It’s hard to believe we could be home tomorrow night! If Joel is approved to fly commercially with us we will likely be home by tomorrow night. If we determine that he needs medical transportation home then it might Friday instead, but either way things are moving quickly. We feel so supported and taken care of, and we’ve had so many offers of people willing to help us get our van home, so we are sure that will work out just fine. So now we just pack up, and wait to see what method of transportation Joel will take home.
Joel continues to need some oxygen but he is calming down and has even fallen asleep. He was fairly agitated a few hours ago with his heart rate up above 180 for hours but now it is down to 132 and he is requiring less oxygen and doing better. Before he fell asleep he chattered at me a little bit and wanted to hold the room phone and open and close the room service menu. It has been reassuring to see him acting more like himself in the middle of what has otherwise been a fairly shocking day. We found out that Joel tested positive for flu again, so he either never fully got over the flu he had two weeks ago, or he has it again. Now we suspect that the dramatic respiratory issues we’ve seen have been the combination of a weakened immune system with flu and anesthesia. We are hopeful that as the anesthesia wears off his respiration will improve and he might be able to come off oxygen.
Our greatest prayer request is that we can get Joel home safely. There is a kind of panic I’m not used to experiencing that settles in about him not doing well here. I just want to be home where family and friends can visit him. Last night when I stayed awake worried about his breathing it was so unlike me. Ryan is the resident breathing police in our home. He’s the one who checks on the kids while they are sleeping. I’m the one who says, “what are the odds you’d check in on them in the exact moment when they could be resuscitated, if they stop breathing in their sleep, they die and you can’t prevent it by looking in before you go to bed.” Yet, there I was, with my hand on his chest trying to will him to keep taking each new breath. I know when we are home, and everyone has gotten to see him again I can relax again.
In many ways I feel like my spirit is being set free to fully believe God, in a way that was difficult for me while he was still on a trial and while we were away from home. When there is no hope but God, part of me gets excited because, now, at last, conditions are ripe for a miracle. God is our only hope, and He is such a better hope than a stage one trial. For now, until we are home, seeing Joel unwell makes me think, “no, not like this, not here, no, no , no!” but at home even if he is doing just as bad or worse I know I will be able to say, “God, if you will save Joel, then he will be saved!” and rest knowing that God loves Joel, hates cancer, and loves to heal his children.
I am going home, and we will see now how God finishes the story of Joel’s fight with cancer that began over four year ago. Nothing in my spirit has ever cautioned me to temper my belief in a glorious miracle for Joel. Everything I have ever felt from God has been an urging to go for it, to hold nothing back, to boldy believe every crazy promise I have ever read in the bible and to expect to see the glory of God. That is not to say there has not been a tether, something holding me back, and that has been God’s timing. Again and again I have felt certain that we were waiting on God’s perfect timing. Years ago, I asked God to do whatever was most glorious, and many times I have seen that waiting for the most glorious moment has meant a lot of ups and down and a much longer season of endurance than I thought I was capable of. Now, I know that tether is being released from us. We have grown strong as we waited. We have learned just how faithful God is to us, and now I can say with confidence that God’s time to move is approaching soon. Whether we have a few days to wait or a few months, I don’t know, but I know that it is this season or no season at all. Joel will not be healed by medicine. Joel will not continue to live in pain. Joel will either be healed by God or he will die, but we will try to never make peace with cancer, and to contend for Joel’s life. I am filled with expectation and excitement as we wait to see what God will do now. I’ve lost Joel as he was already. There have been many sad and terrible moments of watching Joel slip away, of watching Joel be less Joel, the loss has happened, and when I think of all we have lost I could cry for hours, but when I think of what lies ahead of us, I have so much tremendous hope.
We will now have the opportunity to trust God as fully as we have ever been able to, and in just a little while, I could see God move in a way that will astound me. The years of endless waiting are drawing to a close, and hope is filling up the places that have lain dormant as we tried treatment after treatment. We have known for years now exactly what death could look like, now I want to learn what a miracle will look like instead.


There are 3 comments for this post.

  1. Dee Brady on March 6, 2014 12:04 am

    I have been so moved by Joel’s story, and like so many others, I’ve cried when I think about how Joel has suffered over the last four years, but I have also heard his cute little laugh, so it has not been all bad. Joel’s courage and the courage and faith of your family is inspiring. Hope the trip home goes smoothly. Will continue to pray, pray, pray for all of you.

  2. Jim Rutherford on March 6, 2014 12:50 am

    I am always amazed and touched, Amy, by your faith! So many praying here in Tulsa. One friend recalled when you guys came on that Friday night and how powerful that service was. So wish you guys could be with us again at this key time, so we could pray again for Joel and for you and all your family in person again. But, God knows no bounds, so we pray from here as though you were with us. We will have a time of corporate prayer at GSL on Friday night for sure and probably again in both our Sunday services. We pray expectantly! Believing in a miracle for Joel! Claiming those 80 years!

  3. lisa Fisher on March 6, 2014 8:21 pm

    Amy that was just beautiful.Thank you for the update!
    I am still thinking of you guys so much.I will pray for traveling mercies for all of you.
    Praying for a miracle .
    Today as I got ready for my day the Lord prompted me to sing this blessed old hymn.
    Under his wings I am safely abiding
    Though the night deepens and tempests are wild.
    Still I can trust him,I know he will keep me
    he has redeemed me and I am his child.
    Under his wings ,under his wings ,who from his love can sever?under his wings my soul shall abide,safely abide forever . Love from Lisa in San Diego

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