October 24, 2016

Bigger than Fear

It was shortly before Austin's 17th birthday when
we found ourselves at Children's Hospital in the ICU.
He had been admitted for one malady which very quickly took
a backseat to a much more serious one.

During that hospital stay, 
our Austin was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy 
which had not previously been on anyone's radar.

DCM, as it is commonly referred to,
is a life-threatening condition.  Austin was given a little booklet
to read in an attempt to inform him of his new diagnosis.
He was too weak to read.  So, he left it.

When I had a moment, I picked it up and read it through.
Austin asked me to give him the run down.  I didn't want to.  Not then.
I told him that I wanted to wait until he was out of ICU.
But, he insisted on knowing what he was up against.

I resisted.  But, he pushed me for a brief synopsis.
He really wanted to know.

It was grim and I didn't want to upset him unnecessarily.
The statistics for DCM were grave.  One third of children
diagnosed with the condition die, one third live with
impaired heart function, and one third fully recover.

I told him the potential was that he could die.  
He replied after only a moment..."That was blunt!"
And then, after a pause and thoughtful consideration,
"But, I'm not afraid to die, because I know where I am going".

It was a profound moment we shared.
He and I were alone and it was precious to witness his response.
Austin had looked death squarely in the face and was able,
as evidenced by his bold declaration, to prove his faith was bigger than fear.

From that moment on, he had a boldness in his witness 
for the Lord and all that He has done for His people which warmed my heart.
He was able to testify that we serve a good and gracious Saviour
Who does all things well and without mistake.

It was incredibly encouraging to us as his parents.
It was clear where he stood and in Whom he had put his trust.

Austin was well aware of the situation he was in.
However, he sought to live life to its fullest in spite of it.
By God's great grace, he knew what was most important and lived accordingly.
         It is how we all ought to live.  It is something we all ought to consider. 

Eternal focus has a way of clearing out clutter.
All that really matters is all that is left.
We have many happy memories of our precious son.
This particular memory is one that I hold dear to my heart.
We really didn't believe that Austin would fall into the one third
category of children who eventually die from DCM.

The Lord graciously gave us just over 14 months more with our son
after his diagnosis.  For that, and many other mercies, we are thankful.
One day, the Lord will cause us to know all that we need to about these things.
Until then, we trust in His perfect and sovereign plan for us all.

It is a blessing to rest our hearts in His good purposes.
It is truly a wonderful thing to belong to Him.

Are you the Lord's?  Do you have the confidence in your future that our Austin had?
It is only possible through the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work.
The assurance of salvation is available to all who come ~ see John 6:37.

There is nothing more precious than trusting in the Saviour
and knowing that you belong to Him.  There is a wonderful peace
that comes with knowing where you will be for all eternity.
 Look to Him and live!

With Love,

**The first photo in this post is from the hospital stay when we first learned
of Austin's DCM diagnosis.  He was out of ICU and upstairs.

**The second photo is from Austin's last birthday card ~
the verses written there were such a comfort to his heart, and to ours.


Patti said...

Wow, what an awesome testimony! Clearly, you did your job as Austin's parents exceedingly well. "There is no greater joy than to know my children walk in the truth." To see evidence of your sweet son's trust in Jesus in the midst of such heartbreak...what a gift from God!

I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. My heart breaks for you. I know you look forward to Heaven and eternal life with your beloved Austin.

Thank you for sharing this very personal moment from your lives with us.

Patti @ Joy in the Middle

Christa said...

Thank you for sharing Camille. What a wonderful memory the Lord blessed you with of Austin
in his last days... I hope you and your family are doing well.

Esther said...

What an incredible testimony of a life well lived. Thank you so much for sharing your precious memories with us. XOXO

Becky L. said...

Thank you for sharing your story about Austin and his faith. It makes parents heart warm and feel relieved when their children are believers and live that way as well. Amazing to talk with my girlfriend Laura who's been diagnosed with brain cancer. She was afraid that she'd lose her faith becuz of memory problems. I encouraged her that Jesus was with her and never leave her nor forsake her. I've been to a few memorial services lately. One scripture verse I've heard is from Psalm 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." It is a lovely chapter to read. I found it after the service on Friday. Interesting how He loves us so much that He wants to be with us! Thanks for your testimony as well and praying for all of you! Hugs and blessings, my friend!

Patty said...

What a blessing to you to have this memory of Austin's words of faith. We have friends who recently lost their 28 year old daughter. I am grateful that these young people have expressed their faith so we can know their eternal hope! Camille, I know you have blessed so many with your words of hope and trust in the Lord. May God bless you as you share encouragement and hope with others.

Camille said...

Patti ~ Thank you for your kind words...you bless my heart. It truly was a gift from the Lord to have had that moment with our young man...the Lord is so very good to us, isn't He? It is such a blessing to know that whatever the Lord calls us to, He will be faithful to see us through. Hugs to you! :)

Christa ~ Thank you, sweet friend. Yes, we are well in the Lord and with Him...one step at a time. I trust you are all well, too? Hugs! :)

Esther ~ Thank you for wanting to enter into the memories with us...I appreciate you! Hugs to you! :)

Becky ~ I am so sorry to learn of your friend who is battling with brain cancer. It is such a precious thing to remember that it is the Lord Who keeps us...I love Philippians 1:6 for the assurance it gives. How wonderful it is to belong to our Great Saviour. May He give much grace and peace in the midst of suffering. Praying that your friend will know the Lord's nearness at this most difficult time. Hugs.

Patty ~ I am so sorry that your friends are going through this excruciating time of deep sorrow...I am sure you are being a sweet encouragement to them at this most difficult time. Thank you for your kind words to me...may the Lord use all these things for His glory alone. Praying for you tonight as you minister to your precious friends. Hugs to you.

With Love,

Down On The Farm said...

For the things which are seen are temporary, the things which are not seen are eternal. What a blessing to know that your precious son is in the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and will be there for eternity. I cannot imagine the heartache, but of one thing I am certain, Jesus never fails. Even when we don't understand, and may never understand on earth, He never fails. Praying the Holy Spirit's comfort over you today. Thank you for sharing your heart. It is a true blessing.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

So precious! I'm so glad you still have that card, too. What an amazing young man he must have been. Big hugs to you all!

Camille said...

Robbin ~ Thank you for your kind words and for directing my thoughts to those sure and certain things of our Saviour. How precious He is!! What a blessed hope we have because of Him. You are so right...He truly does all things well and never fails. We rest our hearts there. Hugs to you. :)

Jackie ~ I do wish you could have met him. We look forward to the day when we will no longer have to be apart. How good and gracious the Lord is to us in this life He has called us to. Big hugs to you! :)

With Love,