We have a sweet friend, part of our church youth group, part of our homeschool co-op, and one of my daughter’s closest friends who has just begun her battle with cancer. Isn’t she beautiful. Her name is Ashlyn. She’s 15 years old.
Ashlyn the day before her first round of chemo with my daughters Laura and Heather

Ashlyn the day before her first round of chemo with my daughters Laura and Heather

Don’t waste a crisis.

As parents, we want to help guide our children through difficult times and teach them how to be there for their friends.

We want to teach them to rely on the Holy Spirit for specific guidance with sensitivity, recognizing needs, hearing ideas, creativity, and even the timing to act on the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

We want to guide their perspective to be the spiritual journey. To expect to see God at work. To expect that His promises are true. And, even though, in this particular situation of which our children are not the ones going through the actual crisis, we can point them to seeing and experiencing God at work in them.

We want to be intentional to guide them to not “waste a crisis.” This means expecting to be changed through it. To see His sweetness met in suffering. To “own” their personal walk with the Lord. To have experiences of crying out to God and feeling His presence, personally receiving His guidance, comfort, loving arms, peace, and to hear His still small voice with specific promptings.

The way we guide our family through a difficult time is to first establish our bearings.. you know, the foundation in which we will think, land our ponderings, questions, and fears. This is important.

Cancer itself is horrific. God could have allowed any number of situations, but this is the one He allowed. He is not surprised or caught off guard. He intends this for their good. For His glory.

God is about our hearts. He wants us. So, during this time we want to be in tune with Him to grow spiritually…and we will pray for their family members to dig in deep, to not just get through this, but to be changed through it. To know Him more intimately. To not waste a crisis.


My friend Stephanie Little wrote a Bible study called Believe.

My friend Stephanie Little wrote a Bible study called Believe.

I keep pondering over and over on a question I read in a Bible study called Believe. This Bible study by Stephanie Little has been used  by many of my friends in their small groups in various parts of the country. You can request one or order for your own small group or women’s ministry here.  The question posed was:

“How do you grow spiritually?”

My initial answer was probably much like your thoughts right now: “Read your Bible, pray, love others, …”  I had an “ah ha moment.” I’m telling you, I have meditated and pondered on the answer she gave. I’ve even repeated this numerous times to friends as it so beautifully fit the individual situations we were discussing.

Here’s the answer.

“Spiritual growth comes not in what we do, but rather, in what we believe. Spiritual growth comes from faith. As we learn more of God, believing every aspect of Who He is, real spiritual growth will take place. We’ll begin to make decisions based on a true understanding of God, His direction, His will and His way.”

John 6:28-29 (NKJV) says,  “When they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ 29 Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’ “

Faith. The way that we grow spiritually is to have faith.

I couldn’t help but think about Ashlyn’s family and all that God is doing. It’s not even really about the cancer. He could have chosen any crisis, but cancer it is. His focus is the heart – the spiritual journey, the intimate walk with Him found only through faith. The kind that requires complete dependence on Him as you’re…struggling. to. breathe. The kind of faith in which all is laid at His feet…and you trust… in Him. in His plan. in His sovereignty.

I texted my author friend Stephanie while writing this blog post, and she immediately sent this:

  • Matthew 14:27 “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.'”
    • “Of course this is when the disciples were alone, being tossed by the waves in the middle of the sea in the middle of the night. They saw something coming toward them, fear gripped them. They thought it was something terrifying, a ghost; but it was the complete opposite. It was Jesus. Everything seems to be something terrifying when we are in our darkest hours, tossed on the waves, in the middle of the deep. What we must come to realize is that Jesus is there. He is in the midst of that terror. What looks so overwhelming, so frightening, maybe something we can’t clearly see through the darkness. It may be Jesus.”

This is the foundation that we will continue to have as we journey through this, as friends, with them.


Ashlyn’s brother posted this on Facebook.

What I want my daughter to experience through this is a personal walk with the Lord, where she owns it. I mean, she knows that with Christ in her, she has direct access to His supernatural creativity and ideas.  Where she expects The Holy Spirit to personally guide her.

On Monday, I’ll share more specifics about navigating my child through being a friend in this journey. It will apply to you coaching your kids too. You might even have a break-through moment yourself, realizing God wants to use you.  Tomorrow, I’m sharing  Facebook Funny#2.

Ashlyn loves horses. A friend took this beautiful photo shortly after discovering the cancer.

Ashlyn loves horses. A friend took this beautiful photo shortly after discovering the cancer.

Would you join us in praying for our dear friend battling cancer?

If you’d like, tell us where you’re praying from, or share specific verses you’re praying over Ashlyn and her family.

Rhonda wehavedirectaccesstotheHolySpirit.Fewwalklikethis. ellis

  1. Katrina Morgan

    Deuteronomy 31:6 !
    It is on my “Pray for Ashlyn” bracelet!

  2. Mel

    Isaiah 33:6 reads, “& He will be the stability of your times…”

    praying this from Huntsville, AL

  3. Deborah

    Proverbs 3:5Amplified Bible (AMP)
    5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

    Sending prayers from Huntsville, AL

  4. Misti

    Praying Ps. 121 Where does my help come from? My help comes from The Lord who made Heaven and Earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved, He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall not slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper, The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil, He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.
    Thank you for posting Rhonda! We pray for The Lord to not waste any if the pain that this sweet child and her family will experience. We pray for all the ETERNAL that is happening behind the scene that we cannot see. We also come alongside and really carry the weight of this news and treatments and literally weep and sob with them. We pray Grace abounds everywhere and in every situation during this time in their lives. We lift them up to the throne depending on the only source that carries them through it all and loves them more than human mind can Phathom. Praying for Ashlyn from Jax. Fl.

    • Susan

      Thank you for sharing, Rhonda and for your Godly influence. These are not only teachable moments but learning and growing opportunities as well, for all of us.

  5. Cindy

    Praying for Ashlyn and her family.
    For I will walk by Faith even when I can not see. II Corinthians 5:7 This verse has meant a lot to me and my family during my journey.

  6. Rhonda Key

    Praying for Ashlyn….His grace is sufficient for me….

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