Our friend sent a very enthusiastic happy-birthday email to us for Talitha. In the message she said, "It is a rebirth and such a miracle. I am grateful to God for his mercy."
I love that.
Today marks the important 100-day point since Tali's third and final BMT birthday.
On May 24th I wrote:
"We had quite a celebration at the hospital this morning as doctors, nurses, techs, administrators, and various other hospital staff packed into Talitha's room to sing "Happy Bone-Marrow-Transplant Birthday to You". The singing was awful as advertised and exhilarating. Her last transplant!"
It seems like yesterday and forever ago.
The high-dose chemo had completely eliminated her bone marrow over the weekend and the infusion of her "transplanted" cells marked the beginning of a new life as the new bone marrow engrafted over the ensuing 11 days.
Tali will have another MRI on the 10th of September. Then we'll meet with the BMT doctors on the 15th for a final debrief before being passed back to Oncology for the official start of the long-term monitoring phase of this journey.
In light our experiences with Talitha, I've pondered the scriptures that talk about rebirth or being born again.
The Bible describes a brief, but important meeting between the Savior and Nicodemus:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
"Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:3-7)
There's something very sacred about following Christ and taking upon us His name and becoming His children.
"And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
"And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
"And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ." (Mosiah 5:7-9)
I'm grateful that Talitha has been granted a fresh start, a new birth, a new lease on life.
One day just a few short years from now, Tali will have a chance for yet another rebirth. Just like Nicodemus, she will get to choose to enter the waters of baptism and formally take upon herself the name of Christ. At that sacred time the symbolism of birth will be evident as so beautifully stated in Moses 6:59:
"...inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory."
I'm grateful for the words of eternal life that sustain us during this mortal sojourn. I'm grateful for the hope I have that has been made possible by Christ. I've come to know for myself that being born of Him is worth it even when the trials of faith at times seem heavy to bear.
The good news and foundation of His gospel can be simply stated: those that are born of Him are also saved by Him.