Recently, a new movie was released called Letters to God based on the true life of a little boy with cancer who wrote letters to God that powerfully impacted the mail carrier and many others. That is a very brief synopsis of a much deeper true story. I have not seen the movie yet, but both CJ and I read the book which was amazing!
It was deeply personal for me, not only because I also have a son the same age battling cancer, but also because I have been writing letters to God for many years now. This morning I was spending some quiet time writing one such letter and I decided to flip through the notebook and read some old ones. I have to share one that I came across written in February 2008. Keep in mind this is a full 7 months BEFORE CJ was diagnosed with cancer.
The letter reads, "God,....I love you. I need you. I am lost without you. God, please intervene in my family. I need you to help me with CJ. He needs you. He seems hollow or lost. It scares me. Please God, help him find his way back to you. Don't let me mislead him. I only want to lead him to Your arms. Please reveal Yourself to him. Set him apart God. May he be a vessel for noble purposes. Heal him from fear, anxiety and unbelief. Heal his stomach and his head. Open my eyes to anything ailing him. We need you God."
Did you catch all that I asked for? Are you stunned at how God responded to my request for healing for my son.....healing for his fear, anxiety and unbelief... healing for his ailing stomach and confusion? Do you wonder how stage 3 cancer is an answer to that prayer? Oh, but it is! CJ's diagnosis and battle for his life against an aggressive cancer has answered every prayer and request listed above. Amazing isn't it? God knows better than us. Even in the midst of what seems out of control God is working to give us even more than we can ask or imagine. How so?
Well, I did not ask God to help CJ be bold is sharing his trials and his faith openly in that prayer, yet God did that as well. I did not ask God that CJ would develop a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord, and God did that as well. I did not ask God that CJ would be blessed to know many people care about him, and yet God did that as well. He has done and given more than we could have ever asked or imagine.
This past two weeks CJ and I have attended four different events where he and I have had the opportunity to speak and share our story and our faith in a great God with corporations that are excited about raising money for blood cancer research through Light the Night.
This opportunity arose because CJ has been selected as an Honored Hero for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Annual Light the Night Walk. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity. The Light the Night walk is special to us because we attended it one month after he was diagnosed and although everything was very surreal at the time, it was a great reminder that we would not be alone in this battle. We were surrounded by so many friends and family who came out to show their support for CJ!
Well, believe it or not, here we are two years later and CJ will attend this year's walk one month after he finished treatment instead of one month after diagnosis. He is calling this his 'End of Chemo Walk' and he is very excited. And what a blessing that he will attend as an honored hero.
What is amazing about CJ is that he does not think he is a hero. Here is an excerpt from the speech he gives at these corporate luncheons..."I was very happy when Light the Night chose me as their honored hero for the walk this year. I don't feel like a hero though. I feel like all the people that have supported me through my battle and are fighting to find a cure are the heroes. I feel like all of you who raise money to help people like me who you don't even know are the heroes."
Is that awesome or what? He is so amazing. And whether he feels like it or not, he is my little hero. I am so proud of him. I am extremely proud that he is willing to share his trials openly to encourage others and raise support and awareness for other kids and people battling cancer. You may not realize it but it is extremely difficult to put your deepest trials and most difficult circumstances out there again and again. It is much easier to drown yourself in the sweet invitation to forget about it and move on.
Well, this is your chance to support our little honored hero for this year's Light the Night. This will be CJ's End of Chemo Walk and we want to make it a big deal for him and have as big of a group as we did one month after his diagnosis. If you are local, please join Team CJ and attend the walk with us on November 13th at the Huizenga Plaza on the South East Corner of Andrews and Las Olas. (Please note the New location for the Broward Walk!!!)
If you are not local please visit the site and join Team CJ and help raise funds or just make a donation to his team to help him reach his goal. Check out his team page at http://pages.lightthenight.org/sfl/Huizenga10/TEAMCJ
Please join us for this very special event in CJ's life. We will be officially cutting off or removing our blue Pray for CJ's bracelets that we put on two short years ago while at the walk! I will still ask that you continue to pray for him if you are willing. His battle will not end with the last chemo appointment but it will be a huge step toward that end and we will celebrate it! We will live and walk by faith and not by sight or statistics of relapse or death in these children. We know what we are facing when it comes to numbers but we chose to face something much bigger than numbers instead. We face our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ! He is so much better than statistics.
Thank you for your prayers.
PLEASE NOTE: CJ Has chemo this Friday at the hospital. His numbers are finally up after that period of inconsistency and he is back on schedule. Please pray for continued healing for him and all kids battling cancer.
If you have a moment and you can send him a note in the comments that would be great. He sees the decrease and asks about it at times. We love to read the comments and words of encouragement to him when they come in.
Link to Team CJ Light the Night Page: TEAM CJ