Rejoice in the Lord Always
I have to say that God is good, all the time, and His faithfulness to provide where I am lacking is ever constant. If you read the last post you know that Noah has an MRI coming up this Monday morning, April 23. I haven’t talked much about it, or written much about it, but I have been internally worrying about it. This will be his first scan since the surgery in January. His neuro-surgeon gave us an estimate (before his surgery) that he might expect Noah’s tumor to grow back within a 3-month period, calculating that estimate based on the trends of past tumor growth. I know what that scenario will bring, and the battle in my mind and with my emotions is sometimes so strong that I become physically sick trying to fight off my thoughts and fears about the end of his life…vivid images of what it will be like, look like, feel like - it’s torture, honestly. The waiting and wondering, with my child’s life hanging in the balance is very difficult, as most could imagine, and as some have experienced. For two years and five months (to the day) I have lived with these thoughts of “the last stages.” They have been compounding like the interest on my Lowe’s credit card (big mistake, btw…especially since I’m a sucker for all things home improvement). They creep in when I least expect them to and I’ve allowed them to ruin many precious moments I’ve had with my family, just being normal. Speaking of normal, we really have had an amazing, medically uneventful three months. Noah is still enjoying his day school class and all that it entails, and has become very ritualistic about making his rounds to meet and greet at our church office once school is out. The new rental home in Calera has proved a good place to live. We are all slowly but surely developing new friendships while missing our old ones. Life is good, life is blessed; it is continually moving forward and every day closer to April 23rd has brought another worrisome thought to my mind. I quote Philippians 4:6-7 daily and for a moment I find peace, but that moment is gone much too quickly.
As I type I am in the most decadent room I have ever stepped foot in on the 21st floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Buckhead/Atlanta. I honestly don’t know exactly how I got here. Through a network of friends, by the generosity of strangers, and with a humbled spirit I sit in a bed with linens that are probably worth more than my entire wardrobe. I am definitely out of my element but I have enjoyed every minute here with my family. I haven’t needed to clean, do laundry, dishes, or anything on my daily punch list. The staff here is amazing and my family has been treated with such kindness and care. We have been totally pampered, and Noah has felt like a king (the staff continues to bring him plates of gourmet sweets). John is really happy about the complimentary boot shine, laundry services, and amazing food. I am just thanking God that we were provided with a weekend getaway to relax and enjoy each other before Monday. I didn’t know that a weekend relaxing in a 5-star hotel was what I needed to let go of some of the stress and anxiety I have been hording, and I am very thankful that it was orchestrated without my input! Sunday morning we are attending Buckhead church, a campus of North Point ministries, and I’m really looking forward to that service, and hoping to glean some more wisdom on how to release my cares to God. I know all the scriptures concerning it, but I am not very good at living it out and putting it into practice.
I have no idea what will happen on Monday. I’m trusting God to continue to show out through the miracle that is my son. I’m praying constantly for the Lord to continue to pour his healing into Noah’s body. He has been through so much and come out on the other side doing so well with very few side affects. (Noah was recently confirmed through psychological testing to have a cognitive disorder due to his surgeries and the trauma they have caused to his brain. He lacks executive function, and without almost constant redirection and lots of structure and proper discipline he becomes a very difficult child to handle. He becomes very angry and aggressive quickly, and the smallest inconvenience or unmet expectation will set him off like a rocket. We have been given some great tools to help guide John and myself through the process of parenting Noah, but there are days that it wears both of us down. On those days we have to remind each other that there are many other complications that could have manifested through Noah’s treatment; we just have to keep being consistent and push through the rough patches.)
Like I said at the beginning of this post, God is always providing where and when I need it. My battle with my thought life is going to be a life-long struggle as it is with everyone…I will not be tempted by anything that is not common to every other man/woman. But HE is faithful and just to provide a way out of that temptation. And he has always been there to offer a way out. It is up to me to choose whether or not to dwell on those “last days” thoughts, and often times I do, ending up with a face wet with salty tears and with a nauseated stomach. But tonight I am choosing to reach for the way out of these negative thoughts through the power offered by Jesus Christ. I am choosing to believe that He has more healing for Noah, the boy that never gives up. He just keeps going, and going, and going. Pray for Noah with me, and ask God to extend his hand of mercy once again this Monday morning. His scan is scheduled for the first slot, so we should have the results early to mid-morning.
A few verses before the scripture I mentioned above says this: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” (Phi 4:4). ALWAYS. Not sometimes…not just in good times, but always. I am rejoicing in the evidence of Jesus Christ and his promise to heal, whether in this life or through eternal life…He is our healer. Let us rejoice because He always provides a way of escape from temptation. Let us rejoice because He offers eternal life to any man/woman/child who would come to Him in humility and with belief in His forgiveness. Let us rejoice because death does not have to be the end of life. He is good to us on such a grand level that we cannot understand, and for that I will rejoice.
Thanks for reading my ramblings and confessions, and hopefully someone can take something positive away from this blog. Your encouragement and prayers help us through this journey…we appreciate you!
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These posts are written by Noah's parents Jessica & John David Crowe. The default author is Jess, and those written by John David will be noted.