“If you leave I’m not going to be OK.”, said the tiny boy in the bed far too small for a mama to share. The bed creaked and groaned as I found a spot between him and the 53 stuffed animals that share his bed. He melted into my side and then, between quick inhalations as he tried to catch his breath after hours of crying, he broke my heart, “My whole body is scared mama.”
I desperately searched for words, a balm to rub on his hurting heart, but all I could muster was—I know. I know because the fear is so overwhelming some days I can feel it in my bones. I naïvely thought he didn’t know. A comment from a sibling, “I’m sure glad you didn’t die from cancer.” and his pre-anesthesia appointment has set off a wave of emotions in a boy whose positivity and ability to just roll with whatever is thrown at him has always inspired us.
With tears silently pouring down my cheek and over my arm I laid next to him as his breathing slowed and fell into a peaceful rhythm. I walked back to my room and hit my knees in the middle of our room as hot angry tears cascaded over my praying lips. Equal anger over the situation and my allowing fear to overshadow faith.
I grabbed my phone as I crawled back into bed hoping to distract myself until sleep found me and this was in my inbox:
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put to us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
The balm I had been searching for. Rejoicing not in a hooray for cancer way but because we are His. When Holden was going through treatment and I became lost in the storm, I would run. Run until my legs couldn’t take another step, my lungs burned, and I was so tired I couldn’t think and then I would hear it. You are mine. And I would remember that Holden was His, the storm would calm, and I could keep going.
While I still woke this morning with fear for what could come from his MRI in two weeks, it wasn’t all consuming. It was overpowered by the love of Christ, the hope we have in Him, and the knowledge that he walks with us.