A lot can happen in one year. Just ask one family who spent Thanksgiving 2017 in a hotel across the street from Duke University Hospital. Their 17 year old son had to fast on a holiday when most of us Americans eat till we bust. He watched football in the hotel lobby, so weak and sick he could hardly stand up.
On Black Friday, this young man was prepped for a surgery that would save his life. His mother and father took a selfie with him in his bright red hairnet, and then did something very hard… they left their son in the hands of a brilliant surgeon, her team, and a loving God.
The boy woke up without a colon and wearing a bag that his family desperately hated and yet thanked God for with all their might. There were times his mom wanted to run down the hall screaming. There were times she had to cry downstairs at the hospital’s Starbucks. She was praying almost all the time.
There was a corrective surgery not long after, where once again, the boy almost didn’t make it. As he came out of the anesthesia, his family got the news that their beloved uncle lost his life in an incident with someone driving intoxicated. It was a rock bottom moment.
In the months that followed, this family banded together and watched as the boy chose to go to school wearing a bag. Chose to keep fighting and believing even though he felt like God forgot about him. Chose life.
A final surgery left the boy with a new colon and everyone celebrated the end of the bag. He gained 40 pounds and his muscle mass returned, along with his old smile. Healed and restored, he told his story in front of his whole high school saying that faith, family, and a sense of humor got him through.
This family is going to be celebrating Thanksgiving BIG TIME tomorrow. Last year their son was fasting. This year he will be FEASTING. A lot can happen in one year. And I know this because this family is my family. And that boy is my boy. And I can promise you… God is faithful even when it looks otherwise. And we give Him all our thanks and praise.
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