On December 21, 2013, we were a healthy family of five. Our kids filled our home with giggles, whining, hugs, sibling fights, wrestling and more. Ben went to work every day at the church and I stayed home with the kids. We had playdates with our friends, sporadic date nights, church on Sundays and were preparing for Christmas. All gifts were bought and wrapped (the first time ever that early!). We were happy and we were healthy.
Then came December 22, three months ago today.
I took Bennett to the ER because we had been noticing for a few days that his abdomen looked bloated and it was hard when you touched under his ribs. After a handful of scans, the doctor came behind the curtain and said he needed to talk to us…in a private room.
That was the moment I knew it was bad.
He proceeded to tell us that our little seventeen month old boy had a tumor on his liver. And they were very confident it was cancerous.
Never did I imagine that my family would be struck by cancer. Let alone one of my babies.
But it did.
Maybe you’ve experienced a day that changed your life forever too. You were told your child has autism or diabetes. Or you lost someone you loved. Or you moved far from home. Or maybe you lost your job.
Because we live in a broken world, we will all experience sadness and disappointment in some way. We can’t escape it. But what matters most is how we handle it.
Our family could’ve chosen to be pulled under by the pain. To sink instead of swim. To be bitter because of the hand we were dealt.
But we chose to trust our role in God’s story long ago. And now we trust Bennett’s role in God’s story. And we will not simply endure God’s will but rejoice in it “with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8).
So what does it look like now for our family, three months later? Our kids still fill our home with giggles, whining, hugs, sibling fights, wrestling and more. But it’s in Memphis now. I still stay home with them and Ben travels a little further to work every few weeks. And we go to the hospital…a lot.
It’s a new way of life. But we have peace with where we are, even though we miss where we were. We are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10).
It is said that springs of sweet, fresh water pool up amid the saltiness of the oceans, that the fairest Alpine flowers bloom in the wildest and most rugged mountain passes, and that the most magnificent psalms arose from the most profound agonies of the soul. May it continue to be! Therefore, amid a multitude of trials, souls who love God will discover reasons for boundless, leaping joy. Even though “deep calls to deep” (Psalm 42:7), the clear cadence of the Lord’s song will be heard. And during the most difficult hour that could ever enter a human life, it will be possible to bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Streams in the Desert)
This is our most difficult hour. But we will love God all the more. And today we celebrate three months because it’s three more months we’ve had with our baby Bennett!
So how can you rejoice today too with where you are?