The following is adapted from My Cody: His Cancer, Our Faith & God’s Love by Jacquelyn Nicole Wilde Eubanks.
June 10, 2020
It had been a really, really long day. All the details from the past twenty-four hours were just a blur. There seemed to be a lot of these days lately where the minutes felt like weeks, and the hours felt like months. An overwhelmed feeling paralyzed our mental state as we slowly started settling in for the night. We were beyond exhausted, but our minds drifted with wonder about the unknown.
Only a few short days ago, my husband and I were happily celebrating our one-year wedding anniversary with not a single care in the world — June 1, 2019. The most monumental day of our entire existence thus far was when our two flesh became one under God and all who were present there. It was truly the most magical day of my entire life, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. We celebrated the Big One by blindfolding my groom to surprise him with an adventure back to our wedding venue, Cason’s Cove. There we enjoyed a picnic together to indulge the same meal we catered in on our wedding night. We exchanged anniversary gifts, then walked around the venue for a while, reminiscing about our perfect day. This place is extra special to me because it is owned by close family friends. I had spent many weekends and summers in high school, working and helping with the events held there, including other weddings. Going back and taking a stroll down memory lane, side by side with my husband, was so refreshing and good for our souls.
Other than the global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, we were thriving and abundantly blessed by God with a wonderful marriage and extraordinary, supportive family and friends. We were making attempts at growing our family of two, seeking membership and involvement at our beloved church, and preparing for an exciting move into our first house. Both of our businesses were booming incredibly, our finances for once were pretty solid, and we were only a pinch away from becoming a debt-free family. In our own fantasy bubble, everything was falling into place for us, and our lives together seemed as close to perfect as this world could get. To treat ourselves and celebrate with a cherry on top of some pretty exciting milestones, my husband was getting enthused for us to purchase that blacked-out Ford F-150 truck he had always dreamed about outright buying. Black wheels, black trim, tinted windows — the whole nine yards. A reality with no car payments or debt was a huge goal for us and our family’s mission. Cody and I had been extremely blessed in all avenues in such little time. Life was good. In fact, life was too good almost to the point of becoming too comfortable.
But now, my husband’s health had taken a drastic turn for the worse. Neither of us knew what was wrong yet, but his symptoms such as rapid weight loss, unexplainable fatigue, vomiting episodes, and achiness in his bones and joints were becoming more and more frequent. He kept expressing how he just didn’t feel like himself. We had been warned by medical professionals that whatever it was, wasn’t good, and would be caught much too late. And I was terrified.
After much time had passed of us mindlessly watching who-knows-what on Netflix, my better half began to snore. He really hadn’t been sleeping well for months now. As I looked over at him sleeping peacefully, I tried to muster up the strength to smile. I was so thankful he was able to rest, but how in the world was I supposed to sleep knowing what I now knew? My mind was racing about the potential days ahead. I was numb and felt helpless.
After letting my fleshly thoughts get the best of me for a while,
I paused the TV, sat up in bed, crossed my legs, and positioned myself towards his direction. And there he was. So peaceful, yet not himself. Seemingly invincible, yet delicate, too. I wanted absolutely nothing more than to take his place.
I gently pulled back the covers and laid my hands softly on his belly. The protrusion under the surface of his skin there frightened me. I couldn’t help but begin to pray. “Lord . . . Lord . . . Lord . . .” I said quietly. How could this be? I just knew we had so much more to see and do together. Imagining him significantly ill or leaving this world wasn’t possible or even an option for me. Certainly, this was all just a dream that I would wake up from at any moment. I longed for a miracle. “Lord . . . Lord . . . Lord,” I continued to mutter over and over again. I was searching, but I couldn’t find any other words. At that moment, I had forgotten the rest of the entire English language. What had we done wrong to deserve such torment? The tears were now flowing, and they weren’t soaking up. My heart ached. “Lord . . . Lord . . . Lord.” I repeated His name at least one hundred times and was lost for any other words. My soft weeping was becoming hard to control, but gracefully our God knows the desires of our hearts and any of our thoughts before they are released off the tips of our tongues.
After much time had passed of me pleading on behalf of the unknown, I faintly heard my husband’s head readjust on the pillow.
Out of nowhere, he boldly said, “I hear you!”
I was startled and quickly opened my eyes. My voice had been so quiet, there was no way he could’ve heard me praying. While trying to make out his face in the darkness of the room, our gazes locked. I apologetically jumped back, knowing that it must have seemed a bit creepy to be hunched over him in the middle of the night. Oops!
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I was just praying over your body,” I pleaded.
I felt so bad that I had woken him from his much-needed sleep. And yet, without a response or any other movement, he dozed right back to sleep just as swiftly as he had woken up. Odd. Once the snoring resumed, so did my praying. The Spirit flowed and so did my words to the Father. This time, Christ was able to get more out of me other than “Lord.” This time, I felt different.
Once the tears gradually faded to a halt, my body begged me for sleep. I forced myself to remain upright and keep praying, but eventually the exhaustion won. Still feeling like five hundred pounds of bricks sat on my chest, I restlessly rolled over, got somewhat comfy, and listened to the sound of the television as background noise for a while to help me drift to sleep. Honestly, I didn’t want to face the next day, but I had to stay strong for my Cody.
The next morning, I slowly made my way downstairs to find my husband sitting in his recliner, studying for a big work exam he had coming up. Cody had been studying for his Series 7 license for several months now. This certification would then allow him to be fully licensed to do all investment types, and his determination to once again level up in his career was inspiring.
Unfortunately, his unwarranted health conditions had become a major distraction to this goal he was aiming to reach.
“Good morning, I’m so sorry about last night,” I began. “I didn’t mean to startle you!” Making my way to have a seat on the couch beside him, I noticed that Cody looked puzzled.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“Oh! Me praying over you while you slept. You know?”
His face gave it away that he truly had no clue what I was talking about. So I began to explain the sequence of events and how he heard me. Cody patiently listened and stared at me in confusion.
“Cody, don’t play with me. You spoke to me. Don’t you remember?” I exclaimed, both playful and astonished.
I couldn’t understand how he didn’t remember that. He had spoken the words “I hear you” so confidently. There had been no groan in his voice like he had just woken up. His voice was clear and smooth. We even made eye contact and locked eyes. I knew he had spoken to me.
Cody, still trying to process what I told him, said, “Jackie, last night I got the best night of rest that I have gotten in months. I woke up only one time to pee. I didn’t even hear you talking or the sound of the TV. I don’t remember any of what you’re telling me.”
We both instantly got goosebumps, or “chicken titties” as Cody liked to call them.
Who had really spoken to me the night before? My spirit was super receptive in that moment to who really told me “I hear you.” I knew that the Mighty Man in heaven Himself had told me that He heard me through my husband. Before we even received the official diagnosis, Jesus was hearing our prayers.
And I strongly believe He was already answering them, too.