Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Letters to God

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

26 comments:

Ofelia said...

CJ and Dawn and your entire family, you ARE my heroes!

Nan said...

Yay Lord!! Our God is SOOOOO faithful and SOOOO mighty! CJ, you are an amazing young man - a true warrior for Jesus. Your light shines, not only in your dark moments, but in the darkness of others whom you come in contact with. You have honored your Heavenly Father in such a glorious way. You, sir, have fought the good fight. I will continue to pray for you and for your remarkable family. Thank you for your inspiration, perseverance and faith.

Sweet blessings to you,
Nan Jones

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn & CJ-

You both are ALWAYS such an inspiration to us as we read your blog. You are a shining example to so many people! CJ you amaze me!!!! I didn't realize you are so close to being DONE WITH CHEMO. That's awesome news!!!!
You have managed to do so much already, and to bless so many others along the way. We are honored to have met you guys!

Sue, Yovany, Alicia, Anthony, Kenzie & Chris
www.Caringbridge.org/visit/MackenzieGonzalez

Anonymous said...

CJ & Family,

You are a hero to our family CJ and you a great example and role modal to our kids. All of you keep us focused on Godly perspective. Thanks for your faith, and humility to share your lives.

Love ya,

Viguie Family

Anonymous said...

Cj even though you don't think you are a hero.....in my eyes you are, and in the eyes of many people you don't even know.......a BIG hero!!!....I thank GOD for your courage, and for the strength He has given you.....
My family and I will be joining you on Nov 13th. I have been wearing the blue CBC bracelet in honor of your healling.....I want to be there to celebrate with you (my hero)
May the Lord continue to bless you Cj

Anonymous said...

sorry I forgot to put in my info...
last posting is me
ILY

Mitch said...

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile C.J., but be assured that I have read EVERY message posted on your family's blog. I still share your message of hope and encouragement at my Team in Training practices, events, etc. I share news of your progress, views on life, and whatnot. I think it's important for all of us to see things in our world from another's perspective. So thank you for sharing your story, feelings and most importantly, your faith, so freely. My intention and hopes in joining TNT were to make a difference in someone else's life and you have in turn, touched mine deeply. You have motivated me to keep going with TNT because (we both know), there is still a lot left to do. We need a cure and better drugs with less side effects. I will ALWAYS continue to pray that you stay cancer free and I plan to continue my volunteering with TNT thanks to stories like yours. Love and faith from a far away friend who would LOVE to meet her little hero someday, Mitch Barnhart

Anonymous said...

CJ
What a memorable two years it has been and you have grown so much in so many ways. Thank you for never giving up and for being so strong to face many difficult situations. You have inspired me and I know many others. You are in our prayers.
Mrs. Pino

Resie Manahan said...

CJ,
Thank you for selflessly sharing your life to others and encouraging people inspite of your own trials. You are a blessing. God is glorified CJ and His light in you is shining so brightly. Dawn, thank you for sharing your heart and keeping us up to date. Yes! Jehovah-rapha, God, the healer is way out incomparable to any medical statistics out there. I am praying for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Hey CJ, we will be praying for your chemo app. tomorrow early morning in our devotions with the boys. We love you and your character and attitudes have been the ones of somebody with no fear, maybe not in the fact that you have not felt it, but in that you have chosen time and time again to keep moving forward and that my friend is admirable. Please know that even when people do not coment that much, you are still love and prayed for and God undivided attention is daily with you :) Can you see it? i am sure you do.
We love you and your family...always
Claudia for the Abeggs

Anonymous said...

Hey CJ !!!!
You ARE an amazing kid. Please know that as you have lived one day at a time, just being yourself, learning how to trust Jesus through all of this, you have encouraged me in who God is, how big He is, His faithfulness...and much more. My name is Kim and I've been following you're journey from the early blogs. A friend of a friend emailed you're story asking for prayer... You're story has touched many lives as I have read each blog and the comments. Keep trusting and enjoying Jesus and the promises of God in His Word for you. You have a great family, too!! (which I'm sure you know). Enjoy them and simply enjoy each moment in life. I try and do that too :)

:) Kim (from boca)

Dawn, thank you for sharing you're heart and life so honestly and faithfully through this blog.

Lori Fultz said...

Hi CJ!

I am Derek Murrell's big sis and have been praying for you and following your blog for almost two years. What an AMAZING testimony you have!!! Just wanted you to know that prayers are going up for you from Wadsworth, OH. You have touched my heart! <3 God bless you!
In Christ,
Lori Fultz

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn and CJ,

You are at Chemo right now and we are prying for you that all goes well, as with Enzo. YOu have touched and helped so many people in such a short period of time. You should be so proud of yourself... I know we are!! You are almost there CJ!!!
Sending you lots of love and keeping you always in our thoughts and prayers

Nicole Ana Alberto

Miriam Seijo said...

Hi Dawn and CJ,
Thank you for sharing your lives with us. You are truly an inspiration to me and my family. We are praying for you! Stay strong and couragous!!
Blessings,
Miriam Seijo

Anonymous said...

CJ and Family, Indeed our God is mighty and we praise Him for how beautifully He has been displayed in your humble little earthen vessels! CJ, Dawn, each of you, you have been a city on a hill, vessels of honor that our mighty God has used to store and pour out great treasure. We read each blog post and cry with you and for you and pray and rejoice and wrestle with the tough things that God puts on our hearts as a result of your honesty and bravery and faith. You are indeed heros to us, such a blessed part of this wonderful family of ours in Jesus. THANK YOU for all you have allowed God to do in this incredibly difficult season. We love you and will continue to pray! To God be the glory!

Hugh, Mattie, Caedmon, and Gwyneth

Anonymous said...

You are truely a hero in our eyes!! I have watched you grow from the time you were born until now and you are such an amazing kid even when you were young with your curly hair!! you were always the kindest nicest sweet boy we new we love you very much can't wait till your treatment is over your almost there hang in there All out love FOREVER The Rodriguez bunch xoxoxo

Dan the Cobra Man said...

CJ, you are always in my prayers and thoughts. Keep strong, keep positive and keep the faith.

Dan the Cobra Man

Sonia said...

Hi CJ, you are such a good kid, that God is opening to you so many paths to help others and help yourself at the same time. Hop every thing went fine for you yesterday. I´m sorry can not walk with you but, I will do it in my mind and prays.
Lots of love to you, your fathers, brothers and specially for Ali.
Sonia and Antonio.
My girls are not around. Andrea is in Oxford England and Alejandra is in Spain in a Camp.

Anonymous said...

CJ

Amazing also that while your Mom was writing letters to God you were writing poetry about God even before you were diagnosed. You probably don't remember but when you were about 4 and 5 and giving all your stuff away and helping others you said you wanted to tell people about God one day. After that you became more nervous and your anxiety started. We've told you this over and over that we knew one day God was going to use you in a big way and this is it honey. When you give your speeches and in your heart I know that you are always thanking others and reaching out to others. When the kids you've met at the hospital have a victory you celebrate. When one of them is hurting you hurt. You've also stepped up to the plate in such a big way with attending the breakfasts and speaking engagements waking up at 6:00 in the morning and driving around to raise money and awareness for others. This to me is one of the main lessons in life. It took me about 60 years to figure out what you already put into practice at 11. I also always told you that you may not get the most baskets in a game, hit the most homeruns in a game, win the relay race but your love for others, for your family, your dedication to God is huge and no LeBron James, Dwaye Wade, Zo is worth more than you. If God gave out pay checks yours would be huge!!. Oh yeah, he does, your reward will be waiting for you in heaven. Your signing bonus is that you trust Him and will willing go where He leads you.



You are a hero to your Papa. Your strength is amazing. Papa sees the shows with other people with cancer and he turns them off and/or cries. He sees a little girl in the parking lot at the hospital with no hair, a mask on in her mother's arms and he cries. He starts talking to the Mom and he cries. Papa could never go speak at these places or be around other people with cancer as he would have too much anxiety and doesn't want to face it. I know that even when you are well you will not forget. Most of us say in times of trials I will go back, I will help others, I will remember and then distance themselves as fast as they can from those memories. I know that won't happen.

CJ I will come to the walk and celebrate the end of this race. I too remember the first one we attended and you didn't want to wear the t-shirt, carry the balloon, talk to the others in the booth. Now you could teach the class and be the welcoming committee.

It amazes me that no matter who I meet at the hospital -- no kidding, nurses in the elevator, people walking the dogs that visit people, doctors, clowns, security guards, staff workers, even Papa's doctor, if I mention CJ George my grandson they all break out into big smiles. "I know CJ". One pulled a picture of you out of his wallet, one held up their arm and showed me a bracelet of yours, one pulled out another gift they got from you, one said they were giving a speech at Gilda's and saw you in a video, one saw you on tv. You leave your mark on people honey and I'm so proud to be your Grandma.

I think your Mom should keep writing her letters. What a gift. I remember the turmoil she was going through when you were struggling. Do you know that she already prays all the time about who will be your wife, that God will work in her life also. She is kind of a hero too but I guess you already know that.

CJ, we are so lucky to have you in our lives. You are a local hero and a Powerful Kid winner but I think one day you'll go national so get ready.


Love Grandma -- P.S. We have chemo all day today. If this is your day please tell Mom to call me when she is there so I can come over.

Anonymous said...

C.J. I worked with your uncle Shawn at JMJ and have been reading the blog for most of the time and I am amazed at how strong you are through this whole journey. You are truly a Hero and keep your faith in God and that will carry you farther than you could ever imagine. I will continue to pray for all of you guys. Calvin

Anonymous said...

Thank you...God is amazing!

Andrea C said...

This afternoon I was reading through the Light the Night email and came to a part where It said "At the walk you will meet our local honored hero's: Cj George.." I did a double take because it surprised me and then thought "why would that surprise me? Cj is my hero too!"
Thanks Cj for being you, sharing Christ's love, and being a hero, even if you don't think you are one. Can't wait to cut the bracelets with you!

andrea-

Cheryl Lewis said...

CJ, I'm sooo excited that it looks like I'll get to meet you at the Lighthouse retreat! It's gonna be so much fun! Be prepared for your cheeks to ache from laughing so much... Hugs, Cheryl

martha said...

CJ and Dawn,

Waooo this is amazinggg!!! CJ you are a true heroe to me, I have been following your story almost since the begining, I am so happy for this opportunity that you had of sharing your story for so many to help other kids like you. I am so happy that treatment will be over soon, and you will be completly healed. Praise God!!!!!! He is good, and he sure listen to our prayers!!!!

AMy Derrickson said...

Hi there!! I know it's been a long time since I have posted. We have had a busy summer! We just finished moving in with Chris's 85 yr old grandparents, and a lot of work has gone into this transition. We are still following with your blog but sometimes I do fall behind. I really enjoy reading about what God is doing in the life of your family.
I also wanted to let you know that I met Sena Rogers today at a CC practicum. We started talking and found that we had both moved up from South FL. I asked where she went to church down there, and wa la...! It is certainly a small world and I do not believe in mere coincidences. It was good to talk to her.
I am happy to hear you are finishing up with your chemo, CJ. You are certainly a brave young man!
I hope you are all doing well.
Love you,
Amy

Anonymous said...

Still praying CJ!