A Very Heavy Heart

Life often throws obstacles our way… and in those moments of severe sadness, anger and uncertainty, we’ll find things we never expected.

Today, I come to you with a very heavy heart… a heart that breaks with sadness. A very dear friend of mine (one of my best friends), and the sweet heart behind all of our wonderful sewing projects, and pillows, is going through a very hard time.

Her husband has recently been diagnosed with cancer. He’s 27 years old. They have a sweet, sweet two year old boy, and have known their fair share of grief as they’ve over come numerous miscarriages, with the most recent being right before Christmas of last year. Their sadness broke my heart then, but it has devastated me today.

Meet Brittni… my sweet friend, someone I’ve grown to trust and love, and an integral part of my business…

A Very Heavy Heart by The Wood Grain Cottage

She came at a time I needed her desperately. I had prayed, and prayed and prayed I would find someone to help with the online shop portion of my business. Someone who would enjoy the everyday sewing, and do it with heart and compassion. The door opened, and in walked Brittni.

A Very Heavy Heart by The Wood Grain Cottage

We went to high school together, her being a bit younger than I, and we never established a friendship. Ten years later, we reconnected while playing co-ed softball, and she was exactly the person I had been looking and praying for. I know God placed her in my life, and I’ve never doubted His guiding hand. He knew what I needed better than I did.

Through working together, creating new designs, and passing totes filled with beautiful pillows back and forth, Brittni and I got to know each other… and we became fast friends. A friendship I really needed.

I’ve been there for Brittni as she’s shed tears, as she’s been excited to build their new home, and as I’ve watched her mother her son. She’s had an impact on me… her kindness and genuine heart have made an impact on me. It seems just yesterday, we made a trip up to the mountain to take their family pictures…

A Very Heavy Heart by The Wood Grain Cottage

When she contacted me to tell me they’d found a tumor in Luke’s (her husband, and my high school friend) stomach, I was in shock. I thought to myself, “NO, not this family… they’ve known too much suffering and sadness…”. And then when he had it removed, and they found it was an advanced form of cancer, I cried, and said again “NOOOO, not this family…. they’ve known too much suffering and sadness…”

A Very Heavy Heart by The Wood Grain Cottage

And then when the surgery had it’s hiccups to remove the tumor, I just cried, and felt completely, utterly hopeless. Luke was recently transferred and flown from our small home town, to a big hospital in Denver. He just underwent his second surgery, and we’re all hoping and praying profusely for a speedy recovery so he can start his chemo battle with cancer.

A Very Heavy Heart by The Wood Grain Cottage

I ask for your prayers. Prayers that would lift up this sweet family in their time of need. Prayers that would help Luke heal. Prayers that Brittni will stay strong as she cares for him. And prayers that the Lord touches this family, now more than ever.

I’m including a link to their donation account, should you feel so inclined… but please know, I’m not sharing this for that purpose, although it would make a tremendous impact as they are facing tons of medical bills. Instead, I’m sharing this because I love this family, and Brittni has helped make and sew every pillow you’ve purchased. Every single one. Perhaps even, the one sitting on your couch right now… She’s part of our brand, our community, and our family. And so now, we are helping her family in anyway we can.

Thank you for reading… and thank you for your prayers. They are appreciated more than you will ever know.

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  1. I am sitting by my How Great Thou Art pillow right now, and I truly believe those words. May you feel that same presence now and in the days to come.

  2. I never write a comment but felt lead to give your friend some valuable info, and some hope I went through kimmo with my husband of 43 years and I juiced for him every day for one year only organic veggies carrots, beets and barley juice,some other veggies are cucumbers ,spinach , celery,and broccoli.My husband had his lung removed and is five years cancer free I still juice for him and I,kimmo kills good cells and bad ones but juicing heals and repairs, I know you saw the story of Joey and Rory ,I hope this comes to you in time please try it it works I will send you a link to a company for barley juice . Do not give up hope that baby needs a Dad and your friend a husband! God bless you and keep you all in perfect peace!

  3. The web site for barley grass is Hallelujah Diet .com click on cancer info or you can call them they are great ! There is also a tea I made for my husband called essiac tea that you can get on health food web sites one was Swanson ! It’s a lot of work and juicing can get messy but so worth it !

  4. Oh my goodness. I am praying for this sweet family, and for you. Asking God to give you words of comfort and strength to share with them, and asking God to help you know when to be silent and just be there for them. I am so thankful for a Savior Who is also The Healer. I am praying for healing for this young man and strength and encouragement for him and his family in Jesus name. I am asking for God to give supernatural wisdom to every doctor, every nurse, every medical person who will come in contact with him, that they will know how to treat this cancer. And I am asking for their faith to not waiver, even as they walk through this time of fiery trial. Asking for Jesus to surround them with people who can lift them up and remind them that they are loved by the God who spoke the universe into existence. Remind them to keep their eyes on Jesus, Shayna. They will need to be reminded of that many times in the days and weeks to come as the enemy tries to rob them of their faith and the hope we have in Jesus. Remind them to stand upon His promise to never leave them or forsake them. Even when life throws us more than we think we can stand, Jesus never fails. I am praying.

  5. Sitting here at work and I just read A Very Heavy Heart. First I want to say take it all to God and leave it there, He will not forsake you, I believe He has this. Often times in life e are tested each in different ways some harder than others, but we must learn to keep the Faith. They are in my prayers, and your a true friend in reading your story it gave me goose bumps. I will continue to pray for the family, God has this. In Jesus Name I Pray….

  6. Will pray for your friend and the family. Cancer is such a horrible disease and affects most families. Hope that his surgery goes well and his treatments are successful. They look like such a sweet family. Prayers!!

  7. I’m praying right now for our Lords divine intervention on his behalf. Lord, wrap Your arms of mercy and comfort around this dear family! Please send a speedy recovery for our brother. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  8. Heavenly Father I pray that you touch this family during their time of need. I ask that you touch Luke and heal him from this terrible cancer. I ask that you guide Brittni and give her the strength she will need to be there for Luke. I pray that their son understands what is happening and give him the strength he needs to be there for his mom and dad as well. I ask for complete healing, because all things are possible thru your name. Amen! Amen! Amen!

  9. Let her know that we are all with her.. We are praying. Tell her to talk to God. Thanks for letting us know.

  10. My heart is saddened by this…I’m so, so sorry. Praying for them for sure. God is good. He will bring them through this. Hugs,

  11. Please check out Chrisbeatcancer.com. my thoughts and prayers are with Brittni and her family.

  12. With love and prayers I hold this beautiful family in my heart. May God’s healing light shine brightly around and in them.

  13. Shayna, Teri S is right about the juicing and health diet. Been there as well. Also check out Ty Bollingers “The truth about cancer” online. A global quest. I also never comment but felt compelled to regarding this cancer. Will be praying for your friend

    1. You are absolutely correct, Christa! I totally believe in the power of prayer (and will be including this sweet family in my prayers!); however, God designed our bodies to heal themselves! Once we are all aware of how to heal our bodies through diet and lifestyle changes, miracles WILL happen! Everyone, please, please watch, “The Truth About Cancer”! Then follow up with your own research. You will be forever changed! Blessings to all.

  14. I’m praying for Luke- for his complete healing, for wisdom for his medical team and for peace and rest for Brittni and their family as he goes through treatment.

  15. I have tears in my eyes from your touching post.
    You are a wonderful friend, and I can see what a wonderful family they are.
    I have a friend that went through the same thing, so young and with a baby.
    Sending lots of love and prayers to them.

  16. My heart breaks for all of you. I am praying for y’all and I wanted to tell you that my husband’s uncle also has stomach cancer. I read the other comments from Terri S and I agree with her. He needs everything to be organic also he needs B17! Research it please, it could seriously save his life! It can only be ordered online but it’s worth it. I hope that with a little research on these suggestions and a whole lot of prayers he will beat this.

    God Bless!

  17. I am sitting by my ‘How Great Thou Art’ pillow as well, sending love and strength to this beautiful family.
    I know it is not my business but I am curious about how his cancer was discovered. In less than two weeks I am headed in for a procedure to see if I have anything similar. I have been worried, but I have no one to ask or talk to about these things besides my doctors.
    I hope that for this family they experience miracles and joy, and deep love and healing from family and friends.

  18. Uff Da (oo-fh dah) (Norwegian origin used to express sensory overload. It can be used to express surprise, relief, astonishment or exhaustion). Feel free to use this any time you would like. So sorry to hear this about your friends. I will be praying for Luke that he will never give up the good fight overcoming this difficult time to live on happily and forever with his family! Hugs to you and their family!

  19. Let me give you my perspective from someone who is fighting pancreatic and liver cancer. I was diagnosed just before Thanksgiving with Stage 4 and with tumor marker numbers that were so high the doctors questioned their accuracy. I shouldn’t even be alive to write this post. I am in my 70’s so my case isn’t as devastating as someone in their 20’s. I have already had a nice long life with few bumps along the way.

    BUT, here is what has gotten me this far and with tumor markers that are currently lower than almost anyone else’s. I decided, immediately, that if I didn’t have much time left that I was going to enjoy it as much as possible. I come with a family history of senile dementia and not the sweet, lovable kind either. My mother’s family turns nasty. I was definitely not looking forward to that. I avoided looking everything up on the internet and left that to my husband. Hopefully, your friend will have an ‘engineer’ thinking friend that will track all your test results and graph them and google them to death. My husband has analyzed my numbers anyway he could think of. By not dwelling on the negatives, I am able to enjoy going to my granddaughters’ high school events and cheer them on. I told anyone who was interested about my diagnosis. I obviously have ‘well-connected’ people praying for me since I am doing so well. Also, use the good stuff. Enjoy it, because no one will love what you love as much as you do. Use the good silver.

    Secondly, exercise. Don’t quit and feel sorry for yourself. Keep doing as much as you can and people will say you are amazing which makes you feel even better. I have been a mall walker for 25 years and I am still doing it. I feel so much better after each session.

    Thirdly, hang out with people who have a positive attitude. Worrying does nothing good for you.

    Chemo isn’t much fun. I always ask for the room with four infusion chairs and meet mostly positive people there. We joke around about “pole dancing’ which is when you are connected and have an urgent need to go to the bathroom. We also call it “Camp Praxair’ (it is the Praxair Cancer Center). We talk a a lot including planning vacations and other things we want to do. Some one has always been there and done that and can offer good information. Chemo really messes with your appetite and taste buds so eat your favorite foods as much as possible. I find that sweet and/or spicy covers some of the bad taste. Your friend may have a different experience.

    Lastly, do whatever your doctor asks. Any discomfort is worth it when you want to see your son graduate from high school, go to college and get married.

  20. Wow, Shayna……this is powerful stuff coming from your readers….there is power in prayer, no doubt about it. I join in with every one else in interceding for this sweet family. There is a purpose here, even though we don’t know what it is.

    I encourage you to be strong enough to speak with them about their relationship with Jesus. It’s never too late to make sure the people we love are secure for Eternity. It’s only too late when the last breath was taken.

    God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Blessings to you for sharing your faith and your love.

  21. So sorry for your friend,we will pray God’s grace and mercy on them, it can be overwhelming but God is good all the time. Will continue to pray,please keep us posted.

  22. My heart goes out to this beautiful family. I feel your hurt also…so devastating…. so sorry. I will be praying for this beautiful family as well as you and your husband.

  23. Shayna, so heartbreaking. Will keep your dear friend and family in my prayers as well as you as you prepare to help them. God bless each of you.

  24. Dear Shayna, Anthony, Luke and Brittni,
    It is a privilege to join with you to pray for Luke’s healing. God is faithful and as someone who has been on this path I am so available to you to share my story and help if needed. I have placed Luke’s name on our prayer list at church.
    Much love to you all.

  25. My heart goes out to you and your Friends, will be praying for them. For Gods protection and healing. Take in what the Doctors say and pray positive and the out come you all want.

  26. I am praying for this sweet family. Bless you for being their friend at this special time. Our Lord has brought all these people in this blog together to pray for you and your friends. How absolutely awesome.

  27. Shayna, my heart broke as I read your letter. One thing I saw was you saying how The Lord brought the two of you together and what a blessing she has been to you.. I see that The Lord has given Brittni such a good friend in you as well. I’m sure you’ll be to Brittni all that she has been to you. Your compassionate heart and love for her and her family is just what she needs as they are in this devastating trial. May The Lord be with all of you and comfort, bless, guide and give you peace. ….”My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness….” I will be praying.

  28. You know my heart, we talked earlier.
    Just had the strength to read it.
    I love you, and will pray for this family.
    Donation made.
    xo Shan

  29. Thank you for sharing. Not even knowing them my heart aches. I lift Luke up before Jehovah Rapha! And Brittni before God of all comfort. If possible Brittni, and Luke, get 5 subject notebooks and JOURNAL to God your thoughts to help get them out/released. God is taking you on a journey. But HE will send peace, instruction, ups and downs, wisdom, etc. through HIS WORD. He took me through an 8 year journey, but HE has used all I learned. I now know Him like never before. I didn’t journal everyday. Just when I needed Him or when He gave me WOWS (Words Of Wisdom) that I gleaned from Bible, prayer, and time with Him. Journaling will be a gift to you and your son, in the future, as you see God’s presence…. And you will”know that you know Him, that He is real, and He Loves you. BJ

  30. There is a book written by an oncologist. Its on amazon cannot buy it in USA. Its called Cancer is a fungus. Basically he cures cancer with baking soda and lemons. He will have to eat healthy, no sugar etc. Book is around 70.00 but well worth it.
    I told a friend to get it for brother. He had prostate and bone cancer. He has recovered and his doctor said it was miraculous. He never told him he was also doing baking soda therapy.
    Good luck !!!
    Sandra Bryan 🙂

  31. I’m so sorry to hear of this sweet family going through such an incredibly difficult time!! Lifting up prayers for complete healing, strength, comfort, love, support, and financial stability.

  32. I’m so sorry to hear what this family is going through and will certainly pray for God’s touch and healing for Luke. One thing that immediately popped in my head as I was reading this was that not only did God place Brittany in your life – he placed you in her life too. Maybe it was because he knew she was going to need your love, support and sweet friendship.

  33. My family and I will be praying for Luke and his family and you. God but you two families together for a reason. Believe, be strong and stay in God’s word?⚓️ Healing will come. He’s never late. God Bless.

  34. My prayers are with Luke and his family. Please let them know about the free Caringbridge website where they can post updates of Luke’s treatments and progress so we can follow along and offer support and prayers. It will reach a large audience of caring people worldwide.

  35. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all. I share the following because this young man was about the same age as your friend when he was diagnosed with cancer, and I believe it was stage 4. He beat it and writes about it on his blog chrisbeatcancer.com I pray there may be some bit of information that may help. God bless.

  36. I know that every wife who has read this has put themselves in Brittni’s place and thought ….what if it were my husband? This thought brought tears to my eyes. I do not know Brittni, but I am sharing in her sorrow and pleading to our Father for her and her husband.

  37. Ah my thoughts go out to this young family. The tragedy of cancer is too prevalent in these times I can’t help but wonder why ? This disease transcends borders and effects some of the most beautiful people in our worlds. I am from the UK and have just donated to a family who lost their teenage son to cancer. This is something we all need to fight together

  38. God’s timing is so perfect. I am traveling from AL to OH and reading the article about your home in the January 2016 Romantic Homes. I first spotted the pillow with the “Then sings my soul…”! So I read the article discovered you had a blog and then went to your blog on my phone and discovered your prayer request about Brittani and her husband. I will be praying for them. God is able “to do abundantly more than we think or ask for”! Thank you for your wonderful creative work and testimony. Blessings Shayna.

  39. Hi, I have only just discovered your blog and site and, sadly, this post. I see that so many people are praying for this young man and so much love is pouring his way and also to his beautiful wife and child. How wonderful it is that such a terrible, spiteful disease can spark so much love to be unleashed into this World and directed towards this lovely little family in their hour of need.
    I too am and will continue to pray for Luke’s full and hopefully pain free recovery and I pray that Brittni to be given unlimited strength, courage and understanding. I’m sure that she’s already giving these things to both of her men.
    Bless you for stepping up too and I pray for you as others are doing so that you can be strong for your friend.
    God bless you all and I wish you peace and love. xxx

  40. I came to your site from an HGTV site. I strolled down a number of suggested sites and decided to look at your site. God must have wanted me to see the story of your friends. I donated to the fund. God bless you for including this story in your site. I am praying that things go well for this precious family. God is good, and He will supply all their needs. After all, He sent me to your site and I donated. I will follow this family and your site to see how things go. Thank you again for your kind heart.

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