Jonah is nearing the end of his treatment protocol - a 6 month journey that involved two surgeries, 7 radiation sessions, 15 infusions of chemo and a few additional stays in the hospital for things like diarrhea, dehydration, and fever/neutropenia. He has beautifully endured violent episodes of vomiting that lasted days, sometimes weeks; painful spasms in his abdomen; crippling neuropathy impacting his balance and mobility; hair loss; constipation; and all types of associated fear, confusion, and anxiety.
He's four. How does he navigate this path with such grace, such trust, such...maturity?
With each procedure, each time they access his port, each overnight stay, each dose of morphine or chemo, each blood transfusion - he receives a hand-crafted bead to string onto a necklace. A reminder. A part of the story he has lived through. It's an example of the courage he has shown. He's starting his third necklace. He still has several years of scans ahead and 0ne more surgery: to remove his port.
I wonder what my necklace would look like? Would I have beads of courage or would my beads represent something else?
At times, yes - my beads would represent the peace that has helped stay my mind and heart on Christ. Such indescribable peace! Also, love...I experienced overwhelming love expressed in our faith community as they met our family's needs. I am so thankful to have had such powerful positive emotions surrounding me, carrying me through what can only be described as one of a parent's worst fears realized.
I was talking with a friend the other day who described her anxieties as "Worry Beads" that she dwells upon as she rolls them slowly between her fingers. I have to admit, I would also be stringing beads of anxiety, fear, dread, obsessive thoughts onto my necklace. The question is...which beads would outnumber the others?
I have prayed - often - for Jesus to take these anxieties away, even if He must pry them from my grasping fingers! These anxieties are just that hard to let go. I have noticed that often, once let go of - I tend to take them back.
God...is faithful. Like my friend's "Worry Beads" that she clings tightly to, I have to continue to ask Jesus to pry my anxieties from my fingers. He does. And I feel so much better afterward.
"Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."