I have a story to share today that is just bursting from me….my fingers fly as I sit in this airport restaurant, overwhelmed with fabric-stuffed luggage and tear-stained cheeks, in awe at God’s endless grace and love. I’d planned to blog a recap today all about my euphoric weekend at the Sew South retreat…about my fabulous new friends, my newly-stitched goodies…but God has something else in mind- something infinitely more important. Isn’t it funny how you can be going along your normal routine, mindlessly, and all of the sudden, WHAM! God shakes things up- shakes you up, and you realize you’ve been stumbling around in a completely faithless, short-sighted fog? That’s exactly where I was this morning, after congratulating myself for surviving having my antique sewing machine, and 20 bags of breast milk, unpacked and tested by TSA for explosives, followed by a full body pat down when my Featherweight set off a hazardous substances alarm (?!?!). Needless to say, I was irritated, tired, and anxious to simply nap and get home to my family. Little did I know, that a conversation would spark with the woman in the seat next to me on the plane, and would move me more deeply that I can express. I noticed a picture of a child on her cell phone and asked if he was her son…he was, and before I knew it we were chatting about motherhood, breast feeding, sewing, the new job she starts tomorrow, and eventually, about the reason for her trip to North Carolina. She was returning to her other 2 children at home, after having spent 3 weeks with her 9 yo son, Uzias, who is undergoing extensive treatments as he bravely battles a level 3 brain tumor. My heart sank to my feet as I sat, embroidery in hand, listening to her quietly share about his diagnosis, his refusal to give up even though all of the traditional treatments, including 3 surgeries and radiation, have failed to eliminate the cancer. Here she is sharing about his chronic headaches and daily memory loss, their weekly flights out of state, and about how their insurance refuses to cover any alternative treatments- this trip alone has cost the family $50K out of pocket- and I thought my overly dramatized home-buying hiccups were “burdensome.” Sick to my stomach. We cried as she proclaimed God’s glory through it all, praising him, and sharing the peace she feels, knowing that whatever happens is the journey God has in mind for her. It may not be pretty, it may not be what we want, but it’s what will grow us and shape us, and we must trust him with all we are, resting our burdens on his sovereign power & omnipotence. I am in complete awe of the faith that is holding this family together. I don’t believe in coincidence. I know this was a thoroughly planned encounter by the creator who knows the inner most depths of my soul better than anyone. Truly, a voice from the heavens telling me to “snap out of it!” and just trust. I am going to organize a quilt that we can put together for Uzias, and I’d love for you to join me. Stay tuned for more info, once I come up with the specific plan. But in the meantime, if this post has touched your heart at all, please consider lifting up Uzias’ family with a donation to help offset the staggering cost of his treatments. You can make a real, tangible difference for this family NOW, from the comfort of your pajama pants. Seriously, I’m not at all into guilting- so only do it if your heart is tugging you to- but please consider giving up your next Starbucks or yard of fabric, and offering it to Uzais- your gift can help enable him to fight this devastating cancer.
You can also lift up this sweet family in prayer, and offer them encouragement on Uzias’ Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by- it’s a privilege to be able to share my heart with you! XO
UPDATE: Uzias lost his battler with cancer in July of 2012. Words cannot express how much impact this young man had on the world, and how deeply he is loved by his family and friends. The world is truly a brighter place because of Uzias, and I know that I for one am a changed person because of him, and I never even got to meet the awesome kid in person. If you’d like to offer support and encouragement to Uzias family, and stay updated on ways that you can stand up in the fight against childhood cancer, please visit his family’s Facebook page, Prayers & Support for Uzias.