Today has been long overdue.  I have spent the last few months trying to figure out my place in this world.  Now curious of how I could possibly recover and be the man that God wants me to be, while pushing my feelings in front of his guidance.  I have allowed my frustration and anger towards Him to build into something unhealthy and very much not Christ-like.  In my heart I have been stained to my deepest core.  I have crossed the threshold of a church building only a few times since Ethan's passing. Partially because I am much weaker than I present myself to be but mostly because I am afraid of public breakdowns. Not a day goes by that I do not cry at home, reliving the fact that I will never see his precious face again.  Wanting oh so badly to hear him say "Dada" just once.  I know it must be hard to know what to say to someone who has lost as I child. Even given my current situation, I still don't know what to say.   So if you do in fact run into me, the best thing to say is something along the lines of "love ya!"  As of recent weeks, it feels like I am in the process of some sort of recovery.  I think more than anything that I have been just waiting for God to kick me in the rear and say "get right or get left behind"!

Much earlier in my life, I went through a phase like this that nearly left me on my death bed.  Although part of me would be ok with that right now, the other part of me feels that there would be no place for me in heaven next to my little boy with the current condition of my heart.  So with that said, I am doing everything in my power to start over.

For many months now I have laid in bed in sheer misery, hiding from the world.  I had no idea how to deal with the pain.  Since I have watched many other families lose children and on the surface appear to be doing much better than me.  It has been very humbling!  So with that said... I would like to ask for three special requests.  Two are prayer requests.  Please pray for peace for both me and for Becky.  I know for us both, every day is difficult to wake up without Ethan.  And for me specifically, please pray that God's grace will cover my anger so that I can be me again.

As for Ethan, I would ask that you continue to fight against Childhood Cancer.  It is definitely one of the least funded and underestimated cancers that currently exist.  Rather than giving to the Ethan Powell Foundation, I would prefer that you donate directly to St. Jude in honor of Ethan.  Even if it is just a $1.  It adds up over time.  If we had $5 for every person that visited the website in the last 2 years we would have over $29,000,000.  Imagine that!  If we all just gave one "Happy Meal" or "Taco Bell Run" a month we could raise $145,000,000 a year.  Please consider it and pass the message on to your friends.  Although I have hardly prayed since April 5th, I have begun to pray again with a refined hope that Childhood Cancer will be defeated.  It motivates me to go to God often.

I know that this has been a long road for us (Ethan's family), and we never could imagine the journey without you.  And we WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR UN-WAIVERING SUPPORT!  For now, my portion of the journey ends.  

I am beginning again with a blank slate.  As of 1 month ago I started a new job.  As of 3 weeks ago, a new diet and have already lost 16lbs.  And yes I am admitting this publicly, I have struggled with smoking as of recent months and went cold turkey 6 days ago with a co-worker.  I know that some will feel let down, others will judge me, and even some will gossip.  But frankly that is between them and God.  So don't feel like you have to stand up for me.  To all those wonderful supporters of "the weak and broken", I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  

As for the updates.... I will be doing personal updates on another web journal for at least awhile in an attempt to collect my thoughts.  If you find it (or even care to), then congrats.  But I will not be publicly announcing the address, because I wouldn't want to seem "attention seeking".  This site has and always will be a place for Ethan's memory to live in and change lives.  At some point, this page will change to a place where you can make donations directly to St. Jude.

I hope that this journey has made you a better person in some way.  To be quiet honest, for me it has not.  But I have hopes that one day, I can say that I am indeed a better individual because of these experiences.  A child of God that he can be proud of.  Although I have not abandoned my old favorite verse, I am leaning on a new verse these days and watching and waiting on God to come to the rescue.

2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I received an email from the folks that are coordinating the Team Ethan t-shirts and they asked me to remind you that the deadline for ordering is 11 days from today.  I am super pumped about the t-shirts.  I can't wait to get mine.  They look great!

Below is a copy and paste from an email that I received verifying that the T-shirt designs are approved and up for sale. Rather than taking a chance of repeating something incorrectly, I decided to copy and paste so that the correct information was posted. So here goes...

"We will take orders for about a month, then the orders will close and we will go to print with it one time. So don't miss out. We will give all details and deadlines on TeamEthanPowell.BlogSpot.com."

Thanks for supporting St. Jude through Team Ethan.  We appreciate you helping us in this fight against cancer.

BeLIeVe...  Prayer Works!

I just wanted to take the time to invite you to join me in running in the half marathon this year. Before last year, I had never been able to run more than just a couple miles at a time. After successfully completing last year's half marathon, I know that It seems that more and more people are now motivated to join with the passing of Ethan and Sully in the past few months.

Anyone interested in participating in this year's St. Jude Marathon can go to www.teamethanpowell.blogspot.com for all info regarding the marathon weekend, how to register, hotel info, etc.

I hope to see you there. Last year everyone ended up hanging out for most of the weekend. We hope to see you there, as this year we will be running with even more passion. :)

I know it has been a long long time.  I have been taking some time to just recover mentally and physically.  But there was just no possible way that I could avoid updating today with all of the major prayer requests needed at this time.

First, Sully appears to be desperately needing prayers today.  Please read their update!  (Scroll to bottom of Sully's site to see current update.)  I wouldn't want to say the wrong thing, so I would prefer to just send you to their site.  http://sullivanfarrar.com/updates.htm

Second, my grandmother (Gladys Powell) had unexpected surgery yesterday.  There was a hole inside of her stomach and a large ulcer was causing her to bleed internally.  I hate to out it so bluntly, but I know no other way... They had to cut her from navel to chest and begin suction.  She is now in ICU in Minden.  

Please pray for them both!  URGENT REQUESTS!!!!!  Prayer Works!

And just when you thought that I had disappeared forever, I am back.  By now you are probably wondering if there will ever be daily updates again.  Answer... I am wondering the same thing.I really would love to, but to be quite blunt... I really don't want to logon and type about the pain everyday because frankly I am not sure that would be very helpful to all of you guys that actually still read the updates.

So for this update, here is what I am going to do.  I am just going to lay it out there yet again.  Yes... I still BeLIeVe in God.  I doubt my disappointment will ever fade, but my anger for the time being with the whole situation has begun to subside for the time being.  This truly is a daily battle.  And most days a minute to minute battle.  For instance, I will walk in to Children's Place (no advertisement intended), and start looking at cute clothes for him and it suddenly hits me, my baby is dead... why am I looking at kids' clothes?  Just like that.  And every time it stings.  Now before you get all worked up and say, "Why did he have to say that so harshly?".  Just realize that is the raw truth and saying it a nicer way doesn't make him any less dead, it just makes it easier to lie to myself.  The fact is, Becky nor I will every lay our hands on him again.  All that are left are some ashes and memories.

As for me personally, I have learned that the old methods of just ignoring what hurts will not work anymore.  From a heart standpoint, I am probably the weakest that I have ever been, but I am starting to feel God work his way back into me.  It may only be one partial 30 minutes followed by a rough couple hours, but the fact it... thats a step in the right direction.  It is amazing how I can try to push Him out by burying my head in the pillow and sleeping until I am worthless, but when I wake up he is still there.

So with that said... I am physically still here and God in any sense has never left.  I pray that pattern will continue.  On the bright side, my prayer life is starting to improve.  For the first time since April the 5th, I BeLIeVe that I have prayed almost everyday this week.  (After I typed that, I realized just how odd that was.)  The same guy that prayed at work before starting his day, and yes of course every meal, and almost every night before I went to sleep, and even when things would start to fall apart.  It was always the solution to everything big or small and many many times just a way to say thank you.  Life was so much easier then. Whatever happened to that communication with God.  Finally I am starting to figure it out.  I felt abandoned by Him, so I just kind of locked up.  I am terrible with analogies, so I am just going to give it my best shot.  It is kind of like when your computer freezes when you turn it on and all you can see is that little screen sitting there.  You know that if you just wait, in most cases eventually it will start working.  Sometimes you hit the reset button and sometimes you wait.  It depends on your mood.   The thing is, right now I am just not sure what button to push, so rather than continue what I have been doing and just pound away on the keyboard... I have decided to reboot and Pray!   I think that will be the best solution.

As this battle continues, there will be many highs and lows.  I expect many many more in the coming days and weeks.  Speaking of my personal battle, the devil would like nothing more than for me to sign in and post an update discrediting God, but if that were to happen then my battle would immediately end in defeat.  And even in my anger, I can guarantee one thing.  It has never crossed my mind to lash out and trash talk God.  He is the only refuge, if I will only let him be that for me.

As the fight continues, I have one new consolation.  It feels so great to know that we are going to fight cancer and eventually win.  But over the past few months, many people have come up to me and said, "I never prayed until Ethan", or "I never Prayed on my knees until Ethan" or "I never went to Church until Ethan"... you get the idea.  With that thought in mind... this is going to sound really strange, but I have been thinking a lot lately about death and the afterlife.  And I have so many questions for God.  But I think the most pleasant image that keeps coming up in my head is the one of Ethan just hanging out with a bunch of his prayer warrior buddies talking about how much better life is there.  Isn't that a cool thought?

Now for the brutal honesty.  That thought only last a few seconds each day, but it is the few seconds that I am able to escape everything and feel at least some sense of God sent peace.  Because selfishly, I spend almost every other minute just asking the same questions over and over in my head.  So... what next?  Good question... I have no idea.  But I will let you know in the next update.  Talk to you then...  In the meantime, continue to BeLIeVe!

This update is more of an announcement, and I don't plan to mention this on a regular basis.  But I know that many of you have asked how to contact me for website design services.  So here goes... my former company, Todd Powell Designs is no longer.  Along with my two partners, I am now open for business as CreativeCase.Net.  ;)

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