“Lord, please. I can’t.”
My anxiety is a vise, the more I struggle, the tighter it grips, wringing the air from my lungs.Kyle’s room is quiet. Empty, except for the fat black cat and me. We lie curled together under the blue and red Spiderman comforter, my face buried in the pillow, the cat’s face buried in my stomach. The sheets are cold—they haven’t been slept in or washed in three weeks. I inhale the little boy scent that is my son—watermelon shampoo, grass, strawberry pop-tarts.
What if he doesn’t come home? What if this is all I will have of him?
I close my eyes and concentrate and he is here, lying next to me. But I can only hold the illusion a moment before the warmth of his arm against mine fades. An ache flows like lava through my body and short, shallow breaths do nothing to ease the pain.
“I don’t want to give him to You. I need him here with me. Not in the hospital. Not in Heaven.” Under the covers, my nails press into my thigh. Sorrow mingles with the ache and festers into a raw, open wound. I pull the cat closer, hug her tightly and my tears drip onto her soft fur.
“Lord, heal Kyle.”
But that isn’t the prayer He wants from me. When I breathe, the muscles under my ribs stretch and pull. “Why are you asking this of me? Isn’t it enough that he has cancer?” I can’t stop the tears; they burn as they fall down the raw skin on my nose.
“If I say, ‘I give Him to you,’ will he be gone?”
In my heart, I know His ways are not mine.
The vents rattle as the air conditioner clicks on. I push the cat away; snuggle deeper into the comforter, and turn to face the wall. The pressure in my chest, relentless and ready to explode, travels to my head. What would I give to be anywhere but here? But He will not let me go until this is settled.
I breathe out, pushing against the vise squeezing my lungs. The pain, both physical and emotional soars beyond a ten. “I can’t fight against You anymore. I can’t live like this…every moment pain and fear.” I hold my breath. Let it out.
“He’s Yours—but if You take him, I may never leave this bed—I won’t be able to function with a huge, gaping hole in my heart.”
Do I mean it? I’m not sure, but warmth begins to saturate the raw wound in my heart, cleansing and renewing. The vise lets up the tiniest bit.
There’s just one more thing He wants from me.
“If You take him, I will still love You.”
That night, four years ago, I gave Kyle to God and He gave him back. He knew we would walk a long journey with leukemia, and He knew in order to make it through, I needed to give Kyle over to Him. That was the only choice I had—I was powerless against the cancer. God was not. And I needed to trust in His plan for Kyle. Not my own.
The promises weren’t found in beating leukemia, but in God’s love, and that was where I discovered sweet relief. God loves Kyle more than I do—more than I could possibly ever understand. And that’s enough for me for I am called “…to love the LORD (my) God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all (my) heart and all (my) soul” (Joshua 22:5).
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