It was 11 years ago today that our second born grandson, Ethan, at the age of 3 1/2, was diagnosed with a tumor in his brain. I will never forget the middle of the night phone call or the panic in my daughter Tasha's voice as she hurriedly told me she needed me to come right away to stay with Justin and Alexis because the ambulance was there to take Ethan to the hospital.
My heart pounding, I hung up the phone and uttered a brief explanation to Bob. Shaking like a leaf, I threw on some clothes as fast as I could and arrived just in time to give Tasha a quick hug and make the promise to pray, before the ambulance left for the hospital.
If there ever was I time to be grateful for the people of our small town, this was it. Though Wessington's population is less than a couple hundred, we truly are blessed have a first class volunteer ambulance team, and many of them showed up to that middle-of-the-night call. I soaked up their caring words and hugs, and was able to learn what had happened. Apparently, Ethan had awakened in the middle of the night and had to go potty, and while he was sitting on the toilet, he literally blanked out and for about five minutes and his parents could not get him to respond in any way.
I couldn't stop shaking, and though at first my prayers were pretty much incoherent, it wasn't long until I felt the Peace of God settle deep down into my frightened heart. I had no idea what wrong with Ethan, but I knew that God knew. Honestly, I can't remember what I prayed, and at some point I fell asleep on the couch. Waking up a little later, I felt prompted to pray specifically that Ethan would blank out again so the doctor and nurses could see first hand what was happening to Ethan.
In talking with Tasha later, I learned that by the time Ethan got to the hospital, he seemed fine. After receiving a thorough exam, they were getting ready to send him home when he did it again. Now the doctor and nurses could see there was obviously something wrong.
A CT scan revealed a mass in Ethan's brain, which I found out about during my lunchtime when Tasha called me at work to say Ethan was being air-lifted to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.
It was so amazing to me how many of Tasha's friends and others from our church rallied around them in those first hours. The word spread and prayers from all over the place began going out for Ethan, Tasha and Nick and the rest of our family. All these years later, I can still feel the shock of that day, but even more so, I can feel the power and strength of the prayers prayed continuously by friends, neighbors, and people we didn't even know, enveloping us!
Little did we know that March 30 would be a day we all would remember for years to come–but God did, and oh, how glad I am for the many times over these past 11 years that His amazing grace has sustained us! What's more, we have God's blessed assurance that He has good plans for Ethan and for us all. God's plans are always for good and not disaster–to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11) and we are blessed to see those plans unfold day by day as we trust Him more fully.