How We Choose to Tell a Hard Story

People say we have a story to tell.

One day, we sat down and wrote out the whole timeline of Andrew’s cancer. We wrote a month to month rendition of everything that has gone down from original diagnoses to the most recent prognosis. We spared no details because the details are ingrained in us. We know how everything felt. We know how we received and grieved every conversation- good and bad.

Remembering who we are, and where we’ve been has never been a struggle. Sharing that piece of us with others- that is not always quite so easy.

How do you tell the story of your human hardship without giving glory to the tragedy? How do you tell your truth, and how do you tell it without sugar coating even a drop of your pain, but still tell it in a way that glorifies light over darkness?

How do you truthfully share your narrative in a way that glorifies God’s mercy over Satan’s attacks?

Ephesians 6:12 tells us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

This was something we had to grasp in our own faith, in our own story, before we could really move forward on this journey.

We believe cancer is a disease that attacks the flesh, it attacks the body, but it manifest so much deeper- it is rooted so much deeper. If we only address the cancer, the tumors, the flesh manifestation of this attack, if we told a cancer story- we wouldn’t tell God’s story, and we wouldn’t tell our story.

Instead, we would be telling Satan’s story. We would be giving him the glory. This is simply not something we’re interested in.

We recognize that this chapter is, and will always be, painfully ingrained in us. These four years have carried grief and pain that we cannot even express in words, and we don’t know what will happen next. We don’t know when this mountain will move, but we believe it will- and that is the narrative worth sharing.

We understand that our story now stretches further than our own home, and that is both beautiful and complicated.

We have struggled to grasp what is looks like to have a story that impacts more than just us. We are inherently private people. In our natural state, we are a team of two.

This makes us the wrong people to experience the past four years of our own life. We’ve brought this problem up to God multiple times, but here we are, living it.

The truth is, cancer doesn’t just hurt the person with cancer. Cancer doesn’t just hurt the spouse of the person with cancer. Cancer hurts every single person brave enough to lock arms with us in love. Each person will come out of our battle with their own scars, their own pain, their own story line in our narrative.

This is beautiful, but also horrifying, because if you are not the only two people in the world grieving this story-line, then you are also not the only two people in the world telling this story line. You’re not the sole owners of your own story, your own narrative.

But we have also come to recognize the power in this. The power of joining arms to tell a story- His story.

For those of you coming along side of us, we ask that you prayerfully consider the way you tell our story. We believe that what is said matters. We believe that how things are said, how this story is told, matters. We believe that the way our story is told will hand glory and authority to one side or another in the heavenly hosts, and our hope is that you will join our mission to give glory to the light.

We ask that you share our story in a way that strips Satan of the narrative he has attempted to write for our life, and instead gives glory to our God, to our maker.

What does that look like?

Our story is not that Andrew is dying- but that against all odds, he continues to live.

Our story is not the scans that displayed tumors coating Andrew’s lungs- but that against all odds, he continues to breathe.

Our story is not that medicine has failed us- but that our God never fails.
Our story is not this battle that we’re in- but the victory that has already been achieved before us.

Though we are here, though we are human, our story is not this one that you see when you look directly at us- it is the one taking place in the heavenly realms. That’s where our focus is. That’s where we choose to battle. That’s where we are promised victory.

That’s the narrative we choose to tell. That’s the narrative that gives appropriate glory.

That’s our story. His story. And now, your story. Thank you for the love and support that you have all shown us over the past couple of weeks.  Bold declarations of life and love, shameless cries for mercy, have flooded the Heavenly realms in our name, and we are so incredibly humbled.

We feel it. We see it. God is at work.

~AL & AT

10 thoughts on “How We Choose to Tell a Hard Story

  1. well said friend!!! my hubby and i felt similar with our girls story. we r private people but our story became many others i and truly believe God got the glory in it (NOT the evil one!)

  2. You are one strong young lady Alycia and I hear you.

    Our minds are amazing but will always believe everything we say. We need to be aware to feed our mind with faith, feed it truth and feed it love.

    Miracles are all around us XO

  3. There is POWER in prayer! Please know Andrews chain of love is widening and his army is strengthening! God bless you and surround you as you face this battle. You are Braver than you know and Stronger than you can imagine! Keep fighting Andrew! You are being used by God in amazing ways. Much Love to the Luetkehans Family!💗💗💗

  4. God gave his only begotten son for us .we are all .sinners .never give up hope our God is a good God . Trust in him .when we meet God there will be no more more pain we will live free .God bless your beautiful family

  5. Thanks for being a light in the darkness and using your gift of words to touch our lives. Thank you God for your servants and bless them for hungering and thirsting for righteousness sake. Thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your joys with the world. They are a light in the darkness. 1+1=3 Christian Math!

  6. We don’t know each other but I have the privilege of knowing your brother-in-law Josh. I had no idea this was going on his life (maybe I wasn’t asking the right questions when chatting with him) but I wanted to take a moment to say that you both are handling this with a remarkable amount of wisdom and faith. I was reflecting on a sermon yesterday I heard and it was about the type of new commandment that Jesus taught the disciples and part of that message revolved around carrying the burdens of someone that is around you. Although we have never met and I would find it hard that I could do anything to carry your burden or to help and serve you beyond prayer, I did want to send a thank you/encouragement. I wasn’t going to send this additional message but the comment above mine reminded me of a previous sermon I heard. I can’t say it any better than him. Regardless of that, you both are incredible people of God and continue to be an inspiration to those going THROUGH the valleys. Hopefully it can encourage you like reading this beautifully written and Jesus pointing blog did for me.

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