Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Prayers

Over a week ago, a group of elders from My in-laws’ church came to the hospital to pray for my daughter.  It meant a lot to me.

We are both so grateful for the prayers and support of people all over the world.  Some have prayed for a miracle, some for peace and understanding.  It's all very touching to Brandi and me, whatever the prayers are for.

As for me, long before this nightmare, I'd given up on prayer. I’d prayed zealously, thankfully, openly, quietly.  For years my prayers for wisdom ended in silence.  My prayers for change and for miracles were met with no change.  I’d screamed prayers into my pillow.  I’d meditated openly, just listening.  My prayers of thanks for all I had were met with silence, although arguably I suppose those prayer were rhetorical…

In short, my prayers were negligible on a practical level, and so I got sick of doing it.  I don't remember when, but one day I told God, "you're obviously not listening, or uninterested in responding, or just not there. I'll keep my ears open, but I'm tired of barking in the dark. If you want something, I'll be here".

I had kept my promise since that time.

There's a 1/35,000 chance of someone being born with a brain tumor.  There's a 1/6,000,000 chance of someone developing what Scarlett has: a congenital glioblastoma.  It's so rare that the summary research of the leading Oncologist on the matter, our doctor, has only about forty cases to analyze in his research paper on the topic.  He and our neurosurgeon are trying a standard route: surgery-then-chemo; this works with other tumors on rare occasions, and we hope, will work with Scarlett’s ultra rare condition.  1 in 6,000,000.  What are the odds of contracting and then being cured of a congenital glioblastoma?

I am surrounded by religious people, like the elders who prayed for Scarlett, and so I am often surrounded by prayer.  When other people pray, I kneel and bow my head with them.  It’s respectful to them I think, and also – it’s less embarrassing to me.  It avoids the discomfort of explaining myself.

So the other night, I respectfully knelt with the elders of my in-laws’ church as they did what they thought they could do. They prayed for healing...for a miracle.  They prayed for understanding and peace and a number of other things.  They took turns praying, their hands on my daughter’s body as per tradition.  They prayed for the sorts of things I would have prayed for during a time when I thought prayer could do something.  And then, inspired in the interspersed silence, I said something out loud.

"Listen to me. I'm talking to you.  And by talking to you I am breaking a promise I made to you.  But I'm breaking this promise to make you a better one.  I'm praying this prayer to ask you to fix her. Take this away from her as though it weren’t there and make her well again.  If you do this, I offer you a better promise in return. This is a deal I'm making with you.  Take this away and I'll change what I believe.  I’ll follow you.  Take this away from her and I’ll do whatever you want.  I can do it. I'll do it if you do this. I broke my first promise to offer this better promise. Please, please, fix this.  I broke my first promise, but this second one is the last promise I can make or break with you."

And so with nothing to give my daughter except my own rationality, I prayed.  My own thoughts, my feelings, are nothing.  As long as she's fixed. 

So I prayed.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I accidentally posted this under a different post so I reposted it. I hope you don't mind. Hi my name is Ashley and I read your story from the bump. I know all too well the inside of a childrens hospital and I feel for your family. I truly hope you get answers and soon. The waiting and trying to answer questions continually is so tough and exhausting. Hang in there! If you ever need someone to talk to that went through a similar situation my email is atoth88@gmail.com. P.S. Good tip for sweet ease is put the open cup in a new diaper. Keeps it from spilling everywhere, and if it does it is easy clean up. Hugs and prayers for your family and baby Scarlett.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you and your daughter are going through this period.
I'm also sorry you felt that your prayers were not answered. Sometimes, prayers are answered in the most unexpected ways, and sometimes the silence is just an answer in itself.
Your daughter is a blessing, and I'm sure everyone will do everything is their power to make things better.
I've been reading your posts and the history, and I wish there was more I could do than to just said...hang in there!

And I'll keep on praying for her recovery! Sometimes the odds are not in your side, however there are many stories of people that overcame those odds. We're all wishing that your daughter will be one of these people, that she will be ok, and that your prayer will be answer.

May Heavenly Father bless you and your family with strength to endure this trial and to fight for your daughter always!
We cannot WAIT to see the post when you tell finally that she is healthy and cure! That would be the BEST news ever! :)

Anonymous said...

Christopher, let me say you have been blessed with baby Scarlett and this is how I see it. 5 1/2 years ago I was in the exact same spot, I stopped talking to God, I felt he had left me, did not care ect. I had ovarian cancer, could not get pregnant my one longing, had a successful surgery and treatment "aahhh there is hope!" I got pregnant with triplets a dream come true!! Well at 4 1/2 months I lost all 3 of my babies do to complications my water broke early. Well you guessed it ANGER! communication was cut for good. well luck have it I got pregnant again 2 months later "TWINS!" well wouldn't you know it more problems, had to break a promise as others prayed for me and my baby girls, "God if I do not deliver these babies 2 1/2 months early they have no chance, Analeese is dieing inside me,im putting them in your hands lord hold them close take of of them as only you can Father, I beg you save my babies I can't do this again, I know I left you, but I know you have not left me" well I handed over a 2 and 3 pound baby 2 1/2 months early, what? they do not need oxygen? Analeese was dieing! they are doing well? a little jondus, ok.... Christopher I put my girls in gods hands to do what my body would not, give them life and he did, they came home healthy 1 motnh later at 5 pounds and to this day have no poblems, Analeese who was in the most danger tells me she see's angles and that jesus talks to her. I now have 4 healthy girls 1 being born on Oct 15, 2010, I don't want to give you false hope, just "HOPE" "FYI" I found out this year since I was finally willing to look at my triplets autopsy, 1 would have had spinal bifida and a life expectancy of 5 rys and very painful, I wonder now, Did god take them to make them healthy and gave me back happy healthy children? I have asked my church to pray every day for Scarlett and we do. Bless you. -Peggy Meridian Idaho

K said...

I understand your position and I commend you for praying againg. We are all praying for you as well.

Judy said...

Please know that God does answer prayers. God saved my daughter. She has a rare illness and while she is not cured, she is alive and thriving and doing well. God hears you, Chris. Please do not give up on Him. He loves you and He loves Scarlett. I will pray for your baby girl and your family. God bless.

Kimberly said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVwbrGCWic0

I am praying for your precious little girl and for your family.

Sarah said...

Wow. Just wow. I am not even sure what to say. You are way stronger than you give yourself credit for. You're all in Gods hands. I can feel it.

Rebecca said...

Christopher - Your honesty is so sweet to me. Thank you. I am sending a giant cyber-hug from me to all three of you.

Anonymous said...

i wrote this for you and your family!

scarlett needs prayers
someone to ask him to make it ok
someone to bag him not to take her away
scarlett needs prayers
someone to hold on to hope and faith
someone to show her theres always a way
scarlett needs prayers

her mama wants to hold her
never let her go
they dont want to face
this world all alone
this beautiful child
that was given to them
the most precious gift
anyone could ever give

but in the blink of an eye
their world in a spin
the fear of goodbye
is fallowing them

they pray
oh lord
please

scarlett needs prayers
someone to ask him to make it ok
someone to bag him not to take her away
scarlett needs prayers
someone to hold on to hope and faith
someone to show her theres always a way
scarlett needs prayers

The Macons said...

God I am so sorry, I will listen if you ever need to talk, I will pray the same way you do, because I feel the same. And I hope nothing more than your baby girl being well. Keep your chin up and love her as long as you can.

The Skirvins said...

It's possible that she can beat this. There were a couple of cases where babies who had it did beat it, and now they're 6, 8 years old. She'll make it through this.

Robin said...

My daughter who was born 2 weeks after your precious daughter received her first baby doll for Christmas. Today, we took down the tree, and cleaned up and put away any gifts we found still resting below. As we took out Morgan's new dolly, I pulled her gently out of the box she was purchased in, and gave her proudly to Morgan. With a smile on my face, I asked her what we should name her? As if I expected an answer, but obviously knew I wouldn't get one from an 8 week old child. I thought of Scarlett immediately (as I often do lately) and asked if we should name her Scarlett. My older daughter who is 14 and knows of your story agreed it was indeed a great name for the new baby doll. Your little girl has touched so many, from so many parts of the country. Please know we think of her daily, and pray for her recovery. May God's love be overwhelming to you and your whole family in this time of need. Keep praying!

Christopher Wecks said...

Thank you everyone for your lovely thoughts and comments. I appreciate you all, ~Chris

wjuzwiak said...

I am so sorry to hear of what you are going through. My heart just hurts reading about precious baby Scarlett! My daughter was born in October and I was on the Bump. It really hits home when a fellow mommy goes through something like this even though we have never met face to face!

I can sympathize with you in a way. When my son was 3 he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The phases you go through when dealing with the diagnosis are similar. The anger, the denial, the hurt, the pain, the bargaining, etc. The only advice I can give is to take things one day at a time and take the support that is offered to you. You have all been through so much this year. I hope 2011 brings you good health and happiness!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

Juliet36 said...

From the day you were married, I looked forward to the day you two would become parents. There was something just so "meant to be" about it. Since I read your first post about Scarlett on FB, You've been on my mind and Scarlett in my heart nonstop. I so appreciate you honesty here and very much admire your strength and love with all you're going through. I know it doesn't feel like God is there with you, but He is. Hang in there. I'm praying over here.

Jenn said...

I, too, lost hope several years back. I had suffered through a third miscarriage (a tubal nonetheless that put me through emergency surgery) and just felt that for whatever reason, God did not want me to have children and was not on "my side." I quit going to church...although I did still silently say bedtime prayers for inner strength. It took me a long time to go back to church, and it was only after I found out I was pregnant this past January. I went to visit Father to express my concerns and my guilt, and he told me this...."God forgives. God knows. God loves." God loves you, Scarlett and the rest of your family and is watching over you. He will be with you through this journey. Trust in him, and continue to talk to him even when you don't feel like he is listening. I wish we all could understand why bad things happen to good people, but since we can't, we just need hope.

Lindsay said...

I'm from the September 2010 BBC board, and I've been following your blog. Chris, I'm with you. I don't pray, pretty much for the same reasons you mentioned. I do, however, pray for Scarlett every day. I don't know if anyone is listening, but if someone is, I know he's probably overwhelmed with prayers for her.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Brandi's birth board on BBC. I've been reading updates from the beginning. They bring me to gut wrenching tears every time. I cannot pretend to know or even imagine what you are going through, although I find myself thinking what if I were in your shoes, that too brings me to tears. I gave up on prayers as well long ago, I think I must have been a teenager, but I hope for your sake and Scarlett, there is someone on the receiving end. Your family has been in my thoughts everyday since first reading Scarlett's story. You all have made me so very thankful for every second I've had with my son and I thank you for being strong and keeping us updated. I don't think I could get out of bed in the morning if I were in your place. Your strength has given me hope. Please know you have touched the lives of SO many people. My thoughts are with you.

Simply Sarah said...

Chris & Brandi,
You and Baby Scarlett are in my thoughts and prayers. It is amazing how our selfless desires for our little ones bring us back to prayer. I had my son in June 2010 and began to pray for him and our family shortly after he was born (after years of not praying and sincerely questioning). I will continue to pray for a miracle for that beautiful girl. My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

I am from the May 2009 FTM board. Word has spread fast about your LO. I cannot imagine what your family is going through. I hope that Scarlett is a miracle baby and that her surgery is a success.

Anonymous said...

Chris,
Thank you for your gut wrenching honesty before us all. It is a stream of fresh water, because if we are honest, many of us have walked that road, or are on it. I have a child with a life threatening disease who has lived against the odds in a powerful way for 14 years. God used her to capture my heart to Him. Reading your blog, through my tears I pictured God loving you enough to pursue you through this precious gift of Scarlett through 1 in 6,000,000. I believe your family has incredible plans. The people that have changed this world, were often the simple. Be real with God....He can take it. What do we have without faith? Look at that precious girl...and her perfect fingers and toes, her sweet smile. One of the greatest leaps of faith for me, is admitting as well, I don't understand it all. I don't understand suffering, but I know that what we have gone through with our daughter has brought us closer to the heart of a loving God. A God that I wouldn't have taken time out for if it wasn't for my daughter. I believe that His creation wasn't meant to be like this, but in His giving us free will......things have become not HIS best. In the gut wrenching part of your pain, call out to Him, I believe with all my heart He will be there. May you know Chris in the peace of your heart, even in all the chaos there is a plan. God sees you, He hears you, He knows every little part of Scarlett who is touching the lives of thousands, and He desperately loves you. Keep being real....don't let religion cloud the simplisicty of a relationship with God. All the buzz of regular life and the ladders of success we all try to climb everyday have been silenced by this precious life of Scarlett and the importance of what really matters. Living and Loving....no matter how much time that involves.

Praying that you will see the fingerprints of God around you through all these places you walk.

cdub5213 said...

Chris & Brandi -

Found your story through the Bump as a fellow October Mommy.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your precious little girl.

Chrissie

Anonymous said...

I will pray for your daughter and your family every day. Please believe that God can do all things. Even things that seem impossible.

Four years ago we had a car wreck. Not just any wreck, we hit a fully loaded logging truck with our whole family inside. Our daughters were alomst 4 years old and 19 months. Looking at their injuries, watching them go into shock in the ambulance I prayed. I knew God could save them if He wanted but didn't know if He would. I laid in my hospital bed unable to get up, waiting for the nurses to come tell me my family was dead. But it never came. One update after another just got a little better. My husband, myself and both of our daughters are alive and well. We were told later that the impact alone should have killed every one of us, they didn't know how we were still alive. None of us should have come out of that van. But we did. God spared us and I see Him working through our lives every day. He can do the same for you. Please believe it. God bless you and your precious little girl.

Anonymous said...

What a joy to hear that you are being so transparent and honest. I think you and your family needs that. I am a firm believer that God works when there is no way that we can humanly resolve a situation. So that in the end we can say what a mighty God we serve! Keep praying, seek Godly council, read your Bible for your sake and for the sake of your wife and family. It is not easy when prayer and seeking God is not part of the norm. But you will find it easier and easier. And God will not hide himself if you are truly seeking him. God has always looked for a humble spirit not someone who is trying to 'fit Him in.'

People all around can pray for you and try to sympathize but no one can bear our burdens like our God! Though its easy to question why and our human minds cannot understand. God IS in control if you will let him! As you know it is out of your hands. It is a good thing to put it in the one's hands who can do something about it all!

My family is praying for you and for your precious Scarlett! I have a 3 mth old who is facing surgery himself before he is one.

Jayden Whitney said...

Chris and Brandi,
My heart goes out to you and your little Scarlett, I have been reading your blog since Brandi told us about it on BBC. My son was born on Oct. 5th 2010. At 21wks he had been diagnosed though a level 2 ultrasound with a cleft palate. While not as serious as what you are going through since it is curable with surgery it was still heartbreaking news. We all want our children to be perfect and of course experience no pain. Throughout the pregnancy we saw specialists and researched and prepared ourselves for our little son to be born and the challenges he would face in his first few months of life. I'm not a religious person at all, but I prayed and prayed and my parent's who are pastors were constantly praying for a miracle. My husbands mother was always praying and fasting for him. I have also made many deals and promises to god, and perhaps that is why I am writing you, because I strongly believe that he did heal our son. He was born with no cleft and is perfectly healthy. While the drs now say they probably just made a mistake..I believe he our little miracle. But whatever happens with little Scarlett I pray for peace, understanding and strength for your journey. Just know that you are not alone, people across the country are praying for you including us, my parents and their whole church.

PrayerOfFaith said...

There are no words that can comfort you or increase your faith... Faith is believing what you cannot see, hear or touch. I will not bore you with all the details, but I have been where you spiritually are and on the other side. My Mother was brutally murdered and I was mad at God too. My little brother was killed 2 years later. I realized then that I had to forgive those that took them away or the Father could not forgive me. I also realized that Messiah has the keys to life and death. My Daughter gave birth to a baby girl at 26 weeks. She lived 8 days, and every day I prayed and believed that she would live. After she passed away, I realized that she was Gods all along. She was a gift for us and just too perfect to stay here on this earth longer. She touched a lot of lives while she was here. In my pride I felt like I deserved this one, that she would live because of all I had been through. No, none of us deserve anything we are all unworthy, but because of our Father's grace and mercy He gives, He heals and He does His will. We just have to trust that no matter what happens... He has His reasons, He has a bigger plan than we can sometimes see.
Yes, Father have mercy, touch this little baby girl, heal this baby Scarlett, as you made her and she is your child. Use this healing as a testimony for your mercy, grace and wondrous works all the days of her life...

Jamie said...

this brought me to my knees. there is so much prayer happening right now for miss scarlett. thank you for sharing your deepest feelings, you inspire the world to keep hope

Kelly Jo said...

(((hugs))) and prayers from my family to yours.

Anonymous said...

I pray for dear Scarlett every night. For understanding, strength and his loving touch over your family. God is listening to you now. He hears you and as another said he answers prayers, sometimes not in a way that we want. Here is how I see it. God is here to heal this for Scarlett as a way to bring you back to him. He wants you to trust in him and one way or another it is through Scarlett that you will look to God again. I went through a tough situation about a year ago and lost a baby at 23 weeks. Only to find myself on my knees asking God why and finding out later that there could have been several issues. We put our faith in God and found we were pregnant again 2 months later and I now have a beautiful healthy little girl named Faith about the age of Scarlett. Through my whole experience I found a deeper love and understanding for God. Do not turn away from him. God Bless you and your family. I will continue to pray every night until the day I see your exciting post of her health and recovery and reknewed faith in god. Much love to your family.

Anonymous said...

Chris and Brandi,
I went to high school with you but you both graduated with my sister and I with Danny. My heart goes out to your family. Can't say I know what you ate going through with your daughter but I can say that I am praying that the Lord would comfort you and give you faith. The bible says that faith even the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. I'm sure that this mountain seems completely immovable. Judy remeber that sometimes mountains move in a direction that is undesired and therefore unforeseen and unexpected. Jesus loves to do the miraculous but sometimes the miraculous isn't what we expect. Like when he raised lazerous from the grave... Everyone expected him to show up early and heal him before he died. But he did even better... He allowed the unthinkable to happen in order to make way for something better.
I pray your heart be comforted and that your family not be too strong to be afraid to be weak through this. The Bible says that in out weakness, He is made strong.

Much love and many prayers

Krysta said...

Hi, I read about your story on the Debate Team on BBC. I just want you to know how touching your story is. I am sharing your story on Facebook to get as many people in your corner as possible. I will keep you and your little girl in my thoughts.

TheDearmanFamily said...

I am praying for every one involved and especially Scarlett.

Anonymous said...

I gave up on prayer because, like you, my prayers were met with silence. I kept thinking, if this is the path He's chosen for me, I'm not liking it very much. I think about Him throughout my day. I know He's there. He knows where we've been and where we're going. When you grow tired of praying, I think that's when you turn it over to Him. You can be there for your little girl...the rest is up to Him. I will pray for precious Scarlett Grace. She belongs here to help make the world a better place.

4+1=5hopingfor7 said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and worries with the whole world. I can not even begin to imagine what your going through. I only heard of your situation because of the post on BBC. I to have times of confusion and doubt about God and his love. I do believe that God and only God can heal us, and he will. Remember all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountian, and i believe that right now, with all those praying for your beautiful gift from God, he will heal your angel. Thank you for sharing, and I will continue to pray as well. God Bless you all!

Anonymous said...

Like you, years ago I made a promise to leave my ears open but no longer "bark in the dark." Now I'm also breaking that promise and offering a new one, I'll come back if He can just fix your little girl. She is absolutely beautiful.

Anonymous said...

chris, are your in-laws Mormon? I just ask because I am and from what you describe, it sounds like she was given a blessing.... your family is in my family's thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I have been following along all that has been going on with Scarlett and your family and I am truly sorry for this valley you are walking through. I sounds when I read your post on prayer, Chris, that one time you where closer to God. It's times like these when we want to make deals, he has been with the whole time and I know you haven't felt it and I am sorry.

Not quite the same, but I was called into the doctors office and told that I could die and that I needed to check myself into the hospital, I wondered at that moment where was God, why was this happening? Why wasn't he stopping this mess? Through alot of trials and tribulations he brought me through it. My feelings weren't for me, but more for my family if something happened.

God hears you Chris, Brandi, Scarlett and Family. When you think about it, you have had your prayers answered all along, you have a good life, great wife,wonderful baby girl, and a fantastic family, and church family sounds like.

I pray for you and your baby everyday and I know that God is with each moment of each day, he is guiding the decisions that you make, he guides the doctors on where to send you, i.e. Oakland Childrens, he is moving in concert with you, just remember, GOD LOVES YOU AND WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU, HE WILL WALK THROUGH THE DARK VALLEY WITH YOU.

LOVE AND PRAYERS ALWAYS AND UNENDING

Anonymous said...

Have faith. You and yours are in my prayers. Believe. Trust.

Anonymous said...

I have been following Scarlett's story since it appeared on BabyCenter because she is only two days younger than my own daughter. It breaks my heart that all I can do is keep Scarlett and her parents in my thoughts and prayers but I know that perhaps it gives some comfort to you to know that there are so many strangers out there - people you don't even know and will never meet - praying for your little girl. I am not a very religious person. I can't remember the last time I prayed for anything. But when I read Scarlett's story, I prayed to whatever god might be listening to spare her life. I have prayed every day since. I will continue to pray every day because I made my own deal with God; I promised to pray every day of my life for Scarlett, for her parents, for my family, for the countless, nameless strangers whose sufferings I can never know. I made no conditions - stipulated no "ifs" - in exchange for my prayers because I finally realize that there are no unanswered prayers when we pray with conviction. The act of praying affirms faith. Don't give up - there is a world of people praying with you for your daughter. If you still feel that no one is listening to your own prayers, surely God will hear the prayers of someone that is speaking for Scarlett.

Shannon said...

I was doing my thursday night study and was going over some notes and scriptures .. when I came across the book of Jonah. I started weeping and Immediately thought of you Brandi ... I know how hard it is to pray and feel like noone hears you .. I hope this helps... 1 Then Jo´nah prayed to Jehovah his God from the inward parts of the fish 2 and said:

“Out of my distress I called out to Jehovah, and he proceeded to answer me.
Out of the belly of She´ol I cried for help.
You heard my voice.

3 When you threw me [to] the depths, into the heart of the open sea,
Then a very river encircled me.
All your breakers and your waves—over me they passed on.

4 And as for me, I said, ‘I have been driven away from in front of your eyes!
How shall I gaze again upon your holy temple?’

5 Waters encircled me clear to [the] soul; the watery deep itself kept enclosing me.
Weeds were wound around my head.

6 To the bottoms of [the] mountains I went down.
As for the earth, its bars were upon me for time indefinite.
But out of [the] pit you proceeded to bring up my life, O Jehovah my God.

7 When my soul fainted away within me, Jehovah was the One whom I remembered.
Then my prayer came in to you, into your holy temple.
Keep praying from the depths of your soul Brandi .. He WILL hear you <3

Jessica said...

Chris,

I'm not sure what I believe in and I lost a lot of faith in the last 10 years. Not for anything in particular, but more for lack of "proof". However, I pray for others. I am praying that God takes you up on your promise.

Stay strong - Jessica