Thursday, December 18, 2008

The real miracle of healing

As I sit here tonight in my home, surrounded by all the things that I've come to find comfort in over the past few years, I find myself overwhelmed by peace. Looking back over these past six months, I now realize how hard the journey has been and how unbelievably thankful I am to finally be at home for good. There's an ache in my heart for the families we left behind at St. Jude's, the families that continue to fight for healing, for miracles, for home. And as thankful as I am to be here, I know our journey only continues as my little girl fights for her life. I pulled Talks-a-lot and not-so-Chunks-a-lot into my son's bed tonight, curled up in blankets and stuffed toys to read some books together. The third book we read was by Max Lucado and it was called, "In case you ever wonder". It was about a parent's love for their child and near the end of the book it talked about heaven. How there will be no tears, no pain, no need to want for anything....a perfect escape from this not-so-perfect world. Reading this part made a lump form in my throat and I had to stop reading for a minute to compose myself. In fighting for this miracle for my little girl, sometimes I only focus on my perception of what a miracle really is. For her body to be healed, on this earth, so I can keep her and hold her forever....but is that true healing? For are we not all hurting in some way, sick in one way or another, fighting our own battles day in and day out. Can anyone ever experience true healing here on earth? I suddenly realized how backwards my thinking is. For the healing we will all experience as we enter the gates of heaven, greeted by the Savior that has carried us through, finally resting in the peace of the angels that surround us; is this not the ultimate healing we all hope to one day experience? God opened up my eyes tonight to something. Not that I will stop praying for her pain to be taken away, not that I will ever stop begging for her tumor to be bound, not that I will ever give up on believing in this miracle of physical healing, but just that God's mercy runs far deeper than my eyes can see. I teach my children to thirst for Christ, to encourage others towards Him, all in an effort to help them reach their eternal destiny in heaven; the ultimate healing in a broken world. Heaven isn't just a fairytale wrapped up in a child's book, it's the eternity we should all hope to reach one day. Upon this leading and understanding from God, I felt the courage to again surrender my little girl's life to Him. I've done it a thousand times and will probably have to be reminded to do it a thousand more. For as much as I want to keep her, I do truly love her enough to let her go. And with that comes freedom, the freedom to walk each step of this battle in peace and faith. Never looking back at the anxiety, fear and worry that will constantly try and plague my every move, never fearing the future for He's already written it. I guess I've just realized how deep Christ's love for us really is, that He has prepared a place for us to go after fighting through life here on earth. I'd like to think I've experienced a taste of what that feeling might be like last night as I walked in the door of my home, leaving the heartache behind me as peace overwhelmed me. I'll keep on praying for a miracle for my little McKaylee, but I'll also pray for both of my children to one day reach heaven's gates into the arms of their Savior, knowing that's where they'll truly find their miracles.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All the trials and hardships we've been through in the past six months have been completely worth it.....just to have the blessing of experiencing moments like these...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The freedom to love

I'm sitting here in the early morning hours, just an hour and 15 minutes away from Chunks-a-lot's MRI scan. I was worried that last night would be a sleepless one, but instead I found myself overcome with exhaustion. This morning, however, my mind will not turn off. I stumbled across someone's caringbridge page last night (caringbridge is a website that helps family and friends follow their loved ones through illness) and it was an older lady that had a brain tumor and had just recently passed away. I found myself digging through the old journal entries on her page and reading all the updates from years past up until the present. This woman had fought a battle through cancer that had so many ups and downs, filled with moments of pure hope and joy then turning to times of pain and sadness. It was obvious, as I read through this woman's 21 month struggle, even from the beginning that she probably would not survive her cancer, but the family that surrounded her seemed oblivious to this. The hope they clung to, even in those last days of life, was astounding. I suddenly realized how closely our paths run together. Sometimes I see it in people's eyes, the question of, "Don't you realize how sick your little girl is?". And no, I truly don't most of the time. There might be times where I am overwhelmed with the reality of this situation, but for the most part I only look at it with hope. "Doesn't she realize that there are astounding odds against her daughter's survival?". Yes, I do realize that, I just choose not to make it my focus. Does that make me unrealistic? Probably so. But then I think about the way God views us and there seems to be a huge parallel there. Like there are times where I know God knows I'm going to screw it up, He knows I'm going to bust and almost not recover, but He still has hope for me. And not an unrealistic, blind hope but a hope that is filled with freedom. I have spent the better part of my life trying to "prepare" myself for whatever life might throw at me. I eloped at the tender age of nineteen and spent the first year of my marriage trying to "prepare" myself for the fact that my husband might leave me one day. He didn't show signs that he would do such a thing, but the odds were against us, so I decided to build my wall to protect myself. Yet as my marriage has continued on, with no signs of failure, I've realized how much I lost in that first year. In my efforts to "prepare" myself, I lost my passion for love and my freedom to live it. I don't want to prepare myself for the road ahead with Chunks-a-lot. Sure, I know she's not supposed to survive. Yes, I realize the odds are highly against her winning this battle, and that's why I'm not going to waste a moment of this journey. Why not just love and love freely, without the burden of the "what-if's"? Why not just throw caution to the wind and trust God for that miracle, that miracle that almost seems impossible. I might get hurt, in fact I probably will. But at least I will have lived and freely loved without trying to control and plan out each step that might lie ahead. So today as we are embarking on this next MRI scan, the part of me that wants to give way to fear and anxiety is being stuffed away. God will be there as much in the end as He is in the beginning. In the meantime, I'll just love her. It's not my job to write the future, it's His. Today is just another page in this story and I'll happily walk through it with freedom. The freedom He has given me through His perfect love and never-ending mercy.