From Whom Much Is Given

It’s Thanksgiving Day and in spite of the fact that the rest of the country is celebrating it feels like just another Thursday to me. I guess I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like we’re missing out on something, like there isn’t some huge party that everyone else got invited to except us. But the truth is, if I sit here long enough in our 8×8 hospital room with stark white walls I forget and it does feel just like another Thursday.

Izzy’s chemo was over Friday, but her nausea got out of control over the weekend. Throughout the week it’s been one thing after another that has kept us here. Now her white blood count is zero, she’s had a fever for three days and she has mucositis again. The sores in her mouth and throat are so painful they have her hooked up to a pain pump. It is incredibly hard to watch her when she is like this, but we continue to fight. And the chance to fight for her life is a gift that everyone isn’t given. A gift I will choose to be thankful for today and everyday.

All of the other Thanksgivings in my life sort of blend together now. Looking back I remember food and family and a feeling of camaraderie with everyone else I knew. And people I didn’t know for that matter. At any point in the day I knew people across the entire country were sitting around a big table eating generally delicious food and taking a moment to be thankful. But this year in the days leading up to today my temptation was to feel alone.

Until last night when I was talking to another mom and began to have a change of heart. As we stood downstairs talking to Sarah (I had to mention you by name, sorry) said that she and her husband had joked about scheduling holidays that work around their schedule. They have walked this journey with cancer much longer than we have. And then as we were walking away she said, “Everyday is really Thanksgiving for us anyway. You know?” But I didn’t know. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Their son is only six and their journey has already been so long. They are thankful for life everyday. They don’t need a turkey on the table to remind them to be. As I walked away from her last night I was reminded that I shouldn’t need a turkey on my table to be thankful right now either.

Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one whom has been entrusted much, much more will be asked.” In other words, from whom much is given, much is expected. It’s a principle many live by whether or not they align themselves with the Christian Faith. What I’ve been wondering for the past month or so is about the reverse. What about ‘from whom much is taken’? It’s taken me some time, but I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first is this, “from whom much is taken, little is needed.” That’s why families like Sarah’s and others don’t get too worked up over the idea of spending Thanksgiving in the hospital. They have been stolen from for so long that they don’t need a fancy holiday dinner to smile. They get excited about everyday they aren’t in the hospital, holiday or not. When so much has been taken your entire framework for a good day changes. I talked with a mom this morning who just months ago was told her son had no chance for a cure. You can believe that now her definition of a good day is every day they hear anything different than that. She couldn’t care less that they are in the hospital today. They’re getting a treatment now that is actually working. After talking to other families that have walked on this journey longer than myself I feel confident saying that “from whom much is taken, little is needed.”

But the most important conclusion I’ve come to is this: “from whom much is taken, much will be restored.” I don’t really think that conclusion is any theory I need to see proven. I think it’s a promise consistent with the nature of God. Yes, if He’s given us a lot He expects a lot from us as well. But when He sees us stolen from, our hearts broken, He longs to restore them. And He will. I don’t know what restoration will look like for my family or any of the others on this unfortunate journey but I know He’s good for it.

10 Replies to “From Whom Much Is Given”

  1. WOW! That is pretty much all I can say! Though I don’t walk your journey in your shoes, God surely does and the beautiful people he puts on your path. Continued prayers for strength and healing to you all. A day of thanks for all!

  2. Molly…your way with words is a gift! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! I think of you daily and will continue to lift you up in prayer!

  3. I read all of IZZY’SSTORY and I pray for you all; However this letter was such a blessing to me. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I remember Rylee spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital, but hang on to that thought that every day is a day of thanksgiving-it was because of those Holidays missedat hom that we have our beautiful little girl today. These days are more painful than words can ever say, but keep your thoughts on the tomorrows. The journey you are on is all to familiar to us and my prayers and thoughts are with you every day. Give that beautiful little princess a special hug and don’t forget to take a moment for yourself.

  5. Indeed everyday should be Thanksgiving – we do all need to be thankful for each and every day and cherish each and every moment. Sending many, many prayers and good thoughts.

  6. Molly, I just love what you said about from whom much is taken, much will be restored. I’m so glad you got to talk to Sarah. She is amazing! Every day I walk in and pick up William from his crib I’m grateful I get to do so. I think about you and Izzy every day. I wish we were closer so we could come vist you all. Love and prayers!!!

  7. Mol, I’m not sure that any of your blogs have cooked up my throat more than this one has. Because I know. And because I still hold out hope for that restoration after being robbed of the most precious gift ever.

    Even in your deep pain, you bless me & minister to my soul.

    I love you, so. much.

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