A Parked Boat

We’ve been in this hospital for what seems like forever. Aside from two nights at home, tomorrow will be two weeks. Her white count began to rise today and we’re hopeful it will be ready for the harvest on Tuesday. Tomorrow is the surgical placement of the line for that harvest of marrow. Her platelets haven’t been high enough for them to do the surgery safely so she received a transfusion today. She will likely receive another before surgery tomorrow.

This week I’ve begun to meet some of the other families on the hem/onc floor.  I am naturally drawn to ask them their stories and they are more than willing to share them. There are just so many children here and so much heartache. Each door along the hall represents another familiy’s painful journey. The children, the children here endure both physical and emotional pain. Btheist doesn’t end with them. The emotional pain goes way beyond their little bodies. This pain hits mothers, it hits fathers and it hits siblings. It’s found it’s way to granparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It’s found it’s way to communities and family friends.

Pediatric cancer does not descrimate. It does not care if it’s victims are black, white or latino, girl or boy, infant, toddler or teen. It just strikes. Our floor is a melting pot of culture and even language. But we share stories with one common thread. Lives broken by a devastating new way of doing life. Lives constantly on the verge of losing hope.

Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma. Everytime they read her diagnosis aloud in rounds I am tempted to lose hope. Neuroblastoma is among the hardest pediatric cancers to cure and that’s why once it hits Stage IV it’s considered High Risk. It takes every type of therapy to fight it. I don’t know how I function in the day to day with that knowledge. I block it out I guess. I can’t walk with it hanging it front of my eyes, so I tuck it away in the back of my mind to a little dusty corner. I try not to look at it until the next morning when they read it on her chart like it’s part of her identity, “Israelle Mattocks, age 4, Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma.” But I know it’s not part of her identity so I smile kindly and hold my head up high. She is not defined by this disease.

Thursday morning I got a text from a friend who said she had been praying for our family. She said that while she was praying she saw a picture of a boat in the water, but God was holding it still. She also said she saw God touching Izzy’s heart and blessing her. I thanked her for her faithfulness in prayin for us but I have to admit my initial thought was that I was glad God was showing her pictures for our family because He certainly wasn’t showing me any.

Later that day another family friend was at the hospital with us and she asked Izzy if God had been showing her any pictures in her dreams. Izzy just looked at her rather confused and nodded that she hadn’t. Our friend told Izzy that God could show her pictures in her dreams that He could bless her while she was sleeping. Again, I’m thinking to myself, He’s not showing us any pictures here in cancerville. It wasn’t that I didn’t think God could show her a picture, I just seriously doubted he had or that she’d recognize it if He did.

A few hours later Izzy and I were down in the play room. Her favorite thing to do there is paint at the easel. I love her work. Her timeless pieces of rainbows and suns melt my heart. But this time I could tell she was making something different. I watched for a while and still unsure, I asked. “What are you making Iz?”

“A boat. A parked boat.” she replied and then continued with her work. My mind instantly went back to my friend’s picture from earlier that morning of a boat held securely in God’s hands. Chills ran through my body as it seemed that Izzy had been inspired with the same image. I could not believe my eyes. I mean, let’s just say for a minute she doesn’t always stick to rainbows and suns. Let’s pretend she was more random. Who draws a parked boat?

I don’t know if Izzy felt blessed in painting that boat. If a supernatural peace fell on her while she worked. Or if she had or will see pictures of still boats in her dreams. But I know that I was blessed beyond belief. No, God hasn’t been showing me the type of pictures I’m used to. Like a certain pictures that comes to mind while praying or worshipping. Instead He showed me a real live picture on paper. A picture that came flowing through my daughter, whose body remains His vessel no matter what the enemy is trying to do. To me this one is way better.


18 Replies to “A Parked Boat”

  1. A sweet reminder of God WITH you. My step-dad who piloted boats on the Great Lakes in Michigan used to say a boat was the safest place in the world to be during a storm…Praying God’s peace in the midst of the storm
    over all 4 of you tonight!

  2. This is honestly the most inspiring thing I have ever read. Absolutely beautiful. God works through his children in so many ways. Praying so hard!

  3. Amazing! Thank God for his faithfulness to speak and encourage. I’m praying for “hope as your anchor” (Heb. 6.19) as God holds you all closely through this storm. Peace!

  4. Dear Heavenly Father…thank you so much for each and every way you show Molly that you are with her. The picture of Molly in the swing when she was a little girl, this beautiful picture of this boat that Izzy painted…thank you for every single way you reassure Molly that you are there. I thank you that Molly has such Faith and an open mind and heart to you, that she sees and understands and “gets” that you are speaking to her thru these many ways. Once again, please give Izzy a complete healing from this cancer. And every morning when Molly has to hear the diagnosis over and over again, perhaps Molly could turn it into prayer, every time… and say to You…”Yes Lord, there it is, the name of Izzy’s cancer, now please heal her”. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.

  5. How awesome is that? See, He is there with you..and He will never leave you, not when you need Him so. I pray that you and Izzy will “see” His grace, and feel His love for you! Prayers to you guys! Love ya.

  6. Beautiful boat! Thank You, Lord, for Your fingerprint. Please, Lord, more of Your fingerprints for this precious family. I read every one of your posts and am so thankful that you are willing to share this painful journey so that we can cry out to God for you. And I pray, and Jim prays. The Lord woke Jim in the night as we were away for our anniversary and pressed him to pray for Izzy and all of you — and he did, he said it was deep cries from his gut. We hardly know you, but we have come to love you all dearly. I even thought the other day about the dream I had so many months ago — how you, Molly, were the representative of the one to go to for spiritual direction. That was with good reason. No matter how you feel, Molly, you have journeyed far with the Lord and it shows. In your pain, in your transparency, in your screams — He is SO evident in you. Randy referenced Psalm 131 yesterday, and that it what I am praying for all of you, and specifically for you, Molly — these things are too big for you, and I am praying that you will be able to lean back on your Father’s chest and rest in His control. Know that you are dearly loved.

  7. I love your determination to see a loving, faithful Father in the midst of your storm! What some might have chalked up to coincidence you were able to recognize it as what it truly is, a divine intervention on your behalf, and what a sweet way to recieve it:) Love you guys! You are never far from our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Molly, this is amazing! God continues to give you hope when you are tempted to feel hopeless. I continue to pray for God’s grace, mercy and healing.

  9. Lord, I pray for complete healing to Izzy’s body, allow this family and all of their faithfullness continue to be a testimony to you. Lord, I pray that Molly and the rest of the family will continue to see your works, they have proven faithfull, let their testomy be fullfilled with Izzy’s healing. Lord, I pray that Molly will take the confirmations that you have given and be able to rest more in your comfort. I believe that is one thing you are showing her. I thank you Lord for showing complete healing over Izzy to me in my prayers the other day. Lord this family has been such an amazing inspiration of faithfullness and strength(even when they do not feel it and even to those they do not know) Let them go out into the world and continue to shine their light for you and give you all the glory with a complete healing of this child. In JESUS name, AMEN

  10. I love this story and truly believe that God connects us in many ways to show how powerful he is. As for your child’s diagnosis. I have a cousin who was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma when he was 18 months old. They removed the tumor and he did 2 years of chemotherapy. His name is Peter; Peter is now in his early 20’s!! Please continue to pray and believe…God can do wonders!!!

  11. Wow, Molly. Wow. God IS holding you, all of you, and I pray you can rest in HIS peace in the boat, though the storm looks frightening around you! You are in our prayers constantly… how we love you all!!

  12. Unbelievable! Chills ran through my body as I read this! Beautiful picture Izzy and beautiful color purple for the boat!!

  13. I find myself reading through these blogs almost daily. I have watched the video and cry everytime. We love this little girl more than she will ever know.Our prayers and thoughts continue to remain strong. We are part of a wonderful loving family whose faith will reign. We love all of you Glenn

  14. I am a friend of Sarah Noble’s who joins Sarah in praying for your family.

    “…we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope
    set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
    a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within
    the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us…”

    I read that, in those times, the forerunner was a boat that went ahead of a larger boat and planted the anchor. So, the forerunner assured the safe passage of the boat. Jesus is Izzy’s forerunner, and yours, and Kendrick’s and Carter’s. Although these wretched storms and violent winds are shaking your boats, your anchor will hold. I pray that God will keep sending you reminders of His love in the midst of circumstances that shout the all-too-easy-to-believe lie that you have been abandoned.

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