Why It Doesn’t Matter What Tomorrow’s MRI Shows:
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I know many of you are praying for clear results for tomorrow’s MRI, and may I begin by saying that I am so thankful for your prayers. I am blessed to have so many people praying so fervently for my son. Your prayers are powerful and they matter. Never stop praying for great results.
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That said, I don’t personally pray for the outcomes of individual MRIs. I’m not sure if I’ve told this story before, but I have this thing I do where I imagine all the ways God could move on our behalf. I intricately plan out the steps God could take to pull off an amazing miracle. It is one of my slightly obnoxious quirks. The night before Joel’s initial tumor resection surgery, I was imagining how God could show me that Joel’s tumor was gone and we could avoid the surgery. I imagined that his eye movements would begin to synchronize, and I would know the pressure in his brain had been released. I imagined that just before the surgery began the doctor would need to double check something and ask for a last minute MRI which would show that the tumor was gone. I really didn’t want the surgeons to cut into Joel’s beautiful head unnecessarily so I stopped imagining and began to pray that for whatever reason, the surgeon would ask for a last minute MRI, but then I stopped, or more accurately, my spirit stopped me. I changed my prayer. I prayed “God surprise me!” and an excitement welled up within me like a small child on the night before her birthday party. I prayed “God do whatever would be the most glorious, just surprise me.”
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I realized on “giant surgery eve” over three years ago, that I could ask God for what I wanted, and God could do it, but there is no way that what I asked for would be the most glorious thing God could do. If we were going through this horrible, hard, scary, sad thing, I wanted us to get to see all the glory God had, not just the part I could think to ask for. (At the time I honestly believed that nothing could be more glorious than a tumor that was gone before it could be surgically removed, so I had no idea what I was really asking for, no idea that the pursuit of God’s glory through Joel’s fight with cancer could consume so much of my life.) As I prayed that prayer of “God surprise me. Do whatever will be the most glorious!” my spirit leapt within me and I genuinely believe that God was delighted in my prayer.
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Since then, I have suffered more devastating news than I ever expected to hear in my life, but the sincere desire of my heart is still that God does whatever is the most glorious, even if it means more devastating news between now and then.
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Ultimately I believe Joel will live and not die to the glory to God. I believe that Joel’s testimony will be one of life triumphing over death soundly, here, in the land of the living. So tonight, the night before the next MRI, I can say that it does not really matter what the MRI shows. If the MRI is clear tomorrow, praise God because our family is going to have a sweet and beautiful couple months. If the MRI is riddled with tumors tomorrow then praise God, because there is about to be an incredible show of God’s faithfulness like we have never seen before.
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So that’s why I don’t pray for the outcome of this particular MRI. God has shown his faithfulness to us through so many bad reports. However, I do pray about the overall outcome of Joel’s life. I pray for that a lot, even though I have a feeling God has already completed the work He is doing in Joel and we are just waiting to see it revealed. I also pray a lot for the state of my heart and for the peace of my family, because even though I know that there may be some more hard things to come before we see the fullness of God’s glory through Joel, the bad results are emotionally hard to bear. Joel’s pain, his disabilities and delays are striking. It takes time to rebuild my faith and expectation for Joel every time we hear that he is dying. This is why I did not write at the top of the page “why it doesn’t matter to me what tomorrow’s MRI shows” because truthfully, it matters a great deal to me what it shows. The report we get tomorrow has the potential to change every aspect of our lives and completely reverse the quality of life for our entire family. To me, it matters almost entirely. (But ultimately, if I believe God will win this fight for Joel, and I do, then tomorrow’s specific result is just another page in a story God is still writing. He is a wonderful story teller, and I specifically surrendered the full authorship of Joel’s miracle to God over three years ago.” I still think it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made.

Comments

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  1. Selena on March 11, 2013 2:36 am

    My love goes to you, Joel and the rest of your ohana. Saw Joel in his you tube video and thankful for you sharing your life with others.

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