There is something beautiful about pain. I think its found in coming out on the other side. Or maybe its when we use that emotion to take the focus off of ourselves and use it to serve others, or maybe it’s just being drawn to your knees in a place of complete surrender, and then maybe its all of the above.
Last night we went to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to an event that will forever mark our hearts. We stood outside of the hospital singing Christmas carols, hearing stories of heartache and hope, and lighting a candle and a large Christmas tree to both honor and inspire all of the children in the hospital and all of their families. I wish we had a million pictures to share, but instead we were hugging our friends, our children, and especially Kaden. It was cold, but he held his candle high.
This was so humbling. As I was squeezing Kaden as tight as I could singing Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah, I cried. There was an overwhelming sense of gratitude and love, but also one of remembering fear and pain. How could that little baby we held in the CVICU all of those nights be here today inspiring hope in others? I cried more, and I held him as close as I could.
We never really allowed ourselves to dream for him. We didn’t picture him hitting his milestones. We only believed and prayed in God’s plan for his life; we clung only to this truth.
Today, Kaden is clearly thriving, and at 17 months of age, we spend each day in utter amazement at how much this boy loves life, truly. We did get to celebrate his milestones…. His first words were dada, hi, and Addy. He was talking before he was walking, and now he is running down the sidewalk chasing after his big brother. He swings his putter as if he has been doing it for years, and I think we will have to hide the keys to daddy’s golf cart before the age of 2. (He is already climbing up there and putting the keys in the ignition!) He hit each of these milestones with God’s perfect timing, and in hindsight, dreaming or trying to set our own expectations for him through these last 8 months would have stolen the perfect joy and timing that each one possessed.
The beauty of pain is in hope. Its in the promises the Lord provides. Its in living out our lives to glorify Him. Will you all join us next year to Ignite Hope at Phoenix Children’s or in your local community? We will walk again to honor these children and their families. We will walk again to honor our memories of Kaden’s fight and his triumph. We will walk again to glorify the Lord and all of His mighty plans.
Merry Christmas, friends. We love you.