76 thoughts on “Words of Encouragement

  1. Father, like Martha and Mary we believe that you are the resurrection and the life, yet, like the woman who was bleeding for 12 years we grasp hold of the fringe of your garment. Jesus, we know that you can, and we ask with everything that is within us that you, Lord, would work a miracle, and that by your power that raised Lazarus from the dead, YOU, LORD, would take this awful sickness from Andrew and miraculously heal his body because YOU can. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

  2. To a degree I understand your feelings, fears and questions. My mother lived just 9 months after being diagnosed with a very rare tumor. I pray, with all my faith, Andrew enters remission. My deepest prayers are with you. Thank you for embracing and reaching out to our community for our support and prayers.

  3. Dear Smith Family,
    Theologian Paul Tillich writes, “The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.” Courage is saying yes to life in the face of trauma, what Albert Camus calls the “absurd”: the human need for understanding and the unreasonable silence of the world. How does a courageous sufferer resign oneself to the present condition and simultaneously protest or revolt against said condition (rage against the dying of the light) ? In suffering the Christian confronts a paradox: how does one speak of an omnipotent God when the Christian vision of God resigns on the cross? Is the Crucified God not the fellow sufferer who understands? For even Christ our Lord both resigned himself to death, and revolted against it – “My God, why hast thou forsaken men?” Adam and Samantha, sadly I offer no answers, only questions. I will end with a description of grace: Grace is relationship, a totally free gift without conditions or expectations; grace is not a material exchange, but giving “without cause”. May you both have unconditioned courage and grace.

  4. Dear Smith Family,
    Theologian Paul Tillich writes, “The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God has disappeared in the anxiety of doubt.” Courage is saying yes to life in the face of trauma, what Albert Camus calls the “absurd”: the human need for understanding and the unreasonable silence of the world. How does a courageous sufferer resign oneself to the present condition and simultaneously protest or revolt against said condition (rage against the dying of the light) ? In suffering the Christian confronts a paradox: how does one speak of an omnipotent God when the Christian vision of God resigns on the cross? Is the Crucified God not the fellow sufferer who understands? For even Christ our Lord both resigned himself to death, and revolted against it – “My God, why hast thou forsaken men?” Adam and Samantha, sadly I offer no answers, only questions. I will end with a description of grace: Grace is relationship, a totally free gift without conditions or expectations; grace is not a material exchange, but is giving “without cause”. May you both have unconditioned courage and grace.

  5. Adam and Samantha

    My heart goes out to both of you. I know what a struggle you are going through. Please know that I am praying for you both. Stay strong and have faith.

  6. Tonight I will light the 4th candle for Chanukah. Chanukah is the holiday of miracles!! The bulldogs of Butler, the final four for Butler, the finding of a cure for Andrew Smith on the miralce of Chanukah!!! I am praying for you!!

  7. Samantha, I noticed that Amanda Clark has your info on Cocktails and Chemo. Please, if you haven’t already, reach out to her.
    I’m a Butler alumnus and have two children who, too, are alumni. The prayers for strength and endurance along with the blessings of God are certainly being said.

  8. Dear Samantha and Andrew,

    I do not know the words to say, but yet feel compelled.
    I do not understand why, but yet I know, God has a plan.
    I do not believe because times are tough, I believe because God is grand.
    I cannot imagine what you guys are going through, but I do know you are not alone.

    Reading your blog posts, messages, and updates in general on Andrew are powerful, impactful, inspiring…. Bulldog tough. I know Andrew has the support of hundreds, heck, thousands. As a butler graduate living in Philadelphia, I follow weekly how your family is doing and am always overwhelmed. I admittedly, question why. Why cancer is a thing. But there’s always been one thing I don’t question- and that’s the power of prayer. I have and will continue to keep you guys in my prayers, in my family’s prayers, and everyone who I have told about Andrew and your courageous journey. To Andrew- keep fighting. Keep the faith. Keep being bulldog tough.

    Sometimes life isn’t fair. But we get one. And boy does it make a difference when that life is filled with thousands of people who care a tremendous amount about you, pray for you, and most importantly, believe in you.

    Keep fighting. Keep living. Keep loving. Keep being bulldog tough !

  9. I received my MBA from Butler and since that point my son, now 20, and I are huge Butler basketball fans. Most importantly we are Christians and are praying hard, as well as hurting, for Andrew. I can’t imagine the fear and anxiety you must be feeling at this time, but continue to know that God sits on His throne and will work everything for good for those who are in Christ Jesus. From just the little I know, Andrew has been a huge influence on others with his infectious smile, his determined work ethic, and mostly his faith. I pray that God allows you to feel His presence and to have peace at this time as Andrew fights for his life. Please be encouraged that he has already won the biggest fight. Victory in Jesus is greater than any NCAA championship. Blessings to all.

  10. Reading this breaks my heart! I’m so sorry for what you’re both going through. My prayers won’t stop for you to receive all the love and support you need to get you both through this. I’ve struggled personally on what to pray for since I don’t know you or Andrew personally, just by what I’ve read and seen. But I know God is faithful in all things and you will be ok, I will keep praying for all kinds of miracles in your lives whatever they will be.

  11. Andrew, Samantha, Family and Friends,

    As a young DePauw basketball alum and one who battled a severe, life-changing case of cancer in my mid-twenties, I’ve identified so much with Andrew’s fight. I see myself in him. Chemo, steroids, sickness, etc.. Your family has been in my family’s thoughts and prayers, and we beg God for his grace and healing hands to be placed on Andrew. As the ultimate competitor, I’m sure Andrew loves to win. And Andrew has won this biggest fight of his life. He’s won it with his courage, and the world has been blessed to witness how gracefully he has fought. Our prayers are more intense now than ever, and we will all beg God for mercy and His miraculous healing power to give you all strength.

    May He bless you all,

    John Gergely

    1. Just know that thousands are praying for you. If we could understand this, our God would be too small. We have a big God, who knows you both, loves you both and cares. As a DAWG follower, we have seen Andrew from the beginning of his career. He always has been admired and loved. You were the icing on the cake. Quite a pair. You both have achieved Victory in Christ. Love you both. Dotty and Ron Reehling

  12. Andrew & Samantha,

    Please know that I will lift you up in prayer that our Mighty God will provide both of you strength, grace, peace & healing. May you feel the ever-present love of our Heavenly Father during this time.

  13. Andrew,
    I don’t know if you’ll remember me or not, but I went to the Butler Basketball camps while you were at Butler. I went to the camp before Butler went to the first Championship run and also after that one and before the second one.
    I remember all the helpful things you did for all the kids and especially me while we went through all the drills throughout the day. Even though if it was a, “Good job,” “Good hustle,” or “Nice defense,” it meant a lot to me coming from someone like you. I still remember those little things you said about how I did a drill. You may have not thought much of it did, but it meant the world to me than and still does now.
    And me trying to be taller than you, while we took a picture on the main court, by standing on the court and you standing on the cement floor next to the court.

    I’ve prayed for you and your family that God may help you in every way He can.

    You will always be a Butler Bulldog, Andrew.

    Jaocb

  14. John 3:5 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    John 8:32 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

    Acts 2:38 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    James 1:2-5 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

    Philippians 4:6 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

    James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

    Galatians 6:9 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

    Colossians 4:2 2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

  15. My heart and prayers are with you both…I know it’s hard and the road seems a little shake but leave it with God. I would like to send you this saying Mr smith. Please read

    So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing afriend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

    – Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation

    God bless you 2. GO Butler!!!!

  16. I have been following your struggles for some time now but did not know about the blogs. I confess that when I saw the headline this morning that I could feel all the love, compassion and faith that exists in me reaching out for the two of you so that hopefully my prayers can join with so many others for him to win this battle.

    I will be praying all day for you both and your families.

    I will leave you with this: May God Almighty and Christ Jesus Keep and Protect you always.

    Richard and Sherry Morgan

  17. Samantha, I read your Blog last night. I had a hard time getting through it. You are so young and in love with Andrew. I lost my husband to cancer after 47 years of marriage. I could have written the same kind of thoughts the last two weeks of his life. Don’t give up hope yet. There is power in prayer and the Lord LOVES for us to talk to Him. I have sent your Blog to family and friends and asked them to pray for you and Andrew. My husband received treatment at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. There was no treatment for Kidney Cancer at the time that could help him. But he was waiting to get into a trial program. There are wonderful people at NIH. It is full of Doctors and others that love and trust God. Perhaps they have something for Andrew. I am praying for you both. Thank you for sharing your story. Hold onto your love for each other. May God Bless you and all your loved ones. Alice Ryan

  18. Dear Andrew and Sam, I will be praying for strength and peace for you and your family. Your blog has made me realize the importance of focusing on the good things in life, rather than the bad. Your story is so full of love and caring that it is life-changing for those who read it. God bless you.

  19. I recently saw your story and it in some ways sounds a little like mine, my daughter Jessica let us know in the spring of 2012 that she was pregnant and we were so happy for her being a single mom though was going to be difficult but she could do it. She gave birth to our beautiful grand-daughter on Wednesday September 5th 2012. On Friday September 7th, a little before expecting to leave hospital the Doctors called all her immediate family in to let us know from standard blood work done after giving birth that our daughter had acute myeloid leukemia stage 4 and let us know she had to be admitted to a cancer hospital immediately to start chemo so our grand-daughter come home with us that day and well, after numerous bone marrow transplants (thanks to her brother) and countless stays in the hospital for chemo over 2 years she lost her battle on November 7th 2014 and she was also 25. It was difficult for me to make peace with god over this but she did leave a precious gift of our grand-daughter who has been with us since she was born and is a blessing but difficult sometimes since me and my husband aren’t as young as we used to be. I just wanted to share my story with you and to let you know your story touched me and you are in my prayers

  20. I’m so sorry to read of Andrew’s passing. Although I didn’t know him or you personally, the words that so many have spoken show what a truly wonderful man he was. I wish I had the right words to say to you but I don’t. I do offer my prayers and I will be thinking of you in the coming days.

  21. May you someday find some peace and some blessing in having shared a life with such a wonderful man, however short. I only know you through your blog and the media, and everything says Andrew was a wonderful person in every way. Do you know how wonderful you are to have walked this walk with him? I am sorry that words and prayers are all I can offer. My deepest sympathies.

  22. May God comfort you as you go forward without your husband by your side. He is no longer suffering in pain and is with His Savior. May you find solace and purpose in the truths of Romans 8:28. You and your husband shine forth the glory of Christ!!!

  23. Don’t Miss It. It was what I needed to read! My husband was Diagnosed with Cancer right after our daughter’s high school graduation. I’ve been so focused on fear and constant worry that this reminded me we have so much to be grateful for, his health right now, the excitement of our Daughter’s first year at College, my youngest daughter’s excitement of getting her bedroom (which cracks me up) and countless nice people that will not know what’s going on but know they are just kind and we are grateful. Noone knows except a couple of close friends and family so to have regular conversations not talking about it is nice.
    We will keep you in our prayers always and are always thinking of you and Andrew’s family.

    Love in Christ
    Michele

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