2 Cor 12v9

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Praying and Hoping


I keep saying it, but I am absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the way people are responding to what we are going through. Friends who are spreading the word, and using their time and emotional energy to intercede on our behalf; churches who are allowing our situation to be the highlight of their prayer meetings and weekly prayer slots; strangers who are joining the Facebook group to pray and fast for us just because they’ve seen links and taken time to follow them; children who have decided to give up their favourite things (including eating pizza and wearing odd socks!) to remind them to pray for Daniel; and non-believers who are putting their own doubts aside to sneak prayers up to a God they’re not even sure about.

It just BLOWS MY MIND.

I mean, we’re just one family, and he’s just one sick kid. There are many many more in the world, but for some reason people are gathering to get behind us and support us through this dark time. In some ways it seems unfair – I keep thinking of people who lost their children in an instant, with no warning, or those who only had a few minutes or hours to watch their children die, with no chance of a prayer meeting being set up or a Facebook group formed. I keep thinking of big groups or countries of people who have lost children to famine, war, genocide or disease, and there were too many names for people to pray for them individually. I keep thinking how we have four other healthy children, and that we’ve had eight incredible years with Daniel, and some people never even have the chance to have one child, or have struggled to keep their children alive and then have had to see them all wiped out in a single blow.

I keep thinking that if we lived in a different country, or a different decade, or had even ended up in a different hospital, we would have lost Daniel a long time ago.

We are already blessed beyond belief.




I don’t know why people feel inspired to pray for our boy. We don’t deserve any kind of special treatment. In fact, there are many times when I pray and I ask God not to look at any merit Richard and I may have, because I know we would fall so short. I ask God to look past all our failings, and Daniel’s too, and just ask for mercy on our situation, because that’s the only reason we can even ask. It’s nothing to do with what we’ve done, and everything to do with who God is.

It’s completely up to Him if He heals Daniel. It will not alter my faith or my perspective of Him. It will not stop me from wanting to help other people to find Him, or from leading church. It will not make me ask ‘How could You?’ or to doubt that He is any less loving or any less powerful. I know without a doubt that He could heal Daniel in an instant, or gradually, because I know He works miracles. I know that Daniel’s future is in His hands and I trust Him completely. If in eight years He has accomplished in Daniel’s life everything he was born for, then I hold my hands open and refuse to try and manipulate or threaten Him, because my main desire for all my children is that they serve and glorify God with their lives and if this is God’s plan for Daniel, then that is more important than any plans I could’ve had. After he and Joel were born I spent several hours in tears asking God why the heck He thought I could handle twins and telling Him He must have made some sort of mistake. After a day of that, God stopped me in my tracks and told me in no uncertain terms that there was no mistake, that He had planned those boys from the beginning of time, with me and Richard as their parents, because He had a purpose for their lives, and I was to give them the middle names of Joshua and Caleb because they were going to be men of different spirits (from Numbers 14). I had to give up their futures to God right there and then, and I will not take that back now.

Of course I’m asking for a miracle and I won’t stop asking. Whatever happens, I will need a miracle. If he is fully healed and can walk again, that will be a miracle. If he dies and I have to get up every morning and carry on with my life and bring my children up in the way God wants me to, I will need a miracle. And if Daniel survives this next two months but continues to be disabled like before, then I will need the biggest miracle of all - to set aside my many lazy and selfish desires every single day to keep giving him the specialised care and attention he needs. He is the God of miracles. He has new ones every morning. He has given us everything we have needed in the last two years – strength to fight, peace to rest, inspiration to keep moving forward, grace to cover our mistakes, hope when things were dark – I could go on and on.

Thank you all so much for your prayers. I am sure that yours are far more eloquent than mine. Most of the time mine are just little whispers – ‘Please, can we keep him?’ – so it gives me great comfort to know that there is an army of pray-ers out there who are using a vast array of different words and styles and biblical truths.

And if you are praying, I want to promise you something. If you are opening your mouth to God, whether it’s to whisper or shout, to speak His authority over the situation or to praise Him, to quietly listen or to spill your anger at the way He chooses to do things; I promise you, it will change you. It will bring you a step closer to God. It will release things in you that need releasing. It will bring you closer to the answers to your own hopes and dreams. I know this because I have asked God why it should be that we are hogging all this prayer, and this is the answer He gave me. God is using Daniel to stir people’s hearts, to challenge them, to open their mouths, to put faith in something they didn’t believe in, to put aside things that are often in the way to spend time with their Father who loves them, and to open doors of communication with Him. There is nothing, nothing, NOTHING in this world like knowing the God who created you, and if Daniel’s story has made you spend time with Him – for a minute, or day, or for forty days, then this is all worth it.

And that is why, with shaky hands and lots of tears, I can say I COMPLETELY trust God with my boy.

30 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post, Esther x

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  2. I have no words for this sweetheart, I can't type the tears - <3 xxxxxxxxxxx

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  3. Oooooh Esther!!! You are an incredible Woman of God! As I type this comment Aaron and Lana are dancing around singing a Praise song and it's no coincidence - (Words they remember) "It's a New Day, it's a New Life, it's a New Day - full of Your Joy, Its a New Start for every Heart....We Thank You, Jesus We Thank You". We continue to pray and trust in Him who is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine. Lots of love to you all xxxxxxxx

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  4. I don't know you, but that made me cry. You bring so much blessing to us all and what you say about Daniel's situation opening many hearts to God is, I think, true. Praise God for His mysterious ways. x

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  5. Oh Esther................ that is beautiful. Thank you. I could barely read it for crying, and you are right, I have struggled to pray, struggled to know what to say, what to ask, what to believe...... and God in is eternal Grace showed me my heart, and that I was not seeking, desiring, pursueing to Glorify HIM, but to have all that His has to offer for my self, my gain even be it my spiritual bettermnet! Do I ask for Him to be glorified? DO I try and Glorify Him in my life? does His glorify inspire me to works of love? NO it didn't, but He has opened my eyes, and shown me something new and incredible about Himself. Thank you Jesus for using this beautiful little boy.xx

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  6. you are incredible and im totally blown away .. i dont have any fancy words i sit in silence just asking god to put his arms around you all as i really just dont know what to say to you or to him i dont understand things like this and i know i never will. i havent prayed in a long time i havent took time out to think about anyone else or anyone elses situations in a long time but this is really heavy on my heart and although im not sure whether my prayer is making any difference im still gonna put it out there.as its the only thing i can do :( take care x

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  7. Esther and Richard: Many people in Athens GA are lifting up Daniel and your whole family for these 40 days and beyond. We love you and your beautiful family and we admire your courage and complete trust in this situation.
    God bless you and keep you safely in the palm of His hand.

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  8. As a parent, your blog hits to the core! In my mind I cant even go where your forced to go every day!You and your family are very much in my thoughts.I so wish I could say something helpful to ease your situation. I can offer my services practically though, so if you need me to have the children at any time then please ask.Love and prayers.Sue.(Carols sister)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  9. YOur strength is amazing. Thoughts and prayers are with you all

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  10. Oh Esther. Your entry answers so many questions I was asking God about YOU. I thought this would be where you are, but to have it confirmed really blesses and encourages me for your whole family. I thank God for you, for your desire for God NO MATTER WHAT. Please, Lord, let them keep Daniel. Lord, I WANT that to be Your will. xx

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  11. Bless you, bless you, bless you , bless you over and over and over again as you continue simply to trust ...I'm humbled and challenged by your beautiful words.

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  12. We don't know each other, but I can't begin to tell you how profoundly your words have moved and challenged me, and how much of God's character they have revealed to me. This blog, these words, this little boy - all are somehow being used by God in glorious ways, to bring people nearer to Him. Blown away by your strength and unwavering trust... Sending love to you all.

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  13. your words are beautiful. they made me cry and have reached deep into my heart. Daniel is on my mind often every day. I think of him and i pray to God that whatever his will is that he will give you all the strength to cope. i pray that Daniel will be well. as a mother, a grandmother and a Christian my heart goes out to you. may God bless you and give you peace and hope xxx

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  14. Having read this quote earlier on today I need to share this with you:- "God is really good and beyond powerful so pray outrageous prayers.... He just might say yes"

    Mighty is our God beyond our limitations, so let's keep believing he is!
    God bless

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  15. I loves you. That is all. (Oh and a few leaky tears too) xxx

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  16. Truely inspirational xx

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  17. God has a purpose in everything. He uses even the most painful and unbearable situations to bring about the changes and blessings that he has for us. He is our loving Father, Abba. He gives us the strength to bear the burden, the Love to ease the pain and the promise of eternity.
    I open my heart to God, to pray into His will and to ask for His love and spirit to fill you all to overflowing. God bless you all

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  18. Esther, this is one of the most inspiring things that I have ever read. I'm praying the 'can you keep him' prayer over and over xxxx

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  19. Beautiful. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. I am reminded with this of the story of David. When his men fought in the midst of battle to get him water from a well in Bethlehem... when they brought it back he refused to drink it, offering up to God as a drink offering. I am always blown away by this story. The thing that David wanted the most in that moment, valued the most in that moment was the very thing he offered to God. He gave a sacrifice of Praise. He gave the best thing he had. It's that attitude that I see reflected in this post. It's that attitude that I pray I will also reflect.
    Many blessings and prayers, Grace

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  20. WOW!! I dont know you but through my little sister Isabelle I got to know. I am so moved. Words fail me. Just know that you (and Daniel) are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses praying & cheering you on, and as the footprints poem says, God is carrying you right now. Over here in Paris (FRANCE) we are praying for you. PEACE. Shabat Shalom xx

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  21. My dear Esther
    Reading your blog yesterday just broke my heart. We are the ones who should be encouraging and comforting you and yet, even during the worst time of anguish any mother could suffer, you choose instead to inspire and share your deep faith with others. Most people would only be thinking about their immediate situation and have nothing left to give, but you have received the encouraging words and prayers of all these wonderful people on Facebook and the more widespread network of church congregations and praying individuals all over the world and used them to share your deepest thoughts, feelings and fears.

    With your blog post you have broken down the barrier of people not knowing what to say when they learn of an illness that could be terminal. You have voiced the fears of every one of us and yet, because you have faced them publicly, it seems like the fears are losing their strength and becoming less of an enemy to us, more of a victory for God.

    You know, when we first started this 40 days of prayer and fasting, I started to wish that Jacquie could have been led to start a 7 days of prayer and fasting instead so we could hurry things up a bit and get an answer a lot quicker! Because, after all, if Daniel got better this week or next, what would we do for the rest of the 40 day period?!! But God’s timing is perfect and, along with a lot of other lessons, you and Richard have certainly learned patience. Just to rest in his presence and know that He is in charge and realise that, just as Daniel is your child, you are Our Father’s child. He feels the same way about you as you do about Daniel and He will look after you and guide you through.
    Even during the early traumatic months of Daniel’s illness and the difficult pregnancy with Eva, you and Richard have always been there for other people, especially for the Home Church at Morecambe and for anyone else who needed a shoulder, a hug or a wise word. You have imparted many a wise word, Esther, throughout the years, even when you were very young. From being a small child you talked before you walked and were wise enough, even then, to work out what the likelihood was of you getting what you wanted. If you thought it was unlikely that you would be given what you wanted, you didn’t even ask but if you thought you were in with a chance you would make your request and the answer was usually ‘yes’.
    You have picked your battles wisely all your life and known when to speak up and when to remain silent.

    This is one battle you did not pick and it has developed into all-out war – you and Daniel on one side and this dreadful disease on the other. Esther, you have spoken loudly and strongly over this battle field and I, along with all these precious praying people, would plead with God to honour your words and that the answer to your appeal this time will be ‘YES!’
    Love, Mum xxxxxxx

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  22. Hi Esther. Did you help write the bible? Cos you could have! OR is your middle name Job? Cos it should be! And thank you for your deep, open, loving, strong, Godly honesty. All at FFMC stand in prayer with you, Richard, Daniel and the gang. With love. PAG

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  23. Hi Esther, I got to know about this through a friend - Isabelle. I want you to know how inspiring it is to read about your story and the faith you still have to carry on despite your challenges. I wholeheartedly join you in prayer and believing that Jehovah Rapha, our God who is able to heal all manner of disease will touch Daniel, heal him and see you through this challenging time.

    Never lose hope. I'm praying for you.
    xx

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  24. Esther, I was in tears reading this, and in tears again reading the responses. I echo Emma's reply. I love you. That is all.
    Lifting you up in prayers, and thanking God for putting you and your whole family in my life as such powerful examples of who He's calling me to be.
    I love you. That is all.
    Beth

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  25. Esther you are such an inspiration and like your namesake you were chosen to be here 'for such a times as this' Est 4:14. Keep being brave Esther and keep believing in God's will and thank you so much for your amazing ministry at time when you need all your strength and perseverance for yourself yet you are being so selfless! Much love and prayers for you, Richard and all of your beautiful children. Elaine x

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  26. Thanks for sharing this. Very encouraging. Will keep on praying for Daniel and the whole family.

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  27. This is incredible. Possibly one of the most inspiring blog I've ever read. I will keep praying for Daniel and family xx

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  28. Thou art coming to the King, large petitions with thee bring! For His grace and power are such , None can ever ask too much. John Newton author of amazing grace

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  29. Hi Esther
    I found this post through Cross Rhythms. Just want to say we are on the same path as you with a 24 year old son with a terminal brain tumour. I too blog about the tensions and ultimate trust of believing in a God who can do anything - but who may have plans of His own for our son. We also have a facebook group and an army of friends praying for a miracle, but have to just put Sam in God's hands every day. It is a painful path, but one Jesus walked: loving God is not a magic wand to make our lives alright - especially when as you say, so many others have suffered around us, most of them with out all those blessings Jesus pours on us. We grow so much through all this - but only by His grace... to display His glory and our faith in the God who has conquered death.
    Well done for hanging on to Love and keeping your integrity in the most painful situation.
    Much love from a sister on the road: grace and strength to your family in all the ups and downs on the way to heaven!
    Sally Ann X
    www.sallyanndyer.wordpress.com

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  30. you dont know me you probably never will, but I can definately tell you that you have changed my opinions towards life (and my life) for the better. i cant see what i am typing because of the tears. i couldnt agree more with what you had to say in the last two paragraphs they inspired me. i couldnt do what you have done. my prayers are with you and so is god.
    thankyou for changing me.
    xxxxxx amen

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