I think I get it now. The purpose of this blog. I want to tell stories of those who are living in the eye of their own personal storm, yet are still able to say God is good and merciful.
Because He is.
I’ve shared reflections on relationships with my special needs friends, who attend the Young Life Capernaum ministry, living each day through the lens of physical and mental disabilities. You’ve come alongside as I was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease, being open about my struggles as I try to adapt to my changing daily realities, all smack dab in the middle of a very busy mothering-young-children season of my life. You’ve been on the inside of Justin’s journey through pediatric cancer with all its raw, heartsick moments, celebrations of big and little victories and desperate hope for full restoration.
I don’t continue to update these stories because I think we’re all so interesting and irresistible. I do it, because, at the end of an often very tumultuous day, we all have something in common. Faith. Hope in something bigger. The work of God’s grace. It’s just so true and great and encouraging that I can’t shut up about it.
For the love of grace, I must also continue to tell Drew and Melissa’s story.
I have spent time with this winsome couple in their home and at the hospital as well. This is a family who made time, despite Drew’s own battle with cancer, to bring us pizza and a Flyers jersey for Justin when we were first home from the hospital. (Because Flyers team members sometimes visit with pediatric cancer patients, Drew thought it would be neat for Justin to have something for them to sign. He also thought it would be cool to “talk central chest lines and hair loss” but Justin wasn’t speaking very much at the time.)
Six months later, Drew is still battling with Melissa at his side, often going days without seeing their three young children. Fighting to breathe in spite of the disease that has settled in his lungs. Cancer. I just took out my disdain for it on our elliptical.
Yet, I have witnessed something during our visits that is quite indescribable. I can only compare it to my own experience – receiving news about my son’s illness that put me into a stupefied shock yet still feeling the hand of God holding me up from the inside out. Still knowing a steady joy that is not of this world.
If hope and faith were tangible things, they would fill Drew’s entire hospital room until his doctors would have to step over them and walk around them and most assuredly need to find a bigger room. I guess what I’m saying is that cancer is big in that room. Drew’s suffering and Melissa’s sorrow are very real and poignant.
But their faith in God’s love and sovereignty is BIGGER. They have HOPE in something BETTER. Something MORE. ETERNITY WITH JESUS. This confidence gives reason for joy NO MATTER what the circumstances. This doesn’t mean we don’t bawl and grieve and sometimes allow stress to take over. It means that we KNOW that when this whisper of a life is over, we will finally get to see what real beauty looks like. It is a promise that gives our souls rest and sustains beyond our own ability, gifted by grace alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Today is Drew’s birthday and they are hoping to be released from the hospital. Will you pray along with me that he might spend it with those he loves at his side?
Grace be with you, my friends.