Sunday, September 13, 2015

Hope from a Teenager

Hope is often found at times when you don't expect it. Times when you're at your lowest. Times when things are the hardest. Those are the times when you are grasping for hope, and also the times that you tend to find it.

Last November, we almost lost our daughter. After a scary fall, 911 call, ride with the EMS, visit to the ER trauma bay, and an emergency surgery, she was saved. While she was healing, I was falling apart. I was realizing that she was very delicate. I was learning that small things could become big things. I was seeing that just because cancer might not kill her, so many other things could. I still very much believed that God was with us. I was very certain that we would get through whatever came at us. But I was losing hope that things would turn out positively. I was terrified that I was going to lose my daughter too soon.

After many days in the hospital, the telephone in the room rang. I answered and a woman I had never met was on the line. She quickly explained that she was a friend of a friend and had heard about my daughter and wanted to come for a visit while she was in town. I was not really in the mood for visitors, especially visitors I didn't even know. I was too busy being down on myself and down on the situation. I didn't know how to tell her no so I said it was fine for her to come up.

The woman and her teenaged daughter came in the room. They were beautiful! Hair and makeup done, cute clothes, everything opposite of what I looked like after living in the hospital. Don't get me wrong, they were very nice. They brought Tillery a gift and she seemed to like them. The visit was going fine and then the woman explained why she had come.

Years ago, when her daughter (the teenager with her) was 16 months old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They were told that her tumor, like my daughter's, would not be able to be surgically removed and would have to be treated with ongoing chemotherapy. She described the months that followed and they sounded exactly like where we were. She shared her fears and feelings and they mirrored mine at that exact moment. Her story was my story. And THAT is why she had come. She wanted to show me the future. Her beautiful daughter, who was given a devastating diagnosis and a long list of limitations was now an honor student, cheerleader, and pageant queen! They had smiles on their faces as they described using hairpieces during pageants at times when chemo thinned her hair. They talked about using treatment trips like vacations and coming to town early to lounge by the hotel pool. They were so positive about things!

They restored my hope!

I encourage you to do the same! We all have things that are hard for us. We all battle giants that not everyone else understands. When you find someone battling the same giant, share your story. If you have been there, tell someone about what it's like on the other side.

We aren't on the other side, yet. We have passed the critical start and now we are in the middle. Even in the middle, I try to share the hope that we have found.

Even in the darkest times, we can call on Jesus. He will carry us through whatever we face. And at the end of the day, it is His promise of Eternal Life that fills us with HOPE! We desparately want a cure. We also know that even without a cure, we still have hope!

Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:21

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