My heart is overwhelmed tonight and I have been unable to sleep.
Because of our journey we are blessed with the opportunity to have people regularly forward us stories of families who are currently battling for the life of their son or daughter. I truly consider it an honor to be invited into these journeys. However, I admit that a majority of the stories I have only engaged from a distance, mostly because of the even-still-rawness of my own loss of Jud.
But on Sunday, I received the following message from my friend, Terri:
”…Remember the summer when Jud was first sick and our church prayed for him? Well, now our pastor Britt Merrick‘s daughter, Daisy Love Merrick has cancer…wilms tumor, waiting for the staging, but would love for you to hear his message today, this just happened last Monday…I hope some way you guys can connect…he was so touched when he heard about Jud way back, anyway…”
I wasn’t able to watch the video right away, but over the last few days I began to remember (my memory is unfortunately very fuzzy during the season of Judson’s illness) some of the ways in which this pastor and the Reality Carpenteria church community had engaged our story. I recalled the note that pastor Britt had mailed us along with gifts from their church. They had certainly engaged our heartache.
So this evening, after Jessie went to bed, I finally had a chance to watch the video of Britt’s message from last Sunday. It is incredibly powerful!
And while I sat there watching it, I suddenly recalled that this was the pastor that had actually invited us, back in July 2007, to bring Judson to their midweek study so that their community could pray for our little boy in person. This offer, unlike any we had received, was such a tremendous gift and blessing to us at the time! And although we were unable get Jud up to Carpenteria that week, Britt still took the time to share Judson’s story and have their community pray for our beloved son.
I went back to my old emails and found this message:
July 13, 2007: Last night we showed little Jud’s picture up on the screen and our pastor Britt described the progression of the disease and the ultimate prognosis. He was clearly moved as was the whole body that was present. So we prayed for Jud (about 300 of us). We sought our merciful and wonderful father in heaven asking him to bring healing to Judson for His glory, we confessed that we do not understand His ways but as His children we want this little child of His to be healed. He also mentioned that many would be fasting and praying this weekend for Jud.
As I read these words, my heart was overwhelmed with so many different emotions. But most prominent was a picture in my mind of Britt crying out to God on behalf of our Jud Bud, being faithful to love a family of strangers through prayer, fasting, and sharing, yet, little did he know that two short years later his beautiful daughter Daisy would be fighting for her own life.
So I am compelled tonight, with tears in my eyes and a heaviness in my heart, to love this family as they loved us—through prayer, fasting and sharing.
Britt’s message on Sunday has already been circulating the internet, but if you have not seen it, I am embedding it below. It is 40 minutes, so if you are unable to watch the entire video, I would recommend watching the first couple minutes where he describes the situation with his daughter and then the last 20 minutes.
They also have a blog for updating people about Daisy’s condition: http://prayfordaisy.tumblr.com/.
Would you consider joining me in prayer for this family?
Dear Heavenly Father, my heart is breaking for the Merrick family. I cry out to you, imagining all that they are going through and beseech you to intervene, calling on your lovingkindness, mercy, and compassion to touch little Daisy’s body and heal her from this affliction. I thank you for the Merrick family that is faithful to trust you and call out to you in praise and worship during the most wretched of human experiences. Lord, I recognize you as the giver of life and breath, and beg you to give Daisy length of days here on earth. I am pleading with you, asking that the power of this family’s ministry in suffering will not end in loss. Please protect their hearts. Please mobilize your people to lavish them with love. Please fill their minds with your truth. Please strengthen their bonds of marriage. Please protect Daisy’s innocence and give her uncommon fortitude to fight. Please uphold them in their weariness and comfort them in their brokenness. Please allow your Spirit to renew the hearts of those who engage their story through prayer. Renew my heart, dear Lord. Please give me the strength to tap into my own brokenness and pain as I emotionally journey with this family, that you might bring deeper healing therein. I humbly bow before you in surrender and love. Amen.