The Care and Keeping.



I found this on our table after my daughter had worked long and hard on it and it has kept me teary eyed. 🥹 The word choice. 

We've been working hard to talk with our bigs about all this. There's a lot of studies coming out about how siblings of a child with a cancer diagnosis tend to feel like "the forgotten children." The effects of this reality can follow them well into adulthood. 

While this can cause anxiety in me at onset, it also makes sense. This past month has been a blur and it can be hard to hear every emotional bid our children offer when our heads are swimming in "what ifs" and medicine routines...but Christ can equip us to do this too. Every good work. This work is ours to do. So we've been working. Working to fight against numbing out and being non-responsive, working to talk with the kids and help them process again and again. Working to go back to the source of strength when we want to tap out. 

And as we show up to this day,  I think the bigs will be alright. And I think this is in large part because we follow our Christ. 

Being a believer changes the tides. As a Christ follower, we are called into the act of seeing. But in seasons of grief, we become so acutely aware of our limitedness. And while I, as a follower of Christ, am called in to seeing as he did, fellow believers are called the same. I can't fully see my kids as I need to. I know this. But my children are seen by so many more than just me and Ben. There are no forgotten children when a church loves their little lambs.  And what's more, the church keeps looking when others look away.  Seeing each other in the hard places is holy work. And I don't think you can keep doing it without Christ. It is too hard. 

Yet, because Christ saw our deepest dark and still moved toward us, he equips us to go and do likewise. 

I've been seen in more vulnerability in this season than I ever have before. There is no way to put a bow on this. And yet perhaps this is the best gift in suffering... When a friend prayed with me and wept and lamented " God, WE hate this. " I fully knew it was not just my family that carries this diagnosis. 

I was trying to explain to Eowyn that she doesn't have to hold us together as a family ( a common fear/idea big sibs carry from this) and that her dad and I can carry her big emotions too.  And she paused and said "but who carries you? Don't I have to a little?" And I told her no, because God has me. And she quickly replied "God carries ALL of us. " And I teared up because she spoke gospel to me. I'm not the only one caring for my girl. Or my boys.  He's carries us and he sends his people to make sure we know it. 

I think, if a ten year old girl gets a front row seat to how God carries an entire family so she doesn't have to, if she understands that this diagnosis can use words like "care and keeping." If she can look at this dark thing and walk away more nurtured and bright....this tells me something. 

God only wounds to heal. Like the surgeons working on my son, he only wounds to heal. I keep saying it to myself, He only wounds to heal. 

My little girl may walk away with wounds from this. But we know the healer. And she will know she's not forgotten. She'll be able to say "You are the God who sees me." Because she's being seen by his people and her God. 

He only wounds to heal. I may not see the fullness of that healing but I know him. And I know he deals gently with us. I know his heart. And now my girl is getting to know him too. She is in his care and keeping. 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

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