Friday, July 9, 2010

Update on Riley Philpot & Family

~ This is the Philpot Family~

If you have been a follower of mine for a while you have heard me speak of Riley Philpot. Riley has battled cancer since May 2006. She was 6 years old.Her family is such an inspiration to me. I wanted to share the latest update that I received today. If you would like to know more about Riley visit and search for Riley Philpot. You can also read more about her on Riley's Army.

This is written by her mother, Kelly. It is long, but well worth the time!

Birthday Wishes!

We have been blessed these past few weeks enjoying time together as a family. We were able to attend a 2nd Lighthouse retreat, which is a Christian retreat to the beach for pediatric cancer patients and their family. We met many new families, enjoyed seeing old friends, and were fortunate to encounter several sweet souls. Once again we were uplifted as a family during this retreat by God’s healing power.
We had the pleasure and honor to speak to the Rosemary Beach church on the Sunday before our retreat began. We shared God’s story of Riley and our family and we thanked them for their generosity in donating housing and hosting this retreat. The pastor spoke of Abraham throughout the service and spoke of his faithfulness to God despite his difficulties in understanding God’s plan. When the pastor said we have to trust God even though we don’t understand His plan, I had to raise may hand to ask if he would allow me to share Riley’s insight. Thankfully he allowed me to get up once again to speak.
I shared the story when Riley relapsed the second time last August. I told them how she knew something was wrong when a physician friend hugged Kirk in the office and then she asked, “What’s going on?” I replied as I was able by saying, “You know how much we love you? God loves you even more than we can imagine. No matter how bad our situation is God is always with us. But sometimes we just don’t understand His plan.”
Riley’s quick and simple response was, “Well I do.” As I was crying I asked her to please explain it because I was having a little difficulty. She said, “His plan is to do what is best for all of us.” I explained to the congregation how difficult that was to hear as a mother devastated by the potential of her child’s disease. I had to chew on Riley’s insightful words for quite some time before I really came to grasp His message through Riley‘s words. I now understand that our situation may not always seem to be best for Riley, or for our family, but it is what is best for us all. Only He knows how to capture all of us and get us back to Him. And so I explained that only God knows how Riley’s situation is bringing people closer to Him. And for some odd reason I challenged the congregation stating, “It may even be someone here today that will be brought closer to God by hearing His story of Riley.”
Amazing enough we were approached by a lady later that week who explained that her sister was visiting and she was in church and heard us speak. The year prior she had insisted she did not need God in her life, however after hearing us in church she decided she wanted to bring God into her life. WOW! How He can make good out of all things.
When we got home from our Lighthouse retreat Riley purchased a “Birthday Wishes” jar with a gift card she had received for her Birthday while we were gone. She placed a few wishes written on paper in her jar. I was very curious, but did not want to be too nosey so I stayed out of the jar. However a few days ago she had taken her written wishes out of the jar and placed them on her dresser. When I was cleaning up her room I stumbled upon her wishes. I was shocked to read them because they were bigger than what I call a “Good Mamma Wish” or otherwise an important wish.
After I discussed them with Kirk we sat down with Riley to see if she would be willing to share her wishes with us and others. After we explained that sometimes it is necessary to share a wish to help it come true, she agreed. She certainly wants her wishes to come true and so do we, so we are sharing them with all of you now…

1) I wish that people would see that people look different but are more alike than they think

2) I wish that everyone would think about others before themself

3) I wish all people see God like I do

4) I wish me and my family will be in heaven together

5) I wish Paul would leave me alone which means stops PESTERING!

We all laughed about Paul not pestering and even Riley agrees Paul just wouldn’t be Paul if he completely stopped pestering. We also talked about the other wishes and the only one she clarified was about seeing God. She said she wanted others to know and love God like she does. Wow what a wish!
We have come to realize that more people may die not knowing God then there will be children diagnosed with cancer. Even before this thought we had been reflecting on how important it was for us to help guide others to Him. We know we can guide others to Him through our actions, by what we say, and how we love, but we forget that we can help guide others to Him through our prayers. With this thought we are now called to pray for those hearts who do not yet believe in Him, His perfect love, nor the peace that only He can provide. We yearn for the soil to be prepared in these souls so they may begin to see God’s miracles and love and come to accept God in their lives. Please join us in prayer that everyone who knows Riley will be brought to know and love God as she does. Please also pray that those who do not know Riley will be touched by a ripple effect and thus come to “see” God as well.
We continue to implore you prayers for all the children and families battling this disease. We continue to ask you to pray for Riley’s cousin Mark who is still having difficulty with his leg. He underwent another surgery last Friday and is now receiving specialized wound care in hopes of improved healing and preservation of his leg. Please pray for a young lady we met while we were in Chicago who has been battling Wilm’s for almost 5 years. She was just told her disease has progressed with metastasis to the liver and leg. Please pray that God‘s peace and love will surround Meghan and her family during this most difficult time. Please also pray for my sister Cecilia who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma today. We pray for a complete resection and negative lymph nodes with her further evaluation and treatment. We remember to thank God for the miracles preformed especially in Riley and also in Dustan who you helped pray for more than 2 years ago. We give praise and thanks to God for Dustan’s miraculous report of clear scans again today.
We thank you for your continued prayers for us and many others - they have helped keep us close to the Lord. I will leave you with a poem I woke up to write several weeks ago. I feel it reminds me how our prayers can grow and change if we allow the Trinity to live in our hearts and minds.
How My Prayers Grow and Change?
As my prayers grow and change I see selfish requests as the startto help the Lord capture my heart.
As my prayers grow and change I learn the needs of several othersand selfish requests are gradually smothered.
As my prayers grow and change I am awakened to the greater planwho now sits at God’s right hand.
As my prayers grow and change I reflect upon Mary’s pain as she watched her son without control - dying to achieve God’s greatest goal.
As my prayers grow and change I know God is capable of any request,but not all of these can work for His best.
As my prayers grow and change I know it is not by chance, nor by plans of mine,but only through the Holy Spirit’s work divine.
So I will yield and let it be - by mysterious acts of the trinity.

Wanting wishes to come true, Kirk and Kelly


Anonymous said...

OMG....As I sat here reading this story...tears are yet trickling down. I am a believer in GOD and know that only he can give strength and courage to us, and sometimes it's in the form of a child. I want to say that Riley has truly touched my heart. I too wish that more people could "see GOD". I know that if we all could see him; we would know that true LIFE is in him. Thank you so very much for sharing this story.

Christie Evans said...

I, too, sit and cry reading your words. My youngest child of 5 drowned the day before his 4th birthday this past march. I have complete faith in God that I will see him again, yet I selfishly want it to be now. I beg for him to come to me in my dreams, but after reading your post, maybe there is a reason he does not. I will ask Xander to keep a special eye out for your Riley, I hope all her dreams come true, and I thank you for your wonderful words... X o X o