Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my dad's heart attack, which ultimately ended up taking his life two weeks later. Which ended up being one day before his 61st birthday. Which is the due date for our newest baby.
I believe in signs from God. Little "pennies from Heaven", so to speak. Things that make us happy within the midst of grief. Signs that let us know that life goes on and that we are blessed no matter what our circumstances. Learning that I was pregnant last summer when Jacob was in the hospital for 40 days during his stem cell transplant may have seemed like a big mistake. Too much on one's plate. Yet the due date of this baby struck a huge chord with me...my dad's birthday. My dad who had shoulder pain the very night that Jacob's cancer had been found to return on March 8th. Shoulder pain which ended up being a heart attack. Out of the 365 days of the year this baby's due date ended up being March 28th. If that's not a sign from God then I don't know what is.
Yesterday, as I mentioned, was the one year anniversary of my dad's heart attack. It also found us leaving the house at 4:30am to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for Jacob's scans. It was a 16 hour day away from home and exhausting. We didn't receive the news that we had hoped. Out of the three nodules in his lung, one has grown by 50% (the others stayed the same), making him no longer eligible for the study he was on. The Oncologist will consult with the other doctors and come up with any other options we may have and get back to us on Monday.
I don't have a sense of helplessness, nor hopelessness. I'm not filled with anxiety of the future or a sense of fright. Some may say that it's shock talking but I know that it is the comfort of God. I KNOW that if we just trust in His will and His way He will lead us.
We have so many people praying for us that we are wrapped in the comfort and peace of them.
What should we pray for? I've been known to ask myself. You can't specifically ask for Jacob to be healed or you'll be disappointed if he's not I've heard. Prayer won't change the outcome, so just ask for comfort others have said.
I've often been confused by prayer. It seems like most of us only pray when we need something from God. Then are disappointed when it doesn't happen the way we want/need it to. Yet in my studying I've come to find that God wants us to praise Him always - pray when we are happy, sad, joyful, or wounded. He also wants us to ask. He is our Father, and just like children, we can ask for what we want. I want Jacob to be healed. I want Jacob to have a sick-free childhood. I don't want Jacob to suffer.
At the same time, God wants us to trust. Trust in the fact that His will is not our own. That not all our prayers will be answered as we want them to be. That His will is, in fact, better than ours. We don't see the whole picture. We are but children and don't always know what is best for us or our lives.
In that respect, we can ask for whatever we want. It would be silly not to, as God already knows our heart's desires. But then we have to also trust that whatever the answer is that it will be the best for us and to accept it. Sometimes our prayers will be answered exactly as we had hoped and sometimes there is a different plan for our life.
I don't know where God is leading us. But I am willing to follow. That is where my peace comes in. "Be still and know that I am God" flows through my mind - He will lead us, carry us, and push us through this journey. He will help us find our answers or make our decisions.
Because the biggest thing I have learned these past three years is that we can't only trust or believe in God when He does what we want. Can't only praise Him when we get our way.
We can only trust that everything that is brought our way works out for the greater good of us. That is a promise from God. And He seems to always show us this by tossing down some pennies from Heaven.