Memory is a funny thing. Some of the things we hope to remember often elude us, while other more difficult or painful memories seem to continually resurface. But then there is the practice of purposeful remembering. Scripture continually points us to this practice, which was instituted by God for the people of God. And the point of purposeful remembering throughout Scripture is for the people of God to focus on what God has done and continues to do. His grace, mercy and provision continually abounds to His people. So we are called to purposefully remember His forgiveness, faithfulness, promises and deliverance in spite of our (mankind’s) continual pattern of rebellion.
It was on this day, June 19, three years ago, that we are purposefully remembering. It is a day we have marked to remember as one of the many days where God showed His faithfulness to our family and to our son, Cole, specifically. It was this day where after the initial diagnosis of Perthes disease, where I watched my son get rolled down a hallway to the operating suite at Children’s Hospital of Birmingham.
And while some of the initial feelings have either faded or been replaced the memories still remain… purposefully. It would be easy to take these memories and put them in a storage container labeled “The Past” and just move on. After all, Cole’s future looks promising and his daily functioning is beyond what we could have even processed sitting in that hospital waiting room three years ago.
So why remember? Because God calls us to.
Our story, and more specifically Cole’s story, is wrapped up in a greater narrative that God is telling. It’s a story of the amazing design of a Creator, the sin and brokenness (including Perthes disease) of a people and the beauty of redemption that comes through the hero of this story – Jesus Christ. And the good news doesn’t even end with the hero… it ends with that same Creator God, making “all things new.” What’s broken will be restored once and for all.
That’s why we remember. Because when we do, we are telling THAT story through OUR story. Cole’s story is one of a faithful God who has amazing plans and purposes for His children, even if they are plans we wouldn’t have chosen. And they are good plans, even though some of the stories don’t seem to have happily ever after endings.
It’s been a whirlwind of a three-plus year journey for Cole. But it’s been one most certainly marked by God’s faithfulness. We’ve done a major surgery, a spica cast, a wheelchair, a walker, a cast removal, physical therapy, a second surgery, another wheelchair, another walker, many trips to the radiologist for x-rays, multiple consults and follow-up appointments in Alabama… just to name a few memories and milestones on the medical side. Then of course there’s been milestones in life… birthdays to celebrate, the ability to play and compete on sports team and to run and simply enjoying being a kid.
All that to say… we purposefully remember. We celebrate the memories and the milestones of a good God with a good plan for Cole. The journey’s not over. There’s more follow-up visits to come as we journey through the remainder of the disease and healing process. But we’ll remember along the way. And it’s with gratitude that we remember all of you that have walked this road with us through encouragement, prayers and your support. We are thankful. God is good.