Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Birthday to My Little St. Patty's Day Toughie!

I remember the morning my daughter was born as if it were yesterday, though today it's been 6 years.  I know every mom remembers the moment their newborn child, whether it's your first or fourth, came into this world and took their first breath.

What I remember the most about that day though was a few hours later, after my husband and son went home to get some rest and our kids' pediatrician was making her rounds.  She came to my room and mentioned that the left side of my daughter's hip and buttock was swollen and that there was a skin tag there.  She said that they were going to perform an ultrasound on her to check it out, but said nothing else.

I remember immediately calling my husband and letting him know what was going on.  As parents of one child with special needs, there was cause for concern but as I relayed the information to my husband I felt God's presence and heard the words, "She'll be okay".  I repeated those words with calmness and conviction to my husband; confident that God was going to take care of our daughter.

Fast forward to when my daughter was 3 months old when, after the initial ultrasound didn't show anything, we had just finished a visit with a neurosurgeon, explaining the results of her first MRI.  We got her diagnosis, got her scheduled for her spinal surgery and was referred to a urologist.

I remember crying uncontrollably after leaving the doctor's office.  I was so hysterical in the car that my husband, who had planned on going back to work after the appointment, instead called his office to say he wasn't coming in.

Something in me snapped and in that moment I was broken.

And for three years after that I let brokenness simultaneously fuel me and consume me.  I was so angry with God, that anything that ANYONE did to hurt me, whether intentional or not, became my target.  I let resentment swell up in me and cage my heart, hardening it and blinding me.  I had let the enemy take control, believed his lies that I was being punished and that God did not care; that I was now the mother of two kids with special needs because I wasn't good enough.  I believed that my God turned his back on His promise that my daughter would be okay.  Thus, my heart became bitter, my spirit mean, my words sharp and hurtful.  I'm ashamed to say that my walk with Christ took a major detour and that as I was trudging along MY own path, I attempted to knock down anyone who came up against me.

It took a long time to get back on track with the One who was with me, even during my darkest times, and I mean dark.  I don't know how I functioned in that abyss.  Even through those three years, as I was trying to get back on my walk with Jesus, my heart was still bitter and resentful.  It took another year before I FINALLY took the right step, lead by the Holy Spirit, and the enemy lost his grip on me.  Hallelujah!

Why am I telling you this?  Well, as my daughter's birthday approached God brought me back to that day when I told my husband, "She'll be okay."  As I paused to let that sink in it became clear to me that God didn't mean she would be okay right there and then; that He would instantly heal her.  He was trying to show me a bigger picture.  His message to me was that despite her diagnosis she would be okay and she would follow Jesus with all her heart and bring glory to Him and his Kingdom.

I see that now.  She turns 6 today and at her young age is 100 times more compassionate than I am.  She is 100 times more loving and generous than I am.  Her heart is forgiving and unselfish, much more than mine.  She has more confidence in herself than I did at...any age!  She is fearless and tough, outspoken yet gentle.  Above all that she loves Jesus and proclaims it loudly.  Every.  Single.  Day.

She is everything I wish I could be.

Happy Birthday my sweet angel.  I am so thankful that God chose me to be your mom.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Thirteen (An End of the Year Wrap Up!)

I've been very quiet on this blog as I've been busy with our homeschooling (and with the blog where I'm documenting our experience.)  Still, I wanted to at least sum up the last half of 2013 before we kick off 2014!  Here you go:

1.  The kids attended Vacation Bible School from June 17-21.  Everyday they had the opportunity to go back in time and visit Athens.  There they listened to the disciple Paul share his life.  I had the chance to help out and see all the kids enjoy their time there.  I'm a little sad that this will be my son's last year participating, but next year he may get to volunteer!

2.  I attended my first Paint Nite event on June 24.  It was so much fun!  My dear friend, D, went with me.  About a month later we went to another Paint Nite event.  If you've never been to one, try it out.  They have them in a few different cities.