If I blog or get online this week (starting tomorrow), I must be caught up on plates for Dad's business and have spent time with God. You have my permission to ask me if I have done this.
Before I enter this commitment, I wanted to apologize for my bad attitude. Having a stressful week, having hormone issues, Karl being gone a lot...all of these are lame excuses for a poor attitude. I was reminded of this after reading a poignant post from my friend, Jen.
Jen's daughter, Emma, is a miracle. Last Valentine's Day, she was born with meconium in much of her body. She barely made it. After app. 2 months in the ICU and hospital, she came home. Jen, Chris, and Emma's road has not been easy these 8 months. Emma is still on a feeding tube with reflux issues, but she is a beautiful, capable, happy little girl. She has recently had a REALLY bad bout with the stomach flu and had to be admitted again to the hospital. In her caring bridge journal (I'd give you the link, but it's password protected...if you really want it, feel free to e-mail me and I'll contact Jen) she writes about an experience with another mom of a special needs, terminal child who is about to turn five (and not supposed to live to be that age). Here is an excerpt from that journal:
"...we began to talk...About faith and roads paved with tears. And as we talked, I realized that I was in the presence of an extraordinary person. Not only was this woman an active duty single mom of a child with VERY special needs, she also possessed a faith in and love for Jesus that made me feel humbled to be in her presence. And completely and utterly ashamed of my judgmental, critical spirit. She assured me that although our road has also been paved with many tears, someday we too would be in a similar place, assuring someone relatively new to the path that God is good and faithful....She told many other stories about the wonders that God had already done and shared how our character and ability to trust God is refined through suffering....All I know is that I was totally and completely humbled by her radiance and her faith and her love for her God and her daughter....I couldn’t help it. I started crying and couldn’t stop. She gave me a hug and said, “You need to take better care of yourself. Crying is therapeutic and you need to do it more often. God knows this and it’s OK.”....I didn’t even know her name. But God once again showed Himself to be good, loving, tender, gracious and kind, and completely aware of our situation and needs in the midst of the storm. (After being home for several days) I feel a little different somewhere inside, different from before we went to the hospital. It’s been a bumpy road of ups and downs, of highs and lows, of moods swinging between faith and despair. But Chris and I have it pretty good. Not only do we have each other, but we have a baby who is living proof of a God who does miracles, answers prayers, and gives us that which we do not deserve....although I didn’t choose [this road] and can’t control it, I want so desperately to walk well. I want this road to make me better and not bitter. I want to be pleasing to God NOW so that when it’s all over, He will be proud of me. I want to take God at His word NOW so that when His promises are fulfilled, I can say, “I knew it!” I want so desperately for others to be changed, or at the very least encouraged to trust God more fully because of what He’s doing in our family...."
Thank you, Jen, for your reflections and vulnerability. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for meeting each of us where we're at--in our pain and in our joy. Forgive me for how often I forget these truths while in the trenches (which, in my case, aren't even bad!) and help me to live more fully and more focused on those things that are truly important.