Why Are You Praying?

First of all, I must preface this post by saying I don't ever intend on this blog being anthing more than a journal for my family.  I am extremely humbled by the number of people who care about my precious Lucy and want to keep up with her struggle.  With that being said, I often have a random post in which I spend a little time reflecting on my thoughts.  If you were to scroll back through previous posts you would see several in which I had spent time contemplating life.  Tonight, at 11:52 pm, sitting on a hosptial bed I am having one of those moments.  As I try to wrangle the emotional tsunami hitting my head and heart everyday I have been burdened by a conversation Erik and I had last Monday night.

***This should in NO way be construed as a sermon or Biblically based philosophy.  Take it at face value--rantings from a mom who is trying to get a grasp on reality.***

We had driven to Memphis to take Lucy to the night clinic because she was screaming with stomach pain and had started walking funny.  It was a short check up that had us going back home a few hours later.  On the way home we started talking about prayer.  I have absolutely no recollection of how we got on the topic.  We began to talk about prayer and why we even have to do it.  We spoke openly about how God knew what would happen to each of us in each instance in life long before we were created.  So, naturally, I think its fair to ask why would I even pray for something because God's going to do what he wants to do anyway.  Does that make sense?  You can spend hours, day, weeks, even months praying for specific things like healing, understanding or certain outcomes to various situations in life.  But really, God already has his plan laid out. 

So we talked about scripture and what it tells us about praying.  It tells us to pray without ceasing, pray in ALL things, pray and believe.  There are many scriptures dictating that God wants us to pray.  But aside from that here are some things I've figured out about prayer.  First, as soon as I begin to pray my body and mind relaxes.  It's amazing the peace I being to feel almost immediately.  Secondly, your burdens are lifted and your load is less once you pray.  God takes it from you and carries it for you.  Thirdly, I've learned that each time I pray my faith is renewed.  This week I've often felt very hopeless, betrayed, angry or alone.  But after spending some time in prayer I always get a renewed energy to deal with this horrible nightmare.  All of these things may sound simplistic to you, but they have proven to be real to me throughout life and especially now. 

Someone quoted Erik and I Proverbs 15:29 the other night.  "The prayers of the righteous will be heard."  Erik's immediate response was "I hope someone I know is righteous."  Then my dad hit me hard with the response "we are made righteous through Christ." (1 Cor 1:30).  I may be made righteous but I sure am undeserving.  I am accutely aware of the fact that most of the time my sin keeps me from even coming to his throne to pray, much less deserving of an answer.

But the bottom line is that we ultimately decided that the real reason, and the only reason, we pray is simply because that is what God wants us to do.  I cling to the fact that I pray in faith.  Faith is a huge component of my life.  It is the imbodiment of what I am.  And if I look back on situations in my life in which I prayed fervently for something and did not receive it I was often 1. better off without it or 2. totally blessed by the understanding of God's "no" answer. 

I have no guarantee that God will heal Lucy.  I sure wish I did!  But I am choosing to pray with full faith and believe that He will.  And if he has ordained, long before Lucy was created, to answer my prayer with a "no" I will then start praying that God would give me understanding and acceptance.  I guess that's easy to say now but I would like to think that would be the case.

Someone brought Lucy a little plate that is hanging on her door.  It says "If you have faith you have hope and if you have hope you have everything." 

I found this page and thought it was insightful.  I have not read any of the other parts of the website but I liked the verses it quoted for prayer. 

**while you are praying please add a 4 year old little girl I met tonight named Hayleigh and her mom.  They are from Orlando, here all alone, battling a reoccurance of Medulloblastoma.  Her mother seemed very hopeless tonight when I spoke with her.  I hope to spend some time with them tomorrow.  We will be undergoing the exact Cranial-Spinal radiation and chemo starting next week at St. Jude."***
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  1. Kate - praying for sweet Lucy and you and your family every day. My husband is a cousin to Bob Fencl, married to Adrian Oaks Fencl. Prayers coming to you from Northern Illinois. Thank you for sharing your story, painful though it is. You have touched my heart. Please take care and know others care.

  2. You do not know me, but we share similar values, hopes and determination when dealing with a medically fragile child. I too believe in the power of prayer and the strength of positive thinking. You are doing a wonderful job, TRY to remain as positive as possible under the circumstances and please know..the battle will be long, tiring and overwhelming but if you allow god to carrier the pain occassionally it gives you a few moments throughout the day to recharge your will and determination. You fight my friend, you never give up! You are her mother, stand strong and go forward...you can do this! Your attitude and strength is inspiring, thank you for sharing your story...it is something you will never regret! I am praying for Lucy, you and your family and hope that you continue to remain on an uphill battle towards good health and happiness~
    Love to you!

  3. Good Morning Kate!
    found you through Kelly's blog a few days ago. please know that your family is in my prayer. I've given to St. Jude's since I was a teenager and have never "met" anyone that had gone there for treatment. Prayers daily from Cookeville, TN
    (((HUGS))) Michelle

  4. You do not know me - I saw a link for your blog on another blog that I follow . . .but I'm a mom with 24 year old twins in Alabama . . .and my "momma heart" hurts with you and even more importantly I'm praying with you!!!

  5. We will continue to pray, Kate, for Lucy's healing, for strength & peace for you, Erik, & the family, and for wisdom & compassion for the doctors and nurses treating Lucy at Le Bonheur & St. Jude. Yes, what blessings it is to have such wonderful children's medical facilities so close to home! Our God is an awesome God!

  6. I heard about your post from Angie Wyatt and just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for Lucy and your family every day. My niece was a patient of St. Jude and LOVED IT. She called it her hospital and wanted to go even on days that she didn't have appointments. As you said in your post, it is a scary place to be but a GREAT place to be. They definately make sure that everything is centered around the kids. This is on my nieces page and wanted to share it. It is long but I hope you don't mind. Also, going to send you something that I read this morning about faith. Hope you enjoy it.

    “The Strength of an Egg”

    Parents of children with cancer are often referred to or viewed as having "strength like a rock". Albeit flattering it is not quite true. It is more like the strength of an egg. An egg you ask? Yes!
    If you'll think about it, you'll see my point.

    An egg has a polished, smooth outer appearance, with no cracks or weak spots visible. It seems almost inconceivable that the inside might not be
    as smooth or solid.

    Most children, at some point, are shown the famous egg trick. An egg set at just the right angle can withstand enormous amounts of pressure and cannot be cracked or broken. Yet the same egg, tapped gently at an even
    slightly different angle, will break. The contents, once so neatly concealed, will come spilling out. The no-longer perfect shell will be crushed. It looks so fragile that it seems inconceivable that it ever held any strength.

    A rock, on the other hand is solid all the way through. To break it is almost impossible. If you succeed, you will find that there is nothing inside but more rock. It takes a lot more than pure hardness to hold the "HAND OF HOPE".

    Parents of children with cancer are not solid all the way through. We hurt, we fear, we cry, we hope. It takes a very careful balancing act to keep the shell from being shattered. "Balancing an egg" while running a household,
    going for doctors' visits and hospital stays, keeping the family together, and holding on to the constantly unraveling ties of your sanity can be very tricky indeed!

    Occasionally, the angle will be off and the shell will break, shattering hope and the neatly secured appearances of a truly fragile existence. Unlike Humpty Dumpty, though, parents of children with cancer will pick
    themselves up and put themselves back together again.

  7. I will be praying every day for your precious baby girl and your family. There is a family from my area that will be going to St. Jude this weekend, or the first of next week. Their precious soon to be 2yr old little girl was diagnosed with a brain tumor this week. Brandon, Tessie and Lanie Watkins are their names.

  8. Kate, we have been praying for you all each and every day, many times a day. All of this makes my heart ache for you guys and makes me hug my babies a little tighter. Your post today made me think back to some notes I had scribbled in my Bible. I don't know where I got this from but it really stuck with me. Beside Psalm 34:17 I wrote "The power of prayer does not depend on the one who makes the prayer, but on the one who hears the prayer." While we may all fall short of God's glory, He will still provide. Of course on His terms and His time frame. We will continue to pray, in blind faith, knowing that God has an awesome plan for Lucy. Sending you all our love - Leslie

  9. i think that i pray because in the end a relationship with God is *all* that matters. and like any relationship time with that person is how it grows. prayer is time spent with God. it brings us closer to Him. even though He knows whats going to happen He still wants us to "talk" with Him about whats going on. he wants you to spill the desires and pains of your heart ... just like any loving parent wants to hear and know the desires of their child's heart. i say keep praying for your precious girl. and have faith that HE is GOD. and He can do anything!

  10. My cousin works at St. Jude and her mother found your blog and shared it with us, and I'm a long time partner in hope with St. Jude. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that many people you don't know are praying for your family and Lucy.

  11. Kate, your faith is deepening through this experience and inspiring so many. You are finding God's truths in a way that few people ever do. God promises that all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose. He is already working this horrific experience for good by strengthening your faith and using you to touch so many. These mothers at St Jude who are here alone need you and you need them. It always makes a Christian feel better to help others even in the midst of their own hell. I always knew how fortunate we are to have St Jude and LeBonheur so close but this brings it home. Your family, friends and children can be there when you need them. I love your parents and they have raised an amazing daughter.
    God Bless You!!!

  12. Your Lucy and her story made me hug my daughter a little tighter tonight, pray to God a little more thoughtfully, and think of you often.

    I saw that your Ella plays basketball which made me remember my daughters (she is now 10)first attempt at basketball...she is such a go getter too and I loved the fact that all the yelling from the crowd consisted of yelling "OHHHH...almost" "OOOOOH...so close" "WOW...nice try"...not many shots actually made it in the hoop. :)

    Another thought for you...does music help soothe Lucy?? If you need some suggestions this humbled music teacher could help you out!!

  13. Thank you for this post today. I could have written it myself. I have the same fears and doubts about my daughter and her upcoming surgery on her skull. I needed to be reassured that everything is in His hands and I need to "pray without ceasing". Thank you

  14. Kate, I just wanted to tell you that I have all my friends at the University of Alabama praying for you guys. Lucy hasn't left my mind since I heard the news. I hope to get to see all of you when I come home for Spring Break. Stay strong and know that God always knows what He's doing. Hope to see ya'll soon. We'll keep the prayers flowing down here. Love, Aaron GO LUCY GO!!

  15. Kate, we've never met, but my husband and I are praying for Lucy. We have a 5-yr.old boy, and my heart goes out to you.

    Paige and Kevin

  16. I have just found your blog today and Lucy has been on my heart and in my prayers all day long. Praying for you often. Lifting your family before the Throne of Grace.

    I read in an earlier post about wanting Jack to keep in touch with you. One idea to help your sweet Jack and possibly even Ella too is you sleeping with a blanket, or wearing a t-shirt and then placing it in a zip-lock and sending it home to them. I adopted a baby from China and I did this with some of her gotcha clothing to help her through the first days of transition. Praying for your entire family.

  17. Praying for your sweet family! We are lifting Lucy daily. Humbled by your story, your honesty, and your heart....

    Katie Snow
    Millbrook, AL

  18. There were times in the bible when God changed his plan because of specific prayers - keep your hope! I love this verse:

    Psalm 116:1 - "I love the Lord because he hears me, he listens to my prayers"

    How amazing, regardles of His answer, that the God of the universe hears us!

  19. I found your blog thru a prayer request and I am praying for you sweet little girl. I don't understand why these things happen but we have to beleive that God is in control and he has a plan. We may never understand his plan this side of heaven. I have been thinking and praying for you guys! Praying for healing!

  20. I have been following your blog through a friend's blog...Having a child with Autism I have been in this spot of wondering why we are even praying if God already knows what he is going to do and if he is going to heal her. Something that gave me comfort was knowing that yes, God knows in advance what is going to happen, but God also knows in advance what we are going to pray about!!

  21. I found your blog through a link and am sincerely praying for Lucy and your family. The Lord went to the cross for the whole man: spirit, soul, and body. I believe He will bring healing to your family in all areas. Keep praying and using your faith. -Jennifer

  22. You do not know me but your blog was forwarded to me from a friend.
    I went through a medical crisis last year with my 3-year old. I had a wise Christian lady come Pray with me. She said "fear is the work of the devil, dont let negativity control your thoughts, trust the Lord to get you through, have Faith and Believe". That simple sentence helped me keep a positive attitude during some of the darkest days. My son did get better (Praise God!). I will be Praying for your daughter, you and your family. May God Bless You!

  23. Kate,

    I live in T County and have learned of your family through the FB posts of family members. We are a LeBonheur family and have been for many years with multiple kids. In all that I've witnessed with my own children, I have learned that prayer is a more about changing me than it is about changing my situation. May God bless and grow you as you walk this path as Lucy's mother.