by Mark & Jennifer Gribble
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Our daughter, Lily Paige Gribble, is a 14-year-old, high school freshman. Her healing journey started with leg pains in the fall of 2020, fatigue, shortness of breath over the Christmas break, and, within 24 hours of being in her pediatrician's office, a diagnosis of B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on January 6, 2021. She was admitted to Texas Children's Hospital Pediatric ICU to immediately begin treatment.
We had never spent any time at a hospital with our children (besides two ER visits for our son splitting open his forehead) so the medical world was completely foreign to us. What we learned quickly was that our medical team, doctors, nurses, child life specialists, were there to not only heal our daughter's body, but they also continue to provide a healing touch to each of our souls.
Hearing Lily's tears of anguish, Adair, a child life specialist, came into Lily's ICU room with her therapy dog, Bailey. Tears of joy fell down from Lily's parents' cheeks as Bailey cuddled up to our girl and provided comfort to ease her heartache over her diagnosis.
In February, we learned how to administer chemotherapy from home healthcare nurse, Jodi. She could see Lily's apprehension, comforted her, and also reminded us all to set an intention to see Lily healed on the other side of her upcoming bone marrow transplant. She took the time to ask us how we were doing as parents and truly listened. As Jodi was leaving, she asked if we could pray together out loud. As we held hands in a circle, cried, and prayed together we could feel God's hand lifting us up.
In the ER, upon Lily's diagnosis, a kind nurse named Gigi took Jennifer by the hand and said "It's going to be a long day, Mom. Let's go get some lunch for the family." She walked us to the food court and along the way stopped to show us where the chapel was located, and said she would be praying for our family. Fast forward 11 weeks later and we are back in the ER for a fever and we see nurse Gigi again. She asked Lily to verify her full name and birthdate and then left our room. When she returned she brought her wallet and showed us a tattered sticker with Lily's name and birthdate next to her driver's license. She looked at us with a smile and said "I told you I would be praying for you. I have prayed for your family every day since we met."
These stories are only a few examples of the grace we have experienced through this painful process. These beautiful angels of healing are the people God has placed in our paths as we ache, question, grieve, cry, fall apart, and pray. They give us the hope we need to carry on each day with our faith in God.
About the Authors
Mark & Jennifer Gribble have been South Main members for 20 years. They have two children, Lily, age 14, and Ty, age 16. Mark is the Stewardship Committee Chair and Jennifer works on the Communications Team at South Main. They are so thankful for the overwhelming love and support of their South Main family through this journey.