Monday, December 20, 2010

84 hours later...

84 hours ago I was told my son had a brain tumor. Tonight I am home listening to him laugh, joke, play and carry on with his brothers. It is music to my ears. I am amazed at the work of God's hand. Friday at 11:30 my greatest fear became a reality and GOD met me right where I was and gave me an opportunity to live out the faith which I teach and share with others. It has been an incredible 84 hours. Never before have I felt the presence of God in my life like I have these past few days. He has held me, he has cradled me, he has been my rock and my fortress. As I look at my precious Matthew tonight I am amazed that just 62 hours ago he was in the middle of brain surgery. Does that child above look like he just had brain surgery? I want to share with you specifically how we have seen the hand of God in so many details during the last few days.

Wednesday, December 15 - Matthew had a bad headache and because I needed a Dr.'s excuse for school we made a visit to the Dr. that afternoon. The Dr. ordered an MRI "Just to cover all the bases." GOD'S HAND

Thursday, December 16 - The MRI office called and said they had an opening and could get Matthew in 2 WEEKS EARLY. GOD'S HAND! I figured if we did the MRI I would not have to cook dinner because we would be out and it would be late. My selfishness???? No GOD'S HAND

Thursday, December 16 - As we prayed for the MRI results, Matthew prayed, "God may your will be done and give us the grace to accept whatever comes." GOD'S PREPARATION

Friday, December 17 - As soon as the Dr. told us about the tumor I sank into my husband's arms and was a mess. As people began to pray my strength was renewed and He carried me ALL the way. Immediate relief and peace came over me. GOD'S PEACE

Friday, December 17 - I could not sleep. Not wanting to let one moment pass without being covered in prayer I would not allow myself to rest. A friend on the other side of the world e-mailed and said, "While your American friends are sleeping, know that your friends in England are praying." Other reports came in of those in 5 different countries praying as well as friends here that God awakened. People were praying around the clock. I was able to rest. GOD'S PROVISION

Friday, December 17 - My in-laws were here to keep the other boys. I was at peace knowing they were well taken care of all weekend. (They wanted to be with us, but were willing to keep our hearts at peace by staying here with my boys.) My parents wanted to be in Birmingham with us and were praying asking God to provide a way. A friend showed up at the door with an monetary gift and said, "The Lord told me to give this to you." They were able to come right then and stay until Sunday. GOD'S PROVISION

Saturday, December 18 - The Dr. informed us that after seeing the 2nd MRI we had caught this JUST in time. Had we waited much longer Matthew would have been in REALLY BAD trouble. GOD'S TIMING

Saturday, December 18 - Considering my husband is a pastor, we are usually the ones there for others during surgery. In God's sovereignty he had OUR pastor (Bro. Al and Mrs. Kem) in Birmingham on an overnight date. They were with us during surgery. Only God could have ordained that. GOD'S COMFORT

Saturday, December 18 - The Dr. said Matthew's brain was a perfect canvas for the surgery and he was done in half the time he had told us it would take. GOD'S HAND

Saturday, December 18 - Matthew had prayed that he would not lose all his hair. They only shaved 2 small patches away. Just before surgery, my daddy told Matthew he would need a yamekah to cover those patches on on his head, so as they wheeled Matthew down the hall for surgery he began to sing Adam Sandler's Hanukah song. "Put on your yamekah, cause here comes Hanukah." I knew then God had answered another one of his prayer requests and he was not scared. (As an added note, when Matthew returned from surgery he said, "I hope all the people in this hospital don't think I'm Jewish.") GOD'S HAND

Sunday, December 19 - Matthew was doing so well, they took the brain drain out 2 days early. About an hour later his face became HUGE with swelling. I called people to pray. Before the Dr. could make it to the room it had decreased in size by half. GOD'S HEALING POWER

Sunday, December 19 - Matthew had prayed that God would use this to grow our church closer together. This morning our precious church pulled together and handled EVERYTHING we had left undone and everything that had to be done in our absence. Not to mention, they came together Friday night right after we got the news and corporately prayed for our precious Matthew. GOD'S UNITY

Monday, December 20 - Matthew has not had a headache since surgery. As a matter of fact he stopped taking ALL pain meds including tylenol and motrin on Sunday morning. His vision has become crystal clear once again. To the Dr.'s surprise he was doing so well he came home 2 days early. GOD'S HEALING POWER

Monday, December 20 - Sweet friends are blessing our lives beyond what we could imagine. GOD'S PROVISION

Monday, December 20 - 84 hours later....I SIT IN MY HOME WITH A CHILD WHO IS WHOLE AND WELL. A CHILD WHO SHOULD NOT BE HERE TONIGHT. GOD'S MIGHTY HAND HAS BEEN UPON HIM AND HE IS HEALED. Yes, he still has a brain tumor. He might always have a brain tumor. I heard him just a minute ago say, "Caleb, dude take it easy on me, I have a brain tumor." He might have a brain tumor, but he is here when according to the time table of man he should not be. God has used these 84 hours to accomplish more in our lives than you could ever imagine. If you walked into our home tonight you would have no idea what we have been doing for the last 84 hours, but my prayer is that because of the testimony and this time of faith building in the refiner's fire, you will forever see a difference in the Hawkins family. FOREVER WE ARE CHANGED BY HIS FAVOR AND HIS GRACE. WE BLESS HIS NAME AND WE PRAISE HIM.

We have had people ask what they can do for Matthew during this time. If you have put your faith and trust in Jesus then share it with someone else and live out your faith with boldness, FAITH and reckless abandonment. If you have never trusted Jesus with your life I want you to understand that HE is the only thing that has gotten us through this. We are not strong, we are not special, we are not amazing. We are helpless. We have depended on our Jesus to carry us through. If you have never given your life to Him, that is what Matthew would want you to do. He said, "If it means seeing people come to faith in Christ I would take another brain tumor. And the gifts aren't bad either." (Hey, remember he is only 11.) His desire is for you all to know Jesus and not just to know Him, but to follow Him and seek Him above ALL ELSE. Matthew's prayer and his confidence is that this situation has not been in vain. He know God has a plan for it and he can't wait to watch it unfold.

84 hours later...I am changed, I am humbled, I am thankful, I am clinging to Him tighter than every before and I am trusting Him to continue to do great and mighty things FOR HIS GLORY.


  1. Monica,
    Thank you for sharing Matthew's story. What a tremendous reminder to appreciate what we have. Blessings to you and your family!



  3. Your story is amazing. Thank you for witnessing! You and your family are blessed to be a blessing. And I pray those blessings to come back upon you and your family ten fold. :)

  4. Monica,

    I popped over here after reading Glynnis' Proverbs 31 devotion and blog post. WOW! What an amazing God we serve. I'm in constant awe of his orchestration of our lives. As soon as I read your family's story all I could think to say was "It's a Christmas miracle". I know this will indeed be a very special Christmas for you and your family. Your steady faith in the midst of this trial speaks volumes. God will use it to grow you AND your son. What an amazing testimony he will have to share for years to come. May God use him in ways you never thought possible.

    Christmas blessings to you & yours,

  5. Monica: Wow! Rejoicing with you all! So thankful by His amazing goodness and perfect faithfulness!

    Hushed by His love (Zeph. 3:17),

  6. Your praise and faith resound worldwide today. The testimony of Josh and your family will scatter seeds for folks who may not even know their needs. . .yet!

    Blessed to be a blessing! God's hand is on Josh's future too. Can't wait to see His plans!

    In His Grip of Grace,
    Kathy Henderson

    Kat's Pause blog: