This is the story of Levi David Ewing, our little miracle - the Bigga Boy. On Monday, July 23rd what we thought was a simple case of strep throat was diagnosed as a brain tumor. A 1.5 inch tumor located right in the middle of his brain plugging up hole where brain fluid normally drains. This created excess fluid build up making Levi extremely sleepy and sick to his stomach. From Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to St. Jude's Childrens Hospital in Memphis Tennessee the epic of how God is working in and through this little life will be inspiring to tell. We will take all the prayers we can get. Thank you for helping us to love on our sweet boy.
Update for July 30th, Levi had a rough day yesterday being very sleepy and not opening his eyes much. At some points he was awake but unable to open his eyes so we stayed by him almost the entire day standing next to his bed. I think he threw up 5 times after nursing so they have decided to stop nursing for now and just give him fluides via IV. Very painful as a father to look at him, knowing he was awake - playing with my face and hands but not opening his eyes. He is getting lots of love as God has placed very special people all around us to care for him. Our nurses this whole week, both our day and night nurse follow Jesus. An amazing sign from God that He is in this even when we feel so alone. To be able to pray with the ones who are taking care of Levi has been a huge encouragement. He has also placed other families around us here in the ICU that are going through very difficult times with their babies. This has given us an opportunity to pray for them and encourage them - trying to be strong when they are weak and vice versa. One family was from Olive Branch Mississippi and they attend The Great Commission Church there. Their little girl Micah is having rods put in her back for spinal curvature.
They are draining fluid off of Levi's brain this morning as he prepares for an MRI which will give doctors the info they need for surgery tomorrow. (Aug 1st) They have decided to go in and try to get another biopsy that they can use for labs and send off to determine treatment. The main problem with this tumor is that it is very "vascular" - meaning it has a lot of veins running to it. When they cut it, it will bleed ALOT. The danger of taking it out completely due to this fact outweighs everthing else. The plan is to determine the type of tumor and start the appropriate treatment (chemo, radiation). More to come after we get results from the MRI.
Levi is awake this morning as his binky just fell out and he reached out, picked it up and put it back in his mouth all by himself! Good news to start the day.
Am I Full of It?
Nov 29, 2013 10:41am
I’ve often called Colossians 3:12-15 my “life verse”. It pretty much covers the gamete in terms of the Christian walk but there’s nothing like a little tragedy in your life to make you reassess things.
Therefore, as God's chosen people,holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
I’m not talking about reassessing the Bible, just life in general. It’s the last verse in particular that I have to wrestle with. It says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart”. I guess I have a hard time “letting”. At times the heaviness in my heart fills itup so much that is difficult to let anything else in. Like heavy boxes in a storage unit. It’s a conscious decision we have to make onour side. God wants to offer us His peace,but are we willing to empty ourselves and receive the free gift? Why would we refuse such a gift – it sounds crazy when you think about it.
I think we underestimate our pride and self-centeredness. That’s what’s blocking His peace from ruling in our hearts isn’t it? My thoughts on my sadness, sorrow, life circumstances –it all puts me at the center. In a lot of ways I feel like I have the right to do this. I’ve had something very precious taken away from me and now the times in life that should hold so much happiness are tainted with the bitterness of grief. Peace is in short supply, at least the type of peace that I can try to conjure up in my own strength. It doesn’t last long and is so easily affected by the ups and downs of life. The old hymn puts it plainly (Great is Thy Faithfulness):
Pardon for sin and a Peace that endureth ,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
We should make room for His peace that endureth.
And then there’s the final part of the verse, “And be thankful”. Be thankful. If you look at the words Paul uses you’ll notice that these are not suggestions or recommendations to the church in Colosse – they are commands: Clothe, Bear, Forgive, Put on, Let and Be. When should we be thankful? Only in good times? Only when we can make room for the peace ofChrist? I think Paul means for us to bethankful ALL THE TIME. This is difficult. My whole life I’ve been fairly thankful and even the eternal optimist. But when you see the dark side of this life it throws cold water on your optimism. It takes the fullness out of thanks and tempts us to pick and choose that which we’ll be thankful for. We’re not thankful for trials – those things which shape and mold our character. Our temporal mindset blinds us from that ability.
People often quote this verse to those going through the yuck of life:
Romans 8:28 - 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
And then there’s Philippians 2:13 -13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
I’ve had 16 months to think about these verses in light of cancer and the loss of our Levi. Here are my thoughts on it. Our American mindset,when we read these verses, takes us to a very different place than I think is intended. We think about ‘our good’ from our perspective. What would be ‘good’ for me as I see it. Again that little “I” throws a monkey wrench in the whole thing. If God worked for my good from my perspective life would be a lot different. He works for our good from His perspective which is darn near impossible for us to see much less comprehend. That’s where faith comes in. I must believe that what He allows into my life is for my good – even if I don’t like it or agree with it.
So if we can try to focus on His perspective, which is eternal, then perhaps we will do a much better job of letting His peace into our hearts. And once we allow that to happen we can work towards being thankful at all times, knowing that He is good and that our ultimate good is to be in His presence forever.I think I’d better start wheeling these loads out of my heart, I hear Him knocking….thank you Father.
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