Daring To Dream

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She’s eating spaghetti and dipping the dinner roll in butter and the sun has settled just so on the side of her face. Angelic. The last of the tumor-killing poison is dripping into her line and tomorrow morning will find us packing up and heading home.

And “home” is on my mind.

“Home” has been a 15 passenger van with 13 other people our first year of marriage. “Home” has been a tiny apartment in a suburb of Mexico. “Home” has been an 80 year old log cabin with snakes in the closet, where I brought my first baby home. “Home” has been an upstairs apartment at language school, a duplex in town, a friend’s rental house, a mobile home on our missions base, and lovely rent house in Chapala Mexico where Phoebe came home just hours after she was born.

And I was born for this. Made for all this moving. I had always wanted to “go”. And in my going God has taken me to China, Mongolia, Denmark, Sweden, France, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. I have lugged babies and cumbersome pregnant bellies onto cross-country busses and airplanes and into mountain villages with thin air. It hasn’t been glamorous, but it has been an adventure. The adventure He invited me to when I was 21.

There has been a lot of laughter. Much awe. Fear so thick I could cut it with a knife. A ridiculous amount of grace. A sense of wonder at His plan. And a dream of Mexico. And of my children growing up there. A dream of being useful there, and being challenged beyond what I think I am capable of. And seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

And of course this is not Mexico, and I am not “going” much these days. And the year at the farm and the prayers for direction and God closing doors one by one was surreal. And then diagnosis and surgery and chemo and life in Dallas and all this trying to rearrange the plan. Wakeful nights spent trying to re-imagine where God was really going with all that….and what do you want us to do now Lord?

And home.

Where do we make our home?

She’s asleep now in this dark hospital room, flourescent green lights casting a glow on her sweet profile. City lights spread out beneath my window and I can see the hospital corridors across the street, the hallways that are so familiar to me now. She has sat on that bench, there is our clinic room, and across the street, the Marriott where we recovered from 48 hours of sleeplessness after brain surgery. Familiar. But not home.

For months I have felt a longing for a life more ordinary. He has too, he feels walled in and ready to expand. Our backyard is quickly turning into a tilapia sanctuary and this is not our dirt to dig in. But how to make a new start when cancer is a part time job and unpredictable too? And the boys are needing roots and a place to fit. So we went out on a limb, spent the day in East Texas where we met and fell in love and had our first two babies and gew up in the Lord. And we looked at land and houses and dreamed again out loud. Of agriculture training for third world application and family camps and we dreamed of boys in the woods and of owning something for the first time. We dreamed of roots and wings and trusting God for things we seem incapable of.

It felt good. And hope is powerful. And He is still making a path for our feet…

Phoebe has done well so far with this round. Deacon however, has a virus and we are trying to decide how to keep them separated for now.

Thank you all for being with us each step of the way,

~Amey

About Amey Fair

I am Amey Fair, wife to Nathan, and home-educating Mom to Benjamin (9), Averic (7), Deacon (4) and Phoebe (2) . Phoebe was diagnosed with a rare childhood malignant brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor on January 1, 2012. She had complete resection surgery to remove the tumor on January 4th and began chemotherapy using the Dana Farber protocol on January 26th. A few weeks ago I was sleeping in the chair next to Phoebe's bed in the hospital when I heard her little voice drawing me out of sleep. It was 3 am and it took me a minute to shake off the slumber. "Mommy I'm a mean girl" I thought she said. "No Phoebe, you're a nice girl!" I replied. "No Mommy, I'm a MIRACLE!" Phoebe said. "I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE, I'm a MIRACLE!" she continued on. My tears welled up and spilled over as she made her declaration. Phoebe doesn't know the word "miracle" nor the concept, she's only 2. It was as if the Lord was speaking through her like a prophetic utterance. She fell right back to sleep and I sat there awake, lingering in the magical moment. Less than 40 children are diagnosed with Phoebe's type of cancer in the U.S. each year. This is why it's called "ATYPICAL Teratoid Rabdoid Tumor". So, I have titled this blog in honor of Phoebe, our "Atypical Miracle". We are YWAM'ers, serving in missions through Youth With A Mission since 1998. Before returning to the states 1 year ago, we lived near Guadalajara Mexico for 3 years. It was during our year of agricultural missions training in Waco, TX that Phoebe began exhibiting symptoms from the pressure of the tumor on her brain. Weight loss, lethargy, extreme thirst and vomiting were her symptoms. We have been granted sabbatical during this time to focus on Phoebe's intensive chemotherapy treatment and are renting a home in Dallas near the Children's hospital where Phoebe is being treated. Like the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe in Luke chapter 8, we cling to Him, knowing that He is Phoebe's healer. If we can just touch Him, be near Him, bring Phoebe to Him each day, we have hope. He is our hope. Thank you for coming along on this journey with our family. It's therapeutic for me to write it all out, and in so doing, I hope God will use it for His glory.

23 responses »

  1. God, Amey. All I can say. God. You remind me so much of Jim Elliot. It’s wonderful, your writing. And surreal. I see Phoebe lying there in the hospital bed, just as you describe it. Amazing. God.

  2. WOW! I will add one word. Amey, I feel as if I am sitting next to you in Phoebe’s hospital room. Praying that God gives you the strength and patience as you wait to see His path in His time. Prayers for Deacon and his virus and knowledge of how to keep the two apart for the time needed.
    Blessings,
    Peggy

  3. Amey, to say your story and testimony is inspirational is not enough. I am immensely empowered to DO for others at least a fraction of what you have already done. Your ability to relate your feelings and connect to others is truly amazing. I am a Prayer Warrior for your precious girl. I have never met you personally and only know you through your posts and my constant prayers for Phoebe as well as your entire family. I have to say THANK YOU for using God to work through you and your experiences in remarkable ways. Hope is such as good thing and a God thing. Embrace it and dream big. I can’t wait to see how God continues to work through everything you are going through, but I know He IS and will continue doing so. I don’t think you’ll ever have a clue as to how many people you have touched and ministered to. THANK YOU again ~ it’s such an easy thing to type these words, but I pray you FEEL how much I mean them and know how much my life and perspective have changed as a result of you and your family.

  4. What a beautiful, selfless, adventurous life the Fairs have lived. You will have your roots and your wings, friend. This is only a season and there is a mighty testimony that will come from it. I believe that with all my heart. It is now that there is only one set of footprints in the sand as He carries you. He will set you back down on an even stronger foundation. And in the meantime your prayer warriors are storming the gates for you and for Phoebe. Love you.

  5. I don’t need to wonder if Joseph dreamed @ the bottom of the well- or as a slave- or in prison….and we know who put his dreams in front of him. What Glory came! Can’t wait to see what comes of the dreams he has planted in your hearts! Praise God for hope! for Phoebe! For you!!!

  6. I am never sure what to say so this is my first comment. I have followed your story since Tom Ziglar posted it on facebook. My wife Millie and I pray for Phoebe,you, your husband and your boys like they are own family. We thank you for your courage, your faith and your testimony which builds ours a little more everyday. God Bless you all! Please know you are ministering to many through your trials. Tell Phoebe we love her and we love you guys too! Jim & Millie

  7. Oh, yes! Keep dreaming, keep believing in far greater things than our finite minds can grasp. Keep hoping in Hope that is far greater than any eye can see! God has great plans for your family! I know it. I feel it and it’s the way our Daddy works. He works miracles in the darkness and ashes to beauty! Oh, sweet friends, keep running after Him and believing! ” I believe Lord, help my unbelief!” Love to each and every one of you and loads of hugs!

  8. I can’t tell you what a privilege it was to live in a van with the Fairs and a blessing it is to read your inspiring words today. I just keep hearing in my head, faithful one. Amey you have been faithful. Lord please open the gates of hope to become reality.

  9. My father-in-law was a funny guy right up to his death at, 90 years old. He loved “coined” phrases. The one that came to mind, while reading your journal entry was, “Where ever you’re at, there you are”. Some times your journey from one place the Lord wanted you to be to the next is exactly where God wants you. Amy and others have touched on this very well. Your journey has touched others. Like a boat passing through water, your wake has influenced the world around you, all the way to the shore.
    I believe, because we’ve asked God to use us, we are constantly being prepared for the next thing.

  10. Such a sweet post and I pray that soon, we will be reading about a new adventure with your entire family in tow! Fighting and praying for and with you Phoebe – we love you:)!! And praying that Deacon recovers quickly and that it doesnt amongst the family.

  11. Great post Amey and I am honored to be a part of your life. You have touched my life in so many ways and have brought me closer to God just reading along with your posts and praying for your beautiful family each and every day.

  12. Thank you for always being so real, so transparent, baring your soul, your writings minister to so many people, your Life speaks volumes more than words can say. Your whole family s in our thoughts and prayers and we have others praying as well. Keep on Keeping on! Keep on dreaming! I pray that your dreams come true soon for all of you. Love and hugs to sweet Phoebe, she is a real champion! Blessings to you all!

  13. Hi Amey,
    Blessings, the old will pass and the new will come. If you feel appropriate, you can send me Nathan’s email address that I may help encourage him in you times of trial. I am the person who sent you a wall plaque reminding us that miracles happen everyday. I actually did a course in aquaponics briefly in the UVI, under Jim the founder of aquaponics before he retired. The aquaponics might help relieve his mind a little about what is going on.

    Albert
    Albert@internationalchristiangifts.com

  14. Amey dear….home is where your heart is and obviously yours has traveled many a mile. Love to you as always…as your heart continues the journey one day at a time….afterall your heart will remind you as yours does often this world is not your home. The pain reminds you of that. Love seeing how you listen to God’s heart for each of you and He walks you HOME….wherever that is. 🙂

  15. I started following your story when a friend of mine posted a link to your blog on facebook, and it touched my heart so much that here months later, I am still following. I am a nurse at Children’s Med Dallas, and although I don’t work on the CCBD floor, I have friends who do, and it is so inspiring to hear your’s and Phoebe’s story, and to know that God is working in your lives in a place that means so much to me, like CMC. I pray that you will find the roots you seek and that God will continue to use every second of your story to bless others, and that we will one day read about how long Phoebe has been in recovery!

  16. Have you considered New Mexico, our state, in a recent survey is 90% unchurched. Albq, has decent medical facilities. The cit of Houston has about the same population as NM. We need people who can deal with harsh conditions, in remote areas with few resources.
    Our prayers continue for you and for your family May God continue to heal Phoebe, and to watch over all of you in special and wonderful ways.

  17. Dear Amey,
    I was reflecting on John 14: 1 – 2:
    1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.2 In my Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
    Even though this is referring to Jesus preparing a place in Heaven for us, I trust that the Lord has a good place for you and your family here. I pray that a place is prepared for you to abide and enjoy life here. I trust that the Lord will go before your family, help you and Nathan find a focus, and discover His plan for home. I pray that each of you find home, a place filled with life, peace. Despite this huge trial, I pray that your family relationships will grow strong, and be blessed above what we can imagine.
    May Jehovah rapha bring healing to Phoebe and Deacon. May Jehovah jireh meet your every need as provider.
    Rosemary Kirby

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