John 3:16 (Week 13 of Only One Thing and Ependymoma Awareness Day)

Us. Lily. Recovering May 2007.
When Lily was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago, we felt so entirely alone. We were surrounded by love and friendship and family.

Yet, there was nothing anyone could say--there was no level of understanding any mother or father could offer us. Our daughter had cancer. Our daughter had brain surgery. Our daughter could die at the age of 14 months. 

Our world was collapsing and falling into a bottomless pit. 

Even now my friends who finally have the courage to tell me how Lily's diagnosis crushed their worlds, they just cannot understand. No matter how crushed their world was--mine was crushed more. My world was destroyed, crushed to dust. There was no hope rebuilding the pieces. 

And while we celebrate Lily's 7 years of being cancer-free, the truth is, it is not enough. A huge part of me needs the cancer to have been a dream or a delusion. I cannot bear witness to my full healing and recovery, because my child was nearly lost.  How I wish it was not my child. How I wish I could wave a wand and heal my battle worn heart.

I can't. Those scars are something I will carry for my lifetime. 

There is no empathy or sympathy or understanding anyone can offer. It simply is what it is. 

No parent would sacrifice their child for yours. No parent would give up their child for Lily. 

Well, except for God, the father. 

And that's it friends. God loves us so much he sacrificed his son. It is the strongest, purest love. It is love I will never be capable of; but it is the love I want to dwell in everyday. It is the love that is gifted to me without condition or expectation.  I want to remember that God sacrificed his son--his heart and soul and love, for me and mine and yours and every single living soul that has come before and after. 

That's the Good News. 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

This week that is all I remember: that God loves me. 

PS Today is Ependymoma Awareness Day. Two hundred kids are diagnosed with ependymoma, a form of brain cancer, each year. It sounds rare, but it is not anymore. If you are reading this, you now know Lily. Lily was diagnosed at 14 months old. She endured surgeries and proton radiation and years of physical and occupational therapy. She lost the ability to sit, crawl and walk. 

Today, she runs. I want every child to run and to grow up and to know that ependymoma is extinct like the dinosaurs. 

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