Fall is definitely, here the weather has turned colder, the leaves are falling and crunch under our feet. Yep, it is Fall. With the change of season it has marked a degree of acceptance in our home. We have returned to our routine of school and chores that the Fall brings with it and we have a rhythm to our lives again.
In many ways things seem rather normal. The children are all busy with different activities that fill their days, school happens, laundry piles up and then gets washed and put away. The dog comes in and out and the cats lie on the porch soaking up the sunbeams through the breaks in the clouds. Rather routine and normal… yet this Fall is very different from any Fall we have lived through. We are still dealing with cancer treatments and the ‘fall’ out of surgery… a degree of acceptance. None of us want this road for Joel but it is the path he is on.
I have mentioned before that I feel that healing happens in stages. At least healing of the heart. God is the perfect gentleman as he brings healing to our hearts he presses in and heals us. After some time He gently peels back a layer and shows us our need to go deeper and then once again presses in and brings healing. He knows just how much we can handle at a time and does not force us to go further than we can, but loves us enough to continue that good work of healing and He brings it to completion in His perfect timing.
My heart broke with the news of Joel’s tumor. The surgery that has so changed him physically and the news that it was a Medulloblastoma, a malignant tumor, and of course, the harsh treatment that has followed. God has worked healing on my broken heart. I have shared my hope in the Lord here before. My confidence that this has not changed God’s plan for Joel’s life.
I could see from the beginning that there was no worth in asking, WHY? So I haven’t because there is no answer to that question, it is futile to ask it. Sure, I asked do we know why he got a tumor do we know what caused it? But not why him, why did it have to happen? I wanted to know if the doctors knew why this type of tumor occurs; is it environmental, we have 4 other children I wanted to be sure they too weren’t in harms way. The surgeon reassured us it is completely random and they have no idea why they occur.
I decided instead of asking Why? I would ask, What now? God has recently peeled back another layer and showed me that while I believed I was asking What now? I was really asking What will happen? I wanted to know if he will ever run again? Will he be able to learn or has the radiation caused too much damage? Will he grow to the height we expected or did the radiation to his spine damage that? Will he get married, will he be a Daddy or has the radiation and the harsh chemo destroyed his chances of ever being a Daddy?
Right now, I have a sweet 5 year old who tells me he wants to buy me a necklace and a ring. He tells us when he grows big he will build his own house.
Right now, he still prefers his left hand for coloring, painting and using utensils, yet the other day I watched him eat a piece of toast with his right hand. He loves his Lego guys he will pull off their heads and legs and build new guys which takes the careful use of both hands.
Right now, he loves to sit and have storybooks read to him, some he has heard so many times he will say the story along with the reader.
Right now, his hair is growing back, we don’t know why as he is still receiving chemo, but it is growing.
Right now, he will shut down and go non-verbal and sometimes assume the fetal position if he feels what is being asked of him is too hard. This can happen when I am schooling him or during physiotherapy.
Right now, he still has to search for words when he is asking for something or telling us a story.
Right now, he has a good sense of humor and he can make us all laugh.
Right now, he gets away with way too much as we all dote on him including all of the other children.
What now? We continue to be thankful that Joel is a part of our lives. We pray for wisdom on how to deal with him when he shuts down and we pray that those times will become less and less frequent. We pray for his complete healing and wholeness. AND, we play, read books, sort laundry, bake cookies and live as we wait and watch for the turning of another season.
What now? It is a question we can all ask ourselves. If we are walking in beautiful sunshine maybe our ‘What now?’ will lead us to reach out to our neighbor who is stuck in a terrible storm. If you are walking through the storm perhaps you will allow God to peel back that layer and bring healing, and live in the now not worrying about the ‘what will be.’
Blessings my friends!