I've not yet heard from Ethan's oncologist regarding the rationale behind the protocol calling for JMML patients to receive Accutane for a year... and... I'm not really complaining. I'm enjoying living in denial about having to make a decision about this. So as far as I'm concerned, no new is good news.
The Lord has been busy working in me, though. And I'm more convinced than ever before that Ethan's Journey is a story of Faith. And not in the broad sense of the word (like religious belief or affiliation, as in "what is your faith"), but in the very specific sense of the word. The Biblical sense of the word. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not see." To break it down even further, God's Word is telling us that Faith is having confidence of things we hope for, which enables us to be assured of those things that we can't see yet. (You may be familiar with the phrase, "walk by faith, not by sight"?) Believe in God's power to accomplish what you can't see yet. Walk by such faith. Instead of thinking that you must "see it to believe it".
I believe in my heart, like I have all along, that Ethan's story is simply a testimony towards faith. Faith in God. Faith in His Word. Nothing else explains it. Nothing else can take away from it. Early on in Ethan's diagnosis and immediate treatment, through the verse a friend gave me, I decided to challenge God. Not in a disrespectful way, I assure you. But I had long read verses like, "whatever you ask in my name, believing you will receive it", or "if you have faith even the size of a mustard seed, you would be able to tell the mountains to move into the ocean and they would do it" (those are completely my paraphrasing, however you get the idea). And I desperately wanted the rewards of such faith to happen in our lives. So that's how I approached each day. I certainly had moments of giving up. You only have to look back at some of my posts from last year to see that. But I kept clinging to the verses you see on my blog. I kept clinging to faith in God's power. I put "faith" to the task of revealing the truth in God's Word. And I'm unashamed to tell you - that God was faithful each step of the way. I would believe that Ethan would continually to better. Simply because God would make good on His promises of faith in Scripture. When we decide to step out in faith, we have the harder part. Blind faith - faith against the resistance or doubt of others - is not easy to always maintain. Think of Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on water towards Jesus. But I promise you this, God rewards our faith in Him. I believe in my heart that Ethan's healing is the reward of us daring to put trust in God's promises on faith found throughout the Bible.
It should be noted that I'm not suggesting that when miracles do not happen for those of us in this world, that it was not a lack of faith on that person or family's part. I'm simply stating what I believe to be specific to my family's situation. God has reasons for all of our trials. And the message of our individual "stories" are different based on His plan for our individual lives. I can only speak so boldly about the workings the Lord has revealed in my own heart. I would never want to imply His working or reasons for someone else's life. We are all unique. And even though trials may be similar to others, the plan the Lord has in those situations is specific to the factors surrounding the individual and those around them. But I am bold enough to say that He does reveals Himself to us. We don't always know the timing, the "why's", or the reasons. But He does reveal Himself in the midst. And He restores what's been broken or lost.
So basically, that's it. I'm not giving up. I'm daring to continue on. Ethan's been healed. And that's the end of it. His life will flourish. With or without preventative chemo-like medication. His life will beat the statistics of long term side effects that are supposed to hit him later in life.
His life is and will be the unending miracle of God.
One of my favorite quotes is, "Faith is not believing God can do something, it's KNOWING that HE WILL". I even have a plaque saying those words hanging on my kitchen wall. It sounds too easy. It feels like you're living in a sort of denial about the reality of your situation. But in all honesty, it should be that easy. Because God's not asked us to fix the problem. He's not asked us to get caught up in the emotional war. He's only asked us to have faith in Him. And believe His Word. He does the rest.
I have a "blog friend" who has her own story of faith. Completely different from our own journey. And her lessons on faith are specific to her and the Lord's work in her life (which haven't been easy), but man, it's a beautiful story. And it's another story of faith in God's Word, and His reward for daring to believe Him. Get to know Elaine and get to know more about the wonderful God we serve. http://twosheldons.blogspot.com/