The Best from the Broken

sadIf you have children–grandchildren, godchildren, nieces or nephews, or a special child in your life–you understand how hard it is to watch them struggle and hurt.

When our kids are little, we have some ability to protect them. But as they grow older, they sometimes make decisions out of our control. Decisions that come with consequences. And whether they want to take those choices back or not, it’s often too late.

Other times, our kids are walking steady on the right path, but life just happens. Through no fault of their own, they get knocked off track and have to deal with the consequences that follow as well.

It doesn’t matter to our hearts why our kids suffer. We love them and we hurt along with them. We root for them to succeed. We want them to be happy. We don’t want them to struggle. But sometimes, we don’t have a choice. It’s then that faith comes in…

I wrote the poem below for my oldest son, Kyle, when he was nineteen, right after we found out he’d relapsed with his childhood leukemia. They say knowing is half the battle. But after four years of treatment the first go round, knowing was the problem.

Kyle's First Battle Age 10

Kyle’s First Battle Age 10

Kyle knew exactly what was expected of him. What he’d have to give up. How much his life would change. How hard every day would be. The possibility that he wouldn’t make it through this time.  He knew too much. And knowing didn’t change anything–it only brought more pain.

Watching him struggle to accept his re-diagnosis was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

If you love a child, you understand. It doesn’t matter what caused the crisis in their lives, it just matters that they’re hurting.

I put this poem away after I wrote it and didn’t share it with Kyle. The timing wasn’t right. Today, two years into Kyle’s second treatment, I’m posting this for him.


Kyle Age 19

The Best from the Broken

I am broken for you today.

I see the soft set of your shoulders,

feel the ache of isolation in your heart,

hear the longing in your voice to go back to before we knew.

After all we’ve gone through,

my heart craves good for you

all the time.

But experiencing only the best

won’t draw out your best.

It’s in the broken moments

I’ve learned the most.

It’s in the broken moments

I’ve seen God’s face.

It’s in the broken moments

I’ve felt His heart and His love.

How do I share that intimate knowing?

I don’t. I can’t. I wish I could.

It’s a journey you must take alone.

I am broken for you today.

I see your defeat,

feel your ache,

hear your longing.

Yet my child, my joy, my heart,

I must send you on your way.

But not alone. Never alone.

I’m praying your eyes see God at your side,

praying your ears hear His voice,

praying your heart feels His presence.

Praying you know and understand He wants the very best for you,

no matter what.


  1. This is so achingly beautiful, Lori. I’m glad you shared it with us as well. You know I have you and your family in my prayers.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! What a privilege it is to pray for y’all!

  3. This is so beautiful. I am heartbroken for your son and your family. But there is a blessing in all things, I lost my son 9 years ago to leukemia. He only had a few months to fight. He was 21 and ready to meet his heavenly father. I miss his so much, but grateful for the times we had together. I know he’s in a better place, but man would I love to hug him just one more time!
    You’re in my prayers, God is ever present in all things, even death in our case.

    • Sherry,

      I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. My heart hurts for you. Thank you for sharing your story on my post today.

  4. Lori, your love of your son and your faith in God penetrate my soul as I read this beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it with us, and I will keep on praying for Kyle and for you as you complete this difficult journey. In faith, I see only great things ahead for both of you!

  5. And my sweet friend, maybe you can’t see your reflection, but we can. And through this process God is making you pure gold…99 and 44–100 percent pure…because of the privilege of suffering.

    And precious Kyle, He’s doing the same for you. I’m delighted to hear of your change in major. As a grief counselor, I can confirm there are multiplied thousands of hurting folks that medical care can’t reach. But you will stand head and shoulders above those others in your profession because you’ve been there! God will give you His wisdom to take the hands of those kids, right where you’ve walked, and allow you the privilege of placing their hands in His healing, almighty, everlasting hands.

    And we are allowed to sit in the grandstands and watch and cheer as He too makes you gold Kyle Freeland! What a joy it’s been to pray for you, and Mr. Gates and I will continue–each day–to lift you and your family to the Throne of God’s grace for His mercy and help in time of need!

  6. Dear God,

    Please take the pain and disease away. Give Kyle strength, healing, and renew his faith.

    Also, dear God — give Lori peace, hope and joy again.

    In your son’s name – Amen.

  7. Janice Norwood |

    I see grace and strength in your journey. Only those who have traveled your path could fully understand the depths of your valleys or peaks of your joy. God has and He does. Comfort to you both.

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