Trials & Testimonies
A few days ago I wrote a post about how God will give us more than we can handle. It is so important to share with each other our hardships and trials and to lift one another up in prayer. It is vital to be praying for others. It is also very important to share how God has answered prayers and seen us through trials and heartache.
Today, I want to kick off a new category on my blog entitled “Trials & Testimonies”. I want to share with you a good friend’s story in her own words about one of the most difficult times any of us moms could imagine facing. Thank you Staci, for sharing your heart with us today.
by Staci Yopp
Moms know that when school starts, the mingling of germs also start. Whether your child attends a Mother’s Morning Out preschool, a homeschool Co-Op, or full-day private or public school, the first or second week of September typically means some sort of mild sickness in many homes. Like clock work, upon entering the second full week of school in 2014, my son, Camron, started running a low-grade fever and had a nasty cough that wouldn’t go away. He complained of being tired and just didn’t have the energy of your typical eleven year-old boy. I chalked it up to the new school routine wearing him down, mixed in with the fact that he could come up with any excuse not to do homework!
After a week of the fever and cough, my husband and I decided that it was time to get him to a doctor. At the time, doctor visits were quite rare in our household. Beyond my kids’ yearly check-ups, they each might frequent the doctor one other time during the year for a sick visit. Like most moms, I had already pre-diagnosed Camron in my mind with:
a virus (you know . . . what doctors say when they can’t give you a prescription for anything, yet expect a co-pay),
pneumonia due to the severity of his cough.
That Friday afternoon, God showed up through a doctor who chose not to gloss over his symptoms in order to expedite his appointment slot. He chose to take the time to ask questions, ponder the symptoms, and to look at my child’s weary face in search of the right course to follow. I firmly believe that it was then and there that the Holy Spirit took over and guided him to do a peripheral blood smear so that he could look for any abnormalities in his blood, rather than just brush off his symptoms as a typical virus.
Many people complain about God’s timing being too slow for them, but God worked so quickly that day that I could hardly keep up. Our God-ordained pediatrician diligently worked on our behalf on that Friday afternoon and demanded the local lab service to process and read Camron’s labs after business hours. Unbeknownst to us, our doctor knew from the original blood smear that something was horribly wrong with our son and he did everything within his power to get us answers quickly.
Within a few hours of that blood smear, we heard our doctor utter the word that would change our lives. He said that Camron was in the early stages of leukemia. We found ourselves throwing clothes into bags so that we could quickly be en route to the closest children’s hospital in our area. It was on that rainy, Friday night that we entered into the terrifying world of childhood cancer.
We were forced to learn acronyms like:
- KISU (Kid’s Immunosuppressed Specialty Unity),
- ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia),
- AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia), and
- LP (lumbar puncture).
We learned countless names for all of the different chemotherapies he would receive, how to flush a PICC line, and we took a crash course on “How to Read a Lab Report for Dummies.” We learned the need for a good doctor, a good pharmacy, and good friends.
But the most important thing we learned is how incredibly good our God is. We saw Him show up in a mighty way every time we turned around. We saw Him work through His people as they surrounded us with love, support, prayers, meals, cards, encouragement, money, and so much more. We saw Him in the face of our sick child who showed so much courage and faith that my husband and I often drew strength from him.
We also learned the true meaning of Bible verses that you simply can’t know until you go through trials.
We learned what it truly meant to pray without ceasing as we found ourselves praying all hours of the day and night. (1 Thess. 5:17)
We learned what it meant to have friends who love you at all times…including the wee hours of the night on the day of his diagnosis and every moment after that dreadful day. (Prov. 17:17)
We learned what it felt like to question whether or not God would heal my child that it would cause me to utter the phrase, “Lord I believe, but help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
We learned what a true blessing the local body of believers truly is. We learned that when we suffer, they suffer right there with us. (I Cor. 12:26)
We learned what it’s like to have a need so great that the hem of Christ’s garment would be good enough for us if it meant healing would be the result. (Mark 5:24-34)
As the year ensued, we had many highs and many lows along the way. Through it all, God has been ever faithful. Going through this journey without Him would have been impossible.
I am so glad to be able to say that Camron is in remission and the worst part of his treatment is behind him. He will continue with chemotherapy for nearly three more years and we look forward to the day that he walks out of the hospital for the last time as a cancer patient.
Through it all, we have learned not to take a single second for granted. Our family will live each day to the fullest for Camron’s sake and for God’s glory. Camron has a bright future ahead of him and I can’t wait to see how God uses him for something great!
To join us in praying for Camron, please join his Facebook page at Prayers for Camron.