I woke up every morning this week with the all too familiar feel of my heart lodged firmly in my throat. It has been an ever present feeling over the last three years… Sometimes the feelings and fears and stresses of our struggle are overwhelming and my heart travels north, while other times mercifully it stays put, safely in the niche of my ribs. This week has held much soul searching, much exhaustion of our circumstances. Upon waking, tears escaped my eyes and slid into my hairline above my ears. My much loved husband gently reminded me (much kinder than Westley disguised as the Dread Pirate Roberts so harshly says to Buttercup) that often, life is pain. It’s part of the human experience, and if you scratch the surface of anyone’s story you will find it. No one is exempt. We must face our fears, believing that we will be carried through and held up by the One who made us. Do I only focus on what hurts and is hard and what is being withheld, or will I thank Him for what is good and right and given freely? I must not believe God is my cosmic vending machine, spitting out only what I’ve inserted a crisp dollar for, but instead trusting God with where He takes us, not just with our desired outcome. If I believe God is good and sovereign over my life as well as Daisy’s, circumstances need not dictate our general emotional state, need not cause us to roll into a ball and hide under the covers for longer than necessary. God is my refuge and my strength. Yes, I’ve been singing this song for months, years; and this week I needed a fresh reminder.
Pity party/pain train/weariness aside, we have still been diligent on our adventures. We have toured the Galilee, teaching the kids from the Scriptures all the way through the land where Jesus ministered, healed, walked on water. We have moved to a new town further away from the crazy city of Tel Aviv to stay in an old converted stone barn complete with rings for the animals coming out of the stones. We quietly watched the Jews observe the most holy Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, dressed in white solemnly streaming into the synagogue. We have found new beaches, tasted new cafes, been yelled at by new people frustrated by our breaking every driving rule. We enjoyed Shabbat dinner with an observant family in their sukkah (temporary structure built to celebrate Sukkot), and have been included in the candle lighting ushering in of Shabbat with another orthodox family. But mostly, my new favorite discovery is the fact that despite all our homesickness my kids are soaking it up, have a new appetite for God, adventure, and learning that is outside their comfort zone. Love that.
Daisy’s treatment is constant, 3 times a week. Last week she received another round of vaccine and endured twelve shots in a row. TWELVE!!!! She took it like a champ with very few tears. Next week we will go to the clinic for 5 days in a row where she will receive Lymphocytes from an unrelated donor. After that she continues more of her current treatment as well as a scan to check progress. If all is clean, we can return home and continue the shots. If all isn’t… Well we cross that bridge if we come to it. Please keep praying for her healing, for her little tiny self not to fear, as the shots are uncomfortable and give her anxiety. Please pray that Isaiah, Britt and I have renewed strength to finish well.
I hold you by your right hand-I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, “Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)