Justin’s white blood cell count is up from 10 to 1400. He is no longer at high risk for infection and, no, we didn’t need to pack that bag for the hospital. As we wait for a spinal tap and chemo infusion, I am reminded that yesterday marked his sixth month of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Justin’s blue eyes now tell a deeper understanding of the darker places in this world that hurt but make us stronger. He knows of big and small miracles, flooding steely grey skies with light and bringing us to our knees. He has seen firsthand what prayer and God’s sovereign hand touching the realm of modern medicine can do. And he has lived in step with a portion of grace that transforms hearts and changes stories.
Six months ago, his story changed. My story changed. I went into battle for my son’s life, all the while fighting my own disease. I have tried to share our journey with absolute honesty, conveying that is it hard and I don’t like it. Yet pressing on with complete trust that God is making weak, cracked vessels into secure strongholds, able to uphold truth and faith and grace.
And this is what I cling to. Sometimes white-knuckled and clawing by my fingernails to grab hold. But still clinging.
Justin’s eyes show an understanding that wasn’t there before. Maybe even a little bit of oldness framed in soft skin and baby features.
Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
Justin no longer remembers just being a normal kid, his life now revolving around chemotherapy and all its scary, weird, painful attributes. And we might still yield to discouragement had we not known all along, God is making streams.
Grace be with you, my friends.