Today marks treatment 26/30 of proton beam radiation treatment here in New Jersey.
Julianna and I drove into town on Saturday to spend the last week of Bella’s treatment and Easter break all together.
It feels so good to be together. We even have Winnie with us (our 5 yr old Beagle). Olive has been down here the entire time serving as Bella’s de facto emotional support animal.
Besides weekends home a few times during this past 6 weeks this is the first time we’ve all been together (all 6 of us) down here.
Last night we had a night of normalcy with some dinner out and a trip to Rutgers campus for a little FroYo (frozen yogurt). We are grateful for Bella feeling good enough to be out and about and we cherish these opportunities to be together as a family. We had a blast as you can see from the selfies!
I am sitting here this morning (post morning Bible reading and prayer) reflecting on the whirlwind our life has been over the last 9 weeks. Some days it seems like it’s a dream that we are waiting to wake up from, but we know this is real.
Everything about this is real. Bella’s diagnosis, surgery, treatment, side effects, tears, nausea, headaches, fatigue, hair loss, and so many other things. And that is just the beginning.
But as I sit here this morning I am so grateful and encouraged by this process. I’m encouraged because of one word:
Jireh means God will provide.
He has and will continue to provide. The way He has orchestrated everything about this situation. From our surgeon who was “supposed” to be on vacation (which he chose to delay) the week she needed surgery, the new medical study that our Buffalo doctor was able to get us enrolled in 24 hours before we were set to leave for NJ that lessened the amount of radiation and chemo treatment needed, to our new friend Sheri that connected us to our doctor here at NYU in NJ, to the vacancy at our apartment complex, to the wonderful doctors and nurses at the Procure facility caring for Bella, and so many other undeniable situations where God certainly has provided exactly what we needed right when we needed it.
This diagnosis has been a “storm” in our lives and a “storm” in Bella’s body, but this storm is comforted by the presence and peacefulness that God has given us.
This storm has strengthened us as a family. Strengthened my and Tiffany’s faith in Jesus and undoubtedly has strengthened Bella from the inside out. I’m in absolute awe of her strength. Whether it is a good or bad day, she fights. She fights off the side effects and fights to keep her mind and heart fixed on Jesus as her firm foundation. He has strengthened her faith during this storm. Tiffany and I say all of the time that we wish we could take this away from her. It’s a helpless feeling not to be able to do anything when your child is in pain or suffering. But then, I’m consistently reminded that We are God’s children. He is our Father and only wants what is good for us. This is why in this storm He continues to provide all we need when we need it. And He continues to provide what Bella needs. Not only is He providing for us, but He is with us in the middle of this storm. Because He is our creator and heavenly Father.
Below is a song I’ve been listening to a lot, “Jireh” and thought you may all find some peace in listening to it as I have. Below is an excerpt of some lyrics from the song.
“Going through a storm but I won't go down
I hear Your voice
Carried in the rhythm of the wind to call me out
You would cross an ocean so I wouldn't drown
You've never been closer than You are right now
(Let's sing it loud y'all)
You are Jireh, You are enough
Jireh, You are enough
And I will be content in every circumstance
You are Jireh, You are enough”
Maverick City Music
He has a plan for her. He has a plan for us. And He has a plan for you.
As we enter into this Easter week, I’m reminded of the storm that Jesus was walking into over 2000 years ago. His storm led to the cross, but God never left him, and He never faltered from being focused on the Father. That storm, through belief in Jesus, grants us forgiveness of all past, present, and future sins and eternal life in Heaven with God, our creator.
I’m encouraged by this. The good news is that by faith in Jesus we have an opportunity to have a relationship with our Father. Everlasting life, and His presence with us in all of the storms that life brings us.
Jireh, you are enough!
Thank you all for your continued prayers. We know each one matters and we are grateful to all near and far for lifting our family and Bella up during this storm!