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today i had the privilege of feeding green beans to my precious daughter.

i fed my daughter green beans. my sweet daughter who is fed completely by a tube, i fed her.

granted, it was tiny amounts on the tip of a spoon, but if you know our story – you know that this is nothing short of amazing. she leaned in, opened her mouth and accepted the tiny amount of baby food each time. the amazingness didn’t stop there – she actually swallowed the green beans and did not spit any of them out.

today was the very first time that i was able to walk back with her to the therapy room and actually feed her myself. i was completely blown away. i had to play it cool, though, because i didn’t want to scare the therpist by crying, kneeling and praising God right then and there. though that is exactly what i wanted to do. on our walk back to the car, i texted adam about it and the only way i could describe it was to say that it felt like i was jumping into the middle of a miracle. how is that even possible? miracles aren’t “things” you jump into. are they? miracles are so abstract, intangible, sometimes they seem distant – like stories or legends you listen to with half awe and half doubt. that’s what miracles have always been like for me until i had lucia. lucia has helped me to see God in a completely different way. the nature of her disease has caused me to consider most things she does miracles – when she smiles, when she takes a step, when she hugs me, when she understands what i say…even when she poops. can you imagine someone cheering for you every time you poop? lucia has her own cheering section by her changing table.

what i have learned is that none of these things are a guaranatee – they are a privilege.

sure, you can say that lucia ate because she has been in feeding therapy for a few months, but therapy is our hail mary for lucia. it has never been a guaranteed thing. the therapists themselves don’t know if each child they serve will be able to one day eat. we adore her therapists (and doctors) and believe that they are an integral part in God delivering His miracles to children with medical issues. but we cannot put all of our trust in what man can do for lucia. believe me, when it comes to the life of your child – you run desperately to THE only one who can actually heal her.

i drove home from therapy today and the song “oceans” by hillsong came on the radio. (i am posting it below and i highly encourage you to listen to it) as i listened to it, i felt this strong urge to encourage you. you – whoever you are – whatever it is that you are going through. whatever is driving deep pain into your heart. i want to tell you that you only have two choices here:

Plan A: you can flail your arms and feel the torture of yourself drowning in this ocean of suffering. (i have been there many, many days)

or

PLAN B: you can dive in. dive deep and swim deeper and deeper into it. swim with determination to see what is there – in the dark and in the deep and in the unknown. find out why you are hurting the way you are hurting. what does God, who knit you together with His hands, what does He have for you there? what does He want to whisper into the darkest corners of your soul? what does He want to do with you, through you and for you? embrace you? hold your face so that you can look directly into His eyes? will He even be there? it is worth finding out. Plan A is always there for you if Plan B doesn’t work out. basically, what i’m saying is go all in. the suffering and the fear – they are fierce and will only hurt you more the more you try to escape them. dive into this ocean God has laid out before you and desperately seek Him in it.

i feel like looking you in the eye – whoever i am writing this for – and telling you to –
GO! NOW! dive and swim and seek what is there for you!

i’m going to sound like a broken record here, but this is all i know (this has been my teacher for the past three years)…

MY DAUGHTER HAS AN ILLNESS WITH NO CURE. DO YOU HEAR ME? THERE IS NO CURE.

this is as scary as anything hell could ever offer as far as fear and anguish goes.

AND YET.

AND YET,

i have NEVER experienced anything more beautiful than this. to be in the middle of this. to be surrounded daily by things that i cannot explain. to be in total and complete lack of control. a total surrender to the magnitude and power of God. and to find that God is there in the middle of my pain. through this suffering, He has healed my heart of wounds that have been there far too long. He causes me to go within myself into places i’ve long ignored. He’s gutting me of the things that don’t belong in my heart. and He is showing me beauty i have never before seen.

i used to resent God for using my daughter to draw me closer to Him. but, if you have ever met my daughter and have seen the constant look of joy on her face – there is no doubt in my mind that she is daily experiencing God’s presence and is not afraid nor resentful of what is going on in her body. Her joy shows me that she trusts Him and, therefore, I must do so as well. He is taking care of her while He is changing me.

last thing, as you dive and swim deeper, don’t forget to open your eyes. God’s hand is at work each and every step of the way and you won’t want to miss a thing.

Jeremaiah 29:12-14 – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

God will restore you. He loves restoration. The Bible is one huge story of resoration filled with hundreds of stories of individual restorations.

Though right now you may be broken, God will piece you back together into a more beautiful creation than you have ever imagined. dang, you and me are going to be so beautiful when all is said and done!

Here’s the song: (my favorite lyrics – “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior”)

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