Lamenting Leukemia – Again

Last week, I wrote a Lament for a Leak. This week I got much worse news, so it’s time to write a Lament for Leukemia. Except wait — I already wrote a Lament for Leukemia.

Yes, this is about my same niece, Meredith. Now she’s seven years old, and she’s still dealing with leukemia.

I remember the Lament form using the ACCESS acronym:

Address to God
Confession of Trust
Sureness of Help
Subsequent Praise

[If you’re interested in reading a book about writing your own psalms, subscribe to this blog or to my Sondermusings substack, and I will definitely let you know if/when I find a publisher. You’ll also find out some things along the way. Let me encourage you to try the lament form and post your own examples in the comments.]

For now, another lament for leukemia:

[Address to God]
Lord, we don’t know where to turn
and so we turn to You.
You love us and care for us,
you hear prayer,
but we don’t understand
how children can suffer so much
in this world you’ve made.

Meredith was in remission!
She did so well with immunotherapy!
No side effects!
Out of the hospital on the first possible day!

Our hopes were high.
Our hearts lifted to see her
dancing ballet,
learning Parkour.
(Parkour seems to be navigating obstacles with strength and grace —
may she navigate these new obstacles with strength and grace.)

But only a couple weeks later,
her b-cells are back.
The reengineered t-cells are no longer
protecting her from leukemia.

We don’t want to be ungrateful.
Her big sister is a match!
But the stem cell transplant process
is hard,
is risky,
is scary.
And we’d gotten to hoping she could do without it.

Lord, she’s just a kid!
Seven years old, with years of painful and uncomfortable treatments
behind her.
She was doing activities,
going back to school,
learning new things,
even growing her hair back.
Now it’s time for six more weeks in the hospital (at least).

[Confession of Trust]
Lord, we know that you do see trouble and grief.
You consider it to take it in hand.
You will be with your children
every step of the way.

Lord, have mercy!
Grant Meredith health and healing.
Uphold her family.
Grant them all grace and peace.

Give her sister peace and rest
as she donates her stem cells,
and transform her blood into
healing and salvation for Meredith.

Lord, we don’t even understand fully how it works,
but turn her sister’s blood into good medicine
that gives Meredith new health and new life
and many years of thriving.

[Sureness of Help]
Thank you, Lord, that you do hear our prayers.
Thank you for the amazing developments in medicine
that have produced this cure for leukemia.
Thank you that you have been with this family for years already
and you’re not abandoning them now.

[Subsequent Praise]
Lord, help us dare to celebrate again
when the stem cells do their work.
Let us look forward to the day
when her blood has been renewed
and she is cured.
We look forward to singing for joy
at the healing you bring.


  1. Thanks, Michelle! What I love about the Lament form is that you really pour out how you’re feeling — but then you remind yourself that you do trust God — and even finish up by imagining how you’ll praise God after your prayer is answered. (It’s right there in Psalms!)

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