Diapers and Dragons

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Unexpected Grace

OK, so I think perhaps God answers prayer.

Yeah, I know, right? Duh. But sometimes it's not the way we expect, you know?

This morning I rose, groggy as usual, and found myself actually able to smile and joke around with kids in the hall (um, not the fabulous Canadian show, but hey, you have no idea how much I see stuff like that anyhow) and feel like blogging about things that actually might make someone laugh rather than curl up in a ball under the covers and wish the Universe would go away.

And this, all this, despite the fact that really not much has changed since yesterday other than Horrible News my family received last night.

Which is where God comes in, because only He could put that something-approaching-peace-and-maybe-even-joy in my soul, feathered or not. That's true grace.

You see, last night we received a call to let us know that my teenage cousin, Matthew, was just diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his jaw, located in his salivary gland (the same place people get mumps, apparently). He will be getting an MRI to determine the tumor's boundaries and the necessary approach for excising it, and then will undergo surgery next week.

You have to understand that on top of the horror of a teen having cancer, Matthew's mother, my own mother's only sister, died a little over two years ago of leukemia. She was only 43 and left behind five children. She had gone through hell to get those children, with repeated fertility treatments and miscarriages that finally resulted (after a very difficult pregnancy) in Matthew and his twin sister. After additional failed attempts at in vitro, they adopted a little boy and a little girl (8 months apart in age) from Kazakhstan--and then discovered that, like Jacob and Rachel, she had miraculously become pregnant while they were adopting, and along came their own Benjamin.

So when she died she left behind five very beloved children: two 13-year-olds, two 3-year-olds, and a 1 1/2-year-old. She died a shining example of faith in the face of tragedy, and she went to join all the little children waiting for her in heaven whom she had not known on earth.

Meanwhile her husband met and married a wonderful woman, also widowed by cancer, who had two young boys of her own. This amazing family of NINE (five boys and two girls), has been through so much. And here comes another blow, another challenge to their faith.

I did not appreciate the power of my aunt's faith when she died. It took me a long time to come to terms with her death. Only recently could I really start facing it. This time, while the news about Matthew is still somewhat unreal to me, I can join in the faith that regardless of the outcome, God can and will use this situation for good. I do not believe He caused the cancer, but I do believe He can heal it. And if for some reason this is not the outcome, I do believe He can use Matthew's story for good, just as he used my aunt's.

And so God has turned to me and blessed me with a measure of peace, a dollop of joy, even as I feel an ache within that Horrible Things happen to those who love Him.

I promise some laughter in a later post. God has also blessed me with two highly amusing children. Look for it.

3 bits of love:

Kathleen said...

Will be praying for Steve and his family!! I can tell God has you covered with His grace!

mom said...

GIBT,yes,yes,yes.Thank you for this, dear one.

Arby said...

How is this young man doing?

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