One of my closest, dearest most special friends is Amber Macneil. Some of you know that just over 2 years ago, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Shortly after her diagnosis, my dear friend Kristen, also a close friend of Amber's was diagnosed with cancer. Kristen passed away on October 4th, 2013. Amber and Kristen walked their journeys together... it was sad and beautiful all at the same time. This past September, Amber was advised to undergo 6 weeks of daily radiation to keep her tumor at bay. She finished her treatments last Wednesday... victory, right? Um, no. A week later, Amber was dropped with yet another bomb... her youngest daughter, Kyla, was diagnosed with leukemia (I'm not even gonna dignify that word with a capital letter). We are all believers and amidst Amber's battle, she was faithful to Jesus. She inspired and continues to do so. However, I can't lie, when I read her text "she has leukemia", I dropped my phone and asked, "what the fuck?". At a time like that, an F bomb is entirely necessary. I don't care what anyone says... it's releasing. Usually, my first reaction in hard times (mine and those of the ones I love) is to pray. I firmly believe in the power of prayer (I still do) but I haven't been able to bring myself to that place of asking God for help. I KNOW he's there, I KNOW he's in control, I KNOW he loves Kyla, I KNOW his peace surpasses all understanding but I just don't get it. Why, God, why? How much can one family take? Why does a sweet, spunky, spirited 3 year old have to fight cancer? Why does Ryan and Amber have to go through yet another shitty journey? What good could possibly come out of this? And as I write this (and the tears stream down my face), I know that God has got this. I know he has their back and I know he has mine. I feel it. I may not understand why these things happen but I do know God... sometimes... and I know he loves hard and loves faithfully. I know he leaves his thumbprint behind on even the smallest situations. I know he died for me, for Kyla and for Amber and that he is orchestrating something powerful. I know he'll never leave us or abandon us. I know he heals (I've seen it and experienced it... not just physical healing but he's healed my heartbreak time and time again). And right now, I am heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for Amber and all that she must be feeling... I can't even begin to understand her pain. I'm heartbroken for Kyla and the childhood she won't have. I'm heartbroken for Ryan who must, once again, watch his family suffer through pain and crappy times. I'm heartbroken for Kinley who doesn't understand why her sister can't be at home. I'm heartbroken for Ry & Amber's parents who have to sit idly by and watch their offspring hurt. I'm also mad. So mad. WHY the hell do these things happen? And why do they have to happen to the people I love? (I realize that that may be an insensitive question, but it's how I feel). And yet, STILL, I trust God. I trust him with Kyla and everything else not right in my life and my heart and this world.
I'm feeling a little better.
Kyla, the little lady next to Isla in her pink party dress!