Welcome back to “Friday Feature!” Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and enjoy today’s devotion! If you missed last week’s devotion, you can read it here!
Lauren Lambert brings us today’s devotion titled, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Lauren, a preacher’s wife, Bible teacher, and mom to a 6 year old cancer survivor, Luke, and a crazy almost ‘threenager’ girl, Selah. Her passions include, encouraging people, making people laugh, modest fashion, and makeup! Lauren is such a gem – give her a follow! @lauren.ash.lambert
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Many parents worst fear is that something terrible would happen to their child. Thankfully, most parents never have to actually face those made up worst case scenarios. Unfortunately, as a young mother, I had to face the worst word possible, “cancer.” When our son Luke was 18 months old, he was acting different and I noticed he had many random bruises. So I did what any crazy, hypochondriac, first-time mom would do, and googled his symptoms. The first WebMD diagnosis that came up was leukemia. The second I read the symptoms, I knew that was exactly what he had. I immediately called his pediatrician and made an appointment for the next day. My husband was coaching a basketball game two hours away, so my son’s sitter went with me. At the appointment, the doctor just thought it was anemia, and told us to get his blood drawn, and it would be a week before we got results. We both didn’t like that answer, so instead, we went straight to the Children’s ER. They drew his blood, and like a blur an hour later, I was told the worst news ever, “Your baby boy has leukemia, a blood cancer.” We were immediately transferred in an ambulance to Shand’s Children’s Hospital. I had to call my husband and tell him his only baby had cancer over the phone while he was 2 hours away. Then when we got to the PICU the doctors told us Luke also had a 9 centimeter mass on his heart that was blocking his airway. I still remember how scared I was when that first drop of chemo went into his little IV in his tiny 18-month old arm. I was so confused & scared and didn’t understand any of the medical words they were telling us. We were so scared the first time they put him to sleep and didn’t know how he would do under anesthesia. I remember praying and fasting like I never had in my whole life. I remember being in the PICU and feeling like we could literally touch God, He was so close. When we got the results that his day 29 bone marrow aspiration had no leukemia cells detected, I thought we would get to go home and be normal again. Then, we found out leukemia has a 3 year treatment. Then a month into treatment, Luke got a blood clot and had to get a very delicate surgery to break up the clot. I had to give him shots twice a day in his belly for over a year. There are so many memories of Luke’s hard first year of treatment. I remember him getting his port placed and watching them stick a one inch needle into my baby’s chest, and trying to pretend like it was fun and not scary. I remember the many, many weeks of sleeping in the hospital, constantly hearing beeps and waking up to check if he was ok. I remember praising God when they told me the chemo melted his mass on his chest away. I remember when he stopped walking for a month because of the month long high doses of steroids. I remember how fat his cheeks got, and how he only wanted to eat cheese for a few months. I remember having adrenal failure and having to be weaned off steroids. I remember Luke having dance parties with his night nurses, and how he charmed all the nurses and doctors. I remember living in the Ronald McDonald House for 4 months and how scared we were to move back home. I remember having 4-6 week delays where his counts were so low, he couldn’t receive chemo, and having to be in isolation to protect him from getting sick. I remember him having anaphylactic shock, and thinking he died right in my arms. I remember his beautiful blonde hair falling out. I remember my father in law randomly passing away in the midst of all this chaos. I remember Luke getting so many lumbar punctures, blood and platelet transfusions, I’ve lost count. I remember having to hold him down and force yucky medicine in his mouth many times a day. I remember the hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who sent us cards, gifts, money, and messages that they were praying for us. I remember having to quit my job. I remember missing tons of family and church functions because we couldn’t risk getting sick. I remember all the times I’ve stayed up all night worried sick and every time God taking care of what I worried about. My husband has been so strong and has encouraged us to keep pressing on for Christ. We feel so thankful for experiencing all of this, because we truly value life so much more. We value each memory we create with our children, because we know we are not promised tomorrow. Luke finished chemo on his 5th birthday! He has been off chemo for almost 18 months. We are so grateful to have our little boy with us. Many along the same journey have unfortunately lost their children, and we never want to take his health or life for granted. God has been so good to us. Throughout all the fear and unknowns, God has been our anchor. He has brought joy to our lives that only He could bring. I don’t wish an experience like this on ANYONE, but I do wish everyone could experience the closeness of God during a trial. No one is immune to trials, so whenever God chooses to allow a storm in your life, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory & grace.”