We left the house for the first time tonight, since we’ve been home from MD Anderson. We have been staying home so Clay can recover and many of you have been to visit over the past few days. Thank you.
But, tonight The Rangers had a ballgame. Our son Ben, who is 10 years old, plays on the team, but more importantly, Clay has been the coach for the past two years. When we got his diagnosis, one of the first things we had to determine was what to do with the team. Our good friend, Doug Bush, stepped up and took over for Clay and the team hasn’t missed a beat. Tonight was our first opportunity to go see them play since Clay has been sick. The doctors told us to try to get back to our normal routine as soon as possible and that exercise is good for Clay, so it was time for us to get out a little.
I expected Clay to experience some emotions when we arrived at the park. He has always LOVED baseball. He played all his life growing up, including high school ball for Central High School. He has been involved in coaching his sons since Sam starting playing 10 years ago and for the past two years he has been the head coach of Ben’s team. Clay knows what he is doing and he is a very good technical coach. At the beginning of this season, he would come home from practice and say, “Babe. I love these kids, but I’m just telling you….be prepared to not win a game.” Well, by the time we made it the opening season tournament, they were a different team. They made it to the championship game and then started their season 9-1. It has been so much fun to watch them excel.
More importantly, though, Clay has loved the boys like his own since the minute they joined the team. He cares much more about mentorship and teaching them character than he ever did about winning. I’ve watched him encourage them, help them, teach them, correct them, push them, and lead them. He leads by example. He would be the first to admit when he made a mistake and he always considered that the boys were watching him on the field if there was an error or a bad call. I was always so proud to say he is mine! Clay prayed with the boys before every game and after every game. We always started by asking the Lord to help us and keep us safe. And we always ended by giving thanks for what God did. It’s really wonderful to think of what this taught those boys.
He has missed ball…not for the sport…but for the boys. He’s missed being with Ben as he finishes his season. So, we went tonight. Surrounded by the world’s greatest friends and family, we went. We brought his portable rocking chair that our brother-in-law, Jimmy, bought for Clay to have at the hospital. Karen and Doug Bush had a tent set up for us when we got there, so Clay wouldn’t get overheated. Everyone greeted us with hugs and love. It was so good to be back. Clay went in the dug out to see the boys before the game and they all seemed really glad to see him there. The Rangers dominated! They played so good. They all hit good and our pitchers did a great job. Clay loved every minute of it. They came and gave him the game ball after it was over. So sweet.
We have two other parents on our team who are also fighting cancer right now. It was encouraging to see them and check on their progress. It reminds us that there are so many others who are battling major illness or major life issues. The devil is at work all around us. We have to be armed and ready to fight him. About halfway through the game, a wave of emotion hit me. I really had to choke back some tears as I sat there thinking of how he has loved his time out here with these young men. He always saw it as a ministry to the boys. I know he was sitting there wondering if he’ll ever be able to do it again. I was wondering that. If I let my mind wander too much, I start thinking about all kinds of possible outcomes from our situation. That doesn’t do me any good.
II Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
So, I have to take my thoughts captive and remember to just enjoy the moment. To stay right here in this moment where we are. We have to live to the fullest right now and enjoy every minute. Thinking about what could come, only brings fear and worry. So, we just watched the game and enjoyed the win. Near the end, Clay really started getting tired. I got a little concerned that he wouldn’t even make it back to the car. Our family packed up our stuff and our friend, Jake, walked on one side of Clay while I held his hand all the way to the car. We made it. He went straight to bed when we got home. Help me pray that God will increase his strength and help him recover completely. He is weak.
My prayer for you tonight is that you will allow God to show you how He wants to use you in your present circumstance. Look for opportunities to be a vessel and to be used by God. It may be something really simple, like being an example to 12 little boys on a baseball field, but whatever it is, do it with all your heart. Don’t miss an opportunity to show the love of God to those around you and to be an example to others. And, take every thought captive. Use your time to glorify God and to do His work. Don’t waste your thoughts on vain imaginations or worry. Take them captive and obey Christ.
As you know, this week has been about recovery and waiting. Waiting to go back to MDA and find out what our next steps will be. You have helped us pass the time by sending us sweet cards, encouraging posts on Facebook, bringing us delicious meals and through your visits.
Our entire family came for lunch Sunday and Steve cooked a huge pot of Spaghetti for everyone. We’ve had visits from a few dear friends that are walking through their own struggles right now and we were able to pray with them for God to move their mountains. He is working in so many ways.
Thank you for continuing to pray. These few days have been hard and I feel in my spirit that there are many more hard days ahead. We need a complete miracle and we want God to be glorified in it. We leave on Wednesday and our appointments are Thursday and Friday at MDA. We will meet with the Neurosurgeon for a check up and, hopefully, staple removal. Then we can go get Clay’s head shaved! He’s so ready for that. All the boys were asking him tonight why he has hair. Ha. Then we’ll meet the Radiologist and Oncologist who will tell us about our treatment options. Pray that God’s will is done and we have perfect wisdom. We need ears to hear exactly what the Holy Spirit is telling us. Our desire is to have treatments conducted here at home, but we are going there with open minds and open hearts.
We love you and we continue to pray for all of you that are reading our story. God is moving and doing many miracles. Let Him move in your life.