Day One

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This picture was taken on Izzy’s first Day One. This was her first chance at life. I always said that she was ready for the world the moment she was born. She came out looking around and it was days before we ever heard her cry. But when she did it was strong and fierce just like her. I, of course had no idea just how strong and fierce she would need to be to survive. More than likely, in this picture there were already tiny nerve cells yet to form. Neuroblasts that would form a mass in her adrenal gland years later. We can say that this photo was her first chance at life, but in reality it wasn’t a fair one. This stem cell transplant is providing a second chance that will even the playing field. This time the odds are not stacked against her.
Today is Day Zero. Her cells should be placed today but because of the time chemo wrapped up earlier in the week she won’t get them until tomorrow, Day One, at 10am. The process of placing the cells is quick and simple. They will run into her central line for all of ten minutes. That’s it. The real work has been the blood and sweat she has poured into the past six months getting her body ready, slowly destroying each and every cancer cell in preparation for this big event. This round of high dose chemo has not hit her nearly as hard as it hits some. Probably because the other six rounds took such a toll. She is very tired, with mild symptoms, but she rests peacefully waiting for her second chance.
Her name is Israelle, our feminine take on the name Israel from the Bible. When I thought of the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people I thought it was a beautiful name for a child. But I never studied it’s meaning. A few weeks after she was born I remember someone asking me why I would have chosen that name. I responded by telling them that the the nation of Israel was God’s chosen people and that the bible was filled with promises to Israel. He then went on to tell me that Israel meant ‘he who wrestles with God.’ I was mortified. Perhaps it had been a poor choice? It wasn’t until after her diagnosis that I really began to press into the meaning of the name. The first time the name is used in the Bible was when it was given to Jacob in Geneis 32:28:

“Then the man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, beause you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.'” (NIV)

And it wasn’t until then that I found out that ‘he who wrestles with God’ was only part of the meaning. The full meaning is ‘he who has wrestled with God and man AND OVERCOME.’ And overcome. What an important part of it’s meaning.
Tomorrow just like you name a child on the first day of their life I want to affirm Izzy’s true namesake. She is not just God’s chosen one. She is not just one who has wrestled with God. She has wrestled with God and man, but by His incomparable grace, she has OVERCOME. Israelle is a true overcomer.
Last week I had curled up with her to take a nap and after she thought I was asleep I heard her talking. I opened my eyes briefly and saw her looking up at the ceiling. This is what she said: “God, you’ll always take care of me, right?” It was the first time I had ever heard her ever go to The Lord without my prompting. The first time I had ever heard her come up with her own question for Him and just ask without hesitation. It was sweet, but what blew me away, was what she said next. In one word she answered her own question with a declaration, “Forever.” If you want to pray for Izzy in the days to come, I would ask that you don’t echo my cry to the Father but echo hers. She knows what she needs and she knows that He’s good for it.

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13 thoughts on “Day One

  1. As always, Molly, I am amazed by the grace with which Izzy – and you! – have handled this trial. You truly have an overcomer on your hands, and she and your entire family remain in our prayers. We look forward to seeing how she uses this second “day one” to do amazing things with her life!

  2. You all….especially Izzy, have been an inspiration to all of us. His assurance of grace is something we all seek, and should always continue to ask for. Prayers & love sent to you all.

  3. Wow….Wow….Wow….I too am truly amazed by you and Izzy!! The wisdom that comes from your beautiful four year old Israelle is so amazing and inspiring. I am so glad to hear that this round is more mild. GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU FOREVER IZZY!!!!

  4. Molly me’we…Hopiland continues to pray for sweet Izzy…the overcomer. She most certailnly is. I gave an update to the church Sunday on the upcoming treatment for Izzy. I wish you could’ve heard the folks pray sooo fervently in Israelle’s behalf, as well as for the family. There is an awesome purpose in this as He promises to those who are “the CALLED…” Romans 8:28KJV. We prayed for everyone “to be strong” through this…our Lord, Jesus Christ is faithful. All our love for Israelle, you, and the family.

  5. You all are amazing Molly. You, as the Mommy you’ve become, but never expected to ever go thru what you as a Mommy has gone thru. And you are amazingly good at it! For Kendrick, as he has filled the role that he never expected to ever go thru as a Daddy. And he’s amazingly made it thru!! And Carter for being the big brother and understanding son, as he goes thru this different role daily. And for our Izzy Girl, THE OVERCOMER! She is amazingly strong and such a faithful little girl for her age. She is so sweet and innocent. I just pray that God will give her complete healing, and continue to bless us all with good Izzy news!! We are here for you and we pray everyday for you guys. Happy Day One! We love you all so much, and can’t wait to get together at the pond for a Celebration!!!

  6. Hi Molly. I don’t know if you remember me, but I met you a couple of times when I was with Kiesha at The Vineyard. My name is Telena. I have been following your blog for a few months now. I have fallen in love with Izzy and with you and the rest of your family and I pray for all of you as if you were my own. You are an amazing writer and you give so much by sharing your faith through your struggles. And Izzy is teaching me what it means to go to the Lord as a child. Thank you so much for your posts. I have to admit that I cannot pray for God’s will in this case. I am praying that the Lord wraps his healing hands around Izzy – that the Holy Spirit fills her up with so much health that there is no room left for cancer – that God allows her to become the powerful witness that she is meant to be!! Amen

  7. Wow! Out of the mouth of babes comes perfect praise! Izzy is praising God for his everlasting love and care! FOREVER God is Faithful, FOREVER God is strong! FOREVER God is with Izzy and her entire family! Praising and sending love to all!

  8. Praising our Lord with you as you look forward to more amazing things that He will do in the days ahead! Izzy has such a special role to play in God’s Kingdom and she is teaching all of us so much about how to fight the good fight. She is a winner and will continue to be a winner! We pray for all of you so much and love you!

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