The spring and summer sometimes flew by like a rushing wind and other times it seemed to be very still, each day lasting an eternity. Our friends, family, and yes even strangers continued to bestow blessings upon our family in many ways. More fundraisers took place such as hair cut-athons at Ida’s and Reactions and Brianna’s old gymnastics/dance studio, Indiana Martial Arts and X-treme dance, held a fundraiser as well. Individuals also obeyed God’s call on them to help and continued to bless us with donations or offers to cook us dinner or mow our grass among other things. God was truly showing us how great his people are as he used them to meet all our needs. So many continued to pray daily for our beautiful girl and we all continued to receive cards of encouragement or healing that still adorn Brianna’s wall of hope in our home today. We actually had to stop putting them up as we were running out of room. Sometimes I stop to read one or two and I still cry at the heartfelt best wishes that these people poured out from their hearts. God is Good!
Brianna continually lost much of her balance and was losing strength as well. She became less and less mobile as summer wore on and her speech began to worsen as well. I would have to leave the room so often because I looked back on this vibrant, energy filled little girl and felt pure and utter heartbreak at the struggling, broken little girl sitting in front of me. It is a curse to watch your child lose everything that you had watched progress up to this point. Perhaps some of our most heartbreaking moments were when she wanted to tell us something and she was trying so hard to make us understand but we could not. We felt so helpless and many times we cried when all we could do is tell her we did not know what she was trying to say. As a parent when the ability to communicate is lost it is so hard to move forward. God has created us with this great desire to always be able to fix whatever is bothering our children but take a moment to stop and think about not being able to begin to help your child because you can’t even understand what they are trying to tell you. What if something is hurting them? What if something is bothering them? What if they want to ask you to explain something that is going on with them? It is a terrible feeling to have to look at your child and say, “I can’t help you because I can’t understand you.” Angie and I have had to do this many times through our own tears as Brianna looked up at us and cried as well.
As far as her balance goes, at this time we do not know if her balance is a result of the tumor or if it is caused by the radiation. The effects of radiation can remain up to two years after radiation treatments cease so you are imprisoned at least that long to find out exactly what is the true cause of her inability to balance and how permanent, or not permanent this is. So, we lift her up to God and pray that whichever is causing this, the tumor or the treatment, that it is not permanent and that she will regain her balance and her ability to walk again in the future. I fully believe and publicly proclaim that I fully expect to see my daughter walk again.
I almost forgot that we spent two different hospital stays, one the week of Spring Break, and one the week following due to respiratory problems. We feel that they probably let her out too soon on the first stay because it was only a few days before we were back in. On the second stay they found a pocket of pneumonia in one of her lungs. This was just another battle that Bri went through and is able to claim victory. We give all the glory for each and every victory to God for he is the great healer.
We continued to have faith in Bri’s healing throughout the summer. There were many attacks on our spirit trying to make us doubt that our Princess would get better. We had to fight through them and maintain our faith and our strength. We don’t always feel strong and it is in those times that we have to remember 2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Our walk with the Lord continued to grow as the summer went along. I look forward to becoming even closer to Him during the rest of this journey. God is amazing and He has carried us through. We continue to leave this in His hands because we are not strong enough to carry this burden on our own shoulders. He puts people and circumstances in our path every day to show us that He is in control. As Bri’s shirt says, “God’s Got It!”