“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”-Romans 12:11-13
Early Saturday morning, my husband and I headed west to Lafayette, Louisiana. It is the time of year where Ragan’s Hope, the non-profit where we are volunteers, delivers Easter baskets or totes to the families and hospitals we support. Our mission is to help parents of children with serious ongoing medical conditions or injuries endure the initial impact and embrace the future, in the name of Christ.
I am truly blessed my three children have not endured a medical crisis, but recently it has hit close to home. In December, my eleven-year-old nephew was diagnosed with B-ALL Leukemia. An innocent child who’s little life is turned upside down, along with his family. There is no more “normal” and life’s priorities have changed for all, including the siblings. I don’t live it every day like my brother and sister in law and I wish I could help out more but unfortunately, I reside in a different state. I pray daily for his healing and am comforted in how God reassures me all is well, because of my connection with Ragan’s Hope.
We have been supporting families with different medical issues for a couple of years in Louisiana. Within the last two years, there have been three families, who have been battling ALL Leukemia. All three are boys ranging in age from seven to thirteen, and in a different stage of the treatment protocol. They are all farther along in the process than my nephew and it is like I can see into the future for my nephew’s journey. God has been showing me what to expect and has offered me hope in the healing of my nephew.
Sin, disease, and death are part of our world. It is easy to contemplate the worst case scenarios when faced with the loss of a loved one or a fearful diagnosis. If we are open to it, God uses the opportunities to show us our strengths and the ability to sharpen our weaknesses. I struggle with impatience and when I first heard about my nephew’s diagnosis, all I could think about is how much time it would take and what he would be missing out on his childhood. God has placed these three families in my life to show me this time would not be wasted and there is hope of complete healing. Sometimes we need to slow down and reevaluate our priorities to fully understand and travel the journey before us.
God has also exposed the strength in people. He revealed the genius of the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who deal with leukemia diagnosis’s daily and have the wisdom and for thought to develop treatment protocols to save young lives. He showed the courage of the patients in dealing with the procedures needed in order to complete the treatment plan. God also unfolded the determination of the family who rallies around their child and became the health advocates. I witnessed the courage and tenacity in the families I have supported over the years. There are times when they needed spiritual, financial, or emotional support and then I can step in and offer what I can in the name of Jesus. Like the scripture says in Romans 12, share with God’s people who are in need. God speaks to me and awakens the desire to help others and complete His works.
My husband and I were so honored this weekend to meet up with the families dealing with a health crisis and offer Easter totes, hugs, and prayers. We drove almost four hundred miles and spent six hours being the hands and feet of Jesus. God is sharpening my weaknesses and highlighting my strengths in order to guide others through their circumstances. I feel so connected to Him and understand my purpose as I continue to serve others for Him. Through it all, I have a renewed hope in the future of all the children I encounter with the Ragan’s Hope ministry, and especially my dear sweet nephew. God’s got this, AGAIN. Blessings!
If you would like more information on Ragan’s Hope, please check out their website. We pray and reach out to families all over the country! https://raganshope.org/