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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Ashley

I'm dealing with something that I do not know how to deal with. Again. Ashley. I wrote about her in 2002 on this blog. At that time she was just a young kid. She was in my youth group at church. She had Leukemia. I got to walk a long road with Ashley. It was an honor to be allowed to be a part of her life. A part of her journey. She beat that horrible disease. It slid its slimy tail between its legs and ran off into what is joyfully called "remission."

And now it is back.

While at the airport earlier this week waiting for a flight to St. Louis her father called me and gave me the news. Neither of us spoke with steady, strong voices. When I got to town Debbie and I went to her house and visited with her and her family. Ashley is a beautiful young woman now, having just completed her freshman year at a university in Kentucky. She came home to enjoy a great summer. Instead she developed head aches. The doctor ran his tests and came up with the awful diagnosis. Now Ashley will have to reenter the hospital next week. She will probably be there for a month. At least a month. We are fighting for, praying for, remission once again. And the next step will probably be a bone marrow transplant.

I don't get it. I don't understand this one. There is a lot more that I could say tonight about Ashley but I just do not have it in me to type it. Let's just say that I cannot get her out of my mind. She is my friend. I helped her learn to love Jesus. I saw His joy in her eyes. His light shining through the past filled with pain. I heard her share her story with over 700 kids at camp a few years ago. Ashley taught me a lot about living life in the midst of pain. I think she taught me more than I ever taught her.

I do not know what is next for Ashley. I do not know how this plays out. Nobody does. Only a loving God that allows a fallen world to sometimes experience the results of its rebellion. Ashley is not perfect. But this disease is NOT God's judgment on her. She is His child. She has trusted Him with her eternal future. In 100 years neither Ashley, her parents, her family, her friends, or her old youth pastor will be worried about her. But right now? I just want to make it all better.

One of the toughest parts of being an adult is the realization that sometimes things won't "go away" simply by our kissing them to make them all better. And frankly, that is a part of being an adult that I just hate tonight.

I am praying for my friend. I would be grateful if you would too.

3 comments:

johnsonfamilyof6 said...

How awful. You can count on my prayer. HUGS.

Gregg said...

A point was made in the bible class I was in at church today that often, we are better witnesses to how we handle hardship. Look at those 700 people Ashley reached at one time! Maybe there is something big in store for her, again.

Michelle said...

Prayers and warm thoughts being sent her way.