When we were given the news that Elijah would be going to transplant this summer, I had four months. In my mind, I broke that time up in two. The first two months were filled with details that needed to be attended to...routine doctor's visits, dental work..and paperwork..never ending paperwork. I have had the opportunity to speak to several groups at Children's Hospital in the Twin Cities which has allowed me to be able to share the vision I have for children with disabilities or chronic health conditions. It has been a busy but fulfilling couple of months. I had a focus. I could avoid the thoughts of Elijah's impending transplant.
And then April came. The date I set to begin preparing our family emotionally, physically, and spiritually for the long road ahead. Reality hit hard...no longer have I given myself permission to avoid the strong emotion that I have held at bay. It is time to face the unknown, tackle the fear, and surrender the fight...one overwhelming thought at a time.
From the day Elijah entered our life at 8 months old, we have prayed for him with a glimpse of eternity. God has used Elijah's frailty to keep our minds focused on the important and not just the urgent. The preciousness and the fragility of his life has kept us close to our Father...clinging to Him.
But, I must admit, now I am scared. I am afraid to face the reality that Elijah is going to hurt..he is going to suffer..he already has. The reality is that he could die. Lose another child? Could the other kids survive such a great loss again in their lives? Could I? I have stopped to look around...taking my eyes off the only One who can get us through this...the One who holds our precious son in his hands.
It is time again, to look up. There are no margins in my life...no room for losing my focus for long. That is the most incredible lesson I have learned from my children. Freed from the holds in life that threaten to take away my utter dependence on Christ alone...and yet, I still try to grab hold of things that give me comfort..and are just silly, short term fixes...like gathering information, statistics, facts, and chocolate. When I feel as if I have fallen off the edge of my life, it feels like free falling..and I don't like heights. It is just plain terrifying..until I land abruptly where I began, in the hand of my Father. Shaken, but protected all along...never without His watchful eye upon me.
So, today I am beginning again. The focus is going to be on living...every minute we have been given. The focus is going to be on building our families foundation so that it can withstand the upcoming flood. My prayer is not that we will just survive, but that we will thrive and grow in ways that we can't even imagine. We are going to sand bag the perimeters of our home...sandbags filled with memories of time together, God's promises etched in our hearts, joy and laughter to fill a hospital. We are going to make it. We have what can never be taken from us...our faith in a God so much bigger than all of this. And nothing can separate us from His love...