Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hard to Believe

It is hard to believe that it's just been a month since everything started. The headaches, the MRIs, the surgery, the hospital stay, the insertion of his mediport. And all of this to our beautiful and healthy four-year-old.
 
 
We've given up asking God, "why?" That road was a dead end. The truth is, bad things happen all of the time. We live in a fallen, sinful world. I can only imagine the unspeakable things God saved us from without even knowing. Bad things will happen. But it is up to us to decide how we will respond.
 
As people of faith, our answer is "God." God has always been so good to us. As far as I might have felt from Him during these past few weeks, I knew He was there. Despite how angry I was at Him for allowing this to happen, I knew that He loved our son even more than we did. And He would carry us through. Just as He has always done.
 
Reading through the flood of Facebook messages from strangers, I have been humbled by the many ways God is using our testimony to influence others. One of them, in particular, moved me to tears. It is from a man who I'll call Todd. If he finds this page, I hope he will not be offended that I copied his words here:
You may not believe it but due to hardships that now seem pale in comparison I am not any longer a spiritual man, I have lost my job of 25 years and house built for my parents, and all literally all our possessions, nothing but the clothes we had on, no year books, pictures, collections, trinkets from my parents, even had to give the dog away to an anonymous care taker, had a wife, 3 kids and 2 grand kids there to take care of... we only have the internet because we are using the upstairs persons link... we depend on heap to pay our utilities when we receive our shut off notice now... I am in my 50's and have to start all over and really do not relish the idea of passing in an apartment, sounds funny but I miss painting, cutting the grass, putting on a new roof, having to generally fix and take care of things, it keeps one occupied so you have little time to think about problems, an apartment only allows you to dwell on your issues... I say all this to tell you that you have moved me so much that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers... I have already prayed for a miracle I sincerely hope it helps coming from a wretch like me... God bless and keep you all

 
Did you catch that? He prayed. For us. After not having talked to God in years. I have a feeling that God was especially sensitive to Todd's selfless prayer and I pray this is the beginning of good things for him as well.
 
After reading that message through sobs to my husband, I realized: this is not about me. It's not about Ben. It's about the Lord. And the plan He has for everyone.
"For a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." 1 Peter 1:6-7
For whatever reason, God is using our circumstances to draw people to Him. So many stories, just like this one, of people being drawn to God because of how they've seen Him throughout our story. The world does not revolve around us. We are just one piece of the puzzle. And people are watching to see how God will move.
 
When the doctors tell you your son has a 3% survival rate, you know that if he does get better, it was not because of the medicine. It was the Great Physician. The stage is set for a miracle. And we are trying to move over and let God do His thing.
 
Because His love has never failed us yet. Not even once.

52 comments:

  1. Stay strong and know that all who know your story are walking in faith and praying for that miracle. God hand picked you to be Ben's momma because He knew there would come a time, after the tears, that he would need a powerful prayer warrior to rise up and be His voice to this hurting world. You are drawing people to Christ because His glory is shining through you and your family. May God bless you all and hold you close in his arms of peace and love.

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    2. Amen! Her strength is drawing me closer!!!

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  3. HI I sent you a message on facebook it probably went into your other folder we know Andy from Amherst BIble Chapel. our Ben had ependymoma brain cancer Dr. Li did the surgery Dr. Fitzpatrick oncologist if you need someone who's heard the same words you have and need to talk shoot me off a message Missy Dixon

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  4. Mindy, I have always loved keeping up with your sweet family through FB and your other blog, because you inspire me to be a more present mother. I've always been in awe at how together you've always seemed and how loving your family is. I wish I was not reading the words you've posted here, I wish none of this happened to Ben. But it's become so clear that you were born to be this precious child's Mommy. You've been given just about the worst news a parent could hear, and yet you are a beacon of hope. I'm so proud of you. Xoxox We believe in miracles. Love,
    Kierstin

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  5. Mindy, thank you for being so open and sharing your story. I am in awe of your strength.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story! Your words of faith are amazing as you have shown us through "Todd" and your right no matter what God is with us through it all, He does not fail!! Thank you again!!!

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  7. Mindy,
    You don't know me but I have heard of your story and I have been praying for Ben and some of the agents in my real estate office in Kansas City have been praying for Ben and your family. I was wondering if you had any way for me to anonymously send a little money to Todd (from your post above?) His message to you touched me and if I can send a little something to help him out a teeny bit I would like to. I wish it were that easy for your sweet Ben. I know you are overwhelmed but if you happen to know anything about Todd....

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    1. I would also love to know if there is an address for Todd...

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    2. That is very sweet. I only have a Facebook name, though. If he does happen to read these, please email me Todd so I can pass on your information to these sweet ladies! (mindyjoy1999@yahoo.com)

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  9. My kids, Luke (4 next month), Olivia (2 1/2), Zoe (18 mos), and Shiloh (4 weeks) and I prayed for your Ben this morning. We believe in miracles.

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  10. Mindy, we don't know each other, but I've seen your story through mutual FB friends. I have 5 little boys of my own, close in age and inseparable in relationship. I have and will continue to pray earnestly for God's mercy and miracles to rain down on your family. I'm going to commit to specifically praying for Jack, interceding to our Good Lord on his behalf, because as a mother of boys, I know His little heart is bearing a heavy load for his brother.

    Your faith & grace is a testimony, a powerful one. May God continue to use it to win hearts to Him.

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  11. Mindy, I am a friend of Janet's. I am familiar with the struggles the Sauer family have been through and when I read the news about your son, I was truly heart broken for you and I have been praying for you all.
    I have two sons with severe autism and one recently started to have seizures. I wrote a blog post after his first seizure and I just wanted to share it with you. It is simply written really. No deep spiritual stuff but the thought that God knows our kids intimately and loves them even more than us mamas is soothing to me.
    Anyways, here is the post http://mydayswithautism.ca/day-180-god-made-you-special/
    God Bless as you seek to keep the faith through it all!
    Janice Nicholson

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  12. Mindy,
    I came to learn about your precious family through mutual friends Ken and Karen Depeal. Know that you have a group of friends (small group) praying you through and trusting God to continue providing miracles (Todd and Sandy/Realtor) and peace for the journey. May God continue to receive glory in this situation and pour into you abundant strength. Thank you for the updates regarding Ben. Hugs from Battle Creek, MI.

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  13. I am praying for your sweet boy and your family from Mason, OH. There is a website that you might find helpful. www.jthf.org was founded by a family who walked this path before you. You will find many resources specific to brain cancers. In doing so, they have honored their awesome son, Jeff. Please take a look. And know that you are being lifted up in prayer by more than you know. God bless all of you.

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  14. Mindy and Andy speaking of miracles you guys have met oldest daughter Rosie well a little over thirteen years ago we found out Vicky was pregnant and there was an excitement for our first...going to the drs, hearing her heartbeat...wow its for real we are gonna a mommy and a daddy...well we made plans for this child to come In January and we were excited. Well about summer time we were at a party and made a statement wow it this baby came before the new year we would have a tax write off...little did I know but on October 25th 2000 at about 7am while I was at work my brother Dave who was the personnel director came over to me and told me Vicky was having the baby and I told him she can't be it is way to early like three months to early well she's having the baby and you need to get to the hospital.. I said should I punch out he said yes now you have to go..well I was on my way out to my car thinking how am I going to get there well I saw my sister in law Penny coming to my rescue..I was so worried I couldn't get to the hospital quick enough..by the grace of God we got there and I rushed into the hospital I was directed to were Vicky was she was in a nice room I immediately kissed her and we were bombarded with questions...well be all of the prayer of desperation and they rushed us into the cooperation room and our little 1.11 pound baby girl was taken out of Vicky and rush to the little opperating table were they had one person helping her breath another cleaning her off another helping her heart to work...we were terrified... but God drew us to pray...every time a Dr told us another hurdle Rosie had to go over...we prayed God brought us to our knees like never before.... well two and a half months later our baby girl finally came home..not out of the woods yet she was on a heart monitoring system..had RSV virus which premmies are subseptable to and namonia well she had feeding issues.... she is thirteen and some months and brought us thruogh closer to Him...We are praying for you all and are believing that God is not done so let's see what miracles come out of this one...luv you guys

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  15. Thought and prayers to you and your family. Stay strong and hold that little boy and cherish these moments.God may have another plan in mind, but hugs and kisses for Ben.

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  16. Many people who do not even know you or your family have been touched by your sweet son. We are sending you so much love, hoping and praying for Ben and for all of the people who love him.

    Katherine Kenwell Cich

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  17. I am not one that prays, I typically say that I am sending healing thoughts. In this circumstance, I think both are in order. I will be praying for your sweet faced son, and for your entire family...as well as sending the strongest healing thoughts that I can muster.
    xoxo

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  18. We will pray for a miracle for your sweet Ben. We have identical twin boys who are three, and one is Ben too.

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  19. Hello Sauer Family--I am a friend of Sarah D'Agostino and the priest at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mayville, NY. We are so very moved by Ben's story and are keeping him, his doctors and medical care team, and all the family in prayer. Ben has touched many people's lives with his story, and we wish your family be blessed with courage and strength to support Ben in his journey. The Rev Claudia Scheda, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Mayville NY

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    1. Claudia, do you know Mark and Jan Parsons? They are my sister-in-law's parents and I know they pastor a Methodist church there in Mayville :) Thank you for praying! They are felt!

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  20. I have been praying for your family daily since I first read about Ben..Your strength is amazing and you are an inspiration to us all...May God lay his healing hand upon little Ben and may he continue to give your family strength and courage...

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  21. Mindy your words are almost the exact words that the spirit has wispered to me as I struggle through processing this trial with you! As a girl who was given a 1/10 of 1% chance of survival and a 0 % chance of functioning if I did!! I of all people sit here praying and wrestling with this! But the Lord has reminded me this isn't about Ben or Mindy or Ellie! It isn't even about Lisa's struggle with it! It isn't evenabout sharing my story or trying to encourage you! It is about God! It is about His Soverignty, His Grace and all of us growing through the process! I must say I have felt a bit overwhelmed on "the other side of the hospital bed." I have been on the other side and wrestled with my own temporary time on this earth. I cannot imagine it being my child! It seems "easy" now to look my husband in the eyes and give him my permission and blessing to move on with his life if my risky 23 hour surgery went badly! But this isn't about me! It is about Him who will never leave you nor forsake you! Even in our youth we grow tired and weary, we stumble and fall but when we wait on the Lord He renews our strength! On my mirror for years after returning from the hospital I has this card posted "Trails are not enemies to faith but opportunities to prove God's faithfulness!" Thank you for being a testimony to His faithfulness! Stand firm and keep the faith! This is ALL about God, for our good and His Glory!! Praying without ceasing!! -Lisa W

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  22. You and Ben and your beautiful family are in my prayers.

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  23. Hi Mindy and Andy,

    I am not one to post to blogs, let alone read them. But you are truly amazing parents and followers of God and I needed to simply say that our family will continue to pray for Ben and your entire family during these most difficult days. I am truly inspired by your faith and your grace and know that there is a greater message that is already taking root. God bless you and your entire family.

    Jim Hanlon

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  24. And yet please know my heart is breaking for your family! I love your family very, very much! You are all near and dear to my heart!

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  25. A friend shared your link on fb. I can't imagine the feelings you are having. I have kids the same exact age as yours, and it made me cry to read this. It also brought to mind Dr. Burzynski and a story I heard about him a while back and his safe treatment of glioblastoma. Here is a link to a written interview with him, but there are many more sites you can find. I really hope you will look into it, even though your son is already scheduled for the other treatment. In the meantime, I'm praying for your family!
    http://www.vitaminb17.org/an_interview_with_dr_burzynski.htm

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  26. Hi Mindy,
    I graduated from Houghton a year before you and we have lots of mutual friends, which is how I came across your situation. My family prayed for over a year for a little 4-year-old twin girl with cancer in her brain (neuroblastoma) and my children (ages 2 and 4) never missed a day praying for her. Your story has some similarities to that one, and we are now praying fervently for Ben and the rest of your family, hoping that your story will have the same positive outcome as the little girl's story has had (her cancer is now in remission, praise God). May God continue to give you the courage and hope to trust in Him during these dark, dark days. I can only imagine the pain and sorrow you must be feeling.

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  27. I just read your post and prayed.

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  28. Mindy, every time I read a post of yours I am moved to tears. My son tells me I "love to cry" haha! I am praying for a miracle for your boy. How awesome it must be to see God moving in the lives of those around you (even strangers)...the one good part in the midst of all the pain.

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  29. Praying daily for God's grace, peace, provision and a mircale for Ben.

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  30. Mindy, I am praying for Ben and your family. Remember somebody HAS to be that 3% and there is no reason it can't be Ben. Prayer and will power is a very strong thing. Keep positive every step through this and never for second do not think that he is not going to be that 3%. He will be. A strong mind is a strong body. He can do it.

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  31. Mindy- We are praying for your family along with many others here in California. Sending much love....
    Selena and Andre Gonzalez

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  32. Praying for a miracle every day since we heard the news- and believing that God is in and around and through this. God bless you all in this journey!!!

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  33. mindy...you don't know me, but I'm praying for you and your family every single day...

    ~hillary

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  34. My heart is moved by your story and you may not see the Glory of God now , but you will someday. Praying for your family at every thought of Ben.

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  35. Hi Mindy & Andy - I'm another stranger friend praying for your sweet Ben. I live in Indiana with my husband and our 3 kids. You've been on my mind every single day since I read your story. I pray for that little boy every single time his name enters my head. I trust that God is listening and will take special care of your Ben!

    Kelly xo

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  36. Praying for God's healing grace, love and mercy to continue covering your family! May you all be blessed with His wisdom as you go through this trial. Stay in peace as you stand on your faith and are comforted by the Holy Spirit. God wants Ben well. Andrew Wommack (God Wants You Well), Joyce Meyer (Releasing God's Power) and Joseph Prince (Receive Power, Love & Healing) are currently sharing this message with their daily TV teachings, so I see this as confirmation that God wants more people to know His healing power in their lives. Thanks for letting us know of your need--allowing us to pray for you all--it's a privilege to lift you up.

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  37. Mindy, I'm a friend of Cristin's. She has been keeping us updated on your journey. Ben is in our constant prayers. We are believing in HIS powerful almighty name that Ben will be healed! Blessings and love from the Fulda Family in Tulsa, Ok.

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  38. Hi Mindy.
    I do not know you or your family, but wanted you to know I am praying for all of you and for complete healing for Ben. God is being glorified through your faith. I live in Franklin, TN, and my youngest son, Cooper, was diagnosed with Infantile Fibrosarcoma at 8 weeks old. It is diagnosed at about 1 in 5 million. It consumed 1/3 the volume of his head. Praise God he is now a healthy 5 year old and goes for his final MRI in about 2 weeks…if that one is clear he will officially be in complete remission!

    My husband and I started a non-profit foundation called The Cooper Trooper Foundation (www.coopertrooper.org) after Cooper's diagnosis to help families of a child diagnosed with cancer by providing a "Courage Kit" to the well siblings. These are completely free and just have to be requested on our website, so we will know which size t-shirt to send. I would LOVE to send your other sweet kids something special in the mail through our foundation. As I'm sure you have already seen, these siblings can sometimes feel a little left out and scared. This was our experience, as Cooper had 2 older brothers who couldn't understand why we were always at the hospital etc. We realized there is little in the way of resources for siblings. Regardless of if you would like to request a sibling kit right now, PLEASE know I will be earnestly lifting you and your family up in prayer!

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  39. I am praying for your son, for you , for your family and for all who are moved by your situation. Lord Jesus.. if it be your will, heal this little boy and let him remain with his mama.. heal us all, oh Lord I pray from all our ailments and sins that we may bring glory to You. amen

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  40. Oh God! Please! We need You! Oh God! A miracle is needed. You are the God of miracles. You tell us to ask and we are asking on Ben's behalf for healing - Lord he is only a baby! Please move on Ben's behalf for the sake of his twin and sister, for the sake of his Mom and Dad. God, hear our cries, we trust in You, we look to You - where else can we turn. We can go to no other. Oh God, please!!!

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  41. Dear Mindy, Ben and all the Sauer and Albrecht family.
    As we draw together in prayer for Ben, I am so thankful that we can go to our loving heavenly Father, who is the only one who can truly heal. I was reminded of the time in John 6 when many of the disciples deserted Jesus, Jesus asked the Twelve if they wanted to leave too and Peter responded "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." In all circumstances, but especially in these most difficult ones, where else can we go but to the Lord? We love you all and are praying for you, that you will be strengthened by His presence and love. We do pray for a miracle and for healing along with so many others.

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  42. Mindy, Little Ben has been in my prayers for several days. I have felt Gods leading in praying for him over and over again. I do not know you personally although I do believe we are sisters in Christ and I will be happy to stand in the gap for a miracle for your son, Ben.

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  43. Hi Mindy,

    I heard about beautiful Ben and the situation your family is in right now through my precious friends the DePeals. My husband and I are praying for your sweet son and for you, your husband and other children as well. We are standing in faith with you!

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  44. After reading Blessed Girl's 2-21 first post, I was reminded of another story of "beating the odds" that I pray will bless you. http://www.newhealthinjoy.info is my best friend's account of her walk with God and how she lived, by His grace, to inspire, bless and be loved by others during her extended life. God has a good plan for Ben, too. Have a blessed day!

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  45. You may want to look into MMS http://betterwpd.com/. I have no relation to this company or product, but hear from reliable sources that it results in miracles. Praying for you and your family.

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  46. Ben, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

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  47. Dear Sauers,
    I saw you on facebook through my sister asking for prayer for Ben. I don't know what Ben's condition is and if this treatment would work at this stage but please contact the following clinic immediately to find out. http://www.burzynskiclinic.com/ Here is a movie about the clinic and what it does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBUGVkmmwbk
    I can get you in touch with my dear friend who is a young man who had a rapidly growing brain tumor and had this treatment successfully. Here is his story: http://www.burzynskipatientgroup.org/jason-merkle You may call me if you would like: Meg Fite 513-260-4010 I will be praying for God to heal your precious Ben.

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