Twenty-one years ago, I gave birth to our 4th child. He was 12 1/2 weeks early, and he weighed barely 3 lbs. He spent 7 1/2 weeks in the NICU, and then we brought him home to live happily ever after with us.
But, at age 2, he was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a type of cancer. He had surgery to remove the tumor, and along with part of his liver. And, within a few days, he started his chemo regimen.
People who know Clark's story may get tired of me rehashing it every year, bur that's okay. I just never want to forget what God did in our lives...what He did for Clark.
Because, by God's plan and provision, Clark turned 21 today. I've seen God's hand on his life every step of the way. So now, when rough or uncertain times come...and they have, and they will...I go back.
I go back to the tiny baby who was born way too early...and I go back to the toddler who endured what no child should. I go back to the fear and the unknown and the sleepless nights of crying out to God...and I remember the faithfulness of God.
And I remember the love, attention, and constant support of family and friends from near and far away.
I am grateful to everyone who has walked, and continues to walk, this journey of life with us. You are a part of this day, because God used your prayers to sustain us on many occasions, and I never want to forget that.
Psalm 139 reminds us that the number of our days was planned, before we were even born...so none of what happened to Clark came as a surprise to God.
And I remind myself that, before the foundation of the earth, God made a plan to send His own Son to die for me. And for Clark.
And for you.
It's because of this, if you know Him, that any of us are able to face the difficulties and challenges of life.
Jesus alone gives us strength when we are weak. Jesus alone gives us peace in the midst of trials. And Jesus alone fills us up when we are empty.
So, I will keep telling Clark's story every year of his life. Really, it's God's story of what He's done in Clark's life...and in ours. It's a story He continues to write.
Happy 21 years of life to Clark! I am so thankful to be his Mom.
"The LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3