Wednesday, September 02, 2015

New News

Dear friends and family,

We want to share with you some new news. First of all, we have seen the Lord open new doors for us in the last couple of months, and we feel excited and hopeful! We have just gotten back from Boston after meeting with the ophthalmologist and oncologists who reviewed Caleb’s scans and tests back in May. (If you remember, their opinion was to not treat at this time since there were no complications with Caleb’s vision. This opinion was in contrast to Vanderbilt’s.) We have been wondering if it were time to transfer our care to another hospital who shared our same philosophy, but we were unsure how any of it would be possible. 

However, after meeting with these amazing doctors in Boston, we have walked away encouraged! It is possible! They affirmed the decisions we have made for Caleb over the last 8 ½ years saying that they can’t make Caleb any more “well” than he already is. Wow! Their philosophy was/is to leave him alone as long as he has 20/20 vision and his hormones are stable (meaning the pituitary gland does not seem affected by the tumor which is very close to it). They only want to see him twice a year (every 6 months) to assess his eyes and one time a year to have an MRI scan. Wow, again! This seemed doable. We walked away feeling at peace with our doctors being miles away and a weight lifted from our chest as we feel affirmed that we are following the Lord’s path for our son at this time. 

We are also blown away and humbled to see yet again God’s deliverance of our son from treatment. If you remember 2 posts ago on April 30th we shared that the word the Lord gave us for Caleb was “unscathed.” He also said, “This is not your problem.” And we have witnessed again His hand of deliverance from treatment at this time- Caleb walking away physically unscathed! Wow! We could not have imagined how He would do it or that 4 months later we would be sharing with you that we have new doctors in Boston caring for our son whom believe he’s perfectly fine right now to just be worrying about his 4th grade studies. Wow, it is undeserved!

And I can’t emphasize enough how humbling it is to see His will for our son at this time to be untouched- unscathed. Honestly, it is very hard as we have dear friends whose child is going through treatment and enduring so much at such a young age. And we pass child after child and parent after parent in these hospitals that don’t want to be there- just like us. When their babies were handed to them the day that they were born that was the last time they wanted to be in a hospital with their child; they never dreamed, nor I, that our children would have to face such harsh realities one day. And it breaks our hearts and makes us thankful in the same breath that at this time Caleb isn’t going through treatment. 

But I’m reminded that the reality is that we all as humans face extremely hard things in this broken world full of sin. Every time I enter these hospitals my heart goes out to the families around us; I wonder what their story is and what burdens they are carrying on the inside, realizing that no family’s story ends in a “happily-ever after” kind of way here on this earth even if they walk out healed from this hospital. We aren’t guaranteed a life full of good health and no problems. No, the hope that we have is that the Lord, the creator of the Universe, has seen our brokenness and suffering and has had so much compassion that He has come to rescue us ultimately from it all but also in the here and now while we are still suffering on this earth- not to take it all away, but to be with us in it.  He is the Emmanuel. He has promised us Himself; to be with us and in us (John 14: 17)! And He has promised us His power, His grace, and His mercies which are new every morning for whatever hard, whatever mountain, whatever deep forest we are walking through. (Ephesians 1:18-21; Lam.3:21-23)

We are truly so grateful for your prayers – the many many prayers for we know they are the fuel for each step each day. Honestly, the last 8 months have been some of the toughest, because we are tired. After almost 9 years of dealing with this hard (and it seems in many ways no light at the end of the tunnel) we just want to be done. We long for a complete miracle of healing. But once again we remember that each one of us human beings on this earth long for a complete miracle of healing from our “hard.” So, in light of that, we want to lock shields together with you and pray for you and each other in and through our “hards.” Prayers that we will continue to look up together, set our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith and run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1-2) For the Word says in Hebrews 12:1-2 that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before him. May I wake up each morning seeing the joy set before me!

Also, we want to share our tentative plans for the next little while. Our plan is to see our endocrinologist here in the next month or two to make sure Caleb’s hormones are on track with normal 9 year olds and to have another eye exam in about 6 months in Boston. There is still some concern; the ophthalmologist did confirm some thinning in the thickness of his eye nerves; so our prayer is that his vision will remain stable and that the tumor will not press on his eye nerves.  

Once again, we are grateful for your partnership in this journey, and we want to be with you in yours. So please share with us the “hard” that you face so that we can lock shields with you as you have for us. (we are so grateful some of you have shared with us- and we are praying!)

And, on a lighter note and the highlight of our summer…..we want to share that Annelise was baptized on June 6th! –right in our own backyard!!! It was such a beautiful afternoon, and truly one that I won’t ever forget. We had some dear friends and family come over to celebrate not only her 6th birthday but also her new birth in Christ!! Annelise, as young as she is, has understood the Good News, her sin, and the amazing gift of God’s grace to her through Jesus, and it was evident in her life that she had surrendered to Him.

Here are a few pictures our dear friend, Rebekah took. 

In Him,
Nicole & Austin