First thing every morning I consider my goals for the day. What do I hope to achieve before the day ends? I think about the kids and how they’ll need me (subject to change 19 times, of course). I consider my husband and how we can squeeze time in for us…that sounds bad, I know, but honesty is crucial, people. My career comes up and I decide how I can best meet those deadlines. In the end, I consider what time I may have for myself. Do I have the energy and dedication to work out or will it be a Netflix kind of evening? In order to hold tightly onto the honesty policy mentioned above, I won’t answer that!
But, what if?
What if every morning you had the same goal? You remain present and active in other aspects of your life, but none of them trump this one core purpose. You are never taking a break or pushing it off until tomorrow. You want to see success or at the least progress daily. It is impossible to accept failure.
What if that one goal was healing your son?
The first time I saw Grayson Ledbetter we prayed for him and his family as a church. Raw and newly discovered, his diagnosis was Alexander disease. This regressive condition is so rare that fewer than 100 people across the world are affected. I prayed huge circles around Grayson that morning, around his doctors, but mostly, around his mom, Laura.
Laura Ledbetter is a mom, just like all of us. She makes lunches, runs carpool, cheers for her oldest son Cooper when he wrestles, hikes with her family to see God’s beauty and digs in daily to meet the needs of her kids — just like all of us. In addition to being a present, proud mom, and all that that entails, she dedicates herself to finding a cure for Grayson. She commits herself to keeping Grayson as active and strong as possible because through her faith in God and love for Grayson, she knows his healing will come. She has to believe it as his life depends on it.
The first time I met Grayson Ledbetter was a much different experience.
Dude is so full of life! This little five-year-old boy changed my heart in an instant. His smile will melt you. He projects an attitude and a disposition brighter than the sun. His hugs are irreplaceable and if you’ve had one, you know what genuine warmth feels like. This fella is busy with school, physical therapy, and baseball and still comes out the other side smiling and ready for anything. His mom says he is the busiest five-year-old around!
Laura and the Ledbetter family live by the motto, “Today is a good day.” Even on the hard road they are walking, they continue to instill in their boys an optimistic outlook and teach them lean on their faith. While I am not in the same parenting position as Laura, and I cannot even begin to understand all that she does daily for Grayson and her family, I can relate to the impact her grace and strength has on others. Meeting her and Grayson has made me a better mom. Her example helps me daily to focus on God’s grace and the beauty that is provided, rather than the pit that we could all allow ourselves to fall into.
It would be easy to see and justify Laura being down on life, struggling to see positive aspects of her day. Yet, she does not. She exudes a Godly, upbeat, incredibly strong outlook on her life and Grayson’s prognosis. I am sure she doesn’t always see it that way…we all get down on ourselves. I see it though. I see it in her attitude and in Grayson’s persistence to succeed. I see it in her willingness to do anything to get this disease and a cure across the finish line.
I want Laura’s story to be heard.
There are hundreds of other stories similar in nature, but her outlook touched my life. She is an example of a mom in the trenches, fighting for her son. She has become an advocate for Grayson in a way no parent ever wants, but she charges through showing that her strength, grace and love go deeper than even she thought possible. I am humbled to call this sweet lady my friend, but more than that, I am honored that she is fighting her fight with unwavering resolve and faith.
It never ceases to astound me how this sweet five-year-old boy has changed so many hearts. He has touched so many lives. Grayson is a living example that no matter how small you are or how dire your circumstances, you can absolutely change the hearts and minds of people in ways you never dreamed possible.