Life is unpredictable, even when we think we have planned for it all. I am a planner, and for most of my life, that came in handy. Being a planner allowed me the peace of knowing the future… or so I thought. Here’s the biggest thing I have learned on my son’s cancer journey—planning does not equal knowing. There are things in life that cannot be planned, and journeys that were never expected. There are times when having faith has to lead us. My son, Gavin, was five when suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumor. We were blindsided when we heard the words, “Gavin has a mass in his brain.” Suddenly, my world of knowing and planning, was turned upside down. It was a world of fear and the unknown. It knocked me down, and put me in the dark of the world I thought I knew. There was one little light in the darkness. Gavin, at just five, had faith that he would survive. This light gave us the hope we needed when planning was no longer feasible.
Facing the unknown was terrifying. Many times, I felt as if I couldn’t navigate this journey, and it would have be so easy to give up. At the start of this journey, Gavin told us God came to him after surgery and said to him, “Gavin, please be strong and brave.” Gavin, after trying chemo and five major brain surgeries to remove his brain tumor, told us, “you just have to believe me, I’m going to make it,” despite there being no cure. Given months to live, his blind faith, his light, led us to something great. We went from no more treatment options, to two life-saving treatments in a matter of weeks. Those weeks, I felt empty and broken, thinking I was going to watch my child die. At my lowest point however, I felt a shift, a push that I needed to do more. I felt God and He told me to keep going. Somewhere, deep inside the brokenness there was this “knowing” that was given to me, because I chose to listen to God. Not my own planning and knowing, but God’s. I chose to listen—and this listening saved Gavin’s life. After four years of following God’s words, Gavin is in remission.
Through this journey, I have learned that without hope and faith, we would have nothing. I have learned that in the darkest moments, we can allow light in—God in, to show us. I no longer plan for the future, but rather I follow God and His word.
Nicole is the author of, "Be Strong and Brave" This book shares her story of hope and faith through Gavin's cancer treatment. You can purchase a copy here.