I clicked on my computer, checked my email, and got ready to get some work done when I remembered that a little girl with a brain tumor that our family has been praying for was scheduled to have a routine MRI a few days ago. Her name is Kate McRae and none of us know her, but I came across her story through a few blogland friends and I immediately felt burdened to pray for her as if I had know her all my life. Maybe it was the fact that she's the same age as Chloe and has the same big eyes and blond curls. Maybe is was simply God, gathering prayer warriors from all points on the globe as only He can do to intercede together for this desperate family. I prayerfully followed her story for a year as she endured surgery, radiation, and horrendous bouts of chemo, as she spent Christmas in isolation in a hospital ward and her birthday recovering from brain surgery. Last year, she beat the odds and beat the tumor, and I rejoiced with her sweet family. Off to kindergarten she went! She got a puppy and went to Disney World, and I went back to my life. I woke up this morning remembering that her routine MRI had been a week ago, and I wanted to check her family's blog to see how it went. Her mom had mentioned the last time I'd checked in that she had no symptoms. She was feeling fantastic and going to school every day - they'd had a year of clean MRI scans.
This time though, without warning, the tumor was back. Her mother's heartwrenching post on the day of the MRI was almost too hard for me to read. They've already tried the most promising treatment there is for the kind of tumor their daughter has. They need a miracle.
I've just started reading a tremendous book called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. It's an exhortation to live a life of gratitude - a life in which you discipline yourself to constantly see the gracious hand of God in every aspect of your day, whether it's driving to work or teaching your children or folding yet another load of laundry. It's especially easy to do when you are reminded that everything you hold dear can be taken away in one moment.
This morning, I am so grateful to God for His sweet and unending blessings. For children who are healthy, at least for today. For a husband who lives so honorably and loves us so well, who takes care of us and provides for us and guides us. For the fact that I was born in this wonderful country of freedom, where I can make my own choices and raise my children far away from the violence and unrest that is rocking other parts of the world. For the twenty degree weather, and this wonderful home God has provided for us where we will be cozy and warm today. For the sweet kicks and romps and rolls of the 21 week old baby inside of me, reminding me that miracles happen every day. For dogeared books waiting to be picked up from the library shelf this morning, and hot cocoa to warm the tummies of three pink-cheeked children when we get home. For a boy who loves animals and a boy who loves pirates and a girl who loves singing and ballet. For the promise that this life here, with all its joys and sorrows, is but one moment in the span of eternity, and that for those who know Christ and have accepted Him into their hearts, perfection in heaven will some day be a reality. For the promise that God is close to the brokenhearted. That He weeps when we weep. That we will never be alone as we endure our trials. For this and so much more today, I am unspeakably grateful.
Please join me in praying for the McRae Family: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate