🎤Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane ✈️ Don’t know when I’ll be back again. 🗽
I woke up this morning with this song in my head and it’s still stuck. This whole experience is so surreal. God has stretched us in so many ways in the past year. And, He has literally showered blessings down upon us. We are anxious, hopeful, nervous, excited and terrified all at once right now. Every single thing up to this moment has fallen into perfect alignment for us for this trip. God has surrounded us with people who have helped us in ways we wouldn’t have even known to desire. I could go on and on about the numerous arrangements that have made this trip easier for us. This morning we were greeted at the airport door by a TSA employee whose mission was to make our lives easier to get through security knowing we had a wheelchair, a bag full of medicine, a metal prosthetic, and no idea how to maneuver the airport. All of this was possible because a friend of a friend is a TSA employee who now knows our story and has now offered prayer. While the security process took a fair amount of time and my full body pat down wasn’t the most pleasant, it was simple and I am so grateful for these precautions. The last time Matt and I flew was on our honeymoon, less than 2 months before 9/11. It’s definitely a more complex process now. We are currently on a full Boeing 737 that will take us non-stop to Laguardia as long as the weather holds up. We are on the very front row and Mason has progressed so much in the last week that he can easily use his crutches to go short distances, so that is a huge relief. Just 3 days ago, he was only able to use the wheelchair or walker. Alli and Mason have taken tons of pictures of the gorgeous clouds and giggled as they’ve experienced all of the firsts of flying. What a blessing just to be on an airplane right now! I hope they never forget all the feels of their first flight.
Some of the other perks that have fallen into place for us to make this trip easier and possible – our flight and hotel are FREE, we have tickets waiting for us to visit the Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Alli gets to see Wicked AND get a backstage tour on Sunday evening, and we have contact info for a handful of New Yorkers who are ready and willing to help us out if needed.
A greater Kansas City non-profit called Supporting Kids Foundation stepped up for our family in such a big way. This trip is completely possible because of them. This foundation was started by dads who have been in our situation with children who have medical needs and need funds quickly. Their goal is to allow families to focus on what really matters and not how they will afford it. They covered our flights and 2 nights in our hotel. The other 2 nights are covered by Memorial Sloan Kettering and would have been at the nearby Ronald McDonald House, but because it is under renovation right now, they cover the cost of a nearby hotel.
One of Alli’s teachers and musical directors just happens to have moved to Liberty from NYC and still has family in NYC. This teacher’s sister-in-law has so kindly offered to take Alli to Wicked for an amazing Broadway experience. This couldn’t possibly be any more perfect for a 13-year-old who loves theater!
Another friend who might be one of the most giving, big-hearted people I know has connected with several co-workers who live in NY and given us some wonderful, helpful advice on what to try to do while we are there and even scored the museum tickets for us.
And the best part about all of this? The prayer. We are covered in prayer so much that we can physically feel it. I can’t explain that, but I literally feel it. It’s crazy. I used to pray constantly asking God to use me somehow. I used to beg Him to let me be apart of His work. Just a tiny burning bush, please?! Then I’d know where or how to join him. I even tried to push it at times. Who wouldn’t? I almost feel like God was testing me a little. There were a few experiences right before Mason’s diagnosis where I did some crazy things. By crazy, I mean crazy in human eyes. Matt and the kids may have thought I was losing it a little. I stepped way out of my comfort zone to offer my help to strangers on a few occasions. That Carrie Underwood song, ‘Jesus Take the Wheel’ literally happened one day. While my help was not life changing for these few people, I know Jesus led me to each of them. I learned from these experiences and yearned for more direction so that I could do good for God. It was actually very exhilarating! And then cancer hit. And nothing was exhilarating and I felt abandoned and unloved. I am so grateful that I wasn’t allowed to linger in that place for long because God didn’t allow it. We’ve seen him move so much throughout the past 14 months. We are better people because of it and our lives are forever changed. While we yearn for normalcy, I pray our normal will never be what it once was. I pray we are so much better human beings during the time we have left on this Earth.
I will do my best to document our time in New York and share with all of you who continue to pray. Pray BIG! Pray that the doctors have all had time to consult on Mason’s case and have come to an agreement that is what is the very best for him. Pray for our safety as we navigate. Pray that we encounter the people God would have lined up for us to meet along the way. Pray that we take the time to notice and live in each moment. And speaking of prayer, here is a list of places that we know for sure there are people praying for Mason and our family. It’s humbling and we are grateful.
If you’re reading this and praying, please let me know if I need to add your location!
We just landed safely! Laguardia is a tiny bit busier than KCI 😉, so we’re waiting our turn to get off the plane. We had great flight attendants and an excellent first flight.