Prayers for a mother's son as he endures toxic chemo through the holidays

by Carma Tina Pennington, Guest Columnist |

Editor's Note: Brady Pennington, a married father of two, was diagnosed with Stage III Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in April 2014. Initial chemotherapy treatments produced promising results with PET scans in late July showing the complete disappearance of several tumors and significant reduction in size of the largest tumor near the heart. Hope turned to heartache two months later when new scans showed re-growth of the largest tumor to its original size. Since then, he has endured increasingly toxic chemotherapy and other medical processes such as the collection of stem cells from his own body in preparation for a stem cell transplant. Upon reaching a new stage of the treatment process, his mother issued this plea for prayer offering insight into lessons learned during the journey. While her family's situation is not unusual for cancer patients, this mother's words are a reminder of the importance of praying for people who face extenuating, sometimes life-threatening, circumstances that make the holiday season a challenge.

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." [Psalm 121:1-2]. I'm truly thankful that God is our refuge [Psalm 46:1]. He knows the plans that He has for each of us [Jeremiah 29:11].

We don't always understand the "why" or the "how," but He can be trusted. He understands our humanity, our questions, our frustrations, our tears, our weaknesses. Oh what a precious, mighty God we serve!

God is with us during the storm. I have felt his presence. I must admit, I don't always feel like dancing in the rain; but when I start that dance, He is waltzing with me.

Today is the beginning of another process with Brady's treatment. I am appealing to all you mothers that read this. From one mother to another, you know that your child is forever your child and your feelings never change for them. I know that all of you have prayed for Brady, but today, I'm asking for a special prayer. There is something about the prayer of a mother, and there is something special about praying in unity. I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart if all you mothers would say a special prayer for Brady today. Please pray for him as if he were your son or your daughter. He is about to go through a very, very hard and harsh treatment: fourteen days straight of chemo and then stem cell replacement. Please pray for strength, for encouragement, for him to maintain an appetite, for him to get through this with as much ease as possible.

I know God is able to astound us all with His mighty works. We don't understand why it had to reach this point, but I believe in unified prayer. I believe in God's healing power. I believe that God is going to do a work and this is going to be a testimony to what He can do. We must have unwavering faith. He came to save and to heal.

I can't say, "Why my son, God?" for God does not play favorites. He loves us all the same. He has different lessons for each of us to learn. He sees the whole picture, not just the here and the now.

Once again, I would appreciate all your prayers for Brady. There is something special about a mother's love. So today, I loan my son to you. Let him be your son today and pray for him as if he were yours. Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance for bombarding heaven today for our son!