There is nothing like the desperation of a parent trying to help their child. You will go to any lengths to ensure safety, security, and in our case, a cure.
Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or better known as DIPG, was the tumor that our Molly was diagnosed with at the age of five.
It’s literally a death sentence from the moment the doctors see the MRI.
Yet, despite the statistics, the information, and the facts coming at us, like every other parents who hear the diagnosis, we thought Molly would be the first to overcome it. We wanted to believe that the odds could be turned for her, because there is always a first. A lucky one. A miracle.
This was not the case.
As we traveled the road of treatments, trials, and experimental procedures, we thought we knew what would make us happy. All we needed was a break, a miracle to stop the monstrous cancer from growing and spreading.
That word hangs on so much these days.
I thought that I would be happy with a cure. Then I thought I would be happy with some extra time. In the end, I thought happiness would be brought with the peaceful and painless death for my six-year-old.
It was not so.
The surprise came to me when I found out happiness was not in any of these things.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” ~John 15:11
Cars. Houses. Furniture.
Vacations. Thrills. Adventures.
Careers. Trophies. Wins.
Sex. Relationships. People.
Pleasure. Food. Money.
Health. Cures. Life.
These words represent so many of the things that I have allowed my heart to trust in for joy and happiness. If we were all honest with ourselves, I am sure we could find a thing or two to add. But just like all things, all relationships, and all experiences, they disappear and fade.
But there is One that still remains. One that is unchanging, always giving, never disappointing.
Do you see what Jesus said in that verse?
His joy will remain in us, and then our joy can remain full.
Just like when I pour my daughter a glass of milk, though it is her cup I am filling, it is my milk that is being put into the vessel.
It has taken me so long to grasp this idea that even if Molly would have been cured and completely made new on earth, my joy would not have come from that. My joy would still have come from that same source:Christ.
Sure. My heart would not be suffering as it does now that she is not here. Seeing her still empty bed and pictures on the wall that never change or age hurt my heart. I cannot deny that I am human and that this pain of losing my child may dull, but never go away.
But I can still have joy today.
I can still go to the Joy Giver and say, “Can you fill me up today so that I can be full of happiness? I can’t find any joy, but I know you can supply some.”
I leave you with this quote.
“Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.”