It has been a week since we came back to North Carolina and a month since Susana was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. I (Maria) have been through a roller coaster of emotions. Some days are definitely better than others. I can still hear the news being spoken by an unfamiliar person holding a stethoscope in her hand, “Your daughter has cancer”. It became even more real when my precious daughter went from a head full of long brown curly hair to none at all just two weeks later. Today I look at her and although I see no hair, I thank God that I still see Susana.
It has only been a month and I can tell you that it has not been very easy to let go and move on. At least no for me. Although I am in familiar grounds with familiar people and surrounded by incredible beauty I am often drawn back to the fact that my world was rocked and attacked by some ugly words doctors call childhood cancer. I can tell you right now that the journey so far has been hard, painful, uncertain, dark, and looks very much to me like the valley of shadow of death that I never wanted to pass through. Yet, in the midst of this emotional turmoil in which I find myself at times, I am able to stand up higher, walk straighter, and trust Christ more because God has brought you to hold my hand.
Yes, every single one of you who read our posts and keep up with our messages on facebook is a gift and answer prayer to us. You who came to the hospital and mailed packages and sent cards and bought toys and gave gifts and prayed prayers as if you were praying for yourself and were the healing balm we needed. And you still do these things. You are all evidence of God’s unconditional and unfailing love to us. You thought you gave a card or brought a meal, but in reality you were an extension of His love and mercy when my emotional world was crumbling and my faith was lacking and I needed to know He was right there next to me. That’s what love does!
While in Haiti, one day Cody and I were driving down the main road in Jacmel when it occurred to me that somehow I was an answer to someone’s prayers. Whenever we fed someone, whenever we clothed someone, whenever shelter was given or a word of kindness was expressed, I was God’s way of showing love to someone else. Somehow the thought humbled me. I know the many flaws I have and the weaknesses I struggle with and the thought of being “an answered prayer” or “an expression of love” was beyond what I could even understand.
But now I do. I do because I am on the other side. You are all God’s answer to my prayers when I need to see His love the most. Every single one of you is God’s way of loving us and providing comfort, support, mercy, grace, and all the things that I secretly pray for in my own times of despair. Somehow your love brings healing to my heart. And it fuels faith when mine is very little or non-existent.
I wish I could list on this post every single one of you who has held us through this time individually by name, but there are just too many of you. So, please receive this as our way of personally saying thank you to all of you. Your support, love, prayers, and encouragement means so much to us. You have no idea how much you do. I am in awe of God even more because you have chosen to love the way you do. And your love does not go unnoticed in His eyes. You are storing treasures where it matters most. And I can’t wait to see you in Heaven wearing the jewels you earned on behalf of the love you shown to us. We love you. Thank you!
Here are some recent pictures of Susana and Isabela.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”–Matthew 25:40