I picked up a VERY heavy hearted Abigail from school today. I asked what was wrong and she just broke down sobbing.
My local readers likely know of Josh Walton and his struggle with Leukemia...for those that don't, he is a teenager battling this terrible disease and this has not been a good 24 hrs for him.
As she sat crying beside me, I had such a rush of emotions. I was stricken with sadness for Josh and his family and for my baby girls heavy heart. Anxiety for trying to find the right words to comfort her, while preparing her. I felt proud of her compassion and sincerity for this boy. But the most powerful moment came when God placed a little guilt on my shoulders. More about that in a moment...
For now I will address my lack of the"birthday blog" I promised last week. I sat here last Thursday, in this same chair, with full intentions of laying out her story...it just wouldn't come! I sat and randomly typed, deleted, re-typed. I even tried to save and come back later and it wouldn't let me. As I walked into the house this afternoon, thinking about sharing this blog, I realized, God was having me wait until I REALLY had something to say before I wrote. Even as I sit here now I am unsure of how this will all come together...I am just trusting Him that it will.
Speaking of trusting Him...back to my twinge of guilt. I think when non-believers have "epiphanies," they chalk it up to a good a idea...the proverbial light bulb, if you will. I, however, do believe and I know that God talks to me...more than I listen (just being honest here). Today, he very clearly advised me that my children cannot live and die by my faith and understanding alone. I spend so much of my time sheltering my kids from the evil this world has lurking at every corner, and the sorrow that looms around us. That is VERY much my job...please don't misunderstand me! It's just moments like today, however, when we truly get to instill a lifelong reference. In the silence of the car, with tears running down both of our faces, I realized this was an opportunity.
On March 25, 2007 @ 10am, I got the phone call no mother wants to get..."Abi has been in an accident." She was with my parents in Kansas at a rodeo. At 7 years old, this child had already been riding a horse for 5 years. There was nothing in this world she would rather be doing than barrel racing on her little blonde pony...Dodge. And she was good! I was helpless! It had rained all night and the rodeo grounds were a sloppy, wet, muddy mess. Her horse spooked...and as he scurried back he slipped, rolling over backwards onto Abi. All I could do was PRAY and WAIT for my mothers updates. 3 Ambulances and 2 hospitals later, she was on her way home. Not because she was ok...she was far from it. I took her straight to the ER here. Her condition was only worsening when they found the puncture in her bowels. The dr. was very open with us regarding her prognosis and the eminent danger she was in. Life-Flight was called in and as predicted her vitals crashed mid-flight. She made it to Amarillo and went into surgery at midnight. In the midst of the chaos and concern, I had an unfathomable sense of peace. Why? Well, Jesus of course, but also because my mom took the opportunity when I was little to instill lifelong references. I didn't know what the light of day was going to bring, but I was not fearful. I knew He had a plan. Surgery was a success and 9 days later she was released.
Now, this would be alot for an adult to face and overcome, she was a 1st grader. At her 6 week follow-up she was released to resume her normal activities. This included riding her horse, though it was unclear if that was an option in her mind.
It took several weeks, but she finally asked if she could just "sit" on her horse. She "walked" the next day. Four weeks in she was full throttle. As if nothing! Who can do that? What CHILD can muster the courage to fall down (hard) and climb back on? Abigail. John Wayne said "Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway"...can't think of a more fitting quote for her.
We are all tested...each in our own way. Out of these tests come our testimonies. And in that, our ability to help others going through the same.
My child did not battle cancer. But through my experience I was able to teach Abi today. Because I almost lost a child I was able to speak with confidence to the situation she was experiencing.
In the silence of the car, with tears running down both of our faces, I realized this was an opportunity...I simply said "We know God is able, but we also know that He appointed us a day to be born and a day to die and Jesus may be calling him home. Let's just pray for God's will."