March 30, 2004

God answers prayers

Last week, I was trying to do a lot of things for the Blue Butterfly Fund and for the family fun day that we are hosting at R. B. Winter in June. I also spend a lot of time every week communicating with families whose children are being treated for cancer or whose children have died.

Sometimes I get a strong feeling that I need to call or communicate with someone. On Thursday, I felt like God wanted me to get in touch with a family whose son, Aidan, recently passed away. He followed Bennett's footsteps almost exactly (minus radiation therapy) in his treatment for the same type of tumor. Aidan and Bennett both had progression. They both had the same doctor. We considered and used some of the same drugs as Aidan’s parents. I knew that I did not have a block of time in the near future in which to make this phone call. I also knew I had a lot of thing going on this weekend. My schedule was so packed that I started to wonder how on earth I was going to get everything done, and I was feeling stretched. Thursday afternoon while I was driving to State College, I started praying.

"God, I know there are so many things that you want me to do. I don't know how I am going to do it all. But I trust that you will help me get done what needs to be done."

When I got back from State College, I went to the Thursday night meditative service at our church and then to a discussion group for the book The Purpose Driven Life. I woke up at 4:30 am the next morning to help with a Lenten breakfast at our church. I came home for an hour and prepared to lead our church’s Experiencing God Bible study group and rest a little. At 9:30 am I was back at church for the Experiencing God Bible Study group. I looked at the clock. I thought to myself I have about 20 minutes left in this group, and then I have to get to work. (My point of sharing this with you is to help you understand why I was feeling so stretched.) A few minutes later, the church secretary stopped by and delivered a little message. It said “John called, you are not needed at work today.” Now some people might be upset about being called off from work, but at that moment, I was in disbelief. The note could have been signed by God Himself for all I was concerned. Suddenly, it all became clear how I was going to do what God wanted me to do but seemed impossible to me. And I was able to call Aidan’s family that afternoon.

About 8 months ago when Aidan’s family and ours were still at St. Jude, Aidan’s mom, Shannon came up to me at Assessment Triage and told me that she was pregnant. I started crying tears of joy, and I knew that this was an incredibly blessing from God. It is very difficult for me to explain how I felt at the time, but I just felt very strongly that God had something important planned with this child. (And this is not just coming from hindsight).

Aidan’s battle with cancer ended at the beginning of March. He earned his angel's wings with bravery. Six days later, his little sister Alaina, was born. This is a true miracle. Many people prayed for little baby Aidan to get better. They prayed for healing. They prayed for Shannon and Aaron to have a happy and healthy child again. God has answered their prayers. Aidan is healed. Shannon and Aaron have a beautiful, healthy child who reminds them so much of Aidan they feel like she is his twin sister.

I am amazed by this story because while I know that we all wanted a different outcome for Aidan, I know God has provided Alaina as a special gift to help Shannon and Aaron with their healing. I know that Alaina will help Aaron and Shannon through their grieving process. And I know she is going to grow up to be a pretty special person too! And I know that Aidan is playing in heaven and loving God too. Maybe he and Bennett are playing together.

God is amazing. There are no coincidences. There is a reason for everything that happens. God answers prayers…in ways that we could never imagine!


“For everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory.” –Romans 11:36

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” –Romans 8:28

(I referenced part of this scripture last week too. I think God must want me to get this message loud and clear!)


“Everything that happens to you has spiritual significance.” –Rick Warren

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” -Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross


Dear God, I love you so much. And I am so grateful for the love you give back to me. You are my provider. Your blessings are abundant. Your gifts are timely. You are simply amazing and so worthy of my love. Amen


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