A Life More Beautiful

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord." Jeremiah 29:11

Selfie challenged


I am NOT a selfie girl! I have never perfected the head tilt, great angle or even looking in the right direction. Let’s be real! I am 100% selfie challenged!!

But I have to say this is my favorite selfie ever! No makeup, no instagram filter to make me look tan (as if that is possible)…. heck, a hairbrush hadn’t even touched this hair at 5:42 this morning!

But what do I see?? Love and joy and the promise that everything that sucks has “come to pass.” 

At this time last year, we were waiting for news from a suspicious mammogram…and the news that we got was NOT what we wanted. However, two months later, we got even more shocking news that we were going to be a family of FIVE!!

If you had told me one year ago today that I would have been grateful for a cancer diagnosis, I might have throat punched you! Okay, I’m not that brave, but I would have throat punched you in my mind!!

 But like Jason said two nights ago, “You know, if it weren’t for cancer, this little guy wouldn’t be here!” And he’s right. Without a diagnosis of estrogen positive breast cancer, I would still faithfully be popping medicine to prevent our little miracle!! I would be sleeping through the night completely unaware of the fact that our hearts and family could expand to include this not so little bundle of joy. 

So, today as I meet with a radiation oncologist to plan my treatment, I’ll look at this 5:42 a.m. selfie and see love, joy and a promise that crappy times “come to pass” and may even leave a surprise blessing in their wake! 

#cancersucks
#butGodisbigger

#whitepartyoffive

#caydenj

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Severe…

Hemophilia….

Hemophiliac….

Factor 8 deficiency….

less than 1% clotting factor….

SEVERE….

These are all things that Jason and I have talked about in the 30 days of Cayden’s life. We were told on the night that Cayden was born that one of his three coagulation tests came back highly abnormal. The next day, our pediatrician confirmed that our perfect little miracle has less than perfect blood….far less than perfect. Cayden was officially diagnosed as having severe hemophilia A.

And I felt totally blindsided!

When my OB walked in while the pediatrician was reviewing the blood tests with us, she offered anti-depressants to help me adjust to the news. (Granted, this isn’t a terminal diagnosis at all, but it isn’t something that we had wanted for our sweet little man.) Instead of anti-depressants, I opted for sweets, snuggles, crying and praying on Jason’s shoulder and reaching out to a cousin who also has a son with hemophilia. In one of my cousin’s (very encouraging!!) messages, she was talking about how hemophilia affects her son, and she added that hemophilia “did not define him.” That immediately jumped out at me!! Jason had already said the same thing several times when we had talked about the diagnosis. Hemophilia may be something that Cayden has, but it WILL NOT define him!!

The comments from Jason and my cousin got me to thinking about what really does define a person. Is it their appearance? Their occupation? Their reputation? Their health? Their family?

In Biblical times, the meaning behind a person’s name was so much more important than it is in modern times. In many cases, a name was picked for it’s specific meaning. It literally defined the person.

Jason……..”the healer”

Tabitha….”graceful”…Clearly, I am not living up to the meaning! Haha!!

Jabez…..”he makes me sorrowful”…that’s a great name for a son to inherit, mom!

Isaac…”he will laugh”

In some cases, if a person’s given name didn’t fit their destiny, God would give them a new and more fitting name.

Sarai became Sarah!

Abram became Abraham!

Saul became Paul!

The initial name given by their family didn’t fit into the grand plans that God had in store for them, so he passed on a new name and definition!

Back to our story…….When I was pregnant, I read that one meaning of Cayden is “fighting spirit.” I much prefer to think of Cayden as our little fighter than simply as a hemophiliac. He may still be small, but I know in my heart that this little guy is going to make an impact on those around him! He’s too much of a miracle baby for there not to be an amazing plan for his life!

A Christian speaker named Melissa Radke has a quote that perfectly fits our situation. She tells women to “choose your own tattoo.” She’s not advocating covering your arms in tattoo sleeves. Instead, “choose your own tattoo” means to choose the words that define you. Will you choose the negative words that the world throws at your life? OR will you choose to cling to the promises God has spoken over your life?

We are choosing His promises. We are choosing to tattoo the promises of God onto Cayden’s life. Hemophilia will not define Cayden or our family….only God can do that! We are exchanging a diagnosis for a promise!

hemophiliac….”fearfully and wonderfully made!!”

hemophilia A….”by His stripes we are healed!”

factor 8 deficiency….”we are God’s masterpiece!”

less than 1% clotting factor….”we have this treasure in jars of clay!”

severe….”From my mother’s womb, You have chosen me!”

“Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good” Genesis 50:20

These are the words that I am choosing to tattoo on Cayden’s life. The others? They are just small details!

#caydenj #whitepartyoffive

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