This post is #47 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.
Hannah really didn't get in trouble much when she was a little girl. She wasn't the perfect child, by any means, but she just really didn't disobey us very often. Except for one area, that is ... She quite often got up out of bed after being tucked in for the night. The first time she did it, we would gently, but firmly, tuck her back under the covers, explaining that it was time for her to go to sleep, and that if she got up again, she would be punished. Of course, we made sure she wasn't truly thirsty or sick or anything like that. Most of the time, she would go on to sleep, but some nights ... well, some nights she would push us to the limit, getting up over and over even when she was disciplined for her disobedience.
So, when we heard her come padding softly down the hallway one night when she was about seven years old, we thought it was going to be another one of those kind of nights. But when she lisped out the reason why she had gotten up on this particular night, we knew it wasn't the same thing at all. "I want to ask Jesus into my heart," she said ... and right there in our living room, with us by her side, she did just that. And a few weeks later, on Easter Sunday morning, our girl was baptized in a horse trough on the stage in the El Dorado city auditorium, where our church was holding services that day.
And that's what makes it all okay. Her cancer diagnosis, her suffering, her death. I don't like any of it ... would never have chosen it for my little girl ... would do anything to change it if it were possible ... I miss her so much it's physically painful ... but it's okay.
Because of what Jesus did for us at the cross, and because Hannah placed her faith in Him as her Savior that night in our living room, she is with Him today in Heaven. And one day, I'll be there with both of them.
And that's way better than okay. That's amazing grace.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:8-9