Day Five – The Darkest Corner

It is in the moments of her deepest suffering that I ask the greatest questions. Questions to a Father I know is listening but gives me no explanation despite my desperation. “Is there no other way for redemption but this?,” I ask, gazing at her lifeless body in the bed. There is a darkness in her now. Her face is painfully ill to look at. Even the whites of her eyes are grey. They stare off into the distance, at what I’m not sure. “When is enough, enough?,” I plead, blood dripping from her lips after she throws up. Her mouth and throat are painfully raw and still have nearly a week until her recovering counts will bring them any relief.
There is a pain pump next to her bed sending a small dose of morphine into her body. When she presses the button it beeps letting us know it has administered a dose. If she presses it again too quickly it beeps three times letting us know it’s not time for another dose. She can’t hear any of the beeps. A hearing test back in December revealed she has lost 50% hearing of high frequencies. A permanent effect of chemo. After transplant we will test again to see the full extent of the damage and they expect she will require hearing aids. I have said it’s a small price to pay, but I’m not the one paying it. It strikes me differently now watching her in her greatest place of suffering, not being able to hear the beeps that bring her even the smallest amount of relief. “Did it beep?,” she mumbles, trying not to move her lips.
This is just part of the road to recovery. The mucositis, the inflammation of your mucus membranes, is getting a little worse everyday. She’s producing so much mucus right now that her throat is filled with it making it difficult to breath. We continue to give her oxygen when she needs it and they’ve done three chest X-rays to keep an eye on her lungs. She has a fever that comes and goes. It’s hit 105 at it’s worse and never goes away completely for more than a couple hours. This is just part of the road to recovery.
It changes you, watching your child live and beat a disease like this. Whenever I talk to parents about their unique experience we all stand in agreement about one thing: it changes us. But it does not define us.
I have stood in worship services with hands raised in the air and praised The Lord. I have seen the hands and feet of God work while serving the poor and praised The Lord. I have even sat in the peace of my own room in silence and praised The Lord. But until I could stand in the darkest corner of pain and loneliness, of grief and helplessness and still praise The Lord I didn’t know what it really meant to.
You will never hear me say that I accept what Izzy has gone through has been from God, so don’t hear me say I am praising Him ‘for this’. But this journey has fundamentally changed the way I view tragedy. I used to believe that we walked along the road of life and that God sat up high in the heavens with a bucket. He would look down on us from time to time and throw junk down into our lives. But now I believe God is down here walking along this road with us. The junk is just already in the road. He doesn’t throw it at us, that is not consistent with the nature of a God who would die for His people. Among other things, I will never believe that we serve a God that gives children cancer. Since I don’t hold Him responsible, that means I can still stand in my daughter’s hospital room in the moments of her greatest suffering, asking Him questions, yes, but praising Him still. He is still a God worthy to be praised.
I do not believe that ‘God never gives us more than we can handle’ because I don’t believe He gives us this kind of ‘junk’ to begin with. I praise my God for that. God cringes at the sight of what these children experience and I praise my God for that too. He is standing with me in the darkest corner of pain and loneliness, grief and helplessness and for that, I praise The Lord.

18 Replies to “Day Five – The Darkest Corner”

  1. Wow! All I can say is you are truly an amazing Christian. What an example you are to us all. Sweet Jesus please heal this precious little child and wrap your loving arms around her family for they have suffered enough.

  2. Every single one of your blogs touches my heart in so many ways. Your extreme amount of faith and strength never fails to amaze me. You’re a great example of a wonderful mother and true believer. I will continue to pray for you, your family, and sweet little Izzy!

  3. Molly, in the midst of all this ‘junk’ you are walking through you inspire me. You are displaying to all of us what it means to really believe that God is a God that truly understands all about our sorrows and He is right there with us. Thank you for that reminder that He never leaves us or forsakes us! I continue to pray that God’s healing touch and His loving arms of peace will hold that precious Izzy and give you rest.

  4. It feels so meaningless and empty to say I’m praying for you and Izzy, but I am. With all my mother’s heart to yours. HUGS and PRAYERS for all of you. You are so right, God is there and he does care.

  5. You are really an amazing person. God is really shining thru you. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”. You are truly a light to all of us. We love you Molly. Thank you for sharing with us. You shine a new light on what “being a child of God” really looks like, when life takes on this depth of misery. We love our little Izzy girl and pray for her everyday.

  6. Thank you, Molly, for speaking out loud what so many of us are crying out in our hearts. As I read your words I relived last October, when it was Brodie in that place of intensity, and my heart broke all over again for how much is taken from our children in order to restore them and bring life. Just by being bold about yourself and our God you are bringing restoration to my life. We used to call the North side “the dark side”–thank you for shining forth in the midst of it.
    P.S. Next week I promise to walk down the street and get us both some Starbucks 🙂

  7. You are an inspiration to us all. For all of those that have little faith – you inspire us; for all of those that have a waivering of faith – you inspire us; for all of those that think their life is hard – you inspire us. I pray for you, for your family, for Izzy!!!

  8. I can’t begin to tell you how your words touched my heart. Thank you for that. You will be in my daily prayer as you continue this journey.

  9. Wow. Wow. Our hearts break and cry with you as you endure this darkest time…. We love your sweet Izzy. Molly, this latest blog is amazing…. You have declared the TRUTH of God’s nature, the TRUTH that He walks through all this WITH us vs. what is ‘from’ him…. This is the God that Jesus revealed to us… the One you have found to be faithful. It reminds me of Jesus statement in John 15 & 16, “I will never leave you nor forsake you…. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world.” You have offered a true “sacrifice” of praise, and it has inspired the rest of us to praise Him, too. Bless you, friend.

  10. Reading this entry has made me feel like there isn’t enough that can be done at all by any izzy fighter to heal your suffering.

    I don’t want to send a hundred letters or donate a hundred dollars. I want to be able to heal izzy a hundred times over.

    I don’t think there is anyone out there who doesn’t feel some degree of pain reading this. I am praying for you everyday. I’m looking out 3 years, when this pain is distant, and izzys life is filled with happiness. When I pray I ask god to heal her, to help her, and to hold her. Tonight I will also pray that at my darkest moment I can be as faith filled as you and as strong as Israelle.

  11. The eloquence with which you write Natalie is so moving. Your love is palatable in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your heart and I will continue to pray for your precious ward, Izzy~clearly God knew what He was doing when He selected you as her mom.

  12. Amazing testament to how great our God is. He is speaking through you and clearly accompanying you all through this journey. Our prayers are with you all. God Bless.

  13. Dear Molly…My name is Suzie, I live in Florida and am a dear friend of Elizabeth’s, who so graciously forwards your blog on her prayer chain, so we prayer warrior’s are given the honor of praying for those in need. I am a practicing Catholic and have always felt that I was strong in my faith. But after reading & re-reading your heart wrenching blogs about your dear gentle Izzy, I am in awe of your faith & do not know if I could be as strong as you are. I cannot imagine going through what you are being given to handle. I am sure there are moments of being totally in tears, (and I have cried myself each time I read your story) but what you are sharing with all of us are amazing moments of God given strength! I have such a desire to be able to say the right words to make you & Izzy feel better. But as you, Izzy & your family are suffering…please know, YOU ARE lifting us up & teaching us to lift God to a higher level and remind us, that he is truly walking beside us each & every day…..with the strength you are exhibiting & knowing how Izzy is fighting to get better….how could anyone ever doubt Him. I will continue to pray for strength & healing. May you feel God’s arms wrapped around you & Izzy! With my faith uplifted, I say thank you, thank you, thank you. God Bless You!

  14. My thoughts and prayers go out to your precious Izzy and your family. I can’t begin to imagine what you are all going through, especially Izzy. I do know that we serve an awesome God, and He is our great physician. Praying for you and Izzy.

  15. My heart is breaking for all of you. As I began to read your post, the memories of those days came rushing back, and I was only the Grandma-not the Mommy who sat by the bed 24/7. Know you are wrapped in our hugs and we know God is holding you as he held Rylee, Andrea, Jim, and Whit-along with all of us. Continue your prayers, cry when you need to, take a few moments each day for you, and focus on the future. We send our love and prayers.

  16. We have been praying for Izzy in Pennsylvania. I just want to say that God’s love truly shines through you both, and because of that, we all have seen his face here. I pray that you always feel that shine, no matter how dark it gets. Sending love, and so many prayers.

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