One year ago today, our lives changed forever.
We were totally unprepared.
Not expecting at all.
It happened in an instant.
We had no idea that from that day forward,
we would be fighting for our daughter’s life.
And in just 17 short days, that we would loose that fight.
That day we were asked to begin a new journey.
A journey that we never would have chosen…
It was a pretty typical day. I dropped Cora off at my mom’s and headed off to Bible Study. She had been having trouble sleeping and was a little grouchy. Those horrible ear infections kept coming back and I was wishing she would just get better. At Bible study I remember sharing my frustrations and asking for prayer for Cora and her doctor’s appointment that afternoon.
Joel had agreed to go to the doctor appointment with me. We wanted to do everything we could to get Cora feeling better. We had no idea that it was so much more than a little ear infection.
I remember sitting in the exam room with Joel and Cora. We were trying to keep our little girl happy as we waited. They had done an x-ray of her abdomen and she did. not. like. it. one. bit. She screamed through the entire thing. We really didn’t expect anything to be horribly wrong. We were just looking for a way to get rid of the ear infections. But as we waited longer and longer, we began to worry. We sensed something might not be okay. Still, “cancer” had never crossed our minds.
Our pediatrician finally came in. I knew the second I saw his face that something was wrong. As he told us that Cora’s liver was enlarged and that it might be the result of cancer, our world as we knew it froze. He was so kind to us. Even prayed with us before sending us out the door. But I was in shock. He had to be wrong. There was no way my beautiful Cora had cancer in her little chubby body.
Joel and I could barely even talk to each other as we drove to the hospital. I remember praying over and over all the way there, “Please let him be wrong. Please let him be wrong. My baby can’t have cancer.”
But as we know, he wasn’t wrong. Late that night our worst fears were confirmed. The next day we would be asked to hand our sweet daughter over for surgery. And from that moment on our world was rocked to the core. We went from a “normal” family to living in the hospital and struggling to battle Cora’s cancer in an instant. We were asked to trust God with our daughter’s life. We were asked to trust God in a way that we never had before.
As I think about that day and the 17 days that followed, my stomach just aches. I don’t even know how to describe our time in the hospital except horrible and terrifying. It was the worst thing to watch Cora go through everything she did and not be able to do anything to help her. Like I said, it is hard to even put it into words. Yet at the same time we experienced God’s incredible comfort through the wonderful hospital staff, family and friends in a way that we never have experienced before. It was amazing.
So many people have told us that we are handling this past year of suffering incredibly. That they would not be able to handle what we have gone through. Like we are “gifted” at facing difficulties. We are not. In fact, before Cora got sick, I would have said the same thing. I would have said there is no way I could handle watching my daughter battle cancer. Or worse yet having to say goodbye to my daughter. I would have told you I couldn’t do it.
When we were in the hospital I remember people telling us that God’s grace is sufficient. Those words seemed so trite to me considering what we were going through. But, through this year we have found that God’s grace is truly sufficient. It is that simple. It doesn’t mean that facing suffering is easy or that it doesn’t cause pain, even deep pain. But it is true. When we face something that seems impossible to live through, or even when we face something that seems relatively insignificant, we can be confident that He cares. He will provide just what we need to get through whatever we are facing. His grace is sufficient. My family is living proof of that!
So as we enter this time of “anniversaries” and remember what we were facing at this time last year, and what we continue to face every day, I need to remind myself again. His grace is sufficient.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:8