Daisy Love just passed.
“ Oh friends, I don’t know what to say… Updating has seemed a task daunting and impossible as our girl lay in her bed at Cottage intermittently crying out in pain, sleeping, and dreamily remarking about the shadows of the birds on the wall.
January 13th marked one month in the hospital. She received two weeks of chemo within a couple of days of going in with abdominal pain and finding two new tumors. She came home for three nights after that and went back in with severe dehydration. The chemo had a much more radical effect on her showing how fragile she really is. We are awaiting her guts to heal and her body to retain nourishment. Needless to say we are devastated. We had hoped our journey across the world would have cured our baby but it is not so.
We are discussing a few options with our doctor, none of which we can make a decision on until we peek inside Daisy’s belly again to see how it responded. Until then we wait and pray and hope. And as our hearts are ripped out and our very insides sear with pain, the principles of life haven’t changed. Parenthood, no, being human, is still an opportunity to love. Every time I rub Daisy’s swollen feet, cool her burning once again bald head, every time I listen to her speak tiny words in the dark of the night or wash more soiled bedclothes, my opportunity remains. To love. This month is not a month I expected, not a month I wish upon any mama… Yet my opportunities to love her abound, and it’s my pleasure to serve her in all the deep pain. I don’t know what the future brings. Yesterday we were able to leave the hospital and continue her care at home, but we need a miracle, more than ever before. While we yet remain, we choose to enjoy our girl because she is incredibly enjoyable.
Please pray for us as we make agonizing decisions never intended for parents to make. Pray for a miracle. Pray for relief of our girl’s physical pain. And pray for stamina for the rest of us to go forward in strength and courage.
Daisy is as courageous as ever, full of grace and maturity as she voices her needs without ever whining or being rude. She once again is saving her downy hair for the birds by our house, hoping as they have spring babies they can enjoy her softness.
One last thought, as a parent and as a human being; opportunities to love surround us. When we take those opportunities time seems to stop, and in that timelessness is where memories are made and beauty is beheld. We will never regret rising to the occasion. I believe it has something to do with the fact that God is love and we are made in His image. Suffering isn’t what we are made for, but it can be fruitful in ways we could never imagine.
We love because He first loved us.
I appreciate the ways so many of you have loved and served us through the shadows, prayer, dinner, financial help for treatments, letters, teddy bears. You have helped ease our suffering in many ways.
Life is pain. It’s part of the human experience, and if you scratch the surface of anyone’s story you will find it. No one is exempt. We must face our fears, believing that we will be carried through and held up by the One who made us. Do I only focus on what hurts and is hard and what is being withheld, or will I thank Him for what is good and right and given freely? I must not believe God is my cosmic vending machine, spitting out only what I’ve inserted a crisp dollar for, but instead trusting God with where He takes us, not just with our desired outcome. If I believe God is good and sovereign over my life as well as Daisy’s, circumstances need not dictate our general emotional state, need not cause us to roll into a ball and hide under the covers for longer than necessary. God is my refuge and my strength. Yes, I’ve been singing this song for months, years; and this week I needed a fresh reminder. — Kate Merrick
This about wraps up my first day of class.
Last RSF service today until winter. Can’t believe how heartbroken I feel- must be separation anxiety. Aughhhh. I can do this.
When I first started attending Reality services, I was so focused on me: my spirituality, my walk with God, my growth in Christ. For the first time this summer, I really experienced a sense of community. I’ve always found community in my fellowship- friends, brothers and sisters that I’ve grown up with, in Christ. But never have I found community amongst strangers- brothers that I only know by face, sisters that I’ve had but brief encounters and conversations with. But we’re so, so connected. I feel as if I know the hands and souls of each and every member that makes up the church.
Theological, missional, and relational.
I’m going to miss RSF- Tarik and Dave; Johnathan, Christian, and the set-up team- Abby, Kate. The worship. I’m going to miss walking with, and discovering Christ with my home.
Tear. But what a message, and what a task to end with: to be theological, God-centered first and foremost in all that we are. To be missional, to live for Christ, and not simply for the experience of Christ. The discovery that our greatest need is reconciliation with God, and to know that he has given us the ministry of reconciliation itself (John 20:21-23). And to be relational- aware, concerned, and involved in what He is doing in the world around us; to have relations with a community striving to discover the direction in which the Sovereign Redeemer is moving, and together pursue to move in that direction (Johnathan Edwards).
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore youon Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. — 2 Corinthians 5
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. — Dickens
“Daisy Merrick is SO TOUGH that when Chuck Norris wakes up with nightmares, she rocks HIM back to sleep!”
Today, my Pepperdine finaid went through- looks like I’ll be living more than comfortably for this academic year. Today, Daisy finally moved into the featured spot for HopeMob, making it possible for us to donate. And tomorrow, The Merricks leave for Israel to look for alternative treatment.
God really provides!
was trying to explain to Miguel why Daisy means so much to me- aside from the fact that Britt, Daisy’s father, is just about the most beautiful example of Christ’s love I’ve ever encountered. His childlike faith, unwavering devotion, and unceasing joy… joy, under the strain and weight of such trials and suffering- well, it’s just about the craziest and most wonderful love I’ve ever seen.
But Daisy, Daisy is like.. a ray of sunshine. The brightest and purest source of light. She’s tough, she’s tenacious. But most of all, she’s so strong and full of life and laughter; an 8 year old who’s battled and survived cancer 3 times. But she isn’t weary, or weighed down by life. She’s hopeful and happy, and just so beautiful. A light this bright should be protected- I just can’t watch her snuff out. I’m certain that the world would get a little darker, dimmer, if Daisy Love does not win.
I’m also certain that she will win, and continue to shine for us as a symbol of God’s love and mercy. She’s our hope, our miracle.
It’s silly, and a bit ridiculous, but- I just feel like if her light goes out, my own hope for this world will diminish (though not completely) along with it.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31b
Daisy, Daisy, Daisy-
My heart breaks
Daisy Merrick, you are going to be a miracle.