Friday, November 30, 2012

Letting Go

Letting Go
As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
because He is my friend.

But then instead of leaving Him
in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
with ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How could you be so slow?"
"My child," He said, "what could I do?
You never did let go."

This little poem came to mind this week, dredged up from some foggy corner of my sleep deprived mind, and reminded me of how the Lord’s best work in my life comes when I let go and allow Him to turn my messes into miracles. Since Aerin was born, my mind has raced from one problem to another, wondering how I would fix it, fight it off, minimize it, manipulate it, or make it happen. And the deeper I got my hands into everything, the harder and the messier it got. This is deliberately vague, forgive me, but suffice it to say that we’ve had some pressing needs snowball lately and were desperately seeking some answers.

Finally, this past week, I came to the end of myself and dumped everything in my Father’s lap with a rush of tears. I was broken and hurt and worried and overwhelmed and I just couldn’t spin my wheels any longer. Aerin’s diagnosis has come bundled with a slew of physical, emotional and financial baggage that had weighed me down so much that many days, I struggled to lift my eyes. And therein lies the great tragedy: He would gladly have taken my burden from me at any time, but I clung to it as the child who will not relinquish the broken toy. And with my tear-filled eyes fixed firmly on the broken toy, and not on the Father who wanted to make it right, I wasted precious time and energy.

Once I let everything go, the Lord was able to start His work, which is so much more glorious than mine anyway. And prayers have been answered, in wonderful and mysterious ways, and blessings have rained down upon us. Or maybe they were there all along, I just couldn’t see them for my stubborn blindness. Please don’t misunderstand--my problems have not disappeared. But they are in His hands, where they belong and where they have settled into their proper place and priority. Now, I work to resist the temptation to snatch them back, o foolish flesh that I am.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.

Psalm 57:1-3

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

I had it in my mind to write up this great post on how Thanksgiving came and served to reinforce the sense of gratitude that has bloomed (sometimes through disciplined care) in the face of this hardship. But it just didn't happen that way.

I remember the first night after receiving Aerin's diagnosis; I rocked with her in the NICU, heavy with grief. The grief came in great waves that night, rolling over me with each new realization of what having PWS meant for her and for me and for my marriage and for my family. It may seem silly, but one of the things I grieved was the holidays. There is a palpable pleasure from gathering with loved ones over a good meal, enjoying it together and lingering over it, long past feeling full. Now, those treasured days feel like enemies and the loss is profound.

I find that most days, I can keep the fears and grief regarding “The Hunger” at bay. With the Lord's help, I try to keep my eyes on Him and what He has called me to for just that day. But yesterday, I was drowning in sorrow, fear and desperation. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday but yesterday it mocked me with its resplendent meal and the haunting shadows of things to come.

It just hurt so much.

So, I wake up to Black Friday—which has taken on a new meaning altogether for me as well—and I start another day of disciplined thankfulness because today, it just doesn't come naturally. My flesh cries out to be bitter and heartbroken today. But, ever so gently, the Lord shows me that I still have so much to be thankful for. There is much more in my life (and in Aerin's) that is whole than is broken. And our future is still one of hope. We hope for better treatments, we hope that the severity of PWS in Aerin's life is minimalized, and we hope for a cure. But what I cling to most is NOT hope. It is the assurance that, one day, the raging hunger that lives inside all of us—the hunger for something, or anything, to fill this giant tear in the fabric of our hearts—will be healed. Not on this side of heaven, but somewhere on the other side of the veil, He alone will satisfy that hunger and heal all of us for all time.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


Aerin was a little under the weather yesterday, so I didn't get many good "First Thanksgiving" pictures. But I did get a precious one of her with her wonderful big sister!