Over the course of a year, she trekked back and forth to Texas Children’s Hospital through overnight stays and treatment courses, until the tumor shrunk. Now there’s just a shadow there. A reminder, she tells me, to never forget to lean on God.
She has a ministry to families with children that receive a cancer diagnosis. They don’t all have the same outcome. I just saw a note on Facebook from one of the families she knows – a father sharing his story of how he’d been given another four years with his precious girl here on Earth. He said, “At 8:47 this morning, she was ushered into the presence of Jesus…Our daughter had cancer. But now she is with our God who is bigger. Trust Him with us.”
I sat at the computer and cried. Cried for their family. Cried for all the families that are up tonight because of an overwhelming medical diagnosis leveled at one of their little ones. Cried because I can’t imagine walking through that valley.
This daddy stood in the midst of His grief and asked people to believe God even in the middle of this darkness. Because He believes there is a reason. One he can’t understand and can’t know, but he believes in a God who is bigger than the pain and unfairness who has a plan.
I worry. All the time. About big things and little things, most of which will never happen. Instead of trusting God, I allow myself to drown in fear over illness or dangers or the bad people in the world or negative messaging in the world or broken hearts or broken bones or whatever else could assail my children.
On the night this father received his daughter’s diagnosis, he shares what he read in Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling:
Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one – as well as yourself…When you release your loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand. As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go with them wherever they go, and I will give them rest. The same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me.
I don’t know how I would react when faced with the words my girlfriend, or this father, received. But I do know we have to stop being scared for our kids. We have to stop worrying over anything that could ever assail them.
A college friend of mine wrote she’d started praying differently for her girls. Instead of praying every night that God would keep them safe, she prayed they would know Him. She quoted hearing Jenn Hatmaker say, “Don’t be the reason your kids choose comfort and safety,” and went on to say she didn’t want to be the reason her kids decided to take a desk job rather than following a calling to Africa to work because she had instilled fear into them. She closed, with, “Raise BRAVE kids.”
Oh there’s so much that could happen, friends. Good or bad. Earth-shattering or groundbreaking. And it will happen, no matter what we do with our late night contemplations. Maybe we can all step out together and pray for peace and trust that He will be there no matter what.
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7
So do not fear, for I am with you. Isaiah 41:10