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“When you pray for Trey, besides healing, what do you pray for?  Is it a certain number of months?”  The question was asked to me by a loved one.  I replied that I do not pray that he would live for “x” more months.  I mean, if I shot too low would God then answer, “Well, I waaaaaas going to have him live for ‘x + 3’ months but since you are only praying for ‘x’ months, that’s all you get.”?  No.  I don’t think that my Lord and Savior works that way.  Further, Trey does not know what cancer even is, let alone that he has it, and certainly does not know his diagnosis.  Do I want him to stay alive long enough to know that he is dying?

Prayer.  What have I learned about it since Trey was diagnosed?  It’s a very valid question that I think I have come up with a very solid answer.  I know less now than I thought I knew before he was diagnosed, except for one thing.  It is absolutely vital.

How is it vital?  How does it work?  No clue.  Yes, I can go through scripture and point out hundreds of directives, encouragements, and even mandates (if you will) regarding prayer but as it applies to my situation I just don’t know.

Given that none (or darn near next to none) of the chemo/various treatments that he has gone through have done one bit of good for him is it prayer alone that has kept him so “healthy” (if not alive) for this long?  I don’t know.  Has Trey been the YoungWarrior that he has been  due to the thousands of prayers lifted up on his behalf?  I don’t know.  When other kids get beaten down and parents collapse under the pressure is it because of prayer that he hasn’t and we haven’t?  I don’t know.  Is he going to continue to shock the world (or at least his) and live 5, 10, 20, 70 more years due to prayer?  I don’t know.

What do I know then?  Well, I know this.  Trey is an exceptional story.  He has survived so much and yet suffered so little.  He has endured what was to be agonizing treatments and never shown it in his demeanor or countenance.  He has defied the reality of dangerously low blood counts, body functions (like a collapsed lung, broken femur, having only one kidney), side effects from chemo, medical induced coma like state in the ICU (after a surgery that almost took his life), and many many dressing changes that caused him great pain and rather than being down has risen above and played/behaved/lived like a “normal” kid.  He has touched the life of every doctor/nurse/technician/therapist/vendor at a hospital where they see the cutest kids every day of the week.  He has stood out as “special” to them.

I also know this, Joe and Bella aren’t surviving their brothers cancer, they are thriving.  I “joke” that my goal is to keep them off of drugs when they are teenagers and hearing them say to a drug counselor “I was a happy kid, then my brother got cancer and everything changed.”  I say “joke” but in reality that is one of my goals.  I want them to live a “normal” life and by every account they do.

I know this.  Rachel and I have not kept from  having this tear us apart but rather we are closer now than when he was diagnosed.  I have heard it said that this is one of the very most remarkable parts of our “story.”  I have friends who are nurses who say that almost all of the parents they have seen or dealt with who have a story similar to ours have their marriages fall apart.

I know this.  We have been blessed (as recently as our “Trey’s Trip to Disney” campaign) with a seemingly endless supply of support/encouragement and comfort.  We have a community and communities of folks who have blessed us ever so richly.  We have people who constantly love our family in so many ways…and people are praying.

Yes, people are praying.  There are orphans in the Philippines, students and missionaries across India, video gamers in multiple countries,  people at the wailing wall in Israel, 90 year olds on their death bed, the littlest of toddlers at bedtime, hundreds of prayer chains, thousands of churches, and I have no idea how many thousands of people.  I have been told, “Jay, know this.  When you can no longer stand, I will be kneeling.”

I know very little about prayer, just that it is absolutely vital…and it’s working.

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