Nothing is Certain, and It’s Good.
JUSTIN & GINA GANSCHOW
In September of 2014, we were living in Little Rock, Arkansas. Caterpillar had transferred us there from Peoria two years prior, just six weeks before our son was born. Out of that uprooting, we learned how to accept help from a community of near-strangers as we navigated raising a newborn with our families a day’s drive away. Those relationships became ever deeper that autumn morning when Gina had a seizure in the church childcare room. From the ensuing flurry of doctor appointments, tests and scans came those words that you pray you’ll never hear, “Your wife has a brain tumor.”
Time stands still. The world narrows.
Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, when you’ve finally made some progress, established yourself, built a family or a career, along comes a curveball. Maybe it’s a diagnosis. Or a long-term friendship that dissolves. Or something that you loved and poured yourself into becomes something else entirely. Your job gets eliminated. The members of your family that you thought would always be with you pass away.
Each of these changes—these disruptions of our best laid plans—represent a crossroads. We can curl up in the fetal position, wallow in despair and submit to that which we can’t control, or we can lean into it. We can lean into each other. We can lean into faith, knowing that this fleeting moment is a part of our larger story, which we are co-author of.
Which road will you take?
Despair or Faith?
I’m not talking about faith as a cliché. I’m not suggesting that you just “hope and pray,” and everything will be fine. But you have control even in situations where the outcome is uncertain and all feels lost. It’s human and normal and good to cry it out at first. But then your response becomes a matter of assessment and perspective.
Are you still alive? Check.
Are you loved? Check.
If you are alive and loved, then the rest is details.
The road of faith is not always smooth, but those that love you will break your fall. The road isn’t always straight, but in the wandering you learn what matters most. It doesn’t always lead where you hope or expect it to, but that destination may be greater than you could have imagined. If you are walking with those that love you, while it isn’t always easy, it will always be good.
Justin and Gina Ganschow live in Dunlap with their son, Jude. Gina is a warrior who has successfully directed surgeons through her two awake brain tumor surgeries in 2015 and 2018 and has completed 14 of 18 chemo treatments. She’s also a school psychologist. Justin is awed by her incredible strength to get through every day and her compassion for others. He helps manage a safety culture and leadership consulting business with the mission of “impacting lives and bringing out the best in people.”