Parts of this post have been sitting in my drafts for 3 weeks now.
“I don’t know how you do it.”
“You’re such a good mom.”
or there have been a few times where they’ll say something like,
“I’m so proud of you for keeping your faith through all of this.”
I never really know how to respond to any of those, but especially the last one.
I always try to be very open and honest about the things I’ve dealt with in the past, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and an unplanned pregnancy just to name a few.
And now I’m faced with another battle: a child with ongoing health issues that we don’t have a firm diagnosis of what is causing her body to not run the way it should.
But it blows my mind people are surprised I can keep my faith strong.
I’d be crazy not to.
But how could I not see God’s work in everything?
I spoke a little bit about this in my “God moment” I shared at MOPS on Friday, but most of you weren’t there, so I’ll share it again (Plus now I can actually gather my thoughts and no one can see me shaking like a leaf).
Last year when Rae dropped off the weight chart and stopped absorbing her food properly the first thing her doctors thought could be wrong was a food allergy. I remember them cutting us off from dairy and soy first. I was still nursing, so I had to cut it out of my diet as well. Which, as a huge fan of cheesy-everything dishes I found myself at a loss for what I could actually eat. I mean, soy and dairy are in EVERYTHING. Then they took away our wheat, thinking maybe she had Celiacs Disease and then eggs too. I was basically a vegan who could eat meat (which is ironic now, because I HATED that elimination diet and now I’m a vegan by choice.) But in that time, I met my good friend Katie, who has Celiacs AND a dairy allergy. She was an amazing resource to me. She would send me recipes, tell me the good kinds of gluten free foods and even made me a few fantastic meals on a week I was especially overwhelmed. And I just kept thinking in that time, that wasn’t an accident. I didn’t even know Celiacs was a thing until I met Katie, and in the year she was brought into my life and put at my MOPS table right when I needed her.
Months passed and Rae didn’t get better. She actually got worse. She was constantly tired. She regressed from standing and crawling around to mostly being lethargic. When we would hold her hands to encourage her to put weight on her legs, they would give out, she would toe in and her legs would cross each other as we tried to guide her into walking. She was seen by more specialists who thought she may have Cerebral Palsy. I remember the next day after that post I was approached by a woman I didn’t know. She told me I know you don’t know me, but your blog came up in my news feed and went on to tell me how her niece had CP. She told me about her therapies and how well she was doing. I just remember the next week we went in for Rae’s MRI to see if this really was CP or not and I was calm. Talking to Karen those few days beforehand had completely put me at ease, and I wasn’t stressed out about the outcome. I knew we’d be okay if that’s what the MRI showed.
But it didn’t. Rae’s MRI showed no brain damage or lesions or anything!
However, the very week after her MRI we were admitted to the hospital for the first time. She had her first feeding tube placed. It was an Nasogastric tube, meaning it had to be threaded up her nose and down to her stomach. And I had to be the one to place it when we went home. I had to burrito wrap her in a blanket to keep her arms down, thread this horrible tubing up her nose, down her throat and into her stomach, tape it to her face, then check it to make sure it was indeed in her stomach and not in her lungs (which would cause her to aspirate if it was placed wrong. I’m still not sure how I was able to be held responsible for this at home with no medical training…) It was terrifying. I remember the very first time Rae ever pulled it out when I was home alone was a day when someone was bringing me a meal (because MOPS moms are awesome). And the woman who was bringing me a meal was none other than my friend Julie…who was a pediatrician. I remember she came in and helped me get Rae all situated and helped calm her down before I placed it. And she calmed me down as I fumbled, upset I had to do this awful thing to my own child. I finished, cuddled Rae close to comfort her, like I always did and Julie told me I had done well and I was doing exactly what I needed to do and when she closed the door, leaving us a meal, I just cried and cried, overwhelmed at God’s perfect timing. Had it been anybody else at my door at that time, they probably would have been as freaked out as I was and probably would have just left me to do it alone.
I literally have at least 20 other examples of people who were there without being asked, right when I needed them with a coffee or a similar experience to share, verses that were in my devotions that said exactly what I needed to read, words that were spoken to me saying exactly what I needed to hear.
I have a choice to write what I want in my blog.
This is my story and people read it.
Like, thousands of people every week.
Which, yes, kind of weirds me out sometimes.
It’s a lot of pressure.
But it’s my chance to tell you the only thing that gets me through the chaos is knowing that there is a God who loves me and Rae and Little S and Big S and is going to take care of us. He has proven it over and over and over again. It blows my mind the way things have worked out. Through everything that should have torn our family apart, we’ve stayed strong.
All these things you have to see first hand to truly understand the gravity of God’s perfect timing.
It reminds me of the Christmas song Do You Hear What I Hear
You can say we were dealt a good hand.
But let’s call it what it is: God has blessed us beyond measure. Especially so in the past year through the people he placed in my life right when I needed them.
If you have seen what I’ve seen, you’d know there’s no way this was coincidence, it’s all part of His plan that’s been perfectly orchestrated to get me to where I need to be.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.