Thursday, September 18, 2008

oil in my lamp

I woke up around 4:30 this morning with a terrible headache. Thankfully, Ethan was still asleep. I was praying that God would take the pain away because I had so much to do today as we prepare to leave tomorrow. I had medicine I could take, but I have to take it with food, so I just laid in bed debating on what to do. Slowly, I began to also feel sick to my stomach. I thought, oh no! Please don't let me throw up on top of everything else! Then I REALLY won't be able to handle today like I need to. Of course, by this time, Ethan's nurse has come in to draw blood from his central line. This wakes him up, so I have no choice but to get up and take care of him. As I get up, I grab the medicine, a diet dr. pepper (yes, I do have a slight addiction), and some graham crackers and I ask the Lord one last time to give me strength to get past how yucky I felt. I choke down a graham cracker, feeling sick to my stomach the whole time, then went on to take my headache medicine. Ethan took some formula then went back to sleep. I was tempted to do the same, but I knew if I didn't get a grip on the day, it would get the best of me. So, I took a shower then walked across the street to get an Egg McMuffin (yes, food does often motivate me!).

I started feeling better as I began on my walk. During those few moments, I saw parents coming in and out of the hospital with their children. Some with minor problems, some with major. And I couldn't help the tears that began to swell up in my eyes. Since, I already looked ridiculous walking across the street with wet hair on a chilly morning, I didn't want to give anyone any additional reason to look my way, so I tried to hold back my tears as best I could. But the truth is, seeing all the hustle & bustle around me - all the parents, family members, sick children and their siblings - caused me to get outside of myself and understand something that tends to be so easy for me to forget lately... I am not alone. Yes, I have a wonderful support system of friends (you!) and family and I have a husband that blesses my life in more ways than I deserve, but even still, it's so easy to get consumed with what's on my plate that I tend to lose sight of the truth that God is with me. God is for me. God has blessed me. It was all I could do to stop there in the middle of the street and apologize to my Lord for being ungrateful... for losing sight of the bigger picture. His picture.

On my way back to the hospital, a song that I haven't even thought of in years, all of a sudden came to my mind. I remember learning it at Vacation Bible School when I was a little girl. I'll share the lyrics of one of the verses with you... the verse that I kept singing over and over in my mind...

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning
Keep me burning 'til the break of day
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna to the King of Kings
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna
Sing hosanna to the King of Kings

I don't believe it to be coincidence that this old children's Bible song came to my mind. My thoughts immediately went into prayer.

Give me oil in my lamp, Lord. Keep me burning... burning through the weak moments, burning through the pain, burning through tired times... give me Oil in my lamp and keep me burning for You... until Your work is done.

My headache isn't gone, but it's a dulled, more do-able, pain right now. But even with the ache in my head, I'm feeling revived. Slightly, but revived nonetheless. We've been in this trial, this testing of our faith, for more than 5 months now. The past 7 weeks being possibly the hardest in many ways, but also the best in others. Ethan has done miraculously well with each and every step of this process. I've mentioned before, that every side effect and problem we were told to expect, never.... NEVER.... happened. He was never in pain, never had to suffer more than a few minutes. Never lost his appetite. He was never "not himself".

And tomorrow, we get to take him home.

It's hard to even see the keyboard right now.... I'm crying tears of thankfulness to the Lord for ALL He has done. I do not deserve the grace, mercy and blessing He has abundantly given to us as our son has had to endure cancer and the necessary treatments to cure him. But that's the uncomprehendable beauty of Christ... we don't deserve anything from Him, but He gives and gives and gives. Again... and again... and again. None of this was supposed to be easy, and my own struggles aside, I have to honestly say this has been very easy for Ethan overall. And that's really all I wanted.

I'm overcome as I take it all in.

His counts yesterday were 1,080 and today they are 1,680. We are surely going home tomorrow. And though we will have to be back up here on Monday for a clinic visit, and possibly also next Wednesday and Friday... and even more times in the coming weeks/months, I'm hopeful that the worst is behind us and remembering that He who began a good work will not stop now.

Give me oil in my lamp... keep me burning for You, Lord... 'til the break of day. Thank You for burning the midnight oils for me, over and over.

15 comments:

Hollie said...

WOW, Kasey! As I was reading this all I could think of was back in late April-May reading your words on this very blog that believed with every ounce of your being that Ethan WILL be healed. The faith that you have had for the past 5 months is absolutely amazing!!! Even during the unimaginable hard times you have been through...your faith was evident!

I just smile when I think about how you have handled this storm. HE proves to be faithful and I thank HIM for Ethan's awesome ANC count and the fact that he never experienced any of those side effects mentioned! Tears are just coming now....all three of you are amazing!!!

Curt Dunn said...

You are a tremendous encouragement to all of us, even as we try to encourage you! Thanks for the wonderful thoughts this morning...

Dave and Elaine said...

Thank you so much for those words.

Megan said...

I cried reading your email. First I wish I was there to give you the day off and take care of little Ethan for you while you rest and get stuff done. I cried looking back on all the answered prayers God had given us. You are right, we do not deserve this but God never stops blessing us. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to our Lord with Ethan and everything he has done for me. This morning my husband went in for an ultrasound on his stomach to see if this lump was anything to be worried about and thanks to the Lord it was nothing. Praise God!!!!!
Our prayers of strength and healing will continue for you and your family. I pray you feel better today and I pray for a safe trip home tomorrow. Just think..tonight is the last night you have to sleep in the hospital. yeah!!!!!!!
God Bless you!
Megan

Collegegirl said...

Praying that your headache goes away soon! YAY for Ethan's numbers! I am so excited for you all.
Love the "oil in my lamp" words-very inspiring!!!
~Elyse~

Anonymous said...

I cry as I sing it with you... "Give me oil in my lamp, I pray."

Thank you, Dear Jesus, for Your unbelievable gifts, Your mercy and grace!

Bryana said...

Kasey! wow! I was away on vacation this past week and couldn't wait to get home and read the progress- and now -well I'm crying and so excited!! I just cant believe the awesome news!! And it all happened so fast and perfectly! I know you are so exhausted- but know we are lifting you up in prayer as well! We love you and miss you all! Hang in there! God is amazing! Bryana

Amy said...

We are so excited for you guys! You're in our prayers continually.
Ryan & Amy

Moz and Pam said...

Praise the Lord for answered prayer! We are so excited for you guys! We are rejoicing with you!

Anonymous said...

Adam,Kasey and Precious Ethan, We thank you for your willingness to be used of the Lord to be an encouragement to US thru YOUR faith!! Now you are going home... Praise God! Know that He will continue to be with you, as you continue to obey His command in Joshua 1:9 "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:for the Lord thy God is with thee WITHERSOEVER thou goest". Praying always, Ray & Barbe

jenniferbennett said...

Kasey,

Isn't it amazing how God can speak to you through a song at just the right moment. That's the next best thing to an audible voice in my opinion!!!

You continue to encourage me daily...and I continue to be amazed. What a vessel you are for Him, even in weak moments. We divided up into small groups for prayer at church last night and Ethan immediately came on my heart. I shared his/your's/Adam's/and ultimately GOD'S story. Oh, the excitement that he is now coming home!

I can't explain it, (Yes I can...It's because of HIM!) I just love you in the Lord and I wish I could give you a big hug right now!!!

Praying,
Jennifer :)

Linsey said...

Oh Kasey, you keep hanging in there. This is a marathon, not a sprint and you are doing soo good! Ethan is blessed to have you as a mom!

Bill said...

Dear Adam and Kasey,

We are still praying for you in Colorado...

Here's a link to pictures from a client of mine who climbed Colorado's highest peak (Long's) with Ethan's name in her pocket:

http://picasaweb.google.com/SylviaLeinz/LongsPeakHike90608

http://pages.hikefordiscovery.org/rm/rockymt08/sleinz


If you look close at the "zoomed in names" you will see your precious son there.

May God grant you peace and strength...

Bill Roach (bill@chec.org)

Hollie said...

I am praying for you guys right now! LOVE & HUGS!!!

Elizabeth said...

We are so excited for you guys!! You're in our prayers continally. Love & Hugs!!! Elizabeth & Family