Friday, September 21, 2012

Faithful Friday: Blessings in Disguise

When we lost Austin, there were a lot of comments from others that took me back.  Some that made me downright angry.  I don't believe that any of them were intentionally hurting me, in fact just the opposite.  When the unimaginable happens, people grasp for words - anything - that will bring comfort.  Sometimes they say the only thing that comes to mind, and because they've never experienced such a loss, they can't fathom how it might be perceived.

One comment that haunted me then, is healing for me now.  

Someone mentioned then about my job and how this experience may help me relate more to parents with children diagnosed with cancer, especially those who lost their battle.  They mentioned how this would allow me to comfort them.  At the time, honestly, it ticked me off.   

I didn't want to lose my son to help others.   

I couldn't see ahead to the next hour, let alone where we are today.  All I felt at the time was the raw loss and pain that comes with child loss.  To think of any type of blessing or good that might come from Austin leaving was impossible.  

Yet from the beginning I was reaching out to other parents of child loss.  As I searched for answers and support, it was only natural to offer a prayer and listen to their story.  Along this journey I've even been blessed with new friendships, some from miles away, from women who share this unwanted bond.  Gentle whispers seem to guide and connect me to others walking this path.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.     2 Corinthians 1:4

Now, it seems the news of another child with cancer comes more often than I remember.  Maybe I'm just more in tune, but over the past year I've met more families than I'd prefer to count who face a parent's worst fear.  Some have seen the fear become reality, some still bravely fighting, and one family is gracefully preparing for it.  

Lane Goodwin is a little hero who's captured the hearts of not just our local area.  Nearing 100,000 likes on Facebook, Lane's story is touching the world.  His family has been in our prayers since hearing of their battle.  I've especially been drawn to his mother, knowing the pain she hides, and to Lane's younger brother.  Seeing the photos of them together tugs at my heart, thinking about Noah's journey in this loss.   

Watching their story on the news this week, something just spoke to me to reach out them.  Actually, I'm pretty certain it was someone.  A peace just washed over me and I could sense Austin pushing me to send them a message.  It was one of thousands, as messages, prayers and hundreds of photos from others giving Lane a "thumbs up" are being sent to them.  But mother to mother I just had to send our thoughts.  

In so many of the families we've met on this journey, any comfort we've given has come back to us tenfold.  Truly, we feel blessed and are better for knowing them.   

I don't look at our loss as something God caused so that good might come, but that through the loss and because of His comfort, good has naturally progressed.  Child loss will never be a club I'm glad to be a member of but comforting others makes the membership somewhat easier.  

If you don't have Facebook, you can follow Lane's story here.  Thumbs up, sweet boy.


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