs and spider in Grandmom's pool, you kicking my tail in friendly games of tennis, beach trips, dancing to Whitney Houston tapes, spending weekends at Lisa's house in college, trying to help Erin get to the bathroom in her huge wedding dress and all three of us laughing ourselves silly, you driving all the way from Birmingham just to be at Rob's farewell concert at Frazer, wedding weekends, the births of our babies, long breakfasts at Starbucks, and sitting and holding your hand while you went through chemo.
And actually as I think about it, as you were getting your chemo you were more concerned about your friend who had driven you there who had to sit in the waiting room all day than you were about yourself. That is so you, my Elliot.
And even just last week in your hospital room, your eyes lit up when you saw your visitors and the sweet way you would say, "Hey!" when you saw Erin just reminded me of your amazing ability to love others.
And as I thought about you and how you have lived your life so selflessly I was struck by two things. 1. You are so much like our beloved Grandmother. 2. What an honor it is now for your friends and family to put you first and pray for you!
We're never giving up hope! We believe in miracles! And I am amazed at how many people you have pointed to Christ even in your suffering. My admiration for you knows no limit. I hope that even as I type this your body is getting the rest it needs so you can find the strength to keep fighting, just like you have always done.
Exodus 14:14 "The Lord will fight for you.You only need to be still."
Friends- I humbly come before you and ask you to drop what you are doing and pray right now for my cousin, Elliot Patterson Williams. She is 36 years old, has two small children, and is battling Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer.
It seems that everyone has a loved one or a dear friend who is fighting this terrible disease so I know how easy it is to become desensitized to it. But if you are able, please add this amazing woman to your prayer list. She is truly a daughter of the King. Handcrafted and wonderfully made by His loving hands. Her entire family is comprised of faithful servants who trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ and who trust in His ultimate plan for Elliot's life. However, we still pray for mercy, for strength, and ultimately for healing.
I honestly can't write too much more. I get too emotional, but I am just going to post some recent pictures of me and Elliot. Of course there are hundreds more from before the digital age and one of these days I will dig them out and scan them in, but for now I am going to post these so you can see this beautiful face and remember her in your prayers.
She is a wife. A young mother. A beloved daughter. An adored big sister. A Granddaughter. A cousin. A niece. A friend to so many. But mainly, she is a follower of Jesus Christ.
Pray for her. Pray for her husband and children. Pray for those who are ministering to her right now in her time of helpless need. Pray for wisdom for her doctors. Pray for wisdom and understanding for her entire family as they navigate these new and terrifying waters.
"I rise before dawn and cry for help. I have put my hope in your word.". Psalm 119:147.
Me and Ellie at the Iron Bowl a few years ago. She is the only Auburn fan that I would actually hug during the game. And yes, being an Auburn fan is her one and only major flaw. :-)
Elliot was 7 months pregnant at my wedding. Isn't she the most beautiful pregnant woman ever?
Elliot and Wyatt were at the hospital when Bennett was born. This was Elliot's first glimpse of her brand new cousin.
And then a few months later, I took 5 month old Bennett to meet Elliot's new baby, Bradford.
Another baby for our family! Elliot meeting Will for the first time.
My Mom's entire side of the family with our beloved Grandmother, Polly Patterson.
Bennett loves her cousin!!
And so do I!!
This was taken just a month before her diagnosis. We had absolutely no idea what was in store for our family at this point.
The strongest woman that I know.
"For I am the LORD your GOD who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, DO NOT FEAR, I WILL HELP YOU." Isaiah 42:13.
Okay folks, tis the season for change I suppose. The Webster family will be moving back to Alabama very soon. Hooray??
I write that because it truly is bittersweet. We have a wonderful life in Kansas City and feel so blessed to be in this area with such good friends, a wonderful church, a beautiful home, great schools, so much to do... etc....
But at the same time we are 14 hours away from our closest relative. Rob's family is in Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. And all of my family is in Alabama. We have loved being here in Kansas City but I do get sad when we don't have any family members at birthday parties. I hate it when Rob and I are the only ones in the audience at dance recitals. On the flip side, I hate that I am missing out on the lives of my family members. I hate missing my nieces' parties, recitals, basketball games, and plays. It still hurts that I didn't get to say goodbye to my grandmother before she passed away last summer. My dear cousin is struggling with ovarian cancer and I want to be there for her. It is just hard being so very far away.
I grew up only a few miles from both sets of grandparents and my cousins were my playmates. My aunt took me home from school every day in Kindergarten. I can't imagine growing up without my family. That's why we are all still so close to this day and I would love that for my children as well.
I'll make a very long story short. A wonderful job opportunity opened up for Rob in Dothan, Alabama. Dothan is a small town, but it is a great community filled with wonderful people. Rob has the chance to work at Covenant UMC as their Contemporary Worship Leader, but he will also be able to produce videos and bring a creative touch to the worship services which is a passion of his. During our job interview we did struggle that Dothan wasn't Kansas City as far as things to do, but we loved the pastor, the church, and were excited about what we could both bring to the table there.
We wrestled a lot with the decision. We went back and forth for weeks. But ultimately it came down to where we felt God was calling us. When we had decided not to go, neither of us felt a peace about it. We both want to be where we feel God can use our talents and gifts to best serve Him and in the end that desire led us to accept the position.
That being said, I am still sad. It is bittersweet. I worry about the transition for my kids. And I'll be honest. On a selfish front, I am really going to miss all the things to do in Kansas City. We love going to farmers markets, Fall festivals, blueberry farms, horse ranches, petting zoos, great restaurants, live theatre, sporting events, concerts, the Crown Center, Cinema Suites... I loved growing up in the suburbs of DC because there was so much to do and I have loved that about living here. I love my girlfriends here. They have become my family these past 3 1/2 years. I love the opportunities for my kids and the school system here is top notch. Rob has loved his job and has learned so much in his time here. Kansas City is an absolutely wonderful place that we are very sad to leave.
But we are excited about working at Covenant. We are thrilled to be closer to family. We are grateful to even have this dilemma when so many people are looking for work. It is almost an embarrassment of riches and we don't take that lightly. I am so happy for Rob to have the chance to shape a worship service again. I think he and the senior pastor are going to be such a great team and I can't wait to see his wheels turning again to bring his ideas and creativity to a worship service.
Keep us in your prayers as we try to sell our home here, find a home in Dothan, pack everything up, look for preschools, look for doctors, wrap up like in KC.... oh, and I'm nearly 5 months pregnant.
But God is faithful. God is sovereign. And our main desire in life is to be obedient to His call and His plans for our lives. Here we go on another journey. Ready, set, Go!
Jeremiah 29:11- 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.
Matthew 6:25-30 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?"
Isaiah 6:8- "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
A family of red heads. Of course. And quite a fun one at that. Oh, and our last name is Webster. Hence the name, "The Red Webs." You may now proceed with your blog surfing.
I desire nothing more than a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am a constant Proverbs 31 work in progress. I have seen Gone With the Wind 50 times, watched every episode of I Love Lucy, and read the Anne of Green Gables series more times than I can count. That says a lot. Far too much, actually.
"For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. If you need wisdom-if you want to know what God wants you to do-ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking."