Disclaimer: I didn’t want to write this. I wanted to stay quiet and deal with life. I don’t write for sympathy… I write out of obedience, because God wants the story documented before such a time as He brings the victory.
A few months ago I told you about the cause of Carson’s illness. You can catch up with that here if you missed it >> What’s Really Going on Here?
The Quick Version: Six and a half years ago, the enemy of God violently attacked my son and our family. Oh yeah, I just said that! I’m not in a mood today to soften words or make anything sound better than it is.
God has repeatedly told us that Carson will be completely healed. He never let me accept even one of his seventeen diagnoses. I’m sure some family and friends think I am in some sort of denial. If that’s you, it’s okay, I love you anyway.
Over the years I’ve had to protect my heart and that promise from all kinds of well-intentioned people that didn’t understand the scope of the situation. One of them was a pastor friend who came to us in sincerity a couple years ago, believing that we needed to accept the diagnoses and stop fighting them. His own child had been given a diagnosis and he had been through a process of acceptance, which brought him a measure of peace – the same peace he wanted us to have. The problem was that what he thought we should do was in direct opposition to what God wanted us to do.
Side Note: When God gives you a promise, you might have to hold onto it alone.
Currently, Carson spends every day in bed with pain, and is dependent on IV nutrition. But today he isn’t the subject matter.
The subject matter is Cole, Carson’s identical twin brother.
The attacks on Cole’s life over these years were way more hidden, more sneaky, not as obvious as the physical assault on Carson’s life. Over the last year, God has revealed these hidden places where he had been taken captive in his heart and mind. One by one, he’s shed them off his very being. He has emerged as a spiritual warrior and a counselor to his friends. Often he is awake at 1:00am talking with a friend on the phone, bringing them to Jesus, helping them overcome anxieties or fears, wanting them to be free from their personal chains.
Once a couple of weeks ago he asked if he could borrow the car — He said God was telling him to go pray for a new friend and her mother.
Of course I let him use the car!
Last week he came home telling me how he sat down two of his more cynical friends to talk to them about Jesus.
Side Note 2: When you start bringing people to Jesus and helping them dismantle strongholds in their lives, you will become a target. The devil does not like losing ground with people.
Four months ago Cole called me from work in sudden searing pain. By the time he arrived at home, he began to spike a high fever. This was abnormal. Something was wrong. Initially I suspected it might be appendicitis.
We drove to the ER of the hospital where he was born and sat for hours in a busy triage area. While we waited, our friends were praying as they always did on Tuesday evenings. I received a text from our pastor in the middle of their prayer time:
The Lord told me to text you right now. He says Cole will be fine. The enemy’s bite has lost its teeth.
By this he meant that this physical issue would not be long lasting, that it was a last-ditch effort to derail us, to provoke fear and cause us to lose peace.
It’s a good thing that God told him to text me at that time. I didn’t know what was coming. After a few tests and a CT scan, a doctor came at 2:00 AM to tell us what they found from the test results. I was not prepared for what He said:
“Cole has an area of intestinal inflammation that is consistent with Crohn’s Disease.”
Prior to that moment I was in a good spiritual place. I didn’t think much could rattle me, not after all we had been through. Here’s the thing to remember: our enemy knows exactly what he is doing, and he will not relent, especially if you are a threat. He knew the one thing that would be a blow to me was one of my other kids being diagnosed with digestive illness.
It reminds me of a quote from the recently released movie, Wonder Woman. In the beginning of the movie, Diana’s Amazon warrior aunt is training her to fight. She pushes Diana to the brink of her capability, knowing that the coming fight of her life – the one she was born for – will require her utmost concentration and ability. At one point during the grueling process she yells, “Diana, never let your guard down! You expect the fight to be fair! The fight will never be fair!”
The battles we fight will never be fair. In that moment, while I reacted calmly on the outside, the breath was sucked out of me. I stepped out of the room for a few minutes, stumbling and gasping for air. Cole had watched his brother suffer intensely for six years. Those six years flashed before our eyes as her words hit us hard. After we gathered ourselves, Cole and I made some serious choices.
➖We chose to say no to fear.
➖We chose to believe God’s promise.
➖We chose to declare that we were not fazed by the news.
➖We chose to declare that just as we had never accepted Carson’s diagnoses, we would not be accepting this for Cole either.
➖We chose to believe that healing will be complete for our whole family, this was the promise God gave to us years ago.
Side Note 3: It is possible to live a physical reality while putting more weight on the spiritual reality that you can’t see. It feels a bit weird. At times you feel divided within yourself or in-authentic. You can discuss medications and plans of care while being in complete disagreement in your spirit that a diagnosis is part of your identity just because a doctor says it is.
I will admit, it hasn’t been easy. In the last two weeks, Carson was hospitalized with Sepsis, a serious blood infection for several days. We came home, then rushed Cole to a different hospital 24 hours later with more intestinal complications.
I stayed with Carson to administer antibiotics through IV every few hours, while Jeff left his job for days to stay in the hospital with Cole. This is our hard reality.
You need to know that when prolonged suffering happens, Jesus never abandons. One night when Jeff and Cole were in the hospital, I was awake at 4:30am to administer Carson’s meds. A friend on the west coast sent me a message:
“God woke me up three times to pray for you. What’s going on?”
After I told him, he replied, “God says no. Cole does not have this long term diagnosis. It was sent to make you lose faith. It was sent to make you give up. He says you will see this in the coming days.”
I already knew this, but it helped greatly to receive an unexpected confirmation. It was a gift to me in my exhaustion.
Our family is in the middle of a battle, one that will be won. We’ve known it for years. The outcome is sure. There will be healing and vindication.
I don’t know when or how, but I hope you will stay close by for the rest of the story.