As I type this, Hannah is lying on a bed in the emergency room a few feet away from me, knocked out from the Benadryl. Across the room is our new friend Libby who is a very kind woman from Ekklesia, our church family, who has been a great friend and encouragement in recent weeks. Hannah called me this morning while I was at work and informed me of her abnormal bleeding and vomiting blood. We rushed right here and were hastily put into a room. They were unable to use her port for her first blood draw (which has been a reoccurring issue) but luckily they found a vein on their first poke- which is a rare treat! Her platelets in her first blood tests were unable to be counted, because they had been damaged and were broken. I don’t know what that means, but her second test results counted 28,000 platelets which would be miraculous for Hannah. Skeptical of the accuracy of that count she suggested a second count in which they counted only 5,000. (If you haven’t read in Hannah’s other blog, the average person lives in a range of 150,000 to 400,000 platelets.)
My phone has been exploding since then from friends and family and even a few unknown numbers with messages of prayers, love, kindness, and support for which I sincerely thank you.
I have wanted to share some things about Hannah on her blog for a little while now, and I suppose this is as good of a time as ever. I’m not sure what she looks like to most of the people who have seen her today, but as I’m looking at her now – sleeping – breathing – beautiful – and wrapped nearly 15 blankets because of how cold she is, I see a woman of unparalleled courage, hope, strength and joy. Let me backtrack…
When I met Hannah in high school…I’m actually not sure exactly what I thought. Mixed emotions to say the least. As I got to know her in my Junior year wood shop class, I found her to be someone of more depth than anyone I had met at our young age. Because of our similar humor we became close friends and it was’t long before I realized her sickness was pretty sever and aggressive. She spent the majority of my first summer knowing her in a hospital bed with cysts in her brain and meningitis plaguing her body.
She recovered months later rejoined school, but she wasn’t able to blend in, at least not to me. She stood out like a light up yoyo at the checkout counter of the Dollar Tree. As I spent ridiculous amounts of time on the phone with her during school nights that year, I connected dots and pieced together a few of the puzzle pieces that helped me understand Hannah- who was an absolute mystery to me, far beyond your average high school girl. Through her struggle against sickness, suffering pain, loss of hope, battling depression, and her frequent rendezvous with death, Hannah had been given a new set of lenses through which she viewed the world. While most of us high schoolers were concerned with being cool, being popular and being on everybody’s “Top 8 Myspace Friends”, Hannah lost interest in all of that. It was both confusing and attractive to a young and immature guy like me who was in the thick of it searching for identity.
With the trial and affliction of being sick, Hannah was given a beautiful gift; her eyes were opened to the truth that there is more to life than this world has to offer. Most people would say they agree and would even say they believe that to be true, but most people seem to have all of their mind, heart, treasure and desires invested in things of this world. Hannah at a young age started to see through the glitter and paint of this world into the beauty and glory of the life to come. Through her suffering I have seen endurance and character and hope produced in her; not a fanciful empty hope, but a living hope grounded in the promises and words of the resurrected and exalted Lord Jesus.
The light, joy, love and life that we all see in Hannah is Christ in her- shining His beauty and life through her frailty and making His immeasurable worth seen through her joyful suffering.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
Thank you all again for your prayers today and your kindness, love & generosity.