A Story to Rival the Juice Box Note!
While our faith can easily be tested, events such as the following keep providing hope.
We have a new pastor at our church. Pastor Debbie started leading the congregation in early July of this year. She was unaware of Steven's diagnosis. I knew this because Steven's name never came up in her prayers or concerns, as it often did with the previous pastor.
Several weeks ago, my dad (who attends early service) called my mom and told her that Steven had to be in church that particular Sunday. My dad said that our new pastor gave a sermon that seemed tailored for Steven. My mom asked what the sermon was about, and my dad described Pastor's story of a man who's life was shattered by a brain tumor.
My mom called our house bright and early that Sunday morning, and relayed my dad's urgancy to me.
Hmmm...my best judgement told me that Steven should not hear that sermon. I let him lounge in bed until 9:30. But my heart kept telling me that my son needed to be in church that morning. At 10:00 I began to hurry Steven along, and he made the 11:00 service with Mary and me.
The sermon started as predicted, about a very successful man diagnosed in the prime of his life with a brain tumor. His surgery was unsuccessful, and he was left with many artifacts of brain damage. He had some paralysis, and his wonderful mind didn't work in the same way that it had.
However, the story of surgical mishap and devastation was just a small part of the sermon...just a prelude.
The key focus of this sermon told of a shattered man who chose to make the best of his new life. It told of a man who found strength in his spirit when his body was weak. It told of a man who let go of his past and embraced his future. It told of the power of attitude. The sermon told of ways that Steven needs to know.
The sermon ended with tales of victory found in the midst of devastation. The last fifteen minutes of the sermon found my mom and I reaching for the kleenex, but what an incredible story this was for my son to hear!
Later that Sunday evening, over a cup of coffee, my mom and I talked about some similarities between the man's story and Steven's. We also verbalized our gratefulness that Steven walked away form surgery unscathed.
And the best part of this sermon?
A few weeks later, my dad was talking to our pastor...about this sermon, about Steven and his little known disease called von Hippel Lindau. And amazingly this man that Pastor was speaking of...the man with such hope and strength and fighting spirit...has VHL.
And in the midst of 11 stressful days...with a broken van, horrible Calc. grades, and unrelenting fevers...we were reminded that God loves Steven!