Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's a marathon, not a sprint.

A wise friend shared the above encouragement with me last night (it's a marathon, not a sprint). I'm not even sure she knew that I needed to hear it, but I really did. I realize that in every person's life, you experience good days and bad days. Days of joy and days of sadness. Days of energy and days of exhaustion. Days of triumph and days of defeat. Days of trust and days of worry. Days of contentment and days of frustration. And especially in trying situations, the "hard days" find a way to sneak up on you. The well-known "pity party" grabs your attention and attempts to suffocate whatever peace and understanding you have worked so hard to build up and keep. Needless to say, today started out being a "pity party" day. I should have seen it coming. You can only have so many good days, before the bad ones start feeling left out and aggressively try to jump in the front of the line! When that happens, oh my, let the suffocating thoughts begin.....

I have to be honest and say that after talking with one of Ethan's doctors yesterday (see below post for reference), I was kind of discouraged and disappointed that Ethan's miraculous healing wasn't going to happen the way I pictured. I stopped taking things 'one day at a time' at that moment, and started becoming overwhelmed with the long road that is inevitably ahead of us.

My pity party started with the thoughts along the line of things like my husband and I will be going to church separately over the next many months, so that the other one can stay with Ethan (whether in the hospital or at home because we've been advised that he cannot be in large groups of people due to the chemo's affect on his immune system). Not to mention the days/nights during the weeks that we are currently separated from each other as I am at the hospital with Ethan.

The next thought that received an invitation to my party was the thought that a transplant won't be ready for at least 2 months, and then after the transplant we will need to stay in Boston for another 6 weeks while Ethan is in isolation and recovery from the transplant. That thought brought along a guest with him to my party, the fact that 6 weeks in Boston means more separation from my hubby as he will have to commute back and forth from work in Connecticut to Boston on weekends (aside from some vacation time he can use), more waiting, more sadness as Ethan has to be in isolation, more tears of frustration about everything in general, and so on.

You'd think my party would have reached full occupancy after all of that, but you'd be surprised how many "guests" can be crammed into a small space. Without much warning, the various anticipated struggles and thoughts of what awaits our little family over the next many months, kept coming right in the door. See, even now, I bet you were tempted to join my party and you didn't even have to RSVP!

I have no point really, other than to say a bad day was inevitable at some point, and there will be more, I'm sure. I think it was just hard to realize that this trial is not just about my baby being sick with cancer (which is hard enough), but about so many other things as well. It's also a test for me and Adam in areas of patience, emotional self-control, complete faith and trust, learning to have contentment in the small joys, and temporary sacrifice of certain desires. We understand that... but it's difficult to accept sometimes. Today obviously being one of those times.

BUT, trials and lessons like that aren't specific to just us. Many people suffer for a season... and that's what I remembered... this is only for a season. And when I remembered that, I asked all my guests to leave my pity party. It wasn't easy, because they are very forceful and want me to focus all my attention on them. But the Lord helped me shut the door (at least for now) with these words... "My brethren [Kasey and Adam], count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations [trials]; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh [produces] patience. But let patience have her perfect work that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.... Let him [you] ask in faith, nothing wavering.... " (James 1:2-4 & 6).


Lord, remove the clouds and shadows of today. Thank you, that though I am weak, You are strong. Than you that you already have all of the details of the near future worked out for us and that Your surprises are never-ceasing. Help me to just step back and let you execute everything in the best of ways. Thank you that Your love will not let us go....

19 comments:

Julia said...

Kasey, your "party" was well deserving and a long time coming. You are handling this better than most can even imagine and for that we are all proud of you. Please know even when at your "party" you are not alone, just a phone call and I am happy to meet you and give you a ear for listening or a shoulder to cry on.....anything you need please just ask.

Julia

Anonymous said...

Kasey,

I work at the Hartford and have been following your blog-I am the one that gave a couple of books for both you and Adam. What came to my mind in reading your blog was a quote from Stormie Omartian."Lord, give enough light for the step I am on". I have been there-three kids-one was a constant runaway-not knowing where he was or what he was doing-I had to give it all to the LORD-and I had to leave it at the cross. It was one step at a time. HE will give you the light for the moment, for the step you are on and when it is time to take the next step, HE will give you the light for that step. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with everything that we just need to know the next step, not the entire plan but just the next step! God has given you everything you need 2 Peter 2-4

Just remember-One step at a time!

Amy said...

Kasey,
My husband and I are praying for you. Your faith is amazing! "God is still in the business of miracles." We are praying and trusting God for you.
Ryan and Amy (Jones) Hegreness

April Riddle said...

Hi Kasey. We are still praying for that miracle. Remember, "Sometimes He calms the storm. Other times He calms His child." Either way, you're in good hands! My baby, Reagan, loves to look at sweet little Ethan on your blog. He says, "Baby BIG truck blanket.Happy!" We may have to find a truck blanket, too.

Cheri2 said...

Kasey, I have been keeping up with your blog daily, have been keeping your family in prayer. Todays blog struck a chord with me. I am very familiar with "pity parties", and as I was reading about yours--it struck me. I looked at the word pity...and if you think about it the first three letters are "pit" right where the enemy would have us be. I cannot wait to see how God is going to use your situation with such a sick little man. I am also minded of a wonderful bit of scripture from Isaiah ch 41 verse 13 which reads: " I the Lord your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you." This bit helps me in times when I feel like hiding away or doing a pity party myself. I pray that He will go before you and come behind you....and to continue giving His strength, comfort and protection over you all. It's a tough "row to hoe", but in His grace it can be accomplished no? God bless this day and all days afterward with His awesome peace and LOVE.

Amanda Krawiec said...

Adam and Kasey,
I am still praying every day for Ethan and pray for his protection. Remember that God has a purpose and plan for Ethan and although we may not understand why He allows certain obstacles to come into our lives He knows what is best. I am encouraged by your strength and faith throughout all of this. Ethan has two of the greatest parents in the world who continue to walk with the Lord even in the hardest circumstances. I am praying for all of you and I can't wait to see you soon.

Papa & Mimi said...

Kasey,
As we were reading today, The Lord gave us this verse for you. Zechariah 4:6 "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." We love you all.

Anonymous said...

Try to keep strong in the Lord. we will be praying that discouragement would not cloud your mind. i myself have had many of those same pity parties. But I know that God loves to work in those situations that look impossible. just remember that around this bend is an answer to all of this. it might be a long bend or a short bend. but i do know that God WILL take you thru and past this bend. and along the way you meet people and touch people you have never met. like me, you've never met me but are an encouragement to me. God just doesn't do or allow things for just one reason. Have you ever entertained the idea of writing a book. think of the mothers that have went or are going thru similiar situations that don't have God to help and carry them thru this. God is and will do amazing things with your family thru this hard time. but remember Job. God gave him so much more at the end than he had before because he stayed faithful. you and your family are a testimony to us all. God bless you! your new friend,
michelle from michigan

Nancy said...

Kasey and Adam,
You have been a blessing to us all even before this happened to
Ethan. Now you are a blessing to so many more whose lives you have touched with your faith during this life-changing trial. Never be ashamed of your tears. The pressures you face need release. The Lord has given us that plan too. He has given us tears for joy and sorrows for a reason.
We love you,

Moz & Pam said...

Kasey, a wise person once told me something that I've never forgotten, "just take it one day at a time, all you need is strength for one day at a time." The following verses helped me in both my cancer journey & my husband's recent heart attack, to keep my focus on positive things, perhaps they will help you, too:
Philippians 4:8-
"Finally brethren ... whatsoever things are of good report...think on these things."
II Corinthians 10:5-
"Casting down imaginations, and and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought, to the obedience of Christ."
We're praying for you to have the peace that passes understanding! We love you!

Carrie Comstock said...

I prayed for renewed strength for all of you today. Isaiah 40:31.

Anonymous said...

Last night I was rocking my daughter to sleep and we prayed for God to heal Ethans body and perform a miracle. Every night I rock her we think of you, Ethan and your family. Please know our thoughts are with you everyday.
-Nicole Rosario

Becky said...

Praying for you all...for strength, for encouragement and peace.

Becky in Virginia

Janelle & Ella said...

Like Nicole said, you are constantly on our minds! I can not even pretend to imagine what you are going through. But I know it's okay to have bad days and pity parties. None of this is a suprise to God. He has gone before you. Do you have the devotional Streams in the Desert? If not, let me know. Love you.

A day in the life of said...

Kasey and Adam and Little Ethan,
There is not a day that goes by that I dont think about and pray for your family. Recently I came across a beautiful song and I love the words to it and I thought it might be an encouragment to you as I found it very encouraging. Check it out on my blog. Praying....

hunts said...

Thanking and praising the Lord for His goodness is a wonderful antidote for our sorrows. Our comfort is in the One Who knows the end from the beginning. Isaiah 46:9-13 talks about how great and right God's sovereign purposes are. This is all for His glory. Ecclesiastes 7 reminds us that sorrow is a great learning experience, but we know you, and we know that you don't want to stay sad and sorry, so, you'll have to recall those junior highers singing in their fake Irish brogues, Cheer up, ye saints of God there's nothin' to worry "aboot"! Nothin' to make ya feel afraid, nothin' to make you "doot"! Remember Jesus nevers fails, so why not trust Him and "shoot"! You'll be sorry ya worried at all tomorrow mornin'! Dear friends, we are hugging you close to our hearts and watching to see how the Lord will glorify Himself. We love you all very much. Prayfully, the Hunts

Anonymous said...

Adam and Kasey,

As someone with a family member going through a similar struggle with their little girl, I am constantly amazed at the special measure of grace that God bestows upon His people when they deal with tremendously difficult situations. You both have obviously received God's sustaining grace. Hang in there. Lots of people from all over are praying for you, your family, and those you come in interact with while you care for your son.

Matt Bell

The Bargain Shopper Lady said...

Hey Kasey! You are totally allowed to have a pity party. I am so amazed at how strong you are being for Ethan. I've seen you fight for those you love and I know you can do it! I am praying for Ethan, you and Adam all the time. I am very thankful that you took him in to check on his cold/virus at the time that you did. That itself was a God thing and I know there are many more to come.
Love,
~Lori

Anonymous said...

Kasey and Adam,
Though we have never met - we have a special bond through our Savior. Please know that there are many praying for you, that you may not know personally - but God does. You two seem to be very amazing parents, and your faith can teach so many of us. Keeping both of you, and your sweet baby boy Ethan, in my prayers.