Isaiah 40:30-31 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Lehr has been so amazing to stay with Ruby all but one of the Saturday nights since we've been in the hospital, allowing me to attend church with the kids each Sunday morning. Not only do I get to connect with friends, but it allows me to the chance to stop everything and be absolutely present to receive God's word. While I spend a lot of time talking to God these days, it is usually pretty rambling (much like my writing), and while I spend time in the word, it's usually very distracted because Ruby doesn't sit still long enough for me to accomplish anything in the hospital, and when she naps, someone is always knocking on the door. Sunday mornings allow me no distractions.
As we worked through another portion of Noah's time on the ark this morning, I was struck by the similarities in the story of Noah and the Ark and anyone who is battling an illness. Many times in the hospital I feel like Ruby and I are living in this surreal world very separate from what happens outside of the hospital. Noah was totally cut off from what was happening outside of the ark during the long time he was inside. Ruby has a stretch of obedience (to the medicine, to the procedure) ahead of her just as Noah had to obey God and go into the ark with an unspecified time ahead of him. And we have to trust that God will see Ruby through her treatments until we get to the other side of leukemia just as Noah had to trust God to get him to the other side of the flood.
The verse above is one our pastor touched on as he reminded us that everyone is waiting for something. So true..... Before Ruby was born, we were waiting to get pregnant, then waiting for her to be born, then waiting for her diagnosis to feel 'ok' with us, then waiting for her to walk, talk, etc. Now we are waiting for her to get through her treatments so that we can get back to waiting for her to hit milestones.
Now I feel like I've just crudely paraphrased the message this morning and likely misquoted or left out key points. (Sorry, Alan!)
And how does God want us to wait...that's the part I so often struggle with. I probably wait with entitlement rather than expectancy. That is, I probably wait for something I am sure will come because I think I deserve it rather than waiting for something I know will come because He delivers even though I don't deserve it. Did Ruby deserve to get leukemia? Nope. Does she deserve to be cured? Probably not. Will God cure her anyway? Absolutely. Whether it's in heaven or on earth, God will take Ruby's illness away, even though she doesn't deserve it.
So many times my older kids say, "That's not fair." And I am the first to say, "Life's not fair" back to them, and they are likely tired of hearing me
And now I'm off on a totally different tangent..... my take-away from the message and where it lead my heart and mind today is that if I wait expectantly, with faith in God's promise, He will renew my strength to be able to wait some more. And if I've learned anything about Ruby's leukemia, it's that we are always playing the waiting game.
If you've made it through all of that, here is the update on Ruby. She's awesome. No issues, no fevers; oral meds are even kinda staying down sometimes. We are currently waiting for her counts to drop; that will likely occur towards the end of this week. Then we will wait again for them to come back up to a safe level for her to be able to leave for a minute and then start round three of chemo.