I follow a lot of CaringBridge sites.
If you are unfamiliar with this amazing cyber vision, click hereand check it out. CaringBridge allows a family in medical crisis to post updates, prayer requests, and needs to a page that friends and family can access.
The sites I follow have catchwords like “children” and “oncology.” My rooting in the pediatric cancer community comes out of the four years our family spent battling leukemia with our oldest son, Kyle. Because we’ve tread our own rough journey, people send me CaringBridge links, ask me to write encouraging emails, and pray for their friends and family that are dealing with similar struggles. I consider their requests a privilege. The way I see it, if I can’t take something away from my stay in a very dark pit, what good are my experiences? Not letting Jesus use me would be a waste. I staggered through the journey for a reason. So did Kyle. And I wouldn’t give back the empathy, wisdom, or perspective that came out of that trek.
Here’s how this works for me. I go to the link and sign up to receive updates to my email. I read the journal entries and the family’s story. I pray for these anonymous kids until I know them and their parents—intimately. I join them on their journey—sometimes from a thousand miles away.
As I go about my own life—kids, homeschool, cleaning, laundry, activities—various updates load into my Inbox. I click on the updates and scan the latest news.
My heart breaks every single time.
These kids struggle with school and friend issues, unsuccessful and painful chemo treatments and surgeries, hair loss and mouth and skin sores, intense bone and muscle pain, and the desperate desire to just be “normal.” I’ve walked in those shoes. Fallen under the weight of Kyle’s agony. Lived the desperation to save my child—at any cost.
I’ve begged and pleaded for The Miracle in hopes of sparing the journey in favor of healing my child.
Many stories do not have a “happy” ending. Families dive into a dark pit where they breakdown, fall apart, and suffer right along with their child. Sometimes they get their lives back. Sometimes they don’t.
When the decline begins and the updates grow more desperate, my fingers hover over the Enter Key that will activate the link and I hesitate, knowing one day soon I will receive The News.
I relive the desperate hope, the deep need to believe in The Miracle. The pleas for The Miracle to come quickly. The anger when The Miracle fails to manifest.
I slump in my chair at the appearance of that last post listing interment arrangements. In lieu of a gift, please send a donation to the…
I ask myself, what happened to The Miracle? A question I mulled a lot while Kyle suffered. What sin kept The Miracle away? What treatment did his doctors leave out? What did I do wrong? What did I miss? What prayers did I leave out? Why did Kyle suffer through four years of hell before we got our lives back? Why did the sweet little girl in the hospital room next to ours go through three years of hell and never get her life back? We all ask these hard questions—controversial faith altering questions.
Here’s a new question: What if The Miracle did occur and I missed it?
God tells us, “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8 NIV).
Next Post: The Miracle Manifested Part Two
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About Lori Freeland
Lori Freeland, a freelance writer from the Dallas area, holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her other life, the one BK—before kids—she has worked as a social worker and a certified dyslexic reading tutor. Currently, she embraces her status as full-time homeschool mom to three awesome children. Her big dream? Becoming a Young Adult novelist, a goal she diligently pursues during the wee hours of the morning with help from a very large mug of coffee and occasionally some chocolate-covered peanuts. In addition to blogging and contributing regular inspirational articles to Crosswalk.com, The Christian Pulse, and Believe.com, she loves to mentor new writers and encourage people to share their life stories. As a member of the Cancer Mom club, she desires to connect with others in hopes of giving support to those struggling down the messy paths of life. You can find her hanging with the North Texas Christian Writers as a Critique Group Leader and Writing Coach or cheering on her writers on the Faith Team at The Christian Pulse where she recently took on the role of editor. She also loves to attend Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators meetings where she has begun a critique workshop for new writers. You can visit her website at LAFREELAND.COM.
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