With you in the battle.
It’s late and we leave for Philly in less than three days.
But my heart.
I feel it today in my heart.
Brady’s cancer. Brady’s goal. Our family’s journey.
Every single piece has led us to where we are. Fulfilling a purpose that runs so deep within us.
And today it finally happened.
My eyes welled up with tears on the way home from dropping the kids at school when I saw the message.
We had never had the honor of meeting him, but it felt like we had.
His battle pup was in the mail.
It had just been picked up the afternoon before, but didn’t make it in time.
A sweet and brave boy, third grade just like Aubrey, passed away before his pup made it to him.
In that moment I wished there was a way to stop it. To stop it from landing on his family’s front porch. To stop it from adding pain to an already indescribable wound.
But there was nothing to be done besides pray. Pray that somehow this unexpected battle pup can somehow bring a family in mourning some sort of peace and hope in tomorrow.
These battle pups and their warriors become extensions of our family.
We may never meet them, but they are forever with us. So when we hear of the pain and trials they are walking, it cuts us to our core.
Just as God intended it to.
Bob Pierce once prayed, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”
And here I sit with that prayer on my heart. It is after 11:30pm and I’m still in our office.
We leave for Philadelphia in two and a half days and I haven’t even begun to think about packing.
We have been collaring pups and packing up boxes for three days straight.
Because our hearts are broken for the ones who are battling.
Behind me sits stacks upon stacks of battle pups.
Five boxes of 12 pups requested by children’s protective services agents.
Six boxes of 12 for a family foster event we are donating to.
Eight boxes of 12 ready to ship to my sister in law in Florida for her charter school to hand deliver to hospitals down there.
Already sent for the week has been 4 boxes of 13 pups to some dear friends and new partners in Georgia to be given to children battling through the unimaginable.
All of this plus all the individual family nominations that have come through.
Aubrey and Marley were hoping for 20 and, well, we exceeded that just a bit.
In just three days we have sent out over 60 boxes of battle pups to families all across the US with an additional six sitting in my inbox right now.
Brady was dreaming of 5,000 and I thought he was crazy.
But now it seems as if the flood gates have opened.
People are beginning to grasp our mission and it is really catching fire.
Story after story further confirms that Brady’s outrageous dream of 5,000 may have just been the beginning.
Every where we turn we see gaps.
Gaps of those hurting.
Gaps of those unnoticed and unseen as they battle.
Gaps of those needing to know they are loved and never forgotten.
Gaps of those needing to know they don’t have to battle alone.
They are babies. And third graders. And teenagers. And adults. And the elderly.
They are your friends. Your neighbors. Your loved ones.
They matter. They are important. They are loved by us.
When they battle, we battle.
Because we rise by lifting others.
And our hearts break for the broken-hearted.
As long as there are funds in the bank and materials we can order, we won’t stop.
This is our family’s mission.
And it all started because of our son with cancer.
God really can use the worst circumstances to better the world.
You just have to trust and believe.
With you in the battle,
Nominate or donate at www.waytobattle.com