Sometimes your greatest fear can become your biggest blessing. Sounds crazy right? No one wants their greatest fear, the thing that they are afraid of the most, to come to pass. The idea of it sends your heart racing and makes you break out in a cold sweat. The very pit of your stomach turns into knots so tight that you physically become ill.
Over the course of my life, I’ve felt like this. The first time, was as a teenager. I had this fear of being alone, of going my whole life and not have that special person to make my life complete. So in the 9th grade, I started praying for my future husband. I started out praying that God would be with him, protect him, bring him happiness, and for him to make wise decisions. Then my prayers progressed for God to prepare me, so that when I met him (in God’s time) then I would know. I had no desire to go through relationship after relationship until I found “the one”. Why bother with the heartbreak? I prayed for two years. I became friends with Jacob; starting dating him at 16, married him at 19, and we just celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary. I couldn’t imagine not having him as my husband, to walk through this life without him. However, what makes this blessing even better—he prayed the same things I did, for the same amount of time—isn’t that incredible?
The second time, I’ve felt this kind of fear was after we got married and Jacob joined the Army. 9/11 happened during his time in boot camp. I worried that he would get called overseas. I prayed against him leaving, however, he did get deployed. He went to Iraq for fifteen months, and training for six months prior. We spent twenty two months apart, and our eldest son, Daniel was just a year and half old. Right before he left, we started leading a youth group, and it was starting to grow. Jacob was the main teacher, so when he left, I had to step up and take over. I learned so much about myself during those twenty two months that I could fill an entire book. God used that time apart to grow me in a way that I’ve never been before.
After our second child was born, I developed a new fear. I feared that one of my children would become sick, or hurt. That something that I couldn’t control, like cancer, would happen to one of them. I prayed every day over them—that they would be healthy, happy, and loved. As most of you know, our youngest child, Gabriel recently was diagnosed with Leukemia. My greatest fear had finally come to pass. I couldn’t believe it, (and I still battle) with trying to accept that this has happened.
Believe me when I say this—I do not have all the answers. I do not even pretend to be okay with what has been going on, and I’m not perfect. There are days when I struggle with my thoughts and emotions. Some days are good, and I stay positive. Then there are days when I just want to turn off my phone, close myself off to everyone, and shut down my emotions. There’s also days when I’m angry. There are days when I’m bitter. Then there are days when I have to literally take the day one minute at a time. I live day by day.
Since my last blog, we’ve started the 24 hour doses of chemotherapy.
It’s hard to watch this toxic medicine pour into your baby. It’s unbearable to watch him hurt, be exhausted, and have mouth sores. It’s even harder to know that once he feels better, we have roughly a week before he has to go again. We’ve had to stay longer than planned every week so far in this phase. It is miserable being away from home and away from Daniel and Bella for long periods of time.
There are good days, even joyful days. There’s days when you can’t even tell that Gabe has cancer. Days when he’s smiling, laughing, and running around playing. These days are wonderful, especially when we get to go home for a few days.
It’s hard walking through your greatest fear. We have a long road ahead of us. After we finish this second phase of treatment, we still have 122 weeks of treatment. That’s over two more years of treatments! Two more years of going to Memphis, lab draws, waiting, praying, hoping, chemo, and procedures. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that God has a plan and a purpose for Gabe. I know that God’s plans are for our good. I know that all things work together for good. I know that I have never seen my family as strong as it is now. I know that we have grown in our faith more than we ever have before. I know who my true friends are. I know how amazing everyone has been with their love, prayers, and financial support. I know that Gabe is in Remission and that’s what matters right now.
I never wanted to become a cancer mom. I never wanted my greatest fear to happen. I never wanted one of my children to have to go through this.
I can see God already working. I can see where He has prepared every step of our journey. I know that my other greatest fears have all worked out to be huge blessings in my life. We’re not anywhere near the end of this journey yet, but I have hope.
Hope that through our biggest fears we can find our greatest blessings.
We love you all.