Strong and Brave

Four years ago, I sat in a small hospital room hearing words that seemed to play in slow motion. “Your son has a mass in the middle of his brain”, the doctor told my husband and I while Gavin watched cartoons. That night Gavin had emergency brain surgery due to increased pressure in his brain and for months following would endure chemotherapy.

After the initial shock of the brain tumor, we had to make decisions about how to fight. To prepare for the fight, Gavin had a port and g-tube placed. While recovering from surgery, Gavin slept as I sobbed in agony and pain, asking God “How am I supposed to do this?” I felt empty, alone, and afraid. As I sat there, something amazing happened.

Gavin, still sleeping, reached up with his right arm and held it there. I stopped crying immediately and time stood still as his arm was then set down next to him. My husband and I looked at each other, not knowing what to make of it. I woke Gavin up, asking him what he was doing. “Mom, I was trying to give God a hug… But YOU woke me up!”

As Gavin began treatment, he began to tell me more about this moment in the hospital. He told me that God was so bright and yellow and that he brought his light down. He said that God told him something and he will never forget it. God told him “Gavin, please be strong and brave”. Gavin would cry thinking about how calm God made him feel and would tell me he wishes he could see Him again.

After three rounds of chemo, an MRI revealed that the tumor was growing, rapidly. Our only option was surgery which was done repeatedly to save Gavin’s life but was not a cure. It got ugly, and with each setback, giving up seemed our only option. Except that Gavin had faith he would survive. He told us “Mom and dad, please don’t give up on me, I am going to make it – you just have to believe”.

Gavin was given months to live. That was over three years ago. Miracles began to unfold as we followed Gavin’s faith. Miracles that would not have been possible if Gavin did not follow God’s command.

Gavin, please be strong and brave.




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