Thursday, April 14, 2016

Shut up and listen!



Last April, this was the scene as I walked with MacKale and Gilly through Downtown Disney.  We had an amazing time.  So fun!  It's difficult not to long for those days where things were easy.  Getting in the car.  Going to a restaurant.  Taking a vacation.  We were whole, we were together and we were healthy.  I ask God to have those things for our family again. I know comparison is a thief.  I get that.  But I still long for those two good legs attached to a healthy and cancer-free boy.  I ask God for it daily.  In fact,  the truth is,  I talk to God . . . A LOT!  I don't just mean that I say my daily prayers.  Of course, that's part of it, but . . . I mean I talk to God . . . like all the time. . . in my vehicle, at the grocery store, doing dishes, at the hospital . . . I'm talking to Him.  There was a time when AT&T had that friends and family deal.  Remember that one? Where you could have unlimited calls to all your friends and family.  Well if that deal was still around and God had a cell phone, he'd be number one on my list and AT&T would be losing money on me.  Which is a bit ironic really, because if you know me at all and my family with attest to this . . . I absolutely HATE talking on the phone.  However, I will talk to God . . .  But talking isn't the problem.  It's the listening part.  That's where I struggle.  And quite honestly, with all my talking, some of the problem is that God can't get a word in.

But I'm working on it . . .



When MacKale got his diagnosis in early October, it was literally just a few weeks from the date that Mike and I had secured accommodations and purchased our flights for this year's Spring Break. While we might have thought about it for a half a minute, we kind of just knew that this year's vacation was going to have to be a wash.  Our first priority, our only priority was to be with MacKale and fight this fight.  (Note to self:  Never forget to purchase travel/flight insurance!  Just saying . . .)

I have talked to God daily over the last 6 months.  I have begged, pleaded, sought council, given thanks and asked for guidance, but I never bothered asking for our Spring Break plans to come to fruition.  It just wasn't a priority.  But then . . . I wasn't listening.

Despite months and months of chemo and treatment, in general, MacKale has been able to find distractions and things to keep him looking forward and putting one foot in front the the other.  The doctors warned us that after surgery, when chemo started back up again, he may become 'weary' and disheartened.  In the past, we had football and then basketball to keep him occupied and engaged, but suddenly that all ended.  These next months were going to be some of the hardest and longest.  The hospital stay was boring, wearisome and long.  It was time to get serious about physical therapy and, yet, we are still non-weight bearing and chemo slows down the healing process. And speaking of chemo . . . yes, there is still more chemo.  Suddenly, I was having new conversations with God.  I was asking for stamina and focus and strength for MacKale to keep working through treatment.  I talked to Him about protecting MacKale and his brothers' spirit, their joy and their sense of humor.  I asked Him to keep our family whole despite days and nights away from each other.  I asked for guidance to make all these things happen. And I talked and I talked and I talked . . . but I wasn't a very good listener.  (I don't admit this very often, but I think Mike is a much better listener than I am. )

Until, our doctor asked about our plans for Spring Break.  Of course we told her that we had made plans to visit Florida, but had understandably decided that wasn't going to happen this year and we were ok with that.  But she wasn't and neither was He.  Dr. Mitchell gave us every reason why we could and should go.

And so despite all my fears, anxiety and nervousness (and I have a ton of them, just ask my husband) . . . I listened!  And we went.

God had answered all those prayers and responded to all my 'calls.'  MacKale's only request the week we were gone was to do 'stuff with my brothers.'  He told me, "I've gotten to do some fun stuff mom. But I want to be with my brothers and do stuff with them. "  And that's what we did . . .

It wasn't 'the same.'  And the realities of MacKale's cancer were often very evident.



I've a new appreciation for handicapped accommodations, and I still despise manhandling our wheelchair, but it was a week of healing.



But we were together.



We laughed.




 We danced and played.



 We ate (too much) and played a ton of putt putt (Mac's working on his short game!).






I heard MacKale singing with his brothers.  I saw him teasing and picking at them.






They wrestled even when I told them not to . . . and we were whole.   It was an answer to prayer.


It revived us.  It strengthened us.  It connected us . . .   It isn't always easy to expect great things to happen, to expect answered prayers in such a fabulous way.  You kind of are in a habit of just holding your breath and bracing yourself for the worst,  but I'm working on learning to expect God's infinite grace, learning to accept his divine wisdom and  . . . on becoming a better listener.

"Listen for God's voice in everything you do and everywhere you go.  He is the one that will keep you on track."  Proverbs 3:6




Special Prayer Requests:  We were scheduled to start chemo this week, but MacKale's levels have been too low.  This is never good.  It pushes us back and lengthens the journey.  However, God has impeccable timing.  It has made it possible for us to be home for MaGill's First Communion this weekend.  Please pray that Mac's levels bounce back and chemo can resume next week as planned, that physical therapy continues to strengthen his leg, and that the cancer will leave his body forever. 


Special thanks to our friends, Jackie, Amy, Jenna and Grandpa Woody for coming along for the ride.  Love you guys!








32 comments:

  1. I don't like the circumstances but I love reading your posts. We continue to pray for you all.

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  2. I cried so much with this post. As always... Thanks for your transparent reality. Your growing trust of God is beautiful! I love love love your examples of answered prayers. God is so personal... I am in awe!!!! Praying!

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    1. We so appreciate those prayers Bridget.
      M

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  4. Vacations have a way of renewing the soul. Getting away from the everyday life feels so good. I'm so glad you and your family could put aside the medical issues and laugh a little or a lot. My prayers for all of you have never stopped!
    Patty

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    1. Love you friend. Keep those jokes coming.
      M

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  5. I'm so glad that you were able to make great memories over Spring Break! Praying that the healing continues!

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  6. I'm so glad your sweet family had a wonderful spring break. Our family is praying for MacKale.

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  7. So happy to read your posts. God bless your beautiful spirit. Thank you for sharing. We continue to keep you in our prayers, but my guess is we get much more than we give just from reading your incredible a thoughts.

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  8. Sending my love, sweet friend! Your words spoke to my heart. Mac is part of our every day prayers... and my kiddos demand updates! Obviously, Colton feels a connection to Mac...and is excited to keep in touch with him. Perhaps, they can get together for a robot playdate some time! LOL We have some special boys! God is good.

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    1. I think they have a special connection too. I'm seeing a Purdue/MSU game in their future.
      M

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  9. I'm so happy that your family got to enjoy a much deserved family vacation! I continue to pray for you all everyday!

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  10. I'm so happy you all had such a fabulous spring break and found that sense of "whole". Each of you deserve it and so much more! I love seeing Mac's sweet smile! What an amazing boy he is! I loved this post so so much.

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  11. I love you and everything about you and your family. I love our God who hears our every cry. I love how He makes us whole in ways we could not imagine. He treasures our tears in a bottle.

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    1. Love you too friend. Thanks for always having the right words.
      M

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  12. Once again it is through tears that I find myself smiling. I am so happy to hear that your little getaway turned into the gift with impeccable timing. You and your family are in my heart and in my prayers every day!

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    1. Love you so. Thanks for everything Deedee!
      M

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  13. These beautiful family pictures that say, "LOVE."... So inspirational. Your writing, Mac's strength and wisdom beyond his years. Your family and Mac's journey... You continue to teach us all so much. Thank you. Still praying ❤️

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  14. So glad you were able to go on vacation. I've no doubt it wasn't easy to do, but I'm so happy you were able to enjoy yourselves. Praying every single day! Your family is always in my thoughts and prayers!

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    1. Love you friend. Thanks for always praying.
      M

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