Pleasant Blessings and Hard Ones

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A number of you have already heard the news that Nate is going to be undergoing brain surgery in a couple of weeks. We have been greatly encouraged by the number of people who have contacted us with assurances of prayer. Everyone in our family is doing well, but we are still eager for the prayer that will help keep it that way. We all want to live out the trust in God’s gracious sovereignty that we have taught, but are not too proud to ask for your prayers that we would in fact do so. Ironically, Nancy’s newest book, Learning Contentment, was scheduled to be released on May 2—the same day as Nate’s surgery.

For those who missed the announcement from Nate, here it is:

Over the last year or so, I have been dealing with a variety of small but strange (and apparently unrelated) health issues. And then, during a publishing meeting in November, my left ear suddenly turned off. It rebounded slightly, but hasn’t stopped ringing like a fire alarm ever since.

After months of tests and check-ups, and various theories that didn’t quite make sense, a recent MRI finally revealed the underlying cause of everything I’ve been dealing with — a large brain tumor (“farm egg” in shape and size according to one neurologist). The tumor originated in my auditory canal and is now compressing my brain stem and unpleasantly butting into my cerebellum. Although no biopsy has been conducted, three different specialists have ruled out cancer based on the MRI (which is obviously an enormous blessing). That said, it is still killing me (as they say) softly, and new symptoms have been multiplying rapidly over the last couple weeks. So I am now scheduled for invasive brain surgery in LA on May 2nd.

This is obviously a fairly momentous trial for our family, but by the grace of God, Heather and the kids and I will be hitting it head on. It is likely that my tumor had already begun growing while I was writing Death by Living, which means, as my sweet wife pointed out, that this is a great opportunity for us not to be hypocrites. God is good. God is faithful. This is the storm we were meant to weather. This is the bull I was meant to ride. I can’t hit my characters with pain and hardship to spice up their stories and not be willing to face anything life threatening myself!

This type of surgery obviously has substantial risks. Assuming that it goes perfectly, I will still be permanently deaf in my left ear, and vertigo, headaches, and facial paralysis are all potential lifelong consequences. So I covet your prayers for healing, especially when it comes to recovery time. I’d love to get back in the saddle and keep providing for my family as quickly as possible.

Obviously, as an author, I’m self-employed, and this tumor comes in a season when I am supposed to be promoting two new books — one this week (Outlaws of Time 2 on the 18th) and one in June. But I definitely won’t be able to support either release at anywhere near my normal levels. So <ahem> feel free to buy everyone on your Christmas list a pallet or two of everything!”

In a recent sermon, I said that because of the truth of Romans 8:28 God’s elect can only experience two kinds of events—pleasant blessings and hard ones. The pleasant ones, like a bowl of hand-cranked ice cream, have a certain sweet immediacy about them, but the hard blessings are far more durable. More can be done with them, and much more can be done from them. We are instructed to thank the Lord always and for everything, and that includes this kind of test, this kind of hard blessing (Eph. 5:20). We are not just to be thankful in the trial, but also thankful for it. And so we thank the Lord, giver of all good things. As Nate once said to his mother in the middle of some other trial (which now seems puny, ain’t it the way), “baskets of fruit are heavy.”

Many of you have wanted to know if there is anything you can do to help. The prayer requests are specifically these: 1. That the surgery would be successful, straightforward, and routine, no surprises. 2. That the recovery would be swift. The nature of this surgery is such that some people are able to start returning to normal within weeks, while others take months. Our prayer request is for the former. 3. That any secondary consequences of the surgery would be minimal. 4. That his livelihood would not be interrupted, but simply slowed down a tetch. As a writer, Nate is self-employed, and his big concern is to continue to provide for his family through this stretch.

Secondly, while Nate does have insurance that more or less covers the surgery, there will be costs associated with all of it that will not be covered by the insurance. The elders of Christ Church have authorized disbursements from our Deacons’ Fund to help with those expenses. Tax regulations are such that we cannot simply transfer gifts received “straight across,” but donations that are made to the Deacons’ Fund will certainly be a help, and will be responsibly handled. Those who feel so led can send a check to Christ Church Deacons’ Fund, PO Box 8741, Moscow, Idaho, 83843.

And last, Nate alluded to this in his statement, but because it concerned plumping his own books, he had to be winsomely coy about it. I am not laboring under the same constraint. While a writer can’t write while he is out of commission, in the mercy of God it is possible for a writer’s books to sell while he is out of commission. And so, as God’s providence would have it, the news of this tumor became entirely public the day before Volume 2 of Outlaws of Time releases. Outlaws of Time/Song of Glory and Ghost is releasing tomorrow, and the prequel to the Cupboards series, The Door Before, is releasing on June 27. That second book, as I mentioned in a previous post, ties the worlds of Hylfing and Ashtown together. (Incidentally, for those laboring to stay up to speed, the first book in the Outlaws series is currently for sale on Kindle for $1.99).

And for those here in Moscow, the fun folks at BookPeople are hosting a “one day  early” book release party, tonight at 6 pm. Hope to see you there.

And thanks again for your many prayers.

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Daniel Foucachon
4 years ago

Praying for Nate and family!

Jon Hall
Jon Hall
4 years ago

Praying for a successful surgery and quick recovery. May the Lord bless Nate and his family with peace during all of this.

jsm
jsm
4 years ago

Will certainly be praying. Does anyone know which would be more helpful financially, buying the books through Amazon or Canon Press?

Alice Kauffman Arneson
Alice Kauffman Arneson
4 years ago
Reply to  jsm

I was just going to ask the same question! Anyone have an answer for us?

katie
katie
4 years ago

Our family is praying. My son’s first dismayed response was “but he needs to finish his stories for us to read!” Many prayers of varying motives will go to the Father.

St. Lee
4 years ago

Just finished a short prayer for Nate followed by placing an order for one of his books. That’s not much, but I trust God will multiply it by your devoted readers …

ME
ME
4 years ago

I’ll be praying for Nate, and for his family, that the Lord oversee a smooth surgery and a speedy recovery, and that everyone be held in the peace and comfort of the Lord during this time.

Clay Crouch
Clay Crouch
4 years ago

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly beseech thee to behold, visit, and relieve thy sick servant Nate. for whom our prayers are desired. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy; comfort him with a sense of thy goodness; preserve him from the temptations of the enemy; and give him patience under his affliction. In thy good time, restore him to health, and enable him to lead the residue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory; and grant that finally he may dwell with… Read more »

Arlan Aquino
Arlan Aquino
4 years ago

You have our prayers.

Christian Histo
Christian Histo
4 years ago

Praying for ND and the family. We love his books so much in our house. Both Notes from the Tiltawhirl and death by living had a huge impact on me. And all of my kids have loved each of his books. We are re-reading Outlaws 1 right now to be ready for Outlaws 2. We preordered both books.

And we seriously need to get Ashtown 4 published. I will contribute $100 to the effort…. who else is in?

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
4 years ago

God please bless and heal Nate! Bless his family and church and friends. Guard their hearts and minds. Manifest your glory in this trouble. Let us see your salvation.

Craig D. Houston
4 years ago

Praying for Nate, Heather, and the family! May God’s grace sustain you all during this season and may you be a steadfast witness for the King everywhere He takes you.

Ian Miller
4 years ago

My heartfelt prayers for Nate and his family, and his parents.

Dziewczyna
Dziewczyna
4 years ago

We’re praying for Nate and the family.

Brian Gibbs
Brian Gibbs
4 years ago

Connie and I are praying.

Nancy Lucenay
Nancy Lucenay
4 years ago

Harry and I are praying for all of you, Doug (and Nancy).

Chadd Whipple
Chadd Whipple
4 years ago

I will be praying for Nate and the family.

Katie
Katie
4 years ago

Praying for Nate and then entire Wilson clan!

JD
JD
4 years ago

Thanks for sharing and I too will be praying. And thank you for your short encouragement from Romans 8:28. Very helpful.

DCHammers
DCHammers
4 years ago

Nate’s brilliant and motivating talk at the Reformation 500 conference, just a couple weeks ago, becomes all the more poignant, knowing this was heavy on his mind as he encouraged us to be intentional in bringing Chesterton’s joy into our Reformational lives. May God’s peace, grace and kindness be evident in all this. (And it would be great to post that talk for all to see.)

Laura
Laura
4 years ago

We are praying for you all!

Ginny Yeager
Ginny Yeager
4 years ago

Praying for Nate and you all.

lloyd
4 years ago

My prayers for Nate and his family. I have been reading (and very much enjoying and growing from) Tilt-a-Whirl this past week or so, a chapter a day. Finished it this morning actually. Its so great that Nate is not using this tumor to knock the Author of his story. May God be glorified and may Nate continue to live and be a great dad and husband and son for his family and writer for the world. I’ve also been reading an O’Connor biography and am reminded that “the lame shall enter first” (though I’m not sure its good to… Read more »

David Alders
David Alders
4 years ago

We are praying for Nate.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
4 years ago

“… tax regulations … ”

Any “Go Fund Me” type thingy set up?

Valerie (Kyriosity)
4 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

The deacons have decided against that.

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
4 years ago

I’m praying for your son, his family and you and your wife.

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
4 years ago

I sent a note last night to Doug, after getting his ok, I’m posting the content of it here as well: I read the letter your son shared about his tumor. I wanted to say I’m so sorry for what is happening and our family will keep him in our prayers in the days and weeks to come. It also made me consider the ways I’ve spoken “at you” in public forums. I want to say I’m sorry for the tone I expressed and the words I used. Life this side of Eternity is so short, the last few months… Read more »

Jon Swerens
4 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Well said, Ryan, and a good reminder to us all.

Jonathan
Jonathan
4 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Great message, great response.

Ryan Sather
Ryan Sather
4 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Thanks Doug

Keith LaMothe
Keith LaMothe
4 years ago
Reply to  Ryan Sather

Thank you, Ryan. I’ve seen a lot of pastors violate a lot of commandments “at” one another online over the years, and it’s very rare to see a Christian resolution in such cases. But when I do see that happen, I am greatly encouraged by the grace of God to us sinners. He does not leave us to our fate.

Sarah
Sarah
4 years ago

Praying.

I’ve enjoyed his books very much, and enjoyed his movie The River Thief on Netflix the other day.

Tim Paul
Tim Paul
4 years ago

Love you Nate and praying for you, family and the doctors

Dae Sawyer
Dae Sawyer
4 years ago

Strangely, I had just finished reading Death By Living when I read Nate’s letter. Sounds like he has a jewel of a wife and family. My kids and I have been so blessed by Nate through his books and by you Mr. Wilson through your Omnibus curriculum. We are praying for you all. P.S We aren’t wicked….waiting on our copies of Outlaw, and now, as of two minutes ago, also on The Door Behind!!!

JL
JL
4 years ago

We had hoped to hear Nate at the 500 celebration this year but couldn’t make it. We will look forward to hearing him teach next year. In the meantime, we will read some of his books.

God is good and hears our prayers.

L. Lee
L. Lee
4 years ago

Sending our prayers and love from Iowa to you and yours.

jon
jon
4 years ago

Praying for you, Nate. I got home, and two of my sons had both already devoured your latest book, which arrived via UPS. They, and I, are very grateful for your writing, and pray for a speedy recovery.

Mariano Ifran
Mariano Ifran
4 years ago

Praying for him and his family

ashv
ashv
4 years ago

Oof, that’s tough news. Nate’s books weren’t my cup of tea stylistically but I appreciate everyone trying to make good art that honours God. Praying for y’all.

Gordy Lindstrom
Gordy Lindstrom
4 years ago

Praying for Nat and Family. Thanks for the specific request how to pray. And a question back to you about 1 of them. What is the best website to point friends to purchase a ND Wilson books that gives Nat and family the highest financial benefits or is there one? I ask as I know amazon is tight with publishers and don’t know if that flows down to authors too. PS: We are in town to visit with Jim next weekend, maybe we will cross paths in fellowship. And anything besides praying we can do to help, serve?

Keith LaMothe
Keith LaMothe
4 years ago

Goodness, a trial indeed. May God have mercy. Thankfully He is merciful beyond our understanding. We’re praying for y’all.

holmegm
holmegm
4 years ago

Praying!

If he hasn’t found it yet, https://www.anausa.org/smf/ is worth a look – I wasn’t active there long as AN was ruled out for me fairly quickly, but it seemed like a helpful place.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
4 years ago

Is this the best place to get updates on how Nate is doing?
My family is praying for him, and we just ordered another of his books. I hope everyone who can will do the same.

Scott Underwood
Scott Underwood
4 years ago

We are praying for Nate, Heather and the family, for God’s sustaining grace.