Sunday, May 13, 2018

Life-Giving Blood

This post is #77 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.
Photo from

May 13, 2008

Up to this point, Hannah had handled everything that had come her way with remarkable aplomb ... the discovery of the tumor, brain surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, weekly blood draws ... but the news that she would have to have a blood transfusion really threw her for a loop.  She didn't know what to expect, and was quite nervous about the procedure.

I called a friend of mine who has frequent blood transfusions due to chronic low iron, and she was able to talk with Hannah and reassure her somewhat.  She told her what she might expect and how much better the infusion of fresh red blood cells would make her feel.  I'm not sure Hannah was entirely convinced, but it did seem to calm her anxiety somewhat.

As the transfusion got underway that afternoon, I couldn't help but consider the parallels between the blood Hannah was receiving and the life-giving blood Jesus shed for us on the cross.  Her body had become depleted of what it needed to survive, and there was absolutely nothing she could do on her own to make things right.  She found herself completely dependent upon the blood of an anonymous donor to restore her to physical health.  The transformation that took place as those red blood cells flowed into her veins was nothing short of remarkable.

In the same way, there is nothing we can do on our own to make things right with God.  The Bible tells us there is no righteousness apart from the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22).  But this blood doesn't come from any anonymous donor ... It comes from the Son of God Himself!  And when we accept His sacrifice by faith, His blood restores us to spiritual health.  And even as Hannah's physical health was still compromised, it was a comfort to know that her spiritual health was strong.

Here's my email from ten years ago ...

We are rejoicing tonight that after receiving two units of blood today, Hannah is feeling much better! We arrived at the hospital at 9:00 this morning, she began receiving the blood about 11:45, and we left the hospital at 4:30. On the drive up this morning, Hannah was very quiet and listless; on the way home, she was laughing and talking…and hungry for the first time in a while! What an amazing difference! Please join us in praying that this transfusion will give her blood the boost it’s been needing and that her counts will continue to improve from this point on. Your prayers have certainly carried us through on a day by day basis…Thank you!

God is good, all the time!

Jill and Brad

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