I was thinking this morning about a conversation Adam and I had last weekend. We were having a good conversation about Ethan and the blessings we get to see first hand by being his parents. The more we talked, the more discouraged I was becoming about "prayer". I told Adam that the only thing I couldn't come to terms with in my mind was that in the first few days and weeks of Ethan's life, each middle of the night feeding (which was every 2 hours!), I prayed over Ethan's entire body. I may have even mentioned this before, but I would pray very specifically over him from head to toe. I prayed for his mind, eyes, ears, hands, arms, legs, feet - praying for his strength and ability in each area. I prayed for his lungs, his brain, his heart, his spine - everything. Praying earnestly for each and every area of his being, that I could think of, to be healthy.... praying God's protection over him completely.
I'm sure you can see where I am going with this.
So, when we found out that Ethan's blood had cancer violently swimming throughout his body, I felt as though my prayers were in vain. Of course I knew God heard my heartfelt prayers, but I felt like they were more or less ignored. A tinge of discouragement in the "power of prayer" settled into my heart that night and I've never fully gotten past it. As Adam and I were talking, I shared that confusion with him and the following words out of his mouth are words I will never forget. He said...
"Kasey, how do you know that God DIDN'T answer your prayers? Your prayers could have been what saved Ethan from immediately dying from this illness. Your prayers could have been giving him the strength his body needed to get through each day. And when it was time, God placed it upon your heart that something wasn't right with Ethan. He prompted you to take Ethan to the doctor, and that single act alone has saved and prolonged his life one more day. You don't know what your prayers may have actually done for Ethan, so don't assume that they didn't matter."
I never thought of it that way. And what a beautiful way to look at it. I couldn't believe the wisdom in my husband's words (though I shouldn't be surprised) and I will never again question that my prayers for Ethan's health early on weren't meaningful - or answered.
Since that conversation, I've had such a change in perspective when it comes to prayer. I choose to believe that my prayers for our son were extremely meaningful and that each word spoken to the Lord went on to actually bless Ethan in a powerful way.... and will continue to bless him down this road.
I'm sharing this with you so that you find the same type of encouragement that I found when I changed my perspective on what I assumed had been "unanswered prayers". They could have in fact been a significant factor of God's grace and mercy upon the life of my little boy.
Lord, thank you for my wonderful husband and precious son. They are two of the very best gifts you have given to me. Thank you for showing your love for me through them. And thank you that not one single prayer from your children is ever forgotten, misplaced, ignored, or in vain.
p.s. - Be in prayer for Ethan's outpatient visit tomorrow. We need his blood counts to be great! Also be in prayer for some exciting news from Boston regarding the bone marrow search as I will hear from them on Friday with an update.