How It Began: Part 3

From James:

This is the third in a series of posts describing the events leading up to the biopsy, when we began writing this blog.

After the initial diagnosis, the hours and days that followed were intense and emotional. First, there was a deep sense of shock and sadness — a feeling that So Young’s life was being cut short. We cried and prayed a lot. Second, a sense of urgency took over me. I somehow realized that time was of the essence in terms of selecting a neurosurgeon and pursuing the next steps, whatever they might be.

Just after we got off the phone with the neurologist with the news, I immediately called my mom, who I swear rushed over in 10 minutes for what is normally a 20-minute drive. She was there with us during the hardest time, just as she always is.

I also called Pastor Kenji, who I’m sure was dumbfounded but prayed with us over the phone.

Shannon arrived home shortly. It was a strange situation. She had a slumber party scheduled for that night for her twelfth birthday, but obviously the moment was too intense for us, and there was no way we could handle that. We had to cancel it quickly, which meant that we had to tell her about So Young’s condition. She is bright and asked a lot of questions. We tried to keep it vague but could not. I just remember sitting in her room, telling her the best way I could, and then her sitting on the floor and crying. Nothing prepares you for that.

Dad soon came over, too. We had pizza, and Mom and Dad left.

So Young and I cried ourselves to sleep that night and woke up crying the next day. It’s hard to describe the emotional intensity of that time. When you receive a diagnosis like that, it is as if you are already grieving, but of course you don’t really know the outcome. Also, we became very reflective about life, particularly our life together and as a family. We cried a lot about the kids and the potential of them losing their mom. We cried about losing each other.

Underneath it all, when you go through this kind of thing, you get a very heavy sense of the sovereignty of God that we are all subject to. He can allow whatever hardship in our life that He wants, whenever He wants to allow it. We can’t predict or understand it completely. Still, through all of this, we have realized not just his autonomy and power, but also his love for us.

<< Part 2 | Part 4 >>


5 Responses

  1. Gage Family,

    I’m still following your entries closely. My heart goes out to you as I eagerly wait for current status updates. Still, to experience and to ‘be there with you’ during the moments of discovery, are mind-boggling, heart-wrenching and body-paralyzing. This will forever ground me.

    No, nothing prepares a father for consoling their young child of a serious situation as So Young’s. Nor are any of us prepared for any kind of curveball life could potentially throw at us. When we undergo adversities in life, we grasp for the very core of what grounds us. You have the (fortunately) added benefit of God in your life. Your Faith. I can’t tell you how envious I am that you have this.

    So Young, I have not met you, but based on the entries written by others, and more importantly, by you, I know that if I ever met you, you would never leave my circle of trust. You are an amazing woman. When I see your writings, you make my heart swell. To stand with your head held high, with waves crashing around you, tossing and turning and twisting you into an unrecognizable being…this is something that leaves us all yearning to be like you. WE want to have your internal strength. Rest assured that not only your closest friends and family are giving you the extra strength, but even those of us who have never met you. You are an amazing woman. I think about you every day. I think about how lucky you are to have a great, close-knit group of family and friends who surround you. I think about your inner strength and faith. I think about these things and know you will be a survivor.

    If you or your family need ANYTHING, do not hesitate to reach out. It’s difficult for me because I’m not part of your inner circle and I feel like I’m intruding. Yet, I feel the need to ensure and remind you, that you do ‘have someone else’ whom you can count on….if you need it, I am here.

    Now, while I’m entering this content, I notice that the mood is gray. This page is different shades of gray. I don’t remember this ‘wallpaper’ the last time I posted an entry. Did you recently change your ‘look and feel’? If it’s for the benefit of So Young to see it on the big screen, then keep it. If not, please, please keep it bright and sunny, because that’s how my outlook is on the prognosis of So Young. I’m sure I speak for many others!

    • Jennifer,

      When I read your post, I thought of this verse: “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

      Faith is a gift from God. It seems like it is something you are longing for God to give you. You just have to ask God. It’s free for everybody.

      My physical blindness is hard, but I feel like God is giving me spiritual clarity. I see his hand in my life. People like you are really giving me strength.

      I really appreciate you, because we’ve never met, but I feel like the way you wrote me was so kind and transparent that I feel like we have already met.

      Also, about the gift you gave us: I was taken aback by how thoughtful, creative, and generous it was. James wrote you a note, but I wanted to thank you directly. God reconfirms how good He is to me and my family through things like that. God is good, just as I said from the beginning and will say to the end.


      So Young

  2. So Young,

    I am so, so grateful you wrote directly to me. I am honored that you took the time. While certainly not expected, I am bewildered and awed. Thank you. James and I have worked together now for a few years. We both are stubborn, but have found ways to work together. I admire your husband and his tenacity in his work. Believe it or not, it’s his work, his leadership and his stubbornness that really makes the program strong (I’m not kidding here). His drive and dedication has been highlighted, clearly, in his love for you and the kids. You are so lucky to have God, and your husband who loves you so much, and your gorgeous kids. No one wants to see their kids grow faster than they have to; in this case they have little choice. However, I admire the fact that your girls have you, have James, and the love you two have for one another, despite previous troubles you may have had. Talk about a perfect family and a perfect love…. you may not recognize nor realize it in everyday life, but you sure do now. And you’re not letting it escape you. THAT is admirable.

    I cannot take credit for the ‘thoughtfulness’ and ‘creativity’ surrounding my gift. While I did pose it as an option, it was only because I was thinking… Oh my… how much food I know they must have!! I, as a single person, as much as I think I can strategize how much food I will eat, always seem to throw out spoiled food! Furthermore, I thought that it would be neat if you could just use it for (literally) whatever you wanted, desired, or needed.

    You’re right; the big piece I’m missing in my life probably IS faith. Thank you for laying some ground work for me. Yes, God is good. Yes, God continues to show you the ways in which you can use his strength and love through your friends and family.

    So Young, you are “so young” (haha), so beautiful (inside and out) and so strong. You are living up to your title. You are wonderful. Thank you for your note.

    I hope to meet you soon 🙂

  3. PS – Thank you for changing the background! I LOVE the cheerfulness!

  4. Jennifer,

    As I have read your comments to So Young and James, I have an overwhelming compelling urgency to make sure you know the FAITH So Young and James speak of. As I read your comment regarding your desire to have the faith they experience I wanted to confirm that you understand how you can personally experience that faith.

    The first step is to by FAITH accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Here is how you can do that:

    The Lord said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

    God gave us a gift many years ago when He sent his only son to die a horrible dealth on the cross for our sin. All He asks of us is that we accept it. “… let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17

    How do we/you accept His free gift of pardon?

    Just ADMIT that you are a sinner and that there is a payment for your sin. The payment for your sin is eternal separation from God in Hell. “For all have sinned ,and come short of the glory of God;” Rm 3:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rm 6:23 The gift of eternal life is free and there is nothing we can do to earn it.

    BELIEVE that Jesus died on the cross for your sin and rose again the third day. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jn 3:16 “When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Rm 5:6

    CONFESS with your mouth (pray to God) the Lord Jesus Christ. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin and to come into your heart and save you so that you can live with Him in Heaven one day when you die. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rm 10:9-10 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Rm 10:13 “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God…” Jn.1:12

    I hope I have not been offensive or overstepped my bounds in posting on So Young and James’ blog, (James feel free to delet this!) but it is because of my obligation and concern to assure that you have the same opportunity to live your life with the same faith that we experience each day.

    “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” I Pr. 3:15

    Jennifer, I hope you have found this helpful, and I will be praying that you discover the same faith that So Young and James are experiencing through this difficult time.

    In Christian Love,
    Michelle, Piano Teacher

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