I was reading back through older entries in previous months and was encouraged by all of the answered prayer we've experienced over the last 2 months and 9 days. I look at Ethan now and he is just so strong. I say this all the time, but to look at him, you'd never know he had such a life-threatening illness. He's so spunky and full of life... even after 3 intense rounds of chemotherapy and other medications, over the last 2 months. He does have days of pain and days of a weary body and personality, but he always bounces back. I've been thinking lately what a blessing that truly is. Without God's grace and mercy thus far, Ethan would not be this way. I imagine this disease, at this point, would've gotten the best of him and he'd be listless and sluggishly inactive. But he isn't. Most times he is the complete opposite. And to stop and think about that this morning... well, I'm just overcome with thankfulness.
I've been thinking lately about the reason why Ethan has cancer. In my thoughts I've realized that cancer didn't stumble into Ethan's life haphazardly. When Adam and I first talked on the phone with each other, years ago, that was our first introduction to one another. I lived in Dallas and he lived in Connecticut. We both worked for the same company and long story short, our paths crossed via email and the phone. It eventually turned into a long distance relationship and we only saw each other once a month for only 6 months before I moved to Connecticut. While we were in the long-distance mode, I knew deep down in my heart that God wanted us to be together. It didn't make sense, because I was rooted in Dallas - my whole family and the only life I'd ever known - was there. But I just knew. There were situations that came up from time to time that made me believe the devil himself didn't want me and Adam to get together. I remember thinking one night specifically that he must know something that we didn't, he must think that Adam and I together would be more powerful for the Lord than we would individually and that's why he was working overtime to try and keep us a part.
I finally understand why.
Adam and I together ARE more powerful for the Lord than we would've ever been individually. Not because of anything we've done, but just because of what the Lord needed to do through us. And together, with God, we created a son that's being used to further God's hope and His message to thousands of other people. Ethan's cancer is just a needed tool in order to do that. Yes, his cancer is real, and there are days that I wish this was all just a bad dream.... BUT, his life is serving a powerful purpose. And this small bit that I can see is only a glimpse of all that there is, but it's very real and it's very needed. What an honor... a humbling honor, that God would see fit that we be the parents of such a special baby boy.
Lord, you've been so kind to us. Your hand of protection over Ethan is always evident. Thank You that You've brought us this far, and that You will bring us the rest of the way. Thank You for the promises You've place on my heart about Ethan's healing and even the promise of seeing him run around the bases at a t-ball game. I hold that exciting day close to my heart. Your Word has been more true to me in ways I've never known before. I know too well the apprehension in having complete faith, but I also know that You're showing me there is great Power in complete faith and that apprehension only stands in the way of its release. I thank You that with each new day, You're already there. With each new treatment, each new medication... You're already there. You go before us and nothing gets past You without Your permission or Your ability to stop/change/or fix it. I am learning, in small steps, many things. You know my heart is always desiring preventative measures taken - proactive prayer. But there is something to be said about those things you don't want to happen - happening.... but then being able to see Your hand intervene and show the loving and merciful evidence of answered prayer. Lord God, I pray for Baby Lydia today. You know the tender place she and her mom have in my heart as we will soon be where they are in the transplant process. I thank You that Your hand of protection has been upon her as well, and I specifically ask that the test they run today will show that GVHD has not set into her body. Please also clear up the problem she is having with her central line. Give Liz the daily strength she needs as she cares for her baby girl. God, you've opened my eyes to so much. I realize that life is ever-changing. Joys, problems, pain, confusion, love, excitement, temptation, realization, birth, death, family, friends, bitterness, contentment, happiness, shock, rebellion, smiles, tears, hugs, loneliness, memories, hope.... all of it makes up certain aspects of life here on earth. Yet, there's nothing we go through - good or bad - that is outside of Your grasp or Your ability. You allow blessings, and You allow pain. But in each, You are abundant in Your grace, Your mercy and Your love. And today, I've overcome with thankfulness. Amen.