My story with the Camerons begins quite a ways back. We’ve been friends at church for a long time. I can even remember Jon Cameron playing shows at Shadrach’s back when Jen was just his girlfriend. (I think, anyway! If not his girlfriend, his very new wife.)
I love the Camerons; their quiet faith, their zest for life and the way they love each other.
When Carter Cameron died, my faith was rocked. He was a lovely little boy with beautiful eyes and an infectious smile. I can remember him riding around on his Daddy’s shoulders and playing in the water fountain at church. He was a sweetie. His death was a hard, hard thing.
I was faced with the cold, hard facts. A child died. A beloved, precious, beautiful child who had his whole life to live…he died. My dear friends, my beautiful, kind, compassionate, loving Jen had to suffer the loss of this wonderful son.
Shortly thereafter, my husband and I separated, ultimately to divorce. You can’t compare the death of child with a divorce; they are two very different things. But Jen and I were both in a valley. Deep in a valley, where few others we knew had been. A valley that was a struggle to navigate and that brought with it immeasurable pain.
We talked a lot about the valley. (We call it processing.) Both of us had so many questions for God. How could this happen? How could YOU do this to us? I struggled with God, with all I knew of Him. Was it just to be expected that nothing good would happen on this earth? Was God just a big jerk who would do whatever He had to do to get our attention? It was not a fun season. (P.S. God is not a big jerk.)
We bottom lined in the same place- we can know so few things, but there are a few things we can stand on. God is good. God loves us. God’s ways are not our ways. I trust God, no matter what. No matter what I must endure, He will stand with me through it. He will carry me through. We’re not promised an easy life and God is not a magic genie. But He will not leave us and He will not forget His promises.
The promise I claimed (then and now) for Jen and for myself was this: “I will restore the years the locusts have devoured.” Joel 2:25
Time passed. Though we still travelled the valley and encountered disappointment and often even more pain, we began to believe in restoration. We could see it coming, in fact. I remarried, Jen had Silas.
Here is a picture of my husband and Silas on my wedding day. This picture was just for Jen and I, as a monument to God’s grace in our lives.
We walked along, assuming the worse was behind us. Jen had survived, with grace and dignity and complete honesty, the very worst thing that could happen to a mother.
And then, Silas got sick. When I found out they were at CHKD, I rushed over. I really, really had this gut feeling that he would survive and he would be healed. I still do.
Those first days in the hospital were agonizing. I kept my phone in my hand at all times. I cringed when I heard the text message sound. Here is a blog I wrote but did not publish on February 17, two days after Si was admitted to CHKD.
“By now, everyone has heard about Silas and what is going on with him. If you haven’t, go to Facebook and I guarantee you that someone you know has posted about him. It’s beautiful to see the multitude of facebook profile pictures that feature Silas. Even people who do not know him.
I am awestruck by the bride of Christ and how she has come together to wage war for this little man. People are praying in Kansas City, Roanoke, Maine, California, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina, Indiana and Ohio and many other states. People are praying in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Canada…People are praying and believing for miracles. I’ve seen faith grown, I’ve seen people believe God in a new way, I’ve seen Christian brothers and sisters holding each other up. I’ve seen spiritual warfare like never before.
We are seeing miracles take place. Two days ago, this little boy was given a 10-15% chance of survival. Today, he is actually improving. He is still critically ill, but he is fighting so hard.
I beseech to audibly proclaim “LIFE” in the name of Jesus over Silas today, every time he comes to mind. We want to raise that banner high over him and watch him grow into the destiny God has for him.
God, we love to see Your miracles. We love to see Your power. We are so grateful for the ways You’ve expressed Your love and mercy these past few days. Please God, continue to pour out love and mercy and healing over Silas. Breathe fresh life into him. Save him, God. Confound the medical staff with Your might, Your power and Your sovereignty. We trust in Your perfect love. We are not fearful, we are not timid. We boldly proclaim Your love and faithfulness.”
My fears continued to ease and I came to believe that God was going to do a complete healing for Silas. Jen was given the word that “this is a faith marathon, not a sprint” and we saw things change. His heart was literally healed overnight. He rallied, when the doctors thought he was shutting down. His major organs all took a turn shutting down, but they all came back too. He has improved. And there is hope that the brain damage can be reversed.
When I ask myself, “How has Silas affected me?” I immediately land on gratitude. Not just for Silas but for his whole family. I thank Carter Cameron for showing me that although bad things happen, God is good and He loves His people. There is goodness in the land of the living, even when it’s hard to see. I thank Silas Cameron for teaching me to pray without ceasing and to believe in miracles. I thank Jon and Jen for showing me what it is to question, to grieve, to be honest, to seek the Lord and to stand in the face of crisis. I thank them for loving Jesus and showing their friends and family what love really is.
I think of all the lives that Carter and Silas have impacted. I think of all the souls who now know Jesus because of them. I think of how Carter’s death really saved Silas’ life. The clues he left behind helped point the doctors to a diagnosis. Here is what I know. God has a plan. It is huge and we are all connected in it. Some lives are long and some are short, some healings take place in heaven and some take place here on earth. I have seen miracles in this little one and know that there will be more.