As of yesterday, Dan has been rejoicing in the presence of his savior for one year. Dancing, undoubtedly. Though it was up for debate whether he would receive rhythm in his two left feet upon receiving his new, heavenly body : ) And in case you are lost on what I mean, scripture talks about believers receiving new bodies in Heaven (1 Cor. 15:42–44, 48, and 54; Phil. 3:21 ).
It still feels like it was an hour ago. When someone is so heavily a part of your life, (obviously me... much less so than Jan, Rob & his brothers) it is hard to feel like they aren't just going to come walking back through the door at any moment. When Rob and I were talking about it a few nights back, he had an interesting thought.... he wondered if maybe it doesn't fully feel like he is gone because through our faith in Jesus Christ, we know he is fully alive. His soul is certainly more alive than our's are! Afterall, what is a body without a soul? Its because of the Bible's promise of eternal life in Heaven, through belief in Jesus Christ as our savior, that we know Dan has received his eternal reward.
Dan lived to serve others. And in light of his heart, today... I plead with you to lift up the precious Raby family in prayer. To say they have been through a lot would be a gross understatement. Jared, a youth pastor at one of our area churches, and his wife, Sara, were expecting twins in the spring of 2010. However, in early December of 2009, Sara received an emergency c-section to save the lives of both Sara and their twins because of the threat of preeclampsia. Ethan and Addison were born weighing just under one pound each. They survived by the mighty strength and gracious hand of our God.
For the next eighteen months, Jared and Sara continued to document the victories and challenges, however big or little, (and there have been plenty of both) continually giving the Lord the glory for every deliverance and gift of life he granted the twins. The Lord has given them the steadfast faith to endure the journey he has laid out before them. And they have been faithful to proclaim His name through it all.
Just a few weeks ago, Ethan began having some difficulties. After a visit to the pediatrician, Ethan was immediately sent to the children's hospital under the suspicion of leukemia. While his tests came back negative, they received a diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia. A condition where the bone marrow does not produce new, healthy blood cells. He was diagnosed as severe, and the condition was just as intense as if it had been leukemia. However, labs came back that Ethan in fact had Myelodysplastic Syndrome (or MDS ). It is very rare in pediatrics and in Ethan's case, severe and life threatening. Ethan's best chance for a cure is a bone marrow/ stem cell transplant. They are currently waiting for a matched donor. Upon receival, Ethan will be heading to the best Children's hospital available to receive chemotherapy, his transplant and recovery.
Would you please, please, pray that a matching donor would be found quickly and that Ethan would remain healthy and strong as they wait? He needs a match quickly, because there is a high probablity of this particular illness to turn into leukemia.
If you have been following our journey with Ansley from the beginning, you have seen the glory of the Lord's outstretched arm and you have seen it's limitless nature of power. Jared and Sara have also witnessed the same immeasurable amounts of the Lord's mercy and power poured out over their twins in the last eighteen months. Oh, how I ask you to plead with fervor at the feet of Jesus for this precious family. Would you pray not only for Ethan, but for his sweet twin sister Addison as well during this time? Would you pray for the Lord to sweep Jared and Sara off their feet in a flood of his presence and peace? They rest in the knowledge of knowing Jesus intercedes for them, but they need the body of believers to come around them in support and prayer for their family during this difficult time. Thanks ya'll. So much.