Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
I have a feeling that 'bittersweet' is going to be the true north emotion for many milestones to come.
Today marks three weeks. Three whole weeks since the last time Ruby was in a hospital bed. (That is lifetimes longer than any other home stay we've had since last summer.) Three whole weeks since Ruby had her central line taken out, adding a much needed step in the direction of what her life was before leukemia. Three whole weeks that have included preschool and baths and public play spaces and almost nothing medical.
But this amazing three weeks is also a harsh reminder of the difference between Ruby and so many other kids with cancer. Our time at home has included the passing of one child that was on the cancer unit with us. These three weeks have found another little boy who shared the AFLAC nurses and doctors with us on a few occasions back in the hospital again at least twice, this most recent time with infections that are giving him a fight bigger than his body seems able to handle.
So I go back to these verses. 'Glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, character, and hope'. I do not think God chose for Ruby to get leukemia or Grant to get neuroblastoma. No more than I think He chose for Ruby to be healed as anticipated and Grant to still be fighting. So I can only rest in this truth: God is with them both. He will use any suffering to shape the character of those involved; He will use the suffering to foster a home for hope.
And He will heal both Ruby and Grant; whether on this earth or in heaven remains to be seen.
I have to believe that because it feels crazy to celebrate three weeks of 'nothing' when that three weeks held so many life changing moments for so many others.