A Special Date

The showers of blessings God has given to me are too many to count, but many times I've had doubts. In I Peter 5, we're reminded to "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." Sometimes this has been hard for me to do. However, when my youngest son faced cancer, God was my only hope.

Crying out from the bottom of my heart I begged the Almighty One to take my life and leave my little son. James was only three years old and his long fight with Leukemia had drained so much life from his tiny body, yet his witness of strength and love seemed to grow stronger every day. How could we celebrate his third birthday in the children's hospital on May 22 knowing it could be his last? Friends and family members mailed hundreds of cards which we used to wallpaper the little hospital room which had become home away from home to us. My mother baked a cookie monster cake and family members drove hundreds of miles just to join us in remembering the birth of this little blessing.

The Leukemia was in remission and my oldest son, Nick, was a good match for the bone marrow transplant. No insurance left us in financial need which was being met through the many fundraisers, benefits and gifts from folks throughout our community and beyond. God had shown us such love and had strengthened us so many times. Yes, I had cast all my anxiety on Him and trusted in Him to solve this terrible illness threatening James.

July 4th was celebrated at our real home in north central Missouri and it seemed true independence had taken on a special meaning for us. Then came August and the fight ended. Some said James lost; others said the Leukemia won. I say all won who were touched by his life and his witness. His final words to me were, "Don't worry mommy; God will take care of me." That is inscribed on his tomb and reminds me always that he is with God now and indeed he won because Jesus defeated death on the cross one spring long ago.

James' birthday was harder to celebrate after that. Because I've been an educator in the public schools of Missouri our end-of-the-school-year activities seemed to help me avoid the date. I wanted to remember but the pain of it clouded the joy.

I thought God had let me down. Even with all the blessings He had given me, I didn't see how this cloud could ever be lifted. But I've learned to never give up on God because He sure hasn't given up on me. My middle son, Joe, was very close with his little brother and when his first child, a son, was born the name chosen was Christian James. His smile lights up any room and his bright eyes remind me of God's promises. May 22, 2000, my first grandchild, Christian James, will celebrate his first birthday. Yes, he not only shares the name but also the same birthdate. I plan to be there hugging Christian and eating a very special cake in his honor.

God gave me back May 22 and made it a very special date to remind me of promises He makes that He never breaks.

Freda Ann Blevins


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