This book was a beautiful story of a two year old boy, his family, their faith, and the fight against cancer. It was a book that blessed me to read — the faith expressed in this book, despite the many trials and fears faced by the Ewoldt family, is simply inspiring.
“There is only one thing you can do” he said.
“The only choice you have today and in the days ahead
is to live in a moment-by-moment dependence on the grace of God to see you through….
you can’t think about tomorrow, where you’ll be next week, or what the next year will bring. All you can do is take this, by the grace of God, moment by moment.”
Every inhale and exhale was its own moment of grace with no expectations for the next breath.
~Chase Away Cancer, pg. 76~
The book chronicles the years long journey God brought Ewoldt family through, and the struggles they faced through multiple surgeries, faulty central lines, chemo, radiation, and facing the possibility of the death of their young son, as well as chronicling how they found joy in the Lord and strength in Him through all of it.
The day is coming when God will speak over us that we are His people and He is our God.
The day is coming when there will be no more pain or tears
because He will take the hurt away and wipe every eye
and it will be more glorious than we can ever attempt to imagine!
But it is not that day yet and so the seemingly mindless, meaningless suffering will continue.
Chase is sick, but the day is coming.
He grows weaker, but the day is coming.
He may one day die from this illness….but the day is coming.
So, we must persevere.
~Chase Away Cancer, pg. 225~
I enjoyed the way the parents interacted with Chase, putting things in a manner a two year old could understand. During surgery, he would go for a “nap” with the doctor. He had “tubies” (a central line) in his chest that was wrapped with a “taco” — an ace bandage to keep them from pulling out. He would say that he was “so brave” anytime he was scared.
In my tired heart I long for the once-and-done lesson,
but as my dear friend….reminds me before nearly every procedure to this day,
if I were given my wish for ease, what reason would I have to abide in Him?
The darkness of the ongoing struggle makes the Light that much more beautiful.
If it were not so continually dark, If life were only difficult once and no more,
I would miss the comfort and warmth of the ever-present Light.
~Chase Away cancer, pg. 197~
I also appreciated the grace of God in Chase’s life in that he could still remember the last Scripture he had memorized — Joshua 1:9. “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear, for the Lord thy God is with you withersoever thou goest.” At a time when the mass of cancer was shifting the median of his brain, at a time when he shouldn’t even have been able to speak or think, he could recite Scripture, God’s own precious promises, and comfort himself. And I admire the Ewoldt family for teaching their children to memorize Scripture, to store it in their heart — even working with the two year old!
“Mommy, can we pray?”
“Of course. Do you want me to pray?”
He opened his mouth and said,
“Dear Jesus, thank you for my cancer! In Your Name I pray, amen!”
Chase gave thanks with a simplicity I felt I no longer possessed,
And then he was released into a joy I could hardly believe in — for “my cancer.”….
I had prayed for healing, strength, peace, acceptance, joy, submission, and more strength….
but never once had I prayed for the cancer…..
I still struggled to reconcile cancer to thankfulness,
and it hurt me that I couldn’t….
“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
This was the answer. The cancer kept me seeking,
and God gave me grace to look for Him in it, grace to be delivered,
and more grace just because He is good an faithful.
It was all a gift, and even though it came wrapped in hospital rooms and cancer treatments,
it was precious, because it was gracious,
and ultimately tailored perfectly for my needs.
~Chase Away Cancer, pg. 151~
I loved how honestly this book was written — not glossing over the hard parts but embracing them and sharing them with readers, so they could find hope in the midst of their own trials. Writing this book after this journey of cancer, she chose to immerse herself and her family back into the reality of all that went on, stirring up painful memories, reliving the joyous ones, and for that I am thankful….This is a book I would give to anyone facing a life changing trial, a trial of faith, a struggle with sickness. It offers hope through the lives of a family, it encourages strongly, rebukes gently, and teaches you to choose to cling to the joy of Christ through all of it!
The words fearfully and wonderfully made kept coming back to me
in the days we had to decide Chases treatment.
If God knew Chases life before time itself and proclaimed that Chase
has been fearfully and wonderfully made,
then Chase with cancer, with radiation, with short-numbered days —
this Chase with all his visible and invisible scars —
was more perfect and right then Chase before the diagnoses.
This is how God saw our son being most beautiful
and most wonderfully made on this earth for His glory.
No decision we made could lose him a day or a minute,
as it all was already known and planned.
~Chase Away Cancer, pg. 132~
This is a book suitable for the whole family — right now my 13 year old sister has borrowed it. The style of the writing is easily read, and it is easy to follow the story line. The way Mrs. Ewoldt writes about Christ is wonderful and awe-inspiring. It is a tear jerker — I literally had tears running down my cheeks — but I am also really very emotional as well. Especially when it comes to true-to-life books about little children!
Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right?
Are you as strong as God? (Job 40:8-9)
The challenge, though stinging, reminded me that God doesn’t answer to me
for the things He places in my path.
As hard as it is to admit when I am hurting,
my very breath is a ridiculously generous gift from Him.
~Chase Away Cancer, pg. 111~
I am not going to tell you how the book ends — but I very strongly recommend that you read it and find out for yourself =) It will change your perspective of many different things about your life — things you struggle with, things you are frustrated with, and your general attitude about all of it.
“Will you keep holding me?”
“Of course sweet boy!” I stroked his smooth head as he continued.
“No, Mom, will you hold me so the death won’t get me and take me away?”
Oh dear God….please not now.
When the big brown eyes of your tiny three-year-old look into your own,
and he asks urgently and honestly to him against death, there are a hundred directions
the brain goes over the sound of your heart breaking for the horror of the moment….
Bob and I had never given Chase the burden of a terminal diagnoses to carry.
He knew he was sick, and that it was serious, but we’d determined….he hadn’t needed to know….
Then came the hardest moment….it took me forever to answer him.
I wanted to say “Yes, of course I will, baby!”….
but I had to speak the truth to him as I hugged him close.
“Oh, my sweet boy, I can’t. I will hold you forever in this life.
My arms will be the last thing you remember,
but if Jesus wants to take you away from the cancer, it’s okay to go with Him.”
He whimpered. “I don’t want to.”
Fighting tears, I went on.
“I know, sweet boy, and that’s okay for now….heaven is beautiful and wonderful…
in heaven there won’t be anymore cancer…
your body won’t hurt, and you’ll get to have music and singing with Jesus forever.”
He paused to consider it. “No needles?”
~Chase Away Cancer, pg. 164 — 166~
~I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in return for an honest review — I was not required to like this book~
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