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Friday, May 29, 2009

Faith renewed

I have always believed in God. If truth be told, I was probably born on a pew in church. I have devout Christian parents, was raised in a Christian family, went to a private Christian school from Kindergarten through my Senior year. Yes, I have always believed in God. That said, there have definitely been times in my life when I've questioned God. So many things in this life just do not make sense. So many senseless things happen every day. So many injustices. Still, I have believed.

I must admit that my belief has had various degrees. Although my faith has always remained, there have definitely been certain times where it was stronger than others. It seems like when things are good most people forget to thank God, yet we always call for Him when we need help. We're a thankless bunch, aren't we? To be human is to err I suppose.

The events of the past 2 weeks have opened my eyes to God's goodness. You know when you're watching a movie and all of a sudden a plot enfolds? I feel like I've been having that experience the last few weeks. This may be somewhat circular and ramblish (is that even a word?), but hopefully it'll make sense by the end of my ramble.

5 years ago I was a first time mom to my beautiful Isabelle. I joined an online Mom's group, and there is where I found out about Allie Scott. Allie was a gorgeous little baby girl who was a few months older than my Belle. Allie seemed to have the flu, which was later diagnosed as AML, Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Jenny, Allie's mom, kept a blog that detailed Allie's fight. My heart broke for Jenny and Andrew when Allie lost her battle and became an angel. I couldn't imagine ever losing a child. I've continued to keep up with the Scott's through Jenny's new blog and the charity she cofounded. Watching their journey left a mark on my heart.

Fast forward to the present. We have two beautiful children now. Being a Mommy has given me the strongest love and bond I will ever have. These little burritos are my heart and soul. I'm completely head over heels in love with them.

About 2 1/2 months ago a friend and coworker of mine was diagnosed with AML. This came as a huge shock to me and all of my coworkers. You can see the below post for information on Nick. His mom is also a coworker and friend. From the minute I found out about Nick's diagnosis, I felt a heaviness on my heart for both him and his mom. I kept in contact with her for updates, as did my fellow friends/coworkers. My team especially were very concerned for both of them, and tried to encourage and cheer them up as best we could. 2 weeks ago Carole, Nick's mom, sent an update with the devastating news that the chemo did not work and the doctor's basically said there was no hope, since they didn't see any chance of Nick finding a bone marrow donor match. Carole and I emailed back and forth a few times. I could sense her desperation to save her baby. He may have just turned 28 in the hospital, but he was still her baby. I immediately thought back to Allie. No mother should ever lose their baby. My mother's heart immediately ached.

I knew that I personally didn't know too many people that would fit the criteria of a possible match, but I wanted to get the word out as far and wide as I could. I sent a message out to my email address book and on facebook. It just wasn't enough. I thought for a minute and debated sending out an email to my work's alias to all. That's usually frowned upon and I figured would somehow be snuffed out quickly. It was a shot in the dark, but I sent out an urgent plea to the head of HR which is located in MA. Mind you, this was late on a Friday. There was a high likelyhood it wouldn't even be read. Still, I felt the nudge to send it out with a hope and a prayer. Within the next hour an email went out from Corporate globally (40K+ employees) with the plea to help Nick. From there, it snowballed. A movement began.

There has been global drives, hundreds if not thousands of new registrars, and thousands of people spreading the word about Nick. There has been local news stories, newspaper stories, msnbc, yahoo news, tweets, facebook postings, etc. Various competing companies have sent out emails, hosted drives, sent well wishes. Complete strangers have offered to donate over $10,000 to find a match. Thousands upon thousands have lifted Nick up in prayer.

5 years ago a little angel left a mark on my heart. 2 1/2 months ago I felt a calling to be lifting up a friend and his family in my prayers. 2 weeks ago I felt the nudge to do something. Today thousands of lives may be saved by all of the new donors that have entered the registry.

2 weeks ago I would never have imagined all that has occurred the last two weeks. With every ounce of me I believe that every step of this has been God moving. In no way do I believe that God causes people to be sick. I absolutely believe that God wants everyone to have a long, healthy, happy life. We however, are human. Our bodies fail us at times. I do believe that God can use a horrible situation and make some good come out of it. Nick and his family now have hope. A hope for a match. A hope for that long happy life that I believe God wants him to have.

Maybe I'm an optimist at heart. Maybe you think it's a stretch to think that all of this is woven together. I may be just that. One thing I will say proudly, I am a believer. A believer of things not seen. That's what faith is, is it not? God is good. There are signs everywhere. Sometimes we focus on all of the injustice in the world. I myself have let my sight be clouded at times and my heart be heavy. God is still good. There are signs everywhere, all you have to do is open your eyes.

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