God has made this life a true adventure. Sometimes there are very fun parts, sometimes very scary parts, sometimes there are happy times and unfortunately there are sad times, too.
What I think what we often search for, is in meaning in it all. We do not have God's vast wisdom as to his big plan, so that feels very dwarfing sometimes. And sometimes you are downright angry about the things that happen in your life.
I have two [EXTRA]ordinary friends from college named Molly and Kendrick. I met them somewhere around 1997-1998 when I was at Anderson University. Molly was in my sorority (which was more like a social/service club) and Kendrick was good friends with a group I hung around. I liked both of them from the start. They are, at their core, beautiful people. Happy, faithful, often quiet at times (which was probably a balance to my un-quietness, haha!). They were laid back but I automatically held a connection with them. Molly is strong, not afriad to share her opinion or tell it like it is. Kendrick is strong also, but in a different way. A quiet confidence that fills the room when he enters. As we expereinced some really, really fun times together. We also experienced some tough times, as well. Like when we lost Brian, a very close friend (and Kendrick's one time roommate) at the age of 23 in a fire. I'll never forget walking onto our old hang out and hugging Kendrick after Brian died. It was healing, and I will never forget it.
Molly and Kendrick married after college, so their relationship has progressed throughout the years. I have watched it progress from the outside. As time and space passed, our friendship reduced itself to primarily a Facebook connection. They had two beautiful children, with some typical struggles of family life, to my knowledge. I enjoyed catching up with Molly on her page and watching the kids grow.
Fast forward to December 2011. Molly posted that her daughter was going in for removal of a tumor. cancer. That big, giant word.
I was heart broken for them. I wanted to do something, but my Facebook posts about praying just didn't seem to suffice. But then reports were positive. Whew! Things were looking up. Her son had surgery to repair a twisted spinal chord that was causing him issues. It seemed like things were heading toward the "norm."
But then we had the post. Izzy's cancer was back. It was back with a vengeance. It was explained that it was a neuroblastoma. Stage Four. My heart ached. I cried tears of pain and sorrow for them. I cried out to God begging Him to heal her. When I found out they were coming to Cincinnati from Indianapolis for treatment, I was almost excited. I get to see my friends! (great) $%*&&*^@%(& I don't want to see them for this reason.
When I finally met with Molly at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, it was wonderful. Molly has since shaved her head for her daughter. She ROCKS IT OUT. We quickly got to work chatting and catching up on our lives. We talked about our kids. About all the really stupid things people say to us about kids with special needs. And about our understanding that people just don't understand what to say if they've never experienced a major change in expectations for their childrens' lives.
I have mass love for this woman, for her husband and her family. She embodies strength that not many people could ever even hope to have. She is [EXTRA]ordinary, as well is Kendrick and her children.
I encourage you to follow their story on her blog (click HERE) or on Facebook (click HERE).
Pray for this family. Love this family. They are amazing people and their daughter is a fighter.
If you are interested in donating a financial contribution, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure the funds are directed to them.
Life is not what you expected sometimes. But sometimes, regardless of how much it sucks, you get to watch a purpose unfold. Izzy's meaning and purpose is to not have cancer, but maybe, just maybe it's to embody strength and to unite people through her beauty and the amazing faith of her parents.
God is good. God is faithful.