Plan Through the Pain

My five-year old son demonstrated courage, strength and faith. Each time a nurse poked Connor with a needle he looked up at his father and me and pleaded for prayer.

When we prayed, God faithfully answered each prayer with an overwhelming comfort and peace that surpassed all understanding, as promised in the Bible.

Three intense rounds of chemotherapy were required to treat my five-year-old son from a rare form of leukemia (AML). To survive this cancer Connor needed a bone marrow transplant. His nine-year old sister prayed that she could save her brother’s life. God answered Kayla’s prayer. She was an exact tissue match in all six categories.

It was a miracle.

I clung to God’s promises through the turmoil of Connor’s illness, unsure if God would heal my son here on earth or heal him in heaven. I trusted God. I knew that He loved me, that He loved my son, and that He had a plan through the pain.

God promises He works all things for the good to those who love Jesus and are following him, (Romans 8:28). I had no doubt that God would equip and sustain me in whatever outcome prevailed, life or death. I claimed His promise that He would use me later to bring comfort and compassion to others who would go through a similar situation, (2Corin.1:3-5).

Jesus taught me in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prayed to his heavenly Father, “take this cup of suffering from me, yet not my will be done, but Thy will be done,” (Matt. 26:39).

God gave Jesus the peace that he must suffer to pay the consequence of our sin. His suffering produced a greater good for all of humanity. When we accept Jesus sacrifice on our behalf and invite Him into our heart we have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit we have peace in our turmoil, wisdom to guide and direct our path, and resurrection power and strength to endure the struggles we face here until we are one day raised to be with Him for eternity.

In complete isolation I surrendered my son to the greater good. Fortunately God healed Connor. Since then, I view each day as a precious gift. I may have to give my children and loved ones back to their heavenly Father before I want to. But I have peace. “He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2Corin.12:9).

I imagine that if God had asked me before Connor was born, do you want a son for five years or not have a son at all? Confidently, I would answer, I want my son, even if it is only for five years. I would rather cling to the memories of those precious years to know my son than avoid the suffering of his loss. My loved ones belong to Him. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, but I know God loves me and has a wonderful future for me as I seek Him. (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

God loves us so much that He allows us to struggle in this life, so that we might turn to Him in our time of need to find an abundant life here and an eternal life in heaven through His Son.

In isolation, without my friends, I discovered Jesus is my Best Friend. In my marriage struggles, I discovered Jesus is my Husband. In His word, I discovered I am His child, His bride, His princess. God’s grace is sufficient for me. All I need is Jesus.

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