Lindy’s cats sit by the french doors just glaring at me; their meows plead to join me on the other side of the glass. This brief visit to my cousins’ home is a gift. I feel as if I am being held this morning by an afghan that our grandma has crocheted. It feels so comforting–how I wish I had come sooner and that I could stay longer. Yesterday, my 5 yr. old cousin Thao, drew me near to the family I miss so much. Today he is in ICU at OSF St. Francis Medical Center Children’s Hospital.
Around Thanksgiving, Thao was taken to the hospital and he’s been there ever since. Thao now has a diagnosis with HLH and HUS. His little body lays flat and still–paralyzed by medications. Tubes and machines surround him creating narrow walkways for his doctors and nurses. His parents Jeff and Tiffany sit by his bedside faithfully. They are watching him, reading to him, praying for him, and singing Thao the songs he loves. As their son lies in his bed, day after day, they are witnesses of God sized answers that may in all possiblility overlooked by the inattentive eye. There are so many praying for Thao and I speak for the family when I say, we would cherish even more. I have read the Facebook posts, saw some of the encouragement, and heard many loving words directed to my cousins. What a blessing they have been and will be as the doctors gradually set their sights on a bone marrow transplant.
Today, while I snuggle into a corner of this familiar plaid couch, I steal moments to pray by myself. There are lots of aching questions for God stirring in me and I cannot hold back my urge to ask them in wisps of blue ink…
“…Father, please forgive us for taking blessings like strength and peace for granted. They are specific answers to prayer during our times of need. Everyone wants complete healing for Thao–but is it the only measuring stick we will use for Your existence? For Your involvement? For Your love and care? No, You are working below the surface–down to our very own root systems and into our very cores during this time of fervent prayer for Thao’s healing. May we not overlook the countless answers to these prayers. For instance, when Lindy saw Thao squeezing his forehead together in silent agony, she prayed for peace. His creased skin melted and calmed like the stormy waters at your rebuke. May we not forget the answers to our cries for hope and strength. Lung x-rays are showing improvement, blood oxygenation is increasing, we see Your mercies, and we are celebrating them! Thank you for your encouragement to us all. Thank You for driving back the enemy that is tormenting Thao’s body and giving us hope in these moments! Thank You for setting a boundary yesterday and saying, “No further.” We are glad that we are here here, be witnesses, and remaining the unique family that we are. May Your voice in all its power, majesty, thundering, shaking, and glory be reflected in our witness and testimony of Your work! May we be as You have created without hindrance, hang-up, habit, bondage, or fear. Help us all see that You are good, glorify you, magnify You, love others passionately as You draw us to. May Your will be done, and if You are willing, I pray for more good news today, more joy, peace, love, hope, endurance and strength. Hold us together Father and may this precious family of Yours find the voice You are giving us.”
After a click of my pen, I close my prayer journal, and lay my prayer mentally at the Lord’s feet. I know my God will ultimately heal brave little Thao in one way or another because he loves this little boy and all those that are loving him with their intercessory prayers. It’s in the process that leads to his healing–that I pray that we will be attentive to the quiet victories of each day. Each one of us have the opportunity to be an up close witness of God’s love, life, and power through Thao. I pray you will join me in praying for him and his whole family- all the while celebrating every answer with us, whether large or gigantic!
**I saw the cutest home video of Thao climbing a tree a few weeks ago and he was roaring! May he roar in renewed strength and may God roar in victory throughout Thao’s healing!
“Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.” Psalm 66:16-20 NLT
“Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” Psalm 73:23-28 NLT
***Update on 1/13/12- “Thao is with our Savior Jesus now, his grandma, more-gradma, Popo Wakeford, and cousin Sara (my younger sister). Please pray for comfort. Thank you for going on this journey with me and your precious prayers for healing–he has been made perfect. Praising God that we will be with him for eternity–I can’t wait for you all to meet him!” Love, Kelly