Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Faith of a Child

Matthew chapter 18
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

We are told multiple times to become as little children in the scriptures.  It is obvious that children have unwavering faith.  They don't question the why's and how's of the world.  They live simply, and follow what their hearts tell them.

A sweet girl I know named Lilly is the perfect example of this simple and unwavering faith.  Lilly is the little sister of my sister Amy's friend Adelide.  She is thirteen years old, autistic, and has the most vibrant personality of anyone I've ever met...  Through the last few years my family has grown to know and love Lilly's family.  Her mom, Sara, is one in a million.  I would describe her as the salt of the earth... she is warm, nurturing, kind hearted, and beautiful.  She is also one of the best cooks I know!  There have been numerous occasions when I hear Amy saying what an amazing breakfast, lunch, or meal she's had in their home.  

Lilly loves her mom's cooking as well.  

This last week in her young women's group, they challenged the girls to fast for someone.  Lilly had never fasted before, but she wanted to for my little Tenley.

Friday morning she got up to go to school, and before she left, she and her mom said a prayer for Tenley.  She left not having any breakfast... and when Sara picked her up that afternoon she was happy to report she had made it all through school without eating anything, and had kept a prayer in her heart remembering Tenley.

After school they went to Costco.  Now of course Costco is the place for food samples galore.  As they walked through the store, Lilly told her mom she wasn't feeling so good.  Sara told her it was ok for her to eat something.... that she had fasted long enough and Heavenly Father knew what was in her heart, but Lilly was determined to make it 24 hours.
She told her mom she felt weak and thought it would be best if she sat in the cart.  So as they made their way through Costco, she sat in the cart and closed her eyes so she wouldn't feel tempted by all the samples of food.

Lilly made it the whole 24 hours.

The next morning was Saturday.  The morning that brought me unexpected joy...  You see, the doctors who have watched over Tenley had already made up their minds that she would not be ready to go home for her first break.  None of them were prepared to send us away, but somehow Tenley's counts made their way up, just barely enough to change one of their minds.  Dr. Lemmon, who is the head doctor of the Oncology department made that decision.  He as well as a few other doctors came in to deliver that news.  I could hear the confidence in his voice as he said Tenley was well enough to leave the hospital.  The other doctors kind of raised their eyebrows as to say... surprise!    

After hearing about Lilly and her determination to fast... even though it was hard for her, I am positive this miracle came because of her.  Who's to say her faith wasn't strong enough to do so? 
I believe it was.

On Sunday we were discharged, and Lilly was brave enough to stand in sacrament to bear her testimony, a strengthened and humbled testimony.  It was another hard thing for her to do.  She is shy and has a hard time talking in front of a crowd, but she told everyone about the miracle she was a part of.  That because she chose to fast and stayed strong, Tenley was able to go home.

It brings tears to my eyes to tell this story.  I truly believe that she changed our course.  It has been such a happy time at home, surrounded by family, and being here all together.  I can't even describe how thankful I am for her unwavering faith.  
She will forever be a part of the miracles we have been blessed with through this journey. 

Lilly, this thanksgiving I am especially thankful for you. 

Adelide    -    Lilly    -   Sara


Brad and Britt said...

Shawna: I got to work tonight, went to look in my box and found such a wonderful note (that made me tear up! can blame it on the prego hormones, or the fact that you and your lil' Tenley are so stinkin' sweet!) and gift. I truly appreciated getting to care for you and to get to know you better. I adore the way you interact with Tenley, you really need to give yourself a HUGE amount of credit for being able to adapt to this new lifestyle that having a child with AML brings. Glad to hear that you made it home just in time for Thanksgiving. I'm thankful to have been able to care for you.

Many Thanks,

Nurse Britt
P.S. here is my blog too! Let's be friends!

Mary said...

I am thankful for you too Lilly. It's been so much fun to have everyone together! Thank you for your sweet prayers and your faith. You are a wonderful example to me. I love you!

Devrie Pettit said...

I always am in tears after reading your words. I am so happy Tenley got to come home, thank you for your continued example of faith and strength.