Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Tell About It Tuesday -- "Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal"
I do manage to get in an hour of reading everyday while I'm walking on my treadmill, and recently I hit on a really good book. It has the intriguing title of "Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal" and I had been aware of it for awhile, but had not purchased it. (I'm pretty stubborn about not paying full price for ebooks!) I was interested in it because of the subtitle ... "A Boy, Cancer, and God." And when Amazon temporarily dropped the price on the Kindle edition, I downloaded it right away.
Wow ... What a great book! Michael Kelley perfectly captured the experience of having a child with cancer. Mr. Kelley's two-year-old son Joshua was diagnosed with leukemia and began the same type of odyssey we went on with our daughter Hannah. He tangled with the same questions, fears, and doubts that we did. It was so refreshing to read how Mr. Kelley addressed these issues in his own life, and to find that he came to the same conclusions we did. For example, read this excerpt from page 161, as Joshua was facing a possible new round of chemotherapy treatments ...
"If all we do is trust God for a positive outcome, we are subtly implying that we, in our own infinite knowledge and wisdom, know what is best. That doesn't mean we don't pray specifically for healing, for an end to suffering, for whatever -- we certainly do. But we pray undergirded with confidence not only in what God can do but in who God is. That's really what we are choosing to believe. We are choosing to believe not so much that He would spare us from having to do chemotherapy all over again, but if that is indeed what He chose for us, He would be faithful to uphold us with His strength. Again."
I could relate to so many of the situations he described in the book. For example, the author describes the surreal experience of watching his little boy eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without a care in the world, while he and his wife processed the news of his devastating leukemia diagnosis. I still clearly remember going to Firehouse Subs in Little Rock and watching Hannah contentedly eat her Hook 'n' Ladder sandwich while Brad and I were silently reeling from what her doctor had just told us.
The title? The author describes how Joshua would receive his chemotherapy treatments on Tuesdays, so that Wednesdays were pretty normal before all the side effects began kicking in later in the week. Yeah, I get that, too.
Happily, Joshua is doing well and is in remission now. As any cancer parent knows, though, life is never the same after a diagnosis like this. Every fever, bruise, cough, or headache is cause for concern ... sometimes on bordering on abject terror. Here's how he closes the book ...
"Until then we continue to walk with God. To limp with God. That limp, the brokenness that will go with us until the end, doesn't just mark us as people who have had a child with cancer. It's a mark that reminds us of the God who is worthy of our trust. He's the One we have wrestled, and yet He is the One who has sustained us. Even now."
Obviously, this is a great book for anyone who has experienced a cancer journey either personally or with their child, it's also a perfect read for anyone who's endured any kind of suffering, including those who have lost children through any means. There's so much in here about wrestling with God and living by faith in the middle of incredibly difficult circumstances. It's not "on sale" on Amazon anymore, but it's well worth paying full price, in my opinion!