We Love You!

August 11, 2017

Yesterday, as the rain poured down, so did my tears. As soon as I woke up, I knew it was going to be a hard day. My thoughts were consumed with the reality of what is happening. Clay is slowly getting worse.

He is beginning to sleep more, and he feels tired when he’s awake. Wednesday was the first time he told me he didn’t think he could walk down the stairs because he felt weak and “fuzzy.” So, he stayed in our room all day. He had wonderful visitors, but he didn’t want to leave the room and a few times, he just laid in the bed while we visited.

I had plans and things that needed to be done, but I decided just to stay right there with him. So, we sat on the bed and talked for most of the day. He loves to listen to the rain, so that’s what we did.

My body is beginning to feel the effects of everything we’ve been through. I was weepy, tired, weak, and I didn’t have energy. And, I don’t feel guilty about that. The fact that I feel the grief, does not mean that I am not trusting the Lord. I am. He is still as faithful as He was on the days that I didn’t feel sad. He is still a healer. He is still my friend. He is still good. He is still love.

And, as Clay and I talked, God comforted me and slowly took that sadness away. We talk a lot about what is happening. He asks me questions about what I think life will be like if he is gone. We talk about our kids and how they are handling everything. We remember the best times of our marriage. We laugh a lot. Clay tells me how much he loves me and how grateful he is for our relationship, especially in this hard time.

He says, “Can you imagine going through this together if we didn’t really like each other?” Yesterday, my answer was, “It would make it harder right now, but it would make it easier to face what is ahead for me.” And that’s true.

So, we’re sitting in our bed, listening to the pouring down rain, talking about how wonderful our marriage has been. I’m listening to Clay tell me how thankful he is for our life, and this thought flies through my head…..it’s literally like one of those signs in front of a business where the words move across the screen…

“This isn’t fair”

And immediately….I mean before the thought even made it across my brain….my spirit rose up within me. It was like I could see a vision of my spirit grabbing the thought and throwing it out of my head. As soon as the words even formed, my spirit was already saying, “You don’t believe that. You don’t think that. Cast that thought away.”

And it was cast away. Because it’s not true. God is love. He is good. He is sovereign. We don’t understand His ways, but one thing we know for sure is that His ways are perfect. And I believe with all my heart that He loves us too much to do anything but good to us. So, even though I don’t want to do this, I can trust that God sees something I don’t see and He knows something I don’t know. He has already seen our future, and He desires what is best for us.

About that time, the house was quiet, and the doorbell rang.


It was my cousin, Andy, who lives in Houston. He and Clay have always really liked each other. It was so good to see him standing there. He came up and we visited for a while. Then, Janet and Bill (Andy’s parents) joined us. It was perfect because we got some time to talk in the quiet.

Bill recently won his battle with cancer, and while I know he would trade places with Clay if he could, we rejoice for him. God used Bill’s fight to strengthen my kids faith just before we faced this situation with Clay.

The doctors only gave Bill 6 months to live, but about 3 years later, he is now completely cancer free. It was truly a miracle, and our family prayed for Bill so much. We really believed God could heal him, and He did. I watched my kids’ faith grow tremendously as we celebrated Bill’s life. God used Bill to prove to my kids (and to me) that He can do great things. So, if He chooses not to heal Clay, they don’t have to wonder if it’s because He can’t. They just have to ask God to help them trust His ways. We love you, Bill and Janet. Andy, you’re just alright….


As they are leaving, I hear Bill telling Janet she needs to move because there are a lot of people in the driveway. Ha! And, there were!


We had a wonderful visit with some dear friends that the Lord placed in our lives during our time at First New Testament Church. They have moved on to different places, now, but God has preserved the friendship that we feel for one another. Clay said a few times last night that the best decision we’ve ever made was to attend FNT. God has taught us so much, and He has enriched our lives with people who love us deeply, and whom we love.


We had a wonderful time of prayer and we both felt so loved by all the hugs, the delicious dinner and the huge smiles. I love these people. I’m so thankful that the body of Christ extends beyond the four walls of our churches.

My parents stayed for dinner and we had a visit from Grace and Sam’s lifelong friend, Jordan Stephens. Jordan just moved away for college and she will be playing Volleyball for William Carey. She bought Clay a cap that say’s, “Carey” that he can wear to her games that she’s really hoping he can attend. I’m praying we can make it to one, Jordan.

Wednesday, our house was filled with worship, and it was so wonderful. I woke Clay up for a visit with Caleb and James. James brought his guitar and the three of them sat in our bedroom for a time of prayer and worship. You could visibly see how it helped Clay. When he first woke up, he was weak, confused, and he couldn’t get his words out. After James played and they prayed, he felt fine. He has some really good men in his life.


Their visit was followed by a sweet time with Bro. Wayne and Mrs. De Austin, and Mitch and Candace Mula. My dad was here most of the day, too. Candace sang while James played. Clay and I were married at Healing Place Church 18 years ago, and served there for about 8 years of our life. We made some lifelong friends during that time, including Candace and Mitch. I’ve always loved her voice (Duh! I mean who doesn’t?) and it was so great for her to sit in our room and sing worship songs with us. Bro. Wayne was my mom’s youth pastor. We go way back! They bought us a delicious dinner, but the time they spent with us was so much more valuable.

Callie Richard was our Nanny for about 8 years, so she practically raised my kids. She came for dinner Wednesday night. When I was working and the kids were younger, we would meet for dinner before church on a pretty regular basis. So, that was the plan, but Clay just wasn’t able to get up for church. In fact, he didn’t even get up for dinner. So, the kids got to visit with Callie for a while. Ben, in particular, was very happy.

Clay’s Aunt Mary knocked on the door and she woke him up to love on him a little. When he opened his eyes, he said, “I’m only waking up if it’s my Aunt Mary.” Ha! I think it did her some good to see that his sense of humor is fully intact. She brought fudge, so he was glad to wake up for that! She has survived cancer twice, so she understands where we are right now. They visited for a while and it was perfect because there were no distractions. She just sat by his bed and talked to him. img_7815

Meet Jamie and Damien Tullier. Jamie was my best friend in 3rd and 4th grade. We were really close. We even had a journal/diary with a lock on it. I would write in it, lock it, and bring it to her. Then she would write back, lock it and bring it back to me. Little girls!!! I have wonderful memories with her. Well, then she grew up a little and she was really good friends with Clay during his college years. Then, the 3 of us were together at Healing Place in the College/Career Group. Then, we all ended up at Victory Academy when our kids started school and we’ve grown close during that time. Small world!

God has blessed us so richly with wonderful people in our lives. We spend so much time talking about how much you all have meant to us. Here are a few pics from the past week. Rob Hoffpauir spent his day with me Wednesday working on our computers. I am trying to get all our family pictures organized so Clay can see them, and Rob is helping me do that. Jennifer Dougherty came and took family pictures for us, and we had a wonderful time with her. My dear friend, Robin Scherer, brought me a latte and Clay a muffin. She spent the day with me just listening to me. Dr. May is our dear friend from church who is looking after Clay’s well-being right now. He’s been such a help to us. Grace’s high school Volleyball Coach, Coach K, brought us dinner along with her precious little girl, Savannah. We had a great visit and the food was delicious!

I hope you are not bored with all the pictures and the stories. This blog really helps Clay remember the things that you all have done, and the people who have visited. He remains overwhelmed by all the love. Thank you for ministering to us so much.

We Love You!!!!

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  1. Myrlene M. Axtell says:

    We love you back, and we are so thankful for your witness. We thank God for your lives and your wonderful blogs. May our faithfulness to our Lord be as deep, and our witness of a loving and caring Saviour be as bold as yours. You remain in our hearts and our prayers each day. M. Axtell

    • Dee Austin says:

      Christi and Clay-what a joy to spend some time with you Wednesday. You’re both amazing! I could do nothing but cry to see Gods power in your lives, His strength, His peace and His love. Our time together will forever be in my heart. The Lords presence was so real in that room-people loving Clay, people loving Jesus. Our God is truly an awesome God. When we sang that song ” What a beautiful name it is-nothing compares to this-his spirit just washed over all of us. His mercy ( which is new every morning) will continue to hold you in His arms. Love you sweet ones

  2. Jane Guy says:

    God is using y’all in a mighty way. Such a blessing to me to read your blog.

  3. Cindy Rome Estep says:

    Amen for family and friends🙏🏻💜🙏🏻

  4. Amy Prudhomme says:

    Hello, while I have not had the pleasure of meeting you and Clay personally, I know your precious mom, your grandmother, your Aunt Janet and cousin Amy… I have been so incredibly moved and blessed by your blog and your story. The faith you guys have displayed throughout this journey has been simply awe inspiring to read. Sometimes I sit and picture the smile God must have on His face as He watches you and your family as you walk this walk, forever and always bringing Him praise and glory and never questioning His plans. I believe that many lives have been changed as they’ve witnessed the way you all have handled this trial set before you. I will continue to pray for Clay and for all of your family, and please know that you are teaching me what it looks like to fully and completely put every bit of trust and faith in our God, whatever the outcome may be.. God bless you all, you are a beautiful family!!

  5. Lisa Oivanki says:

    I love reading your blog. It gives me such comfort and peace. Earlier this summer I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. I had to be rushed to the ER and I was told if it had gone any longer, it could have killed me. My heart rate had skyrocketed to 170.

    I am still recovering, but because of the prayers of so many of my friends and the care of excellent doctors, the condition, Afib and Atrial Flutter, has mostly righted itself and I am slowly recovering my strength and stamina after almost 6 weeks of being unable to do hardly anything. It seems so minor compared to what your family is going through.

    Know that I am continuing to pray for all of you. As I said before, our staff at Victory will keep a loving prayerful presence for Ben. I saw him briefly at Open House but he was talking to his buds and I did not want to interrupt. I am keeping you in prayer and your name is on quite a few prayer lists at the churches where I work and teach Bible study.

    I am praying for a peaceful time for all of you, but especially you, Kristy. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to watch him slowly slip back from where he was even just a week ago.
    There are no words I can say that will make the days ahead any easier. All I can do is keep you close in prayer.

    The Lord be with you and the family.

  6. psalm40blog says:

    Thank you for your honesty and for the tender way you talk about all that is going on in this time of your life. We love you so much!

  7. Linda Winters says:

    I don’t get bored with your blog. It gives me great peace when I read it. I’m so awed with the faith you & Clay have no matter what y’all are going through. I know Jesus is my Lord & Savior & know there is never anything I could ever do to repay him for his sacrifice. I can’t even imagine how I would handle the same fate y’all are facing, but I would certainly pray that I could be 1/4th as strong as you & Clay. You stay in my prayers & my prayer group continues to pray for a miracle for Clay. God bless your whole family.

  8. Sandra M Green says:

    Oh, what amazing love that can only be conceived through the power of our magnificent Savior!!! I love you dearly and wish we were close enough to do things for you. There is no distance with prayer, though, and that I can do. Praying for more love, peace, and comfort.

  9. Phoebe Seguin says:

    Your journey has been a blessing to me. We have traveled the same cancer journey and only with God could we face each challenge. Praying for your family

  10. Molly says:

    Clay….do you remember me simging ‘He is
    Able? Your parents loved it amd I loved blessing yall withh the anointing God has put in me to sing.
    Youve always been my lil buddy and I love you dearly.. love to the family that i havent ever met. But yall arre blessed to be Furlows. ❣MollyMilne

  11. I cannot find the words to express my feelings……praying for complete healing, strength and peace. I love you guys. ❤️🙏🏻😘

  12. Clay I admire your endurance , determination , and strength to fight the cancer. You are an exemplary leader. ❤️ Billy and Pepper.