Tuesday, July 29, 2008

overcome

Yesterday as I was enjoying my morning and getting things ready for Ethan's two doctors visits in the afternoon (he passed his hearing test by the way), I found myself looking through various websites of children who are also sick and in need of prayer. As I was reading (as much as I could before my eyes were completely clouded by my tears) I couldn't help but be overcome with the Lord's goodness to me and Adam. For a moment I stopped everything I was doing, and I just wept.

This trial could have been so much worse.

Ethan's illness could have been in the form of so many different things... a more deforming or damaging cancer... or a variety of syndromes that could have left him permanently disabled... or a disease that would never give him the opportunity of a normal life.

And as his parents, Adam and I would have to come to terms with the end of certain dreams and hopes for our little boy and realize that there would need to be different dreams for him. And I'm crying as I write this because I feel so extremely undeserving of the mercy He has shown us.

It's only leukemia.

Ethan's life has already been so normal despite his particular cancer. Our lives as a family have been so normal together. We are able to hold him, hug him, tickle him, feed him, play with him, watch him roll over and grab toys... We've made so many fun memories already and if you look at most of our family pictures or videos, you'd never even know anything was wrong with our little boy. So we can't take Ethan out in public places right now.... that seems so minuscule compared to what other families have to endure with their child's sickness.

All along we've been mentally preparing that we will be dealing with Ethan's treatments and various details for probably the next year and we know that these next many months may be really difficult on us, but I am humbled and quieted and have tears that won't stop as I imagine telling that to a mother who's child is permanently blind and without functioning limbs that will bind that child to a wheel chair for the rest of his/her life. Or the mom of a child who's brain damage is so great that her little one will never know how to tie his own shoes, say "mama or dada" or even be able to feed himself. I'm sure if the moms of either of those scenarios thought her life and her child's life could go back to "normal" after a year, she'd take it with EXTREME GRATITUDE.

And that's where I am today. I am overcome with extreme gratitude and gut-wrenching unworthiness that God would show us His mercy and love in the ways He has with this trial we are facing. I have every reason to believe that this cancer will not define Ethan's life in a way that he will be limited by it. I truly believe he will grow up and be as normal as all of his friends. And I'm so thankful for even that possibility. So very, very thankful. My heart is breaking as I think of the thousands of other families who's suffering is greater than ours. I do not take any of this lightly and I do not mean to imply God's grace and love isn't sufficient for everyone. It is simply that He has revealed Himself to me, in a new way, and in seeing and understanding Him in this light... well, I'm at a complete loss to process it all... but completely aware of my revived thankfulness to my Lord.

Lord, accept these tears as my only way to express to you how unbelievably grateful I am that this is only leukemia. And that you have allowed us a beautiful and healthy little boy in every other way. I do not feel worthy that You would speak to me in the ways that you have the last several weeks and months. I pray your strength, peace and healing to all the families and children you brought across my path.

Dear friend, from my heart, let me encourage you as I've been encouraged.... be grateful for all that is in your life. Even with our most heartbreaking/disappointing/stressful of situations, there is someone else out there in the world who's situation is worse than yours... and if given the opportunity, would probably be willing to trade experiences with you in an instant.

Lord, be with us all. Give us the grace to live out the life you have planned for us. And give us the strength to live it with joy.

Lamentations 3:22-23
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

10 comments:

carleigh said...

hey there! i am so proud of you! hope you had fun on your night out!

Megan said...

Isn't it true.... we get so caught up in our troubles we forget that others have it so much worse. Thank you for reminding us to be thankful for our lives and the situations we are in. God Bless you Kasey!
Love,
Megan

LAURIE said...

We have alot ofprayer warriors standing in the gap for you and your Ethan. But you are right, about others having things alittle bit harder or seemingly impossible and so many people go thru difficult times without knowing Jesus and the love and peace that He offers. I pray not only that God would touch little Ethan but that He would put in your path someone to encourage and share His love with that may be walking in the same shoes you are. Be blessed. (thanks for your comment on our prayer blog...) - Laurie

Natalie Ezelle said...

Kasey, I am still AMAZED at how the Lord works. You could have written today's blog any day, but God layed that on your heart to write TODAY. I wanted to share with you that a friend of mine from college's little 4 yr old boy was diagnosed with Kawawaski diesase last week and in a matter of 6 days went home to be with our Lord. (I can send you his website if you would like- Adam might remember Shebly Thyng from BJ, it was her brother Dan's 4 yrear old son.) Dan and Amy were missionaries to Papa New Guiney, but had to come back to the states in March because Amy was about to deliver her 3rd baby and their 2 yrs old daughter was very ill.

I don't tell youa ny of that other than to encourage you that God is in control of your situation and theirs. Of course, they are no longer able to hold, hug, play, laugh with Tyler, but just like with Ethan, God has just got to use this loss for HIS glory. Please just keep your faith. You and Adam have demonstrated such strong faith that I admire and inspires me. I am not as strong as you are. Thank you for your encouraging words and if you would think of it, please keep Dan and Amy Thyng in your prayers.

Thanks Kase,
Natalie

a frog in my soup said...

Kasey,

What an amazing post. I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to read it. You are so right and I think I may be one of the worst offenders of taking my life waaaaay too much for granted. I am truly blessed and I sincerely thank you for the reminder!!!

Blessings,
Shera

Moz and Pam said...

Wow! What an amazing blog! You are the best example of a Christian with your attitude of gratitude! Thanks for the reminder! You're such a blessing!

Anonymous said...

Kasey--I needed to read this today. Thank you. Molly

Genny said...

Found your site through Faith Lifts. You have a beautiful heart, and I admire your faith and strength. Your family is in my prayers!

Kelly Benjamin said...

Hugs, kisses and prayers from McKinney TX...Ethan is soooo lucky to have you as his mommy...We are thinking about yall all the time...Addison sends a big hug and kiss to her cousin Ethan....We love you...

Janelle and Ella said...

Kasey, I am totally overwhelmed and in awe of this post. The way you have grasped this situation through God's eyes is something that I need some of in my life. The fact that you said, "It's just leukemia." when I panic over the littlest things with Ella has completely changed my perspective of my life. I'm not sure how to put in words what I'm thinking, but you are ministering to me so greatly and on such a deep level. You truly are amazing.