Chasing Joy

Chasing Joy

06.05.19 | Stories, Articles

    “The Lord is faithful. He is faithful in the big things and in the small things.”

    Caroline French’s headaches were getting worse.

    What started out as a mild complaint by the 6-year-old in the late spring of 2018 quickly escalated to a daily problem that deeply concerned her parents, Stacey and Dr. Dan French.

    After passing two neurological exams, it was an MRI taken in July that would reveal the source of Caroline’s condition—a large tumor lodged in the back of her brain.

    No parent can prepare themselves to receive this kind of news about a child, but today, nearly a year since Caroline’s diagnosis, Stacey sees that God was with her family from the start.

    “When I taught VBS last summer, one of the worksheets we used in our lessons was a Joy All-Star roster,” she remembers. “It included scripture references about joy and the difference between joy and happiness. The week we went into the MRI, we went through it together with Chasing the kids at the breakfast table. The Lord specifically used it to prepare us. Knowing He will turn our wailing into dancing—it gave me a foundation. We learned that joy doesn’t have to be remotely happy.”

    From that day on, through an 11-hour surgery and months of recovery, Caroline and her family were surrounded by prayer, support and love from their church family.

    “It’s hard to experience the Lord’s provision and feel His peace in such palpable ways without being in such a state of dependence,” says Stacey.

    PCBC friends, classmates, staff and strangers prayed with them in waiting rooms, during deacon-led prayer, through online prayer chains, and home visits. They brought meals, hosted Caroline’s three older brothers, sent gift cards, notes, and words of encouragement. A friend from Caroline’s Connect Group even made a video of her classmates wishing her well before surgery.

    Ten days after surgery, Caroline began three months of physical therapy. And to everyone’s surprise, she made it back in time to start school and join her friends in ballet.

    “The Lord is faithful. He is faithful in the big things and in the small things. Any parent walking through illness—we know our children are His, not ours. We have to let others help carry our burdens. Don’t block people’s chance of blessing you! Let them come alongside you to pray and serve. It allows the body of Christ to do what it’s supposed to do.”

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