Sunday, March 27, 2016

What's the Plan?!

He didn't save BJ. He didn't heal him in the way we thought He would, or even thought He should.

It's been 3 weeks now. I've never been so broken or felt so lost. I've been sad, and distraught, and solemn and sullen. I've had fleeting moments of laughter with no tears, and laughter through tears. I've felt absolutely crushed at the realization that this is my life. What kind of life will it be now? Will this pain ever lessen? Will there ever be a day that goes by that some reminder doesn't open the free fall of tears?

With Easter coming, and thinking about Jesus' death, and that BJ is with Him now. Some thoughts came to mind...
Jesus went to the cross. He suffered excruciating pain, he felt ALL of our sins (past, present and future), and he felt the loneliness, the isolation from his father. He was mocked, and spat on. He was crushed, he was pierced, he was brutally beaten. Spikes were driven into his hands and feet. He was God...He could have saved himself from that pain. He didn't. He went willingly. He knew there was a plan, a reason for his suffering. No one else knew. His mother didn't know of this plan while she was watching her son hang on a cross, in so much pain and anguish. I can only imagine how she felt, maybe as I felt watching my own child suffer, and take his last breaths as I screamed and cried and begged him not to leave me.

But Jesus didn't save himself from the cross...He knew He was going there, and He knew why. He knew the plan. No one else knew, but He did. We know that plan now. We know that Jesus died in our place. He died so that we may have life after our own death. He died so that death would no longer have victory. Satan will never win. What beauty in death...it's called love. Because God SO loved the world, he sent his very own son to die so that when we believe in Him, we would live with Him forever.

God didn't save BJ from cancer...He knows why. He knows the plan. No one else knows, but He does. There will be good that comes from this, because that is promised to those who love Him. BJ loved Jesus. I know that BJ is with Jesus right now...cancer free, pain free and no longer fighting to live.

3 Weeks of Wandering


Three weeks ago today, BJ left us. For three eternal weeks, we've been trying to find our way through each day without him. We fought a long, tough battle side by side and the abrupt end of it has left us lost. We put our complete faith in God that BJ would be healed. With faith like that, there was no room for doubt. BJ shared that faith. His faith was wide open. He wanted to be healed, and live his life, but he also had room in his heart that God's plan was good, whatever the outcome for himself. In his words... "It is whatever it is."
I found a note on his computer, written January 27th. It was going to be a video for his facebook followers. "Hey everyone it's BJ! I just wanted to say Thank You So Much for all the continued prayers. I have shocked the doctors and I truly rely on GOD through all this and trust in him to take my hand and guide me through this. GOD has a plan for me and for every person on this earth. It may not be what we expect but in the end there will be some good to come out of it."
As inconceivable to us as this is, there was a reason that BJ wasn't healed here on Earth, and we still know that God's plan is good. Ultimately, BJ was right. There will be some good to come out of it. There already has been good realized through his fight, through his determination and immoveable faith in God. BJ made an impact in lives across the country. He challenged strangers to face their obstacles and live without complaint. He pushed people who followed his story to be ‪#‎BJStrong‬!
One more thing is for certain...cancer has poked a momma bear and a sister bear. This 'most curable' leukemia that with standard chemotherapy protocols just wasn't "curable, curable, curable"...Take notice...a warrior mom and a brilliant little warrior sister are coming for you. BJ's story is far from over. He didn't lose his fight. He passed the baton to two more-than-willing and able teammates, who are fueled by the unconditional, never-ending love of an incredible 15 year old boy who made a difference and never gave up.
With this 3rd week being Easter Sunday, we remember Christ's death and resurrection. We are thankful for our risen Savior, Jesus Christ, and because of Him, we know we will see BJ again. We know that BJ is in the presence of Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:8) He took BJ by the hand and ushered him into Paradise. Our faith will remain strong...why would we ever push away from the One who BJ is with?
I invite you to comment or message this page with stories of BJ...a fond memory of him, or simply how he impacted your life. Carly and I take great comfort in hearing these remembrances. Thank you for the cards and letters. We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.




Wednesday, March 9, 2016

BJ's obituary



One of the hardest things I have ever written...my son's obituary.

BJ Correll, 15 years old, of Denver, North Carolina went home to be with Jesus on Sunday, March 6, 2016 after a 3½ year fight with childhood leukemia. He was in the ninth grade at North Lincoln High School. He loved basketball, football and fishing. He played basketball for East Lincoln Optimist, and the Denver Basketball League, and played football for Boger City Optimist, and North Lincoln Middle School. He had a kind and generous heart, and impeccable manners. He was a prankster even through the tough days, and kept his nurses on their toes, especially at 4am labs. He epitomized bravery and courage in the face of adversity. He never complained. His smile and the sparkle in his eyes remained throughout his fight. He fought the bravest and most courageous fight against aggressive acute lymphoblastic leukemia with grace and unwavering faith in God. He was a true warrior. BJ impacted the lives of many people who watched his struggle first-hand. He also greatly inspired the lives of thousands who never met him, but who followed his journey through updates on “Cure For BJ Round 2”.

BJ is survived by his younger sister Carly, his mother, father, stepfather, three stepsisters, and many more friends, family, teachers and medical staff who love him dearly. The staff at LCH 11 and Levine Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic will always be family.

The brightness of his soul’s light will never be extinguished by cancer. He will continue to live on in the hearts and lives of those he has touched by his courage and faith. We are truly blessed to have had 15 years of the most beautiful example of God’s love and shining light living among us.

Visitation is Thursday, March 10, 2016 from 6-8pm at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home 16901 Old Statesville Rd in Huntersville, NC. We will be celebrating BJ’s life with a final “Orange Out for BJ” at Mecklenburg Community Church, 8335 Browne Road in Charlotte, NC on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 2pm. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn of Lincolnton, 2780 NC Hwy 150 in Lincolnton. We ask that attendees please wear something orange (leukemia awareness color) in honor of BJ’s life and fierce fight.

Memorial Contributions may be made in BJ's name to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, 111 Presidential Boulevard, #203, Bala Cynwyd , PA 19004.  Friends may also choose to Donate Blood or Platelets to the Community Blood Center of the Carolina's, in BJ's name. 

‘The devil whispers, “You cannot withstand the storm.” The warrior replies, “I am the storm!”

http://www.raymerfh.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1756936

Monday, March 7, 2016

35 hours


Monday, March 7, 2016

Somehow we have survived the past 35 hours without BJ.
For those who have not heard...BJ passed away Sunday morning into the arms of the One who loves him more than we do...the One who blessed me with the most amazing son to nurture and love on for the past 15 years.
To state the obvious, we are devastated, and we hurt beyond what mere words could ever describe. Those last images of BJ, the medical team working him, over 30 minutes of CPR, and the final moments we had keep replaying in my mind. BJ always hated to see me cry. I hope as he watches over us, he understands that I just can't hold back these tears. Carly is struggling to make sense of this. She's hurting for the huge space her brother held in her life. Even Charlie Brown and Lucy seem to be aware of the incredible loss of a boy who dearly loved his dogs.
I close my eyes and imagine the greeting that BJ must have received as he entered heaven. “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!" (Matthew 25:21) What a blessing to have a child with such faith in God, to withstand the adversity that he faced every day without once losing his faith. I can't wait for the day to see him again, hug him, have long conversations, watch something together, and just see my world again inside those bluest of eyes.
We are so very thankful for the birthday cards, gifts, videos and letters everyone sent to BJ for his birthday. He enjoyed his special day as much as physically possible, and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love.
Please continue your prayers for us as we navigate this life without the brightest light of the most beautiful and toughest warrior.