Thankful For The “Nothing”

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I suppose part of a “suffering” experience is feeling far away from God. Lately I have often thought about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, his petitioning his Father to “take this cup from me”, the feeling “forsaken” on the cross…and of Job when he cried out “If only I knew where He might be found!” I have identified so well, with these sentiments, as well as some of David’s Psalms these last several months.

Scarier than feeling pain, is feeling nothing, I think. For several weeks now I have felt just that. Maybe this “nothing” is God’s grace, a survival mode of sorts to be able to function in spite of heavy circumstance. Whatever it may be, it has been a strange place.

But I can already see the fruit. My empathy-meter has reached an all time high. I am slow to judge, and quick to identify with another’s pain. I am more forgiving of weakness in others as I have experienced it myself. And I “see” with new eyes, with His eyes, all of the hurt around me.

It has been a hard pill to swallow, all this coming to terms with things I never thought I would have to consider…all this sharing of Phoebe and realizing that she’s really God’s, I mean really, really His. And I have scraped bottom more than once. I have completely lost my marbles in a tiny ER room and found myself incapable of stopping the tears despite embarrassment. I have had crazy visions of pulling all the tubes and wires off my daughter and just making a run for it to God knows where.

I have had words from the Lord that left me soaring for days and moments when I just know that everything is going to be okay. I have laughed so hard I cried at Phoebe’s silly talk in the wee small hours and I have let those tears become sadness in the very next moment because I can’t bear the thought of losing her.

It’s been enough to make a girl feel like she’s a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. And then with an undetectable, subtle shift, something breaks open. A small crack of light peeks through the nothing and I can feel a little bit of joy. I see the purpose in the nothing for the first time. It hasn’t all been for naught. And that’s as far I can see right now, but it’s something, and it feels a little bit like hope.

One of my favorite online devotionals is http://www.adisciplesnotebook.com
and this is what I found there tonight;
God’s trusting child may say in times of trouble:

FIRST: He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that will I rest.

NEXT: He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.

THEN: He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.

LAST: In His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.

Say: I am here—
(1) By God’s appointment.
(2) In His keeping.
(3) Under His training.
(4) For His time.
Andrew Murray (1828-1917)
~~~
And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you; and you shall glorify me.

Psalm 50:15 (ESV)
Grateful, Amey

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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.

14 responses »

  1. Amy,
    Reading your heart on paper brings me back to that very place I was for about four years. Weeping as I read your words, I feel such joy and hope for you and your family. This place, as you say, though a time of unspeakable pain and nothingness, proved to be a turning point for me in my life.

    My life, considered now to be a time of yes, of God’s perfect appointed timing. During the these last four years I hid under His wings, watched, listened and learned, and now clearly a vessel for His purposes. I was acutely aware of much during this last process and often wondered if it were numbness or grace that sustained me. I know it was grace.

    I have found that a mother’s love is beyond measure, as is our Father’s. our children are God’s, not ours. Be content in whatever is before us, knowing that we will one day we will ultimately dwell in the house of the Lord. He gives us the deepest joy, insight, understanding, compassion and so much more, but above all, love. Beauty that we could never have imagined otherwise.

    Prayers continue to go up for Phoebe, you and your family, the doctors, and many others.

    May Jesus surround you with His comfort, peace and joy!

    Lori DeFebbo Bizzell

  2. Hi Amey,

    This is a hard, tough walk and my heart aches for you and I walk beside you, holding you up in prayer.
    So many times I ask Father, but why? Why? He always answers me with , “My ways are not your ways. Trust Me, I AM in control and even when it looks so bad and at an end from your eyes, it is only the beginning of beautiful, wonderful things that you cannot see while you are here.” “Many lives I AM touching and working in through this, have faith My child and trust in Me.”

    Satan sure does know how to attack and get us where it hurts the most, our children. He is out to destroy families and take away all good things from us. God relates to us and our pain because He gave up His only Son for us. I just cannot imagine how much it hurt and pained Father to turn His back on His Son and know He was suffering on that cross. Father knows exactly what you are going through and He weeps with you but He also knows there is a greater plan, one you cannot see right now. Killing self is so hard but so worth it for the reward of the Holy Spirit and being fully sanctified in Jesus produces in us a love and gentleness that can come no other way.

    Praying and praying for you, your family and dear sweet Phoebe.

  3. Amey your words have brought me to tears …again. I don’t write often but await the updates with eagerness to know how little Pheobe is doing. I pray for you all often. Your faith is so encouraging in the midst of terror. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing.

  4. Amey, Thank you for being vulnerable and real. Though our paths are different and the issues we face are different, I recognized this place. I have been hanging on by the power of God’s words and the truth in 2 Cor 4: 7-18.

    May this truth sustain you and encourage you: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

    May your eyes be fixed on the eternal and even literally turned upward toward the heavenlies.

    You are a light and a witness to all who encounter you on this journey.

    Praying with you and for you. . .grace and peace, Jeannie

  5. I pray for Phoebe almost every day, very seldom do I not. There are days that God has brought Phoebe’s name to me several times during the day. I pray and thank God for a miracle in Phoebe’s little body. You are amazingly strong and very honest. Tears fill my eyes when I read what you,Phoebe, and your family are going through. I pray for peace for you in the midst of this storm. Keep leaning on Jesus and He will see you through. I know you will. You do not know me, but you have touched my heart. Just remember we do have a God that can do miracles. I am claiming Phoebe’s miracle. God bless you Amey.

  6. Another touching post that has me walking away with a little more insight into life. As you share your trials, I as a reader grow in faith and am able to apply your life “lessons” or “reflections” to my own life. Thank you so much for sharing! I keep you in my prayers often and am hoping you are able to enjoy your holidays – which I am I sure you will no matter what, because you always seem to find the silver lining! I admire you and your strength!

  7. thank you Amey…we face some tough decisions this week in regards two of our kids. I needed this reminder and your words brought such comfort to my heart. I know that numbness many times myself…unfortunately. Not by any means am I comparing but the Mom heart breaking thing..it is so real to us too right now. Looking at therapeutic foster homes this week for my 10 year old son. It breaks my heart and the feeling of innocence about life and systems and weakness. He has been declared truly mentally ill and it aches my heart like nothing else. If we could go through chemo and fix it I would be there….but no. I am praying for you often. Love to you girl as you just keep trusting. Glad we have such a wonderful Father….

  8. You are in my prayers, daily. Asking for healing and strength from our heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing. This post brought me to tears as well. God bless you and your precious Phoebe and family.

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