A Time to Embrace

I’m writing with a very heavy heart today.

I just found out that my great uncle, who has been battling pancreatic cancer for some months now, was taken to the hospital.  At the time I’m writing we’re not sure if he will be leaving.

After spending some time in prayer and seeking God through His Word, I have looked at some verses in a new light, and thought I would share.

First, let me tell you about my Uncle Cordell.  He has been a great uncle.  He has been the kind of uncle who never ceased to put a smile on my face, and joy in my heart.  He and my Aunt Wilma (his wife) are truly blessings to be around.  They carry warmth and comfort with them wherever they are, and I believe this is the “fragrance of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15) on them.  If my Uncle Cordell knew I was writing this, he would not want you to feel sorry for him, he actually wouldn’t want any attention on him at all.  He was slow to tell anyone of his disease for this very reason, and feel sorry for him you should not.  He is a hard worker who, despite his illness, saw to it that work that needed to be done was tended to.  It runs in the family, my grandfather is the same way.  They are quite the pair of brothers, my Uncle Cordell and Pops, very much alike in the joy they bring and their hard work ethic.  I’m hoping that the same work ethic is instilled deep within me as well, it might just take a little searching to find it.

Aunt Wilma and Uncle Cordell at my college graduation/birthday party, May 2007

Uncle Cordell holding Jayden, 4th of July, 2008

It’s hard to see someone you love suffer with the symptoms of cancer.  One of the times I felt it most was a few months ago when Dipal, the boys, and I met up with my Uncle Cordell and Aunt Wilma along with my Pops, Dad, brother, and sister at some of our family’s property in Tennessee.  There was a lingering sense of sadness that everyone tried to look past as the news of the cancer was still somewhat new.  When it came time to say our goodbyes my Uncle Cordell reached out his hand to shake mine.  In my moment of ignorance I lightheartedly said, “I don’t want a handshake, I want a hug.”  After all, that is typically how we would say goodbye in our family, but Uncle Cordell immediately informed me that while he was on chemo he was instructed to keep his distance from others and their germs, but he reassured me “next time.”  

This was the last time I saw Uncle Cordell.

As I was fingering through the pages of my Bible this afternoon, I was led to 1 Corinthians 15: 35-49, which captured my attention because of the subtitle “A Glorious Body.”  Specifically, verses 43 – 44 shone a glimmer of hope (talking of the body).

43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.  It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

No matter how dishonoring my uncle's natural body may have been to him through this disease, his spirit will be raised in glory.  No matter how weak this disease makes my uncle’s natural body, his spirit will be raised in power.

Thank you, Jesus.

As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” It goes on to say in verse 4 “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Laughed we have with Uncle Cordell, but now is a season of weeping and mourning the loss of someone we loved very much.  But we have assurance that one day we will be reunited with him in a place of joy.

And I can’t wait to get my hug when I see him there.

*I started to write this yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon after hearing the initial news of my uncle.  Late last night I received a call from my dad informing me that my uncle had passed away, and this morning I completed the post.  Please keep my family in your prayers, specifically my Aunt Wilma, my grandfather, and his sisters and family.


  1. Brittany,
    This post just made me cry so hard. I am so sorry about your uncle, and will keep him and your family in my prayers! Two weeks ago my grandfather was perfectly fine, and yesterday they gave him 1-3 months to live due to liver cancer that has spread to his lungs and bones. But, he is determined to be here in March when his first great grandbaby arrives! Cancer is a devastating disease and we all need to pray every night for a cure to be found!

  2. Abbey, I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather! I will definitely be keeping you and your family in my prayers. People surpass the estimates given to them everyday, so have hope in that, but know that God's will is perfect. And, I had no idea you were expecting!! You and Jon must be exstatic!! Hope to see you guys at some games in the coming weeks!


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