Gavin had been to church about six times before he was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age five. I have to admit, I think half of those were weddings. Being a mom to three kids within four years apart, and working full time, I often chose to relax on the weekend and not get up early to get them all “church ready” by 8 a.m. on Sundays. This does not mean I didn’t talk about God, or pray with my kids, but it means that they were not influenced by a church, and had not read the bible. I say this to help you understand how significant it is for Gavin to have the faith he does. He was not taught religion. There were not pictures of Jesus around him, which is why his story is so compelling.
When Gavin was in the hospital, beginning treatment for a brain tumor, Steve and I watched as his arm reached up. When I woke him, he said he was trying to give God a hug. Later he told us more. God is really bright and yellow, He has “curlers” in his hair (three on each side), and that He came to give Gavin a message. That message, provided a faith that was not there beforehand. Gavin said he knew it was God, but he doesn’t know how he knows that. God told him “Gavin, please be strong and brave.” This is a great message to a child suffering, and beginning treatment. But if God can do that, why wouldn’t He tell all the kids fighting cancer and other diseases every day? Even though I saw it with my own eyes, even though Gavin had such specific details about what happened, I have to admit, my own messy faith questioned it.
Except when Gavin was dying. And he didn’t die because Gavin told us he would make it. The list of problems and an aggressive tumor in Gavin’s brain told us otherwise. But Gavin, at six years-old told us “Don’t give up on me, you just have to believe.” This conviction pushed us further than we thought possible. This faith that Gavin did not learn from his parents, or a church, this faith from God Himself, created miracles. After being given months to live, TWO life-saving cures came up. Gavin is the first to beat an incurable disease. Not only that, but there were times he shouldn’t have made it through complications. Like the dangerous craniotomies, fluid building causing him to slip into a coma, ALL of his veins that drain blood from his brain CLOTTED. Yes, you read that right, ALL of them. Doctors came just to see Gavin who was just talking and being normal, while his scans showed all of the clots. They could not believe it.
It is not just one thing. It is a series of things that happened, or didn’t happen, that helps me have faith. My son is ten years old and in remission. For many months, I imagined having to plan a child’s funeral. It was the reality. Yet, I didn’t have to. After 26 surgeries, and complications, and deficits, Gavin is considered a “healthy, growing, boy”. Gavin did not get an easy miracle. He had to suffer, and fight, and nearly die. But he never lost his faith, and that resulted in an unbelievable course of events. I try every day to have faith like Gavin. Faith that does not weaken or give into fear. Faith that has the power to move mountains.