I had a friend at work just find out that her sister was being moved to hospice. My heart ached for her! All I could think of was what could I tell her to encourage her. My thoughts immediately went back to 1997...the year my son, Tyler, was diagnosed with cancer. I decided to share that story with her and how God helped me through that experience. I know most of you know this story but I feel compelled to share it again. Maybe it can encourage someone that is going through a low point in life right now. I promised God after we came through it that I would share how He blessed us...even when I thought there was no hope. Tyler became very lethargic and sick, as if he had the flu. Body aches, fever, motionless...he just wasn't acting like a typical 4 year old. We took him to the doctor and they did some blood work and before we could even get home, they had left us a voicemail telling us to bring him back. We spent 2 or 3 days at Baptist then we were transferred to AR Children's Hospital. We were there for only a few hours when they told us that Tyler had leukemia(acute lymphocytic leukemia). My heart stopped! This can't be happening. They totally have made a mistake! I did not just hear them tell me that my baby had cancer! But they did. The next several hours consisted of us crying and nurses and doctors poking and proding Tyler like he was a little rag doll. They told us that he needed to have a port put in because of the chemo treatments, which would consist of them doing surgery on his chest and placing in an "access point" for them to administer the chemo each time. But before they could do surgery, he had to have a blood transfusion. That night I sat in his room trying to wrap my mind around everything that had happened that day. I was in the rocking chair with my Bible, he was lying in the bed with IV's hooked up to him and a big bag of some stranger's blood was going through his little veins. I couldn't take it anymore! I cried and asked God to please help me! I couldn't get through this without Him! I asked Him to please show me a verse that would give me some comfort and some peace about what was happening to us. I knew I could find something in the Psalms so that's where I was headed. I flipped a few pages and these two verses almost jumped off the page at me.
Psalms 9:9-10 " 9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you."
WOW! I mean, that says it all! After that night, we spent many, many long hours and weekends at Children's. Days, months, and a few years went by and before I knew it, he had completed his last chemo treatment. He was in remission and the cancer has never come back! And through it all, He held to His promise of "never forsaking those who seek Him" and was always my refuge and stronghold through every painful procedure Tyler had to endure. I have held on to those verses and their meaning ever since that night. Not a day goes by that I don't feel so thankful and so blessed for what God brought us through. I promised God that whenever I knew of someone going through something that seemed so unbearable to them, that I would always share those verses and share what God did for me and for my son.
Tyler will turn 17 this year! That blows my mind! He is so healthy and such a great kid! To look at him today, you would never guess that he was ever sick. He has a scar on his chest where his port was. I told him that I would have it cosmetically "fixed" if he wanted me to. He told me that it didn't bother him and that he didn't mind it being there because it reminded him of what he went through and he could show people that he was a cancer survivor! My cup runneth over with blessings to this day! Even if I was homeless and didn't have anything, I would still be greatly blessed because God took care of my son and allowed me to keep him around a while longer. And that is worth more than any material object I will ever own!