Prayers from My Little Girl

From a Fellow Traveler

Yesterday, my wife and I had one of the most emotional experiences of our lives. We had to tell our 10- and 7-year-old that my wife has cancer.

We put it off for over a month, but couldn’t keep the secret any longer. The doctor appointments are adding up and eventually, they were going to find out.

We kept the message simple, but even with limited details their little hearts were breaking. It’s so hard to watch your child in that sort of emotional pain. So we just held them, and let the waves of sadness wash over them.

We told them the doctors are working on a plan and that next week we visit a big hospital in Cleveland, Ohio just to make sure we have the right path forward for Mom.

As the sobs started to calm down, a beautiful moment happened. I asked our 7-year-old if she wanted to pray. She said she did, so I told her: “OK, you can just repeat after me.”

“Dear Jesus”

“Dear Jesus”

“We are really scared.”

“We are really scared.”

Then, without any additional prompts, our daughter continued:

“Please help Mommy to get well. Keep Mommy and Daddy safe in Ohio, and let the doctors make her better. Amen.”

As parents, we are programmed to believe we must protect our kids at all costs. My wife and I have been guarding our daughters, trying to keep this emotional storm from their shores.

What I missed in all that guarding and protecting was understanding the comforting peace in watching their faith in action. Their faith doesn’t have the 42 years of baggage that mine does. And in this moment of weakness, a perfect little prayer was sent up for us by the littlest one in our family.

So my wife and I will probably continue to do all we can to protect our girls during this battle with cancer. But maybe I need to remember: their prayers still have the power to protect us, too.

1 Comment

  1. I really appreciate how this father recognizes that, while we certainly do pass on our faith to our kids, our kids also pass their faith to us. It’s a great example of the Who’s on my rope? mentality: I give and look for help in both directions, ahead and behind.

    And while I don’t expect my kids to know or believe everything there is to know and believe, I also recognize that I am growing, too. And my kids are a gift from God to help me in my faith walk, not merely tiny receptacles for my vast wisdom and experience.

    We all need each other on this journey of faith. And even when it comes to little kids, or teenagers, or 20-somethings, we follow Jesus better when we follow him together.

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