Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Love and kindness

The scan indicated that the tumour is stable. Thank you Jesus for your mercy. Thank you everyone who continues to stand with us in prayer, believing for complete healing in this little body. At the results appointment there was a confidence expressed that the tumour would not grow again. Again thank you Jesus for Your mercy and that You have the victory always.

Charlotte came to the hospital with us on Monday to support Victoria preparing for her scan. There is nothing like this sisterly love to add some hilarity to the goings-on.

These last two weeks Charlotte has been all we hoped a big sister would be. She has managed her own anxieties and encouraged her sister with a reassuring love and patience.
And Charlotte hasn't been the only one pouring out love and grace to Victoria in the past two weeks, when anxiety about this scan rose it's ugly head and caused some havoc.

Victoria's school friends have been giving her cards of encouragement throughout the week, and comforting her as best they can. Yesterday after getting the scan results we decided to bless the Year 4 students with a party to say thank you for the love and kindness they have shown Victoria. Charlotte took on the role of event co-coordinator and table design. Alexandra was her helper. Victoria decided she would like to go to class (probably a good idea after she hasn't been in her own classroom much in the past two weeks!).

What a blessing the school community has been to our family over these past two weeks (and indeed the entire 6.5 years of this journey). Showing the practical love of Jesus in our time of need. Thank you.

At the end of this post is the entry from my God Girl Blog last week explaining more of what has gone on in these weeks leading up the scan.

Now we now looking forward to returning to that lovely normal life that we have begun to so enjoy. The next scan will be in December, with a view to then having the scans further apart.

Saying thank you again for your prayers and support, seems so inadequate, but that is all we have, so thank you. Thank you for not giving up in prayer. We have seen the goodness of God, and can testify to the truth of this scripture....

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10

We continue to stand on The Rock that is Jesus.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV 

God Girl Blog Entry - May 11 2017

For us, it's that time when the scan-anxiety starts to take hold. How do you teach a nine year old to find refuge in God?

Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 71:3 NKJV

Can you remember what you were doing when you were 9 years old? I was at a little primary school in Auckland. We would walk to school carefree. On Sundays we would roller-skate in the local Supermarket car park because there was no Sunday trading. We would have fun (and some scary moments) sailing around the Hauraki Gulf on the yacht my father built. I was part of a family that loved me and encouraged me. There was probably some stress in my parents life, but I was oblivious to that, and that oblivion was okay because they were adults and I was a child. Kid's lives are supposed to be stress free. Aren't they?

On the news we can see that there are many kids whose lives aren't stress free. No, for some every day is a fight for survival. 

In our little world here of Valentine, our little nine year old's world has been punctured by fear and anxiety for the past week or so, as her next scan draws nearer. It is heart-breaking to watch.

How do you teach a nine year old to find refuge in God?

My answer - by letting her keep living life, not isolating and withdrawing her from life and the hardships. But rather, letting her experience the many ways God has provided refuge for her.

Refuge - a shelter from pursuit or danger or trouble; a person or place offering this; a person, thing, or course resorted to in difficulties. (Oxford Concise Australian Dictionary)

Here are some of the ways that God has provided refuge for Victoria over the past 10 days......

With the swimming coach - who took the extra time to encourage her to try something new this week

With the school teachers - who have gifted her with grace as they have moved her from class to class finding distractions, and given her beautiful physical gifts.

With the school office staff - who provide cuddles, a comforting word and the phone call to mum.

With the sports teacher - who takes extra time to help her prepare for the school athletics competition next week

With the 4WD clubs - who gave up their Sunday to give the Camp Quality families fun on Stockton beach. 

With her brother - showing her a new app on the ipad (although I don't know if it was entirely appropriate)

With her sisters - as they blast out Toby Mac songs in my car, singing at the top of their lungs - this is not a test, this is the real thing!

With Ken - taking her out on a donut date for afternoon tea

With me - sitting in the back seat of the car together after arriving home for school. Just sitting together, few words spoken.

With her journal - writing her thoughts to God and drawing love hearts.

With my missing bible - reading with the torch at night, when the lights should have been out.
And all this with the prayer covering of many who have stood in faith with her for the past six years.

This is the refuge that only a loving God can provide. 

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God in Him I will trust." Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler." Psalm 91:1-4 NKJV

Thank you to everyone who has provided refuge to Victoria in some way this week.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A future and a hope

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

Just over four years ago in 2013, in my post I wrote the following prayer request regarding Victoria's sporting activities at school.

Please pray that Victoria will not lose confidence and will not stop trying to participate in these physically challenging activities. We believe she will indeed be victorious in all areas of her life and that she will know the peace of her heavenly Father.

And today, by the grace of God, Victoria is continuing to gain confidence and see victory in her life. Thank you to everyone who has stood with us in prayer, believing that Victoria would live her life to the full.

Swimming is one of those physical areas where Victoria is going from strength to strength. For example...

February 2016 - Victoria could barely swim 25m freestyle.
October 2016  - she swam her first 50m freestyle at a NSW Multi-class competition - with a time of 1:33:51 seconds.
February 2017  - Victoria swam the 50m freestyle in 1:12:08 at the school zone competition, an improvement of 30 seconds.

Her Breaststroke seen similar improvements, with her personal best time improving by over 30 seconds from 2016.

The hidden blessing in all this is that swimming is the best activity Victoria can do to keep the left side of body functional and growing in strength. So how good is it that God has put this love of swimming in her heart. It is not a struggle (usually) for her to go to training, and she is always keen to receive instruction on how to improve.

Thank you for your prayers for her. Please continue to pray for physical healing to manifest in her, and for the strength she needs to make it through the emotionally challenging days (thankfully these days are becoming less and less). 

Again it has been a blessing to have six months between scans. Each of our children has had a great start to the school year, without the interruption of scanxiety

Victoria's next scan is on the 15th May. We will get the results on the 16th May.  We continue to believe for the complete disintegration of the tumour, in Jesus Name. We would appreciate your prayers for peace for Victoria and our family as that date draws nearer. 

Finally, the scripture from that February 2013 post still holds true for today,

When I said, "My foot is slipping", your love, O LORD supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:18-19 

Thank you again for your prayers and support. We will continue to give testimony to God's faithfulness.