1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
How quickly, in my naivety, I used to skim over that passage! At first glance this sounds so simple. If you have been a Christian for any length of time though you know that the “all circumstances” part of that verse can mean many things. A lot of those “things” are situations I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with our story, our son, Isaac, who is currently in ECMS, has been part of the EC community since “Mrs. V’s 3’s” preschool! When Isaac was in first grade, he was diagnosed with a fatal, muscle-wasting disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. I have not once given thanks that my precious boy has the most severe form of muscular dystrophy. However, I have found things to be extremely grateful for as we take a very painful journey with Isaac.
One of the things I have come to be thankful for within this disease is the body of Christ, and, especially, the EC community. From the moment Isaac was diagnosed, EC families and staff have continued to come around our family as needs arise. For six years, they have loved on us, prayed for us, and often been used by God to help us in ways we never imagined. I have no doubt that God intentionally placed us in this community long before we knew how badly we would need their support.
The entire staff of the EC community has been nothing but supportive, and I have a feeling we require more accommodations than most families, if any, that EC has ever encountered in their history. Until this year, the EC nurses have really had the lion’s share of Isaac’s care. Notably, most doctors have extremely limited, if any, knowledge of Duchenne, let alone a school nurse. Not long after diagnosis, we learned of an EC parent/board member who worked for a drug company that is working on treatments for Isaac’s super rare disease. This individual has been a lifeline for us in several regards including visiting with Isaac at the Muscular Dystrophy Summer Camp.
During a particularly challenging time this past June, Isaac broke his leg. It was an EC parent, whom I hadn’t communicated with in several years, who arranged three weeks of meals for our family. Not long after Isaac broke his leg, a staff member took Isaac to the movies with his family. This was no small feat as Isaac had a full leg cast and was completely immobilized. Every year, Isaac is encouraged and looks forward to a homecoming event that is dedicated to him. For a student who is unable to participate in most activities, this annual event means the world to him.
Most importantly, we have a community of prayer warriors. This group of over 100 people made up of fellow believers from all walks of life has made an unmistakable impact on our family. There is nothing like being able to reach out for prayer and get an email awhile later saying Isaac was prayed for today by the school staff. There is no other school like Eastern Christian, and I am so thankful God placed us here over 10 years ago.