Easy to say; hard to put into action.
I am a control freak and I leave little to chance...I am a "driver" not a "peddle pusher".
It requires trust to be able to peddle, and not steer. And that is not my strength.
Many people have told me "God only gives us what we can handle so he must really trust you" or "God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers so God is showing you His trust".
I also hear people say they believe that God gives us trials so we can give ourselves completely to His will and trust Him with all of our heart. He gives us these trials and hard times to teach us to come to His open arms to seek comfort and to trust in Him.
While all of these statements/ideas are supposed to be comforting and supportive, they are not.
What I hear in these messages is that some believe that God is giving us horrible things to test our faith and to give us the opportunity to trust Him completely. And that hurts my heart.
I just don't think it works that way with God.
(Perhaps it works that way with some humans, but not God)
When Braden was first diagnosed, I thought God had abandoned me. I assumed I was being punished or He was angry with me.
But, when I stepped onto the oncology floor for the first time and I looked into the eyes of the children battling cancer, I immediately knew that this was not something that God was responsible for...
...the God I believe in is loving, kind and forgiving. NOT the giver of pain and suffering.
I think that's the "other guy's" specialty.
I had peace in my heart at that moment, and I have carried that peace with me ever since but my trust in God is often tested. This week has been a particularly tough one.
I started writing this blog while one of our sweet teenage friends was dying with Ewings Sarcoma. Kori is now forever 18 and she was a fighter, a true fighter, with a heart as big as the entire universe. She is a beautiful soul and she lives on here on Earth in so many ways,
but her parents can't hold her anymore.
They can't hug her, touch her, comfort her, and dream of her future. Those things are lost and writing a blog about trust while holding that on your heart was tough for me to do, so I stopped and didn't finish writing it.
In the meantime, we were waiting for the results of a bone marrow biopsy for Braden and I didn't have a good feeling about what these results would say. Angel whispers were telling me to be concerned. His counts had been progressively getting lower and I was worried it was a sign of disease in his bone marrow making it hard for it to make healthy cells to grow.
Then there was the non-scientific sign. When Braden was in treatment, he needed me to be right beside him every minute with me touching him all the time. I couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom without having a nurse sit with him while I hurried as fast as I could because he was crying out for me.
Every time, something has been going on with Braden and his cANCER has been progressing, Braden has needed to be touching me all night long while he sleeps. And his arms, hand, or foot had been on me all night long for awhile.
I knew....I just knew his treatment induced leukemia was progressing. I couldn't even say it or make eye contact with those that asked me what my gut was telling me about the results.
We got the results of the biopsy and they were not what we wanted to hear. The treatment induced leukemia is progressing again.
Once again, his cancer cells had found a way to outsmart the chemotherapy we have been giving him to keep them quiet...and kill them.
Now he has to go into transplant which is terrifying. This marks the beginning of something, it will either result in his death or cure. The hospital teams we work with have never seen a child survive for 5 years after treatment induced mds following neuroblastoma.
They are leaders in the field and they have never seen it.
And I am not ready to go into transplant and start what the doctors believe is the beginning of saying goodbye to our son.
Each time I have been able to post something positive about Braden's cancer results, I often hear "God is Good!" in celebration.
Yes, He is.
But, He is good all the time.
Trust is knowing that He is good, kind, loving, and our grace and salvation even when the answer is not what we want it to be. Period!
Trust is knowing that if the answer to our prayers is not what we asked for, or hoped for, or wanted, it is still the right answer.
When I don't receive the answer that I want, it doesn't mean my prayers weren't answered!
God knows and sees things that I cannot and he steers the bike accordingly. I am called to trust Him to guide us to the right answer, not to my hope.
It's like when I prayed that God would take care of our daughter Miranda and keep her safe and comfortable even if I had to say goodbye to her because I wanted her to not be in pain because of my wish to keep her here. A few hours later, Miranda was with Him in Heaven and not on Earth suffering. Watching Miranda die in my arms was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it doesn't mean our prayers were not answered.
God saved her, just not the way I wanted her to be saved. But it doesn't mean my prayers weren't answered and that He didn't wrap His loving arms around her and save her from evil.
Sometimes parents have to say no even when it hurts because they know more than their children about how things work. I think it's that way with God, but we can be spoiled brats because we want what we want when we want it. And I really wanted Miranda to be with us and I really want Braden to be with us.
I didn't get what I wanted with Miranda, and I may not get what I want with Braden and that crushes my soul completely. The sadness and fear I feel as a result of losing Miranda and possibly losing Braden is more than I could ever describe. It frightens and saddens me to the depths of my being.
But...I must trust God to save him just as I trusted God to save Miranda....no matter what the answer is.
God is in the business of loving and caring for us. He loves Braden even more than we do, which is hard to imagine because we love him with every ounce of us.
He will save him whether it is on Earth or in Heaven, but for the record, I'm going to fight like with everything I have to make his cure occur while on Earth. God gave us minds and free will to do something with them, and those two things are the reason he has remained with us for 6 years.
We aren't stopping now.
When I went to bed on Valentines Day, the day we got the news the leukemia was progressing, I couldn't sleep so I did what I often do when I just need to hear from God. I closed my eyes, opened my bible, pointed to a spot on the page and then read.
And this is what I found:
"Look to the Lord and strength
Seek his face always.
Remember the wonders He has done
His miracles and the judgments he pronounced."
I trust. And I know that God is bigger than cANCER.
TAKE THAT cANCER!