Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Staring Down The Final Mile

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Here we are, on the eve of getting admitted into the hospital for another eight days of continuous chemo. This drip is different because it is expected to be the last. Ruby has responded exactly is the doctors hoped throughout this process, so at this time there is no reason to expect any further chemo.

Praise God. Praise God. Praise God.

Even though I give all glory to God in this, I do struggle a bit with that. We have met so many families whose journeys have looks so different from ours, often in devastating ways. Many times when I think about how Ruby is being healed, or when I hear other people give God the glory for similar healings, I have to wonder what a double-edged sword that can feel like she someone that has not been healed. God is good, regardless of the outcome, but when we say, "praise God", or, "God is good", as a result of a good turnout, what does that insinuate about the outcome? That it was God's doing? If that is the case, what about when the outcome is not good? Is that still God's doing?

So then I get all lost in my thoughts and I think about what God gives us versus what the world gives us. Where do you draw that line? 
For me, I believe definitively that we are all born as we were meant to be born. I know that becomes very difficult when it applies to miscarriages and fatal diagnoses... In those instances I choose to believe that God put each baby on this earth in the way they were meant to serve. That means that a baby that was conceived to die had a different purpose then a baby born without immanent eternal rest. 

When applied in my own life, that means that I absolutely believe that Ruby was stitched together with three copies of her 21st chromosome by God's design. But I don't necessarily believe that He intended for her to have leukemia. Just like I don't believe that He intends for every other cancer patient to have received the diagnosis they did, or car crash victim to have gone through that crash. I know, without a doubt, that He will see us through everything the world throws at us, but I don't know that he laid out the plans for starvation and human trafficking and drive-by shootings. 

So where does that leave us? I don't know. I don't know that it makes a devastating diagnosis or catastrophic event any easier to deal with. The only thing that can make that in anyway tolerable is a certainty that we have someone there to help us go through what the world gives us. We have a Father desiring to walk us through the hard times and provide rest when we need it most. We have a Son who was willing to die to ensure our relationship with that Father. We have a Holy Spirit, there to help navigate every moment of our time on earth. And I am eternally grateful for that, because when I compare Ruby's leukemia journey with many others I have seen, I need something to hold onto. There is guilt associated with her remission, with her lack of complications, with her overall health through this process. And I need a way to work through that guilt. I need a reminder that we were not created for this life, but rather the afterlife, where children don't suffer and pass away.

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