Tuesday, July 17, 2007

HIS Faithfulness

Merciful and Faithful Lord, because of your great love, we are not consumed, for Your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is our portion; therefore we will wait for Him. Lord, You are good to those whose hope is in You, to those who seek You. Thank You Lord for new mercies each day. (praying God's word from Lamentations 3:22-25)
God has been so faithful to us right from the beginning of this journey to the other side of this awful cancer. MD Anderson is one of, if not THE top hospital for the treatment of Leukemia. Not everyone gets to start their treatment there. God has paved the way for James. Those events of the first day are such a blur to all of us, but not to God. It was crystal clear. Now several days later, we are catching on and are so grateful. The name of James' wonderful doctor at MDA is Dr. Wells in case you would like to be specific in your prayers. We are blessed to be in such a cutting-edge, up to date treatment program under the care this particular doctor.
James received another blood transfusion this afternoon. It was well underway and his vitals looked great when I had to go. This was at the end of my day with them, but I suppose I should start at the beginning. Thank you for praying last night (some of you must've been up late doing so) because miraculously, they all got a fairly good night's rest. James got to get a bath before having his CVC(central venous catheter...the line in his chest) flushed and the sterile dressing changed by Joy, with some help from Greg and I keeping James still. This was a big step for everyone. James was very brave and Joy remembered how to do everything just right. She had to "test out" doing that task before they can be discharged. The earliest day they will be going home is Saturday, provided all is going well at that point. Which brings me to the big prayer focus of today.
The next two days will be fairly easy days as far as treatment goes. Just the steroids, which are a very bitter oral preparation. Then on Friday, James will undergo another bone marrow aspiration. This is when we want to hear the words , "James is a rapid early responder. The blasts in his marrow are down to less than 5%." Be specific in asking the Lord for that. We ask in faith and we believe God will do in this situation as He has all along...show HIS faithfulness. Obviously, in our finite minds we do not wish to consider the other words we may hear, but have been prepared by the nurses for the chance that he could be classified as a slow early responder, meaning that the blast cells would still be decreased, but not quite at the less than 5% mark. At which point the road map for his treatment would be adjusted a bit. Either way God is Faithful. Let us be faithful in prayer. Let us place our hope in Him and seek Him earnestly.


Tom and Sue Gaines said...

I LOVE your Blog and thank you so much for creating it. We are praying for James, Joy and Greg several times a day and I know God is in control and watching over this family every second. We sent a fruit basket to the hospital Monday and hope it arrived. They definitely don't need to take time to write a thank you note--just wanted to make sure they received it. Your notes and scriptures are also inspiring to me as I am taking chemo for breast cancer. I have found in so many trials of our past that God is so faithful and has an excellent track record to get us through problems we don't even know exist. How much He loves little James and the family. Continue to praise Him. We have also sent a prayer request to my support group so there are many grandparents out there praying for James!

Love you, Tom and Sue

Anonymous said...

Dear Ryans,

Your Blog is wonderful! My family and church will certainly be praying for James' victory over ALL. My father fought CLL and is doing fine. James is a beautiful child and with such a strong and supportive family network, I feel sure he will overcome this.

I will be forwarding a prayer request to my church.

In His love,
Becky Batchelor, RES

Tammy Herrin said...

Hello, my name is Tammy Herrin and I live in Lewisburg Tennessee. About 15 or 16 years ago I briefly worked for Roy and John Lambert at the Lumber Company. My heart broke when I heard the news about James. I can't imagine how hard it is for Joy and Greg. I pray for all of you several times a day. I know through some of my own experience that God is good and faithful. He is the most awesome comforter.

Thank you for taking the time to write this blog for all of us and giving us the specific prayer request for the family. I know that prayer is the best gift you can give anyone. We have put them on our prayer request list in Sunday school at Mt. Moriah Baptist. I have forwarded this blog to my cousin who pastors a church in Orrick Missouri. They are praying for James this morning in their prayer group there.

This morning before I started to comment here I asked God for words of encouragement for all of you and this is what he gave me in my daily devotion:

God, Your Guardian
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide. Psalms 91:4

The image of living beneath Shaddai’s shadow reminds me of a rained-out-picnic. My college friends and I barely escaped a West Texas storm before it pummeled the park where we were spending a Saturday afternoon. As we were leaving, my buddy brought the car to a sudden stop and gestured to a tender sight on the ground. A mother bird sat exposed to the rain, her wind extended over her baby who had fallen out of the nest. The fierce storm prohibited her from returning to the tree, so she covered her child until the wind passed. From how many winds is God protecting us from? God, your guardian. From: Max Lucado’s Come Thirsty.

You have our love and continued prayer. God Bless.

The Bull Clan said...

Praying for better than less than 5% and thanking God that James is a rapid early responder! I love Tammy's comment from Max Lucado.

Chuck and Angie said...

You guys have been such role models for us in the 3 years we have been friends. You have shown us what a true christian family looks like, and we have seen you diligently pray for your family day in and day out from the simple things to the most important. We have seen your faithfulness and your hope, and we know that is not waivered now, only strengthened. We are praying that God will give you the strength you need both mentally and physically to overcome this obstacle, and we pray in faith, knowing that God is all powerful. I was reminded this morning of the time we committed to memorizing a verse as a small group:
Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good, for those who love him and are called according to his purpose."

We love you so much, and we are so thankful for this blog, it is amazing to read from all of the people who are supporting and praying for James.

Love you,
Chuck and Angie

Carol said...

Greg, Joy and Baby James,
I just received the information on James and I immediately started praying. I do know how scary those words can be when you hear it's cancer but I also know you are in the best possible place and although the journey you are embarking on is an uncertain one, God's arms are wrapped around you all and He will protect, guide and love you every step of the way. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I am down there at least one day a week and would love to stop by and give you all a big hug.
Praying for you all
Carol Ambrose

Eileen and Carlos Garza said...

Greg and Joy,
We were so sorry to hear the news about James, but are secure in the knowledge that God is in control of the situation and uses all of our struggles for good. Whom should we fear?

We will be adding our prayers to those of the others who love and care for you.
Eileen and Carlos Garza

Joanna Williams said...

We are praying for James, the doctors and the entire family. Parker has little James in his bedtime prayers. Please let us know if you need anything at all - you're welcome to stay with us in town or use our house for any reason. We love you!
The Williams

Jody McCain said...

I LOVE this passage (sorry for the length). Our God fights our battles (our enemy leukemia) FOR us, though we can't always see it.

I pray God's peace and rest to you all "on every side."


2 Chronicles 20

1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat.

2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea. It is already in Hazazon Tamar" (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said:
"O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.'

10 "But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.

14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

15 He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "

18 Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.

20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful." 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
"Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever."

22 As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Beracah to this day.

27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets.

29 The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

beth said...

Words can not describe how devastated we have been to hear the news about Baby James. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. If there is anything I can do I am only a phone call or a flight away.

We love you,
Beth, Nico, and Sophie

Humphrey's said...

We are thinking of you and praying for you all often. God is so awesome and the Ryan family is so strong! We love you and will continue to spread the requests for prayer from all of our friends.

Stay Strong- Love, Teresa, Bob, Travis and Brooke

Anonymous said...

We are praying for James and all of you daily. We know that God will provide the strength and the rest that you need. Please let us know if there is anything at all that we can do for you.

The Tegel Family

Connie Caveness said...

Dear James,
It has been a privilege to work with your Daddy at Rosehill Elementary. He is very sensitive and insightful. He has given me many great suggestions for my classroom.

I have a daughter who is 11 years old. She was sick when she was first born. It was very scary, but her daddy and I both knew that God would take care of her and He did! We knew that God knew her before she was even in my tummy, just like He knew you and knows your baby sister ALREADY! Isn't He AWESOME? He has a wonderful plan for you, James. He says so in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord..." He is large and in charge!

Please tell Mommy and Daddy that I am praying for ALL OF YOU. Oh and tell Aunt Stephanie thank you so much for the blog! (I do not have any nephews, but I have three nieces and I know Aunt Stephanie needs some prayers too! I RACED to the ER when one of my nieces was sick last Sunday, so I know how she feels. She had a seizure and we are waiting to have an EEG done. She seems fine now... By the way, what do we need to do to give replacement blood for James?)
Prayerfully, Connie

Vanessa Cunningham said...

Ryan family,

My heart and soul aches for you. I can't even imagine. Know that you are greatly loved. Trust in God and know that He can overcome all obstacles.
For those reading, I encourage to register with the National Bone marrow donor program (NMDP). It is a quick blood draw and medical history then you are on the registery. My husband and I are on the registery. He has donated twice including for a 4 mnth old infant who was disanosed with leukemia. The child is now 7 or 8 years old and doing great.
Marrow donation is really the gift or life. Please give some of yourself to save someone's loved one. You may be the perfect match. Please register.

Vanessa Cunningham
Tomball, TX