Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

I always put off writing until I feel like I have something to say. And for the past few weeks, I had always hoped that I would be able to share good news.
 
If you were hoping for good news, though, this post may not be very encouraging.
 
Ben's back has continued to give him pain. So much so that it's become too uncomfortable for him to sit up, walk, or stand. This severely limits his day-to-day options. He needs to be carried. Gently. And helped with absolutely everything. He cannot sit up in a chair, move his body to adjust his position on the couch, or go to the bathroom by himself. He cannot take a bath with his siblings; for the past two nights, Andy has put on his swimming trunks and held him in the shower while I clean him. He lays on the bed so we can change his clothes, much like we did when he was a newborn. Except now he's much heavier and yells when we change his position too much to irritate his back. And we have the added memory of our self-sufficient four-year-old saying, "That's okay, Mom, I can do it by myself."
 
We've given him two doses of morphine today to loosen his muscles and give him a little more freedom to move.
 
I cannot even tell you how mad I was at Andy for wanting to give him morphine.
 
It was as if I was giving in. Admitting that he needed medication to be comfortable. And as his mom, that just broke my heart to feel like we had reached another miserable milestone.
 
But Andy was right. It's not right for Ben to be in pain, to have difficulty moving. He needed the (albeit very small amount) of morphine to help encourage him to keep moving. To ease his discomfort.
 
I encouraged Andy to take the other kids to the science museum this morning while I stayed home with Ben. But as they were getting ready, Ben knew they were going to be gone for a few hours and got so anxious that he insisted on going as well. Andy and I hesitated. He can barely sit up by himself, and he can't walk. How would he even make it in the car seat for the drive to the city? But since we knew it was imperative that Jack get out of the house on this rainy day, we consented.
 
Ben did great in the car and spent the entire visit in the jogging stroller. He slept for the majority of the time, with the seat extended back. It was so nice to get out of the house. Especially for me, who's used to taking my kids out multiple times a week. But since it was our first trip to the museum since the diagnosis, I stifled tears watching Jack and Megan play by themselves at the water table and with the homemade PlayDoh, when usually their brother is right beside them. No one complained, though. Not even Ben.
 
I know that if God does allow Ben to enter heaven sooner than later, there will be many of these opportunities to miss my goofy and smiley Benjamin. To weep over his absence. Others who have lost loved ones - no matter how old - experience this as well. The first holiday without them, watching an old video of them laughing, the ability to pick up the phone and talk to them... all of these things remind you of your loss. I don't think there is a single person on earth that cannot identify with the pain behind those good memories. Having a young family and one on the way, I can imagine doing many more play dates such as today - the museum, the zoo, the library - and the thought of being there without my sweet second-born makes me so so sad.
 
You know how people say, "God doesn't give you any more than you can handle."
 
I know many of you hear that and think, "Gee, I wish He didn't think so highly of me."
 
But seriously, that phrase has always bothered me.
 
It wasn't until today that I finally figured out why.
 
The bad stuff we come across? The bad stuff that plagues our world? Cancer, sickness, accidents... none of it is from God. The Bible says that only good things come from God.
 
"Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17
 
Good things come from God. And He never changes. He is still the same God as the man who walked on this earth more than two thousand years ago. The One who was born to a virgin, did countless miracles and healed countless diseases. The One who was fully human and yet fully deity. The God who is large enough to command the heavens but small enough to walk beside us every single day. This is the God of my family. And He will continue to be the same good God to future generations even after we're gone from this earth.
 
Bad things exist because sin exists. And we all know to thank human nature, free will, (as well as Adam and Eve) for that lovely introduction into our world.
 
I know that many people think of God as a nasty overlord, holding his evil remote and just waiting for an opportunity to 'trick' us into ruining ourselves. Or perhaps He just plows through however He wants, manipulating people and events, regardless of how it may affect us pee-ons. But don't worry, 'He won't give you anymore than you can handle!'
 
Trust me, friends. That is not the God I know.
 
My God is loving. Compassionate. Gentle. The kind of Father that cries when we cry. That feels hurt when we hurt. And continues to love us even when we don't acknowledge His existence, when we purposefully turn from His Word. He loves us regardless of what we've done or who we are. That's the God that I know. The God that loved me most when I am at my worst.
 
God made us. And the Bible says that He made us in His image. And He loves us deeply. Every single one of us. What great artist wouldn't be proud of His work? God created the heavens, the earth - the entire universe - as well as everything in it. And the Bible tells us that He was very very pleased.
 
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."
Genesis 1:31
 
I can imagine His level of satisfaction looking at everything He created out of total darkness. Folding His arms and sighing, thinking how much He enjoyed what He had made. It doesn't make sense to me that that same God would be the cruel mastermind behind our demise.
 
It's true. God won't allow us to walk down a road that He cannot supply enough grace to sustain us. But we would be very mistaken to think that He was the One that created the situation we had to walk through in the first place.
 
Lord, please continue to hold us close. Give us the grace we need for each day. I have absolutely no idea what tomorrow will hold, but I will trust You. And I am so grateful for the assurance that You will never leave my side. Or the side of my son, Ben.
 
Oh, God, you continue to be so good to us.

105 comments:

  1. No words tonight, Mindy. God bless you for your strength. My 90-year old mother-in-law just passed after a wonderful, devout life and strong belief in our Lord. Tomorrow is her wake and I will be with all my grandchildren--I will hold them all especially tight, as I hold Ben tight in my heart.

    I know you don't me, as I'm sure you don't know many of the people whom you have touched, but I continue to feel a strong pull to you and Ben. He reminds me of my 4-year old grandson, Daniel, who I'm ashamed to admit is truly my favorite. From what I've learned about Ben, it sounds like they are kindred spirits. Ever since I've learned about Ben, I think of him the minute I see my Daniel.

    I continue to pray for all of you, especially your precious angel, Ben. I know he will be filled with God's grace as will you all. I continue to share your blog and reach out to my friends for their prayers and support.

    Ben's story has had a major impact on our community as I'm sure it has on other communities. Please be safe and warm in His light.

    Sincerely,
    Rosemarie Becker
    Rochester, New York
    rosemariebecker@mac.com

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  2. God Bless You and your adorable family. Thoughts and prayers are continually being sent your way. I don't even know you or live near you, but I want to put my arms around each and everyone of you and just hug with warmth to help keep you strong and keep reminding you that God is shining on you! Janine Hurley (Cincinnati, Ohio) (My son (Jason Hurley, Clarence, New York) is an acquaintance of yours!)

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  3. Your faith is strong and that will carry you. Praying for Ben, you , and your family.

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  4. I am writing this through tears streaming down my face. I'm not only sad for what you're going through, but for what you're about to go through and everything yet to come. The firsts without your loved one are always the hardest. My biggest first without my Mom was graduating high school just a month after she passed, it'll be 9 years next month and Mothers Day and Christmas are still the hardest for me. I wish there was a magically phrase to ease your pain in the times to come, even saying 'I know what you're about to be going through' seems completely devoid of any real meaning. What gets me through is looking for the signs that she's around, finding the joy in those. She's the warmth of the sun on my face, the fluttering in a butterflies wings, the coolness in the breeze, she's the smell after it rains.. Ben will be there in the all of the things that you find joy in as well. He'll be in the laughter of his brother, the squeal of his new baby sister.. you'll catch yourself smiling for no reason at all, he'll be the reason. It means that at that moment you passed by each other, he came to visit you at the time you needed him most and don't even realize it. God gave you him because he knew you could handle all of this, that Ben was meant to inspire the world, meant to give you all a strength you didn't even know you were capable of possessing. That little boy has accomplished more in such a few short years than most people will in their entire lifetime. Trust in God, your family, your friends, and yourself to get through it all. It's going to be the hardest time, but keep faith that you will get through. Take your time with your grief. There's no set of rules, no timetable for it. Trust in yourself that when you're ready you'll get through each step.

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    1. What a beautiful, heart-felt comment. God bless you!

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    2. Beautifully expressed and so very true. My mother will be gone 7 years in May. I'll be 64 in June, and I miss her more each day

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  5. Mindy,
    You don't know me... But like so many, I know people who know you and have shared your story. 2 weeks ago I was driving with my boys to another town and was praying. I suddenly started crying and praying for you guys; praying for comfort and begging for healing. I have memorized a lot of scripture but rarely get an immediate answer to my prayers. As I was praying for you I "heard" our scriptures quoted back to me, "Who are you? What do you know? I am creating something beautiful that you cannot see." I was struck, humbled, and strangely comforted... Not just for you but for myself and the catastrophic loss my family has faced this year. Our High Priest understand all of our sorrows and is creating something. I am so very sorry for your sorrow.

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    1. "I am creating something beautiful that you cannot see." That sounds just like the way God speaks to me! How true, how strangely comforting His statements, rather than provoking a rebuked feeling in me, it gives me hope. Isaiah 43:18-19

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    1. Not a day goes by ,that I don't think of Ben and your family, many prayers are with you in this trying time.

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  7. You are an amazing woman. I cry every time I read your posts. I've never met you, and live across the country for you. But you and Ben have touched my heart. I pray For Ben several times a day, and will continue to pray for a miracle. God can move mountains - I pray he moves for Ben.

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  8. My heart hurts to read your story...but you are right, cancer is not from God. Your suffering is not from God. It is from the enemy...the devil is the cause of all evil (Matthew 13). He is the roaring lion seeking those he may devour.....We won't understand why certain things God allows to happen to us, but we can know He is a loving God who is weeping with you, holds you close, and has eternity in His hands. No matter what happens, in the face of eternity with the Lord, you will be with Ben longer than you are without him.... bless your heart! Your family is in my prayers.

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    1. What a wonderful thought Lori, "you will be with Ben longer than you are without him." Eternity. We sometimes lose that goal in the midst of daily living. This is not our home. Jesus said He goes before us to prepare a place for us... what a comforting thought. It's like having a wonderful father, going ahead of you, getting the hotel, making sure it's stocked well with all you'll need, turning down the bed, fluffing the pillows, and turning the light on for your arrival. Thank you that you will be there when I arrive. When Mindy and Ben arrive, when we will all have an eternity without pain, without aging, without loss, and in the presence of our most loving Father. The time here is short...but a blink of His eye; thank you Lorrie for reminding each of us..and Mindy, whisper those words to Ben..." this is just a short time Ben, this pain won't last, I promise." and know that you are telling him the truth. with love to the Sauers from FL

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  9. So thankful that you have such a strong hope. Hope is believing the promises that He has made to us... it is not an empty word! Thank you for sharing your HOPE and your LOVE. Thank God for Ben...

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  10. I agree... that phrase has always bothered me too. I think it's taken from 1Cor. 10:13, but it's taken out of context and is often twisted to fit situations unlike the scriptural situation in 1Cor. 10. I know that in my life there are often situations that I cannot handle on my own. They are a result of sin in the world and are beyond my control. I cannot handle them, but my all-sufficient Heavenly Father can and does. He gives me strength and grace to bear up under the difficulty and brings more glory to his name, even through the results of man's sins! In my inability to manage, I more fully realize God's sovereignty and ability to completely handle the seemingly impossible situations in my life.

    Your family continues daily in my prayers!

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking! Those verses were talking about temptation. That God wouldn't give you more than you could bear. He wasn't talking about life experiences. I thought mentioning this verse would have just confused my intended point, but that's exactly where my head was at ;) God is good. And good comes from Him. Thank you for praying, Janie <3

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  11. You have God woven into your soul, what a lesson you are giving me , who up to know thought to be a true believer. It requires much more than that. You have openly exposed your pain to people you don't even know, teaching others the only true way to love God. . God bless you and give you the peace that surpasses all understand, sweet, loving, giving Mindy.Lissette.

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  12. Prayers for you, your husband, Ben, your 3 other babies, & your whole family too <3

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  13. God bless your precious Ben!

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  14. May our Lord's arms blanket you with His grace.

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  15. Preach Sister, they Are listening, and they are thirsty. Thank you Jesus <3

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  16. Holding you all close in heart and prayer.

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  17. We just spent a surprise extended stay in the NICU. I blogged about how God does give you more than you can handle. Alone. Because IF we can handle it we don't need God. I am not pretending our situations are similar, rather our realization that we need God to carry us through the situation is similar.
    When I think of you all, I pray, for peace and a calm spirit.

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    1. Very well said. We need to know that we need God. Circumstances like extended visits to the NICU are reminders how little control we really have of the world around us. Our control comes in our reaction. I pray that God is carrying you through your story, giving you the grace and peace you need for each day as well. I am so grateful for your prayers <3

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  18. We're all crying right along with you guys, every step of the way....but some day soon, our Lord and Savior will wipe these tears from our eyes, and our crying will be no more. Amen. God bless you.

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  19. Probably like so many others, I know someone who knows you and I think we met once through the Chapel. I have read every word through your journey and cried and laughed, prayed and rejoiced through your posts. We are praying for you. My little 3 year old reminds me to pray for Ben. The other day he offered up this prayer and I wanted to share it, as it is something only an almost 4 year old would pray so simply:

    "Thank you God for Ben and that he likes the color Blue so that I can wear blue for him and I already had blue clothes. Thank you for his beautiful family and that he has a family. You must have known he would need them so much. Please make him better because none of us want him to die. I know you love him and would like him to be with you, but we like him here, too. Thank you that everyone is praying for him and seeing blue everywhere! Aaaaaaaamen"

    Blessings and healings

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    1. Just beautiful. I think the prayers of our children count for double <3

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  20. Although the sorrow and pain of what you're facing with Ben permeates your writings, you'll never know how you lifted up my spirit with your trust in our loving God. There is someone I only know through social media who has gone through some terrible times with sickness and near loss in his family, and it was painful to watch him shake his fist at God and publicly renounce Christ. I won't judge him, because none of us know for sure how we'll respond in those situations, but I was baffled as to how he could turn his back on Christ like that after so many years of expression of strong faith. Then a post of his I read today made me realize that it was because he had been trusting in the strength of his faith instead of in the strength and love of his God.

    You are so honest about your weakness and your full reliance on the immeasurable love of God, His strength and sustaining grace. You and your dear family are His beloved, He will sustain and uphold you, and one day He will wipe away every tear.

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  21. Mindy & family,
    Every time I read your blog posts it is through tears and with a heavy heart. But that's only in the beginning. The further I read, the more you show strength and courage... And to believe like you do is truly amazing. Many people would do the things you speak of, wonder why God is doing this, causing such hurt. You on the other hand are amazing and are optimistic in your faith. I pray for you and your family all the time. It's so sad that you all have to go through this, and poor little Ben with his pain. Just know you've got people far and wide praying for your family with lots of love!

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  22. Prayers to an amazing mom and of course to Ben, you're family has made a difference in many peoples lives! Even though you have so much to worry about, how are you doing, mindy? I honestly wish I knew you personally, I'd be that person you could hit if you needed to take out any frustrations, we all have those moments. Thank you for sharing your journey, I pray that it will be a happy ending :) god bless you and your amazing family

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    1. Thank you. I am doing well. Grateful for a strong support system - both family and friends - as well as an incredible husband. I am not alone. <3

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    2. I do have to seriously thank you, because of Ben, his story, your words, I've been on a quest of finding a good church. My kids need more religion, they should know god, and most of all myself. Again thank you, and I'm glad you are doing well :)

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  23. I am another one whom you have never met, but who has been deeply touched by God through you and little Ben. Not a day goes by I don't pray for your little family. As a mom of five...no words exist in this language to express my emotions. This blog has taught me to remember to have a kingdom mindset and that our lives should point to Christ and spending our eternities in paradise. Ben has accomplished more for the kingdom than most will ever do in their life. I have unashamedly shared this blog on my Facebook over and over again as I know hundreds of others have on their social media. Little Ben has impacted thousands of people. His story is drawing people to God. Your faith, laid bare, is making Jesus's amazing love and grace real and lived. God bless you, Ben, and your entire family.

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  24. Mindy & family,
    Every time I read your blog posts it is through tears and with a heavy heart. But that's only in the beginning. The further I read, the more you show strength and courage... And to believe like you do is truly amazing. Many people would do the things you speak of, wonder why God is doing this, causing such hurt. You on the other hand are amazing and are optimistic in your faith. I pray for you and your family all the time. It's so sad that you all have to go through this, and poor little Ben with his pain. Just know you've got people far and wide praying for your family with lots of love!

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  25. I believe! I believe! I believe!! He is the same good God yesterday, today and forever to come. We love you Jesus!! You heald the lame and made the blind to see, you said 'bring these little ones toYou', so we do. God PLEASE bring Ben back to the perfect image u made him. Sickness leave Ben's body, in Jesus' name!!! Go, get out and may Ur confort come in. Thank you gracious God for Ben and for his story, but I am praying for a miracle so his story may continue.

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  26. I have been thinking about you and Ben and your family, worried about the lack of your writings - I so wish they were not necessary, that you were just a sweet little family with nothing sad to share. But that is not the case, and I appreciate your words and the deep thoughtfulness behind them.
    Last year, our community lost the sweetest boy just 2 days before his 18th birthday - none of us will ever be the same. There will always be a sadness in our hearts that cannot be erased...but there will also be a strength that he made us realize is within all of us to find.
    During his eulogy in church, his dad spoke beautifully...explaining that for months, when they realized the cancer had returned, he was angry at God, could not go into church. After some time, he realized that the way he needed to look at it was from a vantage point of thankfulness - to be thankful for the almost 18 years of joy that God had allowed him to share with this wonderfully amazing boy. This boy who was more concerned with those around him, even in his final days, than with himself or his own pain.
    It is truly darkest before the light. You have the hearts of so many...we have all prayed for you, Andy, Ben, Jack, Meghan and Baby Sauer. We are happy that you reach out to us in this way, when you have something in your heart to say.
    We are relinquishing our grace to you, so that you may have more than enough. <3 mm

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  27. Continually praying for you! My daughter Bailee sent Ben a picture she drew for him in the mail. It was of an airplane with his name on it. I hope it brought a smile to his face. God Bless You! Laurie

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  28. Praying strength, love, peace and comfort for you, Ben and your whole family. God bless you...

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  29. I'm with you in prayer dear sister. Remember the women who kept going to the judge? He finally gave in to her because of her persistence.....Anna

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  30. Oh Mindy. You don't know me but your family is continually in our prayers. Thank you for giving Ben morphine---you're not being a bad mom, you're taking wonderful care of your son and giving him what he needs. We pray for Ben's complete healing and realize that it may come in heaven. In John 17:24 Jesus says "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am". Isn't it humbling to realize that Jesus is asking our Father to bring us to heaven with Him? We will continue praying that all of you feel God's strong arms upholding you and bringing you comfort as you carry precious Ben through the valley and bring him to the feet of Jesus.

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  31. I too, start reading your posts with a heavy heart but through your faith mine is restored. Trusting God doesn't come easily but rather through the thing we want the least--pain. You introduced Ben to us months ago, inviting us into your world, asking us to join your in prayer. And here we stay, by your side, crying with you, praying with and for you. Oh Ben, how I wish I could sit with you and tell you how many people love you. You are an amazing boy with an equally amazing mom and dad. God's blessings Ben.

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  32. Mindy:
    I ask God every day for a miracle cure for Ben. God bless all of you.

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  33. You are an inspiration. I can't begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. Yet your strength, ability to trust, and have faith are unwavering. I have been struggling with my faith wondering why things in my life are the way they are and this not only brought tears to my eyes, but I felt God speaking to me through you and for that I can't thank you enough. I am so sorry you are having to endure this, but know you and little Ben are touching lives as I'm sure there are others who have felt it like me. Continued prayers for Ben and your family.

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  34. Your writings have touched my heart for several weeks since I've been following your story. I have a child with cerebral palsy. I know the pain of a sick child and living every day as though it might be the last. He has been stable for 5 years, praise God! I will not say I know what you all are going through. I have no idea. I pray for your peace beyond understanding. Enjoy every moment and soak it in. Continue to thank God for all his blessings. I so look forward to your updates. I just recently learned what the verse you referred to actually means. It means we will not be tempted with more sin than we can handle. Thank God for that!!! To God be the glory. Praise God for your faith. The pain you are going through is going to change lives. Your precious son's journey is going to change lives for Glory!! May God bless you all. Love in Christ. Ronilynn

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  35. I am speechless and will continue to pray!

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  36. Continued prayers for peace, comfort, strength and understanding



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  37. Mindy,
    I never knew what that quote really meant until I read this:
    http://lemmonythings.com/2014/01/05/god-will-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle-i-guarantee-it/
    I think of your family and pray for you all everyday as I am also a mother of 4 year old twin boys.

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  38. Mindy,
    My 20 year old brother died of leukemia which was diagnosed just one week before his death, when I was just a month shy of 16. On his deathbed, my mother was encouraging him to pray, "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul." And I, just a teenager, was shocked, and cried out, "DON'T SAY IT!" My mother turned and glared at me as if I were Satan himself. But what I was thinking is what you were thinking when Andy wanted to give Ben the morphine. NO! NO! No, don't give in. Don't stop fighting; for life; for normalcy; for the someone I love so much I would trade places with him in a heartbeat, if only he would live.
    But it was not to be. My brother passed from this life into eternal life. He did whisper the prayers my mother recited for him to repeat. It is now 44 years since he died. The memory of him still makes tears run down my cheeks.
    I pray, I hope, Our Lord will let Ben live a little while longer on this side of eternity, maybe 80 or 90 more years. But all we can do is ask Him. It really will be as He decides.
    Have your minister lay hands on Ben. You and Andy lay hands on him. Cast out the tumor by the power of Jesus name. Wait and hope in the Lord. Be stouthearted and wait on the Lord.

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  39. May you continue to be sustained by God's grace.

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  40. I once saw a quote, on a sign near a church , " Finding Courage when Anxiety grips the Heart". You are all very courageous. My heart and prayers are with you.

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  41. Mindy, I am so sorry that it was not good news of progress but am grateful you shared so that we know how to pray, for Ben and for you. I have never liked that phrase either, like God determines how much suffering it is OK for one of his children to go through. He is a loving God and as my heart breaks for you and I cry for Ben, I remind myself that God loves Ben more than all 54,000 of us combined. Unimaginable, unmeasurable love. Continuing to pray for a miracle. I won't stop. His timing. His way. <3

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  42. It breaks my heart for the pain and agony your going through. Know you and your beautiful family are held up in my prayers as well. Please know that Ben is making a difference. In all of our lives as are you. You give us all an example of strength and courage.

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  43. Revelation 21:3-5, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”

    I am still covering Ben in prayer, still praying for a miracle, still crying with you, still praising God with you. We all are.

    And I am praying most of all for His strength for you, Andy and your whole family because we most certainly do face things that are too big for us, but that is when God is glorified the most. Thank you for allowing Him to be glorified, even in this. May you rest in this Scripture, in the promise of a perfect future, an eternity with God, where He will most certainly say to you "well done good and faithful servant." Until then, may His angels surround you, may His right hand uphold you, may His Spirit fill you with peace. God bless you mightily.

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  44. Thank you for sharing your heart...and Yes...he is a GOOD God!
    Raleigh NC

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  45. If your child is in that much pain that he needs morphine to comfort him and feel better - give it to him!

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    1. Mindy, I understand why you didn't want to give him the morphine...it wasn't because you didn't want to give it to him...it was because you didn't want to give it to him because then it would be a reality that he's getting worse...no one can fault you for that. You're a mom, and you're human. You are wearing these shoes. You have to walk in them. No one has the right to judge you because they are too big sometimes. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers daily.

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  46. I cry as I read this. I pray for you all and you are right. God is good and he will pull you all through and hold that precious baby for you until you rejoice together in the sight of The Lord. I thank you for your humbleness as I am a newly saved Christian and gather strength knowing what faith can do. God bless you all and my prayers are daily for you all.

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  47. I am just so glad for Bens sake you guy's went to Florida when you did. If you would have waited till now, it sounds like it would have almost been impossible. Still praying hard in Orlando. God Bless All of you especially Ben

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  48. May the Lord continue to draw close to each of you so that you know His presence daily. Your transparency during this journey is amazing! It has been a blessing for us to read your posts and hear your heart. Our prayers continue to be with you and your family on this journey.

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  49. My kids pray for your family at mealtimes and before bed each day. They ask for updates on Ben nearly every morning. My oldest daughter (11yrs old) said that even though you don't know us, she wished you could know we are praying. I told her I would let you know. We have never met, but we care deeply about your family and you are frequently in our thoughts and prayers.

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  50. Mindy and Andy, may God be glorified in all that is happening to your precious Ben. Thank you for sharing the good news about our Lord Jesus Christ. Praying continually for you as you walk through this valley.
    Love and prayers from Raleigh, NC

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  51. Reading your blog tears my heart out everytime but your rock solid faith you freely share with us lifts me back up. What you deal with is unimaginable to most of us reading but please know we pray! Pray daily, most days several times! I love driving around Clarence and spotting all the Blue 4 Ben support! You are an amazing woman with an amazing family! I know God is sending you down this path because he has amazing things in store for you! Thank you for sharing with us your strong faith and courage, with every post my faith becomes stronger! May God bless your whole family and wrap his loving arms around you! Continued prayers will flow your way!

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  52. I heard this song the other day by Mark Shultz and thought of you. Praying.

    "He's My Son"


    I'm down on my knees again tonight,
    I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right.
    See, there is a boy that needs Your help.
    I've done all that I can do myself
    His mother is tired,
    I'm sure You can understand.
    Each night as he sleeps
    She goes in to hold his hand,
    And she tries
    Not to cry
    As the tears fill her eyes.

    Can You hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can You see him?
    Can You make him feel all right?
    If You can hear me
    Let me take his place some how.
    See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

    Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep,
    I dream of the boy he'd like to be.
    I try to be strong and see him through,
    But God, who he needs right now is You.
    Let him grow old,
    Live life without this fear.
    What would I be
    Living without him here?
    He's so tired,
    And he's scared
    Let him know that You're there.

    Can You hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can You see him?
    Can You make him feel all right?
    If You can hear me
    Let me take his place some how.
    See, he's not just anyone, he's my son.

    Can You hear me?
    Am I getting through tonight?
    Can You see him?
    Can You make him feel all right?
    If You can hear me
    Let me take his place somehow.
    See, he's not just anyone.

    Can You hear me?
    Can You see him?
    Please don't leave him,
    He's my son.

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    1. Praying this song for your family.

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  53. Keep your strong faith in God and he'll be with you every step of the way. Miracles do happen,sending prayers for you and your family. Stay strong For Ben.

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  54. I read your blog often and pray daily for your sweet family. I admire your strength and grace during this difficult time in your lives. As you mentioned I never liked the saying "God isn't going to give you something you can't handle." He has never wanted to hurt us. I believe that what should be said is that "God gives us the strength and courage to get through these difficult times." He provides the answers for us to know how to face the situations as best as we can. You know this and I thank you for expressing this to all of the world that our Father loves Sooo much. I am a nurse who cares for adults with brain tumors like what your son has. People ask me how I do it? What I tell them is that God has given me the honor to be apart of many patients and their families lives. They allow me to see the raw emotions and I am there to comfort them with God's healing love and to encourage those that it's okay to feel everything they do and that He is always there to listen and through this you help others in the future to come to Him. Prayers and blessings to you all.

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  55. I am once again so moved by your openness, honesty, and your faith amidst such pain.

    I know we often hear people quote the verse, "God will never give you more than you can handle." But that verse is not referring to pain and hardship. It's referring to temptation. The truth is God allows us to walk through some pretty awful circumstances. My heart breaks for what you and your family are walking through right now.

    As I was reading this, I was also reminded of something else. Rabbis during Jesus' day called people that were the brightest and most capable disciples. They were people who had decades of religious education. Rabbis only called people whom they believed could one day do what they do. But Jesus called the uneducated - the fishermen, tax collectors, zealots, etc. He called the people that every other Rabbi would overlook.

    We might think, "How extraordinary that Jesus believed that these individuals could become like Him!" However, I don't think Jesus believed that... well, apart from Him. I think He puts them in difficult situations where they fail to teach them that they can't do it alone.

    "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Apart from me, you can do nothing," Jesus said.

    And so in reading this, I was moved once again to remember how terrible this fallen world can be. I'm no match for it. But it's no match for the Jesus in me.

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  56. I have been following your blog and am so grateful for your testimony in this trial you are facing. You have truly strengthened my own. This blog brought to mind another blog I read earlier this year that I also gained strength from. I thought I'd share it with you. My prayers will continue for Ben and your family. That you may feel peace and comfort in your journey and that you will feel the support and love of all those who are praying and thinking of you. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. (((HUGS))) from Idaho.http://lemmonythings.com/2014/01/05/god-will-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle-i-guarantee-it/

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  57. Thanks for sharing your words of encouragement and your testimony of Gods love no matter what the circumstances. I am praying for your family and son that God will continue to shine his light on you and provide the healing and love you so desire. God Bless you for sharing the good with the bad.

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  58. "Lord, I lift this family before you today. I ask you, Father, to be to them exactly what each of them needs you to be...healer to Ben, comforter to his beautiful parents, hope to his siblings. We thank you that through this mountain experience so many lives are being touched and changed. You will use EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to minister to your people. And you chose, at this point in time, to use Ben Sauer to further the gospel in your kingdom. Oh, he's not speaking, but his little heart is. It beats for you, and it's beating loud enough for all of these people to hear. We look forward to the day when we will see Ben in all of your glory, and then it will be revealed - that very purpose that you called him for. We shall see the thousands of lives that were touched through this. Bless this precious family, Father. Dry their tears, heal their wounded hearts, give them the courage to go on and share the things that Ben is teaching them. In your name, Amen."

    Mindy, as I type this I am remined of the last scene in the movie "Pay it Forward" where they open the door to look out on thousands of people who are all holding candles to represent the life of the young boy. I believe that is what that day in heaven will be like. And there will be so much candlelight that it will be blinding! We love you and will keep supporting you in prayer...
    Sue in Macedon, NY

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  59. I am praying so hard for a miracle for Ben and for God to cure him completely. I wanted to share something I heard once, but I don't recall where. Time has no meaning in heaven, and it passes in the blink of an eye. When a child goes to heaven, by the time he turns to look for his parents, they are already there with him. For some reason, that thought has always comforted me. Your courage and grace at this is a testament to God's love and strength.

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  60. Heartbroken for your family. Humbled by your words. I echo your sentiments about that phrase - it's never seemed comforting to me, just made me confused about God's character. Isn't it good to realize, though, that God does not desire our suffering, but instead weeps with us as He joins us in the valley. Prayers for you and your beautiful family.

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  61. No words. Just praying and believing STILL for a miracle! You and your family are amazing, the strength you bring and speak helps me even in my own situations that seem helpless. Many many hugs to you all the way from Texas.

    Jen

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  62. Such a huge part of my heart belongs to your family. To Ben. To Jesus. I will never stop praying for all of you.

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  63. Mindy,

    Each of your blog posts speak to me, but this one spoke directly to my heart with truth and surrender. See I lost my Mom two weeks ago. Sudden? Unexpected? Why? All words I have heard and have said over those two weeks. I move from moments of sadness to those of pure joy as her memories flood my heart. I expect that will continue through my life.

    Many have said that same phrase to me - that God never gives us more than we can handle. I truly love that full verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG):

    No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

    He does not create these issues, but He is our strength and our peace during them. He is beside us and in us, helping us through them. He uses them to help us learn and grow from them. I truly believe that. We need only surrender to Him, to accept his gift of Grace, to lean on his love and mercy for us. This is what gets us through. He is helping you through each step of Ben's journey, as He is helping me get through mine. Such a blessing and reason for praise!
    My prayers continue for you and your family - and for lovely Ben!

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  64. You said in the beginning that if we were looking for good news...yet even in your heartache, worship comes forth. I literally felt my spirit rise up on the inside and my flesh having to take the back seat...this post helped ME more than words can say! May God continue to strengthen you and your family with might in your inner man! Our God is greater...Our God is stronger...God --- YOU are higher than any other!!!!!!

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  65. You are still in my prayers and think about you often. I'm so happy you took Ben on the outing and he may have slept but he knew he was there. You are such an inspiration to many and if just one person come to the loving grace of Jesus the heavens will be singing-"There's another name written down in Glory" We have a big and awesome God we do!!!!!!!!

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  66. Have you decided not to pursue further surgery and/or treatment? I understand there are serious risks involved, but couldn't it possibly increase Ben's chance of survival for the time being? Perhaps, they will come up with a viable treatment, or even a cure, in the next few years. Ultimately, Ben is your son and you know what is best for him, but it seems worth consideration. People keep posting great things about Duke. Maybe they can help?

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    1. That's what I was thinking...there have been successful attempts at treating Childhood cancer using viruses that target and destroy malignant cells! I pray that someone finds a way to help this.

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  67. God bless you and your family. You are truly a remarkable woman!

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  68. before i start, let me say that i am in no way saying my pain has been as severe as what you are all going through. i'm not trying to compare or say i can fully understand because i've walked your shoes. i haven't. that said... i've been the one who's sick. i get migraines every day of my life - not headaches, full-blown migraines, and when i say "daily" i mean that literally. in addition, i have a completely unrelated condition which is basically like hydrocephalus. this condition is worse in adults in its effects because babies born with it have skulls which haven't fused so at least the pressure isn't as contained. i've lived with pain, and the nausea & vomiting that come with it, for most of my life. i'm 27, and over the course of 2 years, had 4 brain surgeries. on a ventilator 5 times. sometimes, i wish God would simply take me now. not because i'm ungrateful for what He HAS given me, but because if all i'm going to feel is pain, i don't see the point. reading about your family has helped me remember that there IS a point.

    when you wrote about Ben's back hurting, it brings memories back to me of something similar. i'm not sure if his pain is caused by his cancer or something else, but when i was on steroids, it made EVERY bone in my body hurt - especially my back. i was in college and crying like a baby! i can't imagine feeling that pain at 4 and not fully understanding why. i know how it felt to not be able to move even a tiny bit without feeling pain, and i'm so sorry Ben is going through that. i hope you are able to make good memories and have more good days. so many people are pulling for Ben and your entire family! nothing is impossible with God. if He can create the universe, He can heal Ben here. and if for whatever reason He chooses not to, Ben will not grow up experiencing the pain everyone feels. he won't go through the trials this life brings all of us. he would go to a place of PERFECTION, and he will have known - minus the cancer & loss of his grandparent - pretty much nothing but love & safety. as hard as it is for those left behind, it's hard to imagine something better for Ben then going to Heaven, in perfect healing, having been surrounded by the love & peace of your family for his entire life. death is the best thing, i think, we as Believers will ever experience because death itself IS LIFE for us. but for those who are still here... well... it sucks. i pray that either way, you will feel the peace God promises to give.

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  69. Cheryl LApril 8, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    I have posted before, but feel it is laid on my heart to repeat the healing testimonies I have witnessed. It is totally against my nature to be so bold, so that is how I know this is the Lord's leading. I noticed on a post by Harmony on this page, she mentioned that in India, they use Turmeric to prevent & to kill cancer cells. This is well-documented, even in the Western medical field. I witnessed a healing myself, when an elderly woman was told she had lung cancer. She began taking turmeric capsules daily & 12 years later is still strong & healthy. A lifelong God-centered life & Faith were also a mainstay. I referred a friend's daughter to this treatment, as she was recovering from chemo & radiation treatment for breast cancer. After taking turmeric for 6 months, the doctors were amazed at the disappearance of the tumors. But the one testimony that is what I would call an 11th hour healing is the one God's put on my heart to get across to you. It concerns Barbara St. Onge, who has posted several times on this page. I met her at the Chapel & we have become good Christian friends, encouraging each other with scripture & prayer. When she started going to radiation & chemo for a neck cancer last year, the lump was almost the size of a tennis ball. Even after months of daily radiation, it remained. Then she went to CCS Oncology & had 3 weeks of targeted radiation (no chemo) with the True Beam, which can deliver more pinpoint, intense radiation to only the tumor. To my amazement, when I saw her after this, the lump was completely gone! So just maybe there is something to their advertisement slogan 'New Hope, New Technology for all types & stages'...Barb also took turmeric prior to these treatments, & a strong faith in God's Word & Promises were I'm sure a major aspect of the successful treatment. I think we need to do all we can in the natural world & God will add His Super to our natural. Like the parents of April, who posted above, we should refuse to take the visible signs as absolute, & stand on God's Promises & we will see the 'Evidence of things Unseen' (Heb. 11:1) All this to say: Not discounting Faith & Prayer as miracle-working Power, PLEASE, PLEASE get an opinion from CCS. There could be a difference.

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  70. I am praying for your family. What a tremendous weight on your hearts. Thank you for the reminder of God's goodness and kindness!!

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  71. Still praying for you each day, Mindy, as I leave and come home and see my blue lights shining and the blue bows tied out front. So in awe of the amazing testimony you have. Thank you for your faithfulness that is reaching so many who are without a savior. Continuing to bring you before the throne and sending love...

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  72. WOW......God is using you in a big way beautiful lady!!!! Your words, from a heart that truly loves God are such an inspiration. It is evident that HE lives inside of you and that you are trusting Him to get you through. Please remember to take time for yourself darlin....ALLOW God to wrap His arms around you and, if possible, relax in His comfort and peace!! Praying for you all!!

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  73. Dearest Mindy,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Andy for the long journey you are embarking on!
    Over thirty years ago, my husband and I were blessed with the birth of a beautiful baby girl. However, while I was under anesthetics, I saw Jesus with His arms open! At that moment I felt a rush of calm and peace throughout my body. I knew at that moment that my baby girl that I was still on the delivery table with, was going to be leaving me and joining Jesus in Heaven.
    Our little sweetheart lived for eleven days. The day our sweet angel left us, I closed my eyes, and Jesus was holding my baby girl!
    For over thirty years, I have found peace in knowing that if I couldn't have my baby with me, I couldn't think of anyone better to take care of her than Jesus Himself!
    I will continue to pray for all of your family.
    And hug Ben for me. Please ask him, if he ever meets a baby by the name of Regina, kiss her and tell her I love her!
    If I can ever help your beautiful heart, please just let me know. I will be there in a heart beat.
    God bless all of you.
    God Bless you little man Ben!
    With much love,
    Donna Stewart

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  74. Mindy,

    I also have never met you...I think we know some of the same people from Camp Li Lo Li. I've been so blessed and encouraged (and challenged) by the living out of your trust in our great God. It's one thing to have faith in the easy times, but in these sort of trials, when the rubber meets the road, it's a whole different ball game.
    I recently read a blog post by a woman who lost her father to cancer, and she talked about the same phrase (God won't give us more than we can handle). I love both of your responses to it. She focuses on Matthew 11:28-30 as its counter...what a beautiful promise, that we can go to Him and He will give us rest. http://lemmonythings.com/2014/01/05/god-will-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle-i-guarantee-it/
    Another favorite is Psalm 61, especially verse 2: "...when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."

    You, little Ben, and your family are in my prayers. <3
    Jean

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  75. Dear Mindy. I read your posts, and I weep but I also smile as I see your faith in our GOD who IS ever SO GOOD. I will continue to pray for you all - that God will continue to give you all the strength you need - and all the strength that Ben needs. You will continue to be carried on the prayers of those who are loving on you all - and praying for you. God knows. Only.God.
    praying, Joy Klassen, from Manitoba

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  76. Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

    Keeping your loved ones in thoughts & prayer ♡

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  77. I was just praying over your Ben tonight and felt like The Lord reminded me of King Hezekiah (2 kings 20; Isaiah 38) & King Jehosophat (2 Chronicles 20). We are praying with you that The Lord will extend the years of Ben's life by His mighty working power. Praying also that you will not be afraid nor discouraged; but will continue to face each day with the knowledge that The Lord is with you. Praying for your family's deliverance.

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  78. I think of you and your family regularly and pray for Ben's healing and your family's strength and ability to cope with each day's struggles. You are in so many peoples thoughts and prayers, you are an inspiration to so many people. I pray that God Bless you and your family and grant you, your miracle.

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  79. i recently had a love spell cast on my partner last week after we both had a misunderstanding that almost lead to divorce and i was about losing my husband so a friend of my Natasha advice me to quickly order for reunite love spell that will make my husband change his mind from divorce which i did contact ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com after the casting of the spell i receive a call from husband apologizing to me on what happened i can't thank you enough Dr ekaka you are indeed a god gifted spell caster.

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  80. Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life." And to Lazurus, he said "come out!" as he raised Him from the dead. He can do all things. My four year old son and I continue to pray for Ben. We can go boldly before the throne as Scripture tells us.

    Thank you so much, Mindy, for sharing this journey with us all. YHWH is so clearly working through your family and reaching so many others. May Jesus continue to wrap His loving arms around you and may you know that you and your family are so loved.

    Praying for Ben in the MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS.
    xo

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  81. A friend of mine who knows our family's joys and loss in my sweet nephew, Carter, shared your blog with me this morning. She could not wait to share this amazing testimony of a mother who KNOWS God's love so wholly, so fully, and has submitted to His will so gracefully. The courage and strength you demonstrate in SHOWING God's grace to others with your transparency in sharing Ben's story and your humbleness in knowing that he is GOD'S child in amazing. I commend you and want to thank you for sharing. I can only imagine that all you are experiencing is NOT easy and so painful for all of you. I will be lifting you all up in prayer as you celebrate each day with Ben and follow God's lead.I wanted to share this with you. I wrote it for my nephew's 2nd anniversary of his going Home. I did not want it to be a sad story, but one of redemption and hope. The YouTube video is a snapshot of his life and the faith in which his parents choose to live it with him in. My blog is hardly a professional one, but if you go back over the past two years you can see entries about Carter. He inspired me to start writing and to give glory to the One who gives life. In and through Him all is possible...even pain, trial, heart ache so deep we could not survive on our own. I love how you so perfectly explained how GOOD things come from God. Sin exists and therefore so does pain and suffering. I am rambling on and on but even the title to this blog entry....Jesus Loves Me....Carter's cousins sang that so confidently and beautifully at his funeral!

    I am inspired by your faith. Thank you for so graciously sharing it.

    May God continue to bless all of you with His peace and lay his embracing hands of comfort on Ben.
    http://asoulfullifebyjen.blogspot.com/

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  82. Dear Mindy,
    I am a stranger to you, just a fellow blogger who heard about your story from a friend today and came to read about Ben. I can't tell you the heartache I have experienced, reading your blog posts, shedding tears, and praying for your family.
    I was moved to comment because I found your words about your God being a wonderful God, a loving God, a compassionate God - not an evil mastermind - really hit home with me. My family has endured grief in the past several years that I did not know before, and I've struggled to reconcile why these things happen with the kind & loving God I thought I knew. I've found myself asking, "Why, God? Why did you do this to my family members? What did we do to deserve this?" Today, as I read your beautifully eloquent words, coming from a wife & mother whose depths of despair and sadness I can't even fathom - it finally has hit home for me. This is not God who subjects us to these painful, dark times. Thank you for helping me see this more clearly.
    I remember seeing an interview with Bill Cosby - I think it was with Oprah - after his son was murdered. I remember him saying that one of the things that bothered him most in wake of his son's tragic death was people telling him, "God wanted to take him home, he was such a good boy, a good man, and God needed him with him." He said his thought was, "No, God did not do this. God did not kill my son because he wanted him with him. My son is dead because the man who killed him is riding with the Devil."
    Those words have always stuck with me, and now you have taken that sentiment to a new level for me.
    Your strength and faith are amazing. I will continue to pray for your family. Thank you for your beautiful words.

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  83. Just praying. So many people are following your story. Inspired by your words and hurting for all of your hurts. I admire your strength and also find it all so awful. I'm just sorry but I hope it's the smallest comfort knowing that people you don't know are praying and holding you all close.

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  84. You touch my heart with your strong faith in God. I believe everything you say but i can't say for sure if i would feel it that way when i had to go true what you all are going true. It brings tears in my eyes when i read about the pain your little boy is dealing with:( i wish you LOTS of strenght and love from the netherlands.

    When my heart is overwelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than i ....

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  85. Hi Mindy. Thanks for sharing your journey. I hope and pray that through your family others will be drawn to the Saviour. I just wanted to encourage you on the "God won't give you more than you can handle" aspect. I read an article recently that put that into perspective. I found it encouraging. God does give us more than we can handle, but He will be right there for us to lean on. Thanks so much for your testimony. Praying for Ben and your family. http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/yes-god-will-give-you-more-you-can-handle

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  86. We haven't met, but I have a 4y/o at home and since hearing Ben's story through a FB friend, I've been constantly thinking and praying for your family. I read this today and thought about you and wanted to share:

    "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world". That is what Jesus longs and intends to give to us too. That's what he endured the Father's wrath on the cross to purchase for us. He wants us to see and enjoy and rejoice in his glory forever.
    There will come a time when Jesus' prayer for us to be with him will overrule our prayer for prolonged earthly life. And when it does, we will experience a life so far better, richer, fuller, purer, and more joyful that we will shake our heads in wonder that we ever pleaded to stay".
    From the book Not by sight by John Bloom.

    May you feel the love of Jesus for Ben, for you and your family, may you experience his peace

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  87. Hello people on this forum or website , Am just an over exerting person today for what this great man call DR ONIHA of onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com has just done in my marital life .and i will like you on this forum to help me in thanking he because for the past two years my husband has been cheating on me with a lady and this has course the family a lot of problems and our baby Evonne where the one perpetual taking the pain because at this time my husband don\'t normally come home to ask after the child or care to provide what the child needed so with all this problems i was not happy in my marriage and i started going for different kind of marriage cancelling and looking for solution every where not until this faithful day when i was browsing on the internet i saw a testimony shared by miss Lewis Cheney USA about this DR ONIHA and i as-lo contacted he for help and that was how he gave me some instructions and and i followed what ever he told me and i was surprise when he said to me go my child for all will be fine in 12 hours .and within the 12 hours i actually received a call from my husband who has not called me for some months now asking after the child and i . and that was how was the end of my marriage problems . so this is why i promise to testify to the whole world about this man DR ONIHA and if any is also depress with such problems contact he :onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com and you will also find success

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  88. My Name is Susan williams, From United States. I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called Dr Dahiru has just done for me, this man has just brought back my lost Ex husband to me with his great prayers, I was married to this man called williams we were together for a long time and we loved our self's but when I was unable to give him a child for 2 years he left me and told me he can't continue anymore then I was now looking for ways to get him back until a friend of mine told me about this man and gave his contact email, then you won't believe this when I contacted this man on my problems he prayed and bring my lost husband back, and after a month I miss my month and go for a test and the result stated am pregnant am happy today am a mother of a baby girl, thank you once again the great Dr Dahiru at arewaspecialisttemple@yahoo.com for what you have done for me, if you are out there passing through any of this problems listed below: (1) If you want your ex back. (2) if you always have bad dreams. (3) You want to be promoted in your office. (4) You want women/men to run after you. (5) If you want a child. (6) You want to be rich. (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever. (8) If you need financial assistance. (9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money (10) Cure for HIV - you can contact him via: email: arewaspecialisttemple@yahoo.com

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