wait, walk, jump

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this past week several of our friends’ lives came to a halt as they were forced to wait for resolution on a variety of life issues.

a good friend of mine was asked to wait on her boss to decide the fate of her career – her family’s livelihood.

my former boss and mentor was told his son needs a year long treatment of chemo to treat an unexpected health condition. he and his wife began their waiting journey to see what long-term effects, if any, the chemo will have on their young son.

one of our relatives was told her baby needs further testing to confirm or deny a medical diagnosis.

the woman, now sweet friend, who cuts and colors my hair shared her story of painful waiting for her baby daughter’s physical ailment to show improvement.

as i thought and prayed for these friends last night, i pictured them in waiting position: on their knees, hands and eyes raised to the heavens. frozen. their mouths unable to put into words the extent to which they desire for God to move the mountains – for God to exist at all.

as i prayed, i remembered that feeling, not just in my head, but i relived the actual emotion in my heart. it wasn’t very long ago at all that i was in that position. physically i felt paralyzed – breath inhaled, heart stopped. and yet, over the year God had me wait, i learned that in the wait my spirit was more alive and active than it’s ever been. God brought me up to a high cliff of life and very abruptly asked me to jump. that moment, the moment when i decided (or perhaps when i was forced) to lift my foot, was the moment my waiting began. and though physically i felt frozen, spiritually i took the biggest leap of my life. i jumped into what seemed an endless abyss. i couldn’t see the ground, i was frightened by the feeling of falling, but most of all, i was terrified of how badly i would be hurt in the end.

though lucia’s disease by nature places us in a perpetual state of waiting and i still struggle with fear now and then, that first year of waiting to know what was wrong with her was the hardest so far. crazily enough, it filled me with so much joy last night to think back on my fall. i remembered what it was like when i finally chose to open my eyes and look around. as i fell, i saw the gorgeous view – the bright colors of provision swirling, the fireworks of hope bursting and God’s promises etching themselves deeply into the recesses of my soul. and it wasn’t until much later that i realized that i was not so much falling, but flying. my spirit took flight in those days – soared toward the sound of God’s voice.

it’s not often that i can look in the suffering eyes of others and tell them with utmost certainty that God will be there for them; usually i throw out some encouraging words, but grapple with doubt in my heart. this week, however, because of my own jump off the cliff, i have the great privilege to stand before these witnesses and give my word that God is with them – God is with their children – God is calling them to fly.

one final story of waiting…

as most of you know, lucia is delayed in most areas of developement. she has, praise God, met her milestones but all significantly late. she didn’t roll over until she was 13 months old, didn’t crawl until she was 17 months old, etc. these milestones have been mini leaps off mini cliffs for me. i wait and i wait and i wait for her to reach one and then throw a mini party in my heart each time she does. i remember, however, when lucia was about 15 months old, i had a fairly pessimistic therapist tell me that i should mentally prepare for lucia needing a wheelchair in the future. you can imagine my sobbing in the car after that therapy session. in the back of my mind, i knew some kids with mitochondrial disease never walk, but our doctor had clearly stated that each child was unique and that there were no pre-set limits to what lucia could do.  i decided from that therapy session forward to not allow negative-minded people to care for lucia. that mentality only hindered lucia’s progress and made my waiting time miserable. the therapist lucia has now is wonderful. the first time we met with her she wrote down lucia’s physical therapy goal as follows:

Lucia will walk by herself.

this therapist does believe in assisting lucia toward that goal with whatever tools available. she prescribed lucia leg braces to give her support and build up her core strength and she is ready to prescribe a walker for lucia so that she builds her confidence. i agree with each decision she makes based on how i see and understand lucia’s progress.

well, last night isabella insisted that instead of reading a bedtime book, she wanted to teach lucia to walk. lucia was already in her pjs so she didn’t have her braces on. adam stood lucia up, isabella stood in front of her and said “ok, lucia, walk!” and, much like the stories of Jesus and His disciples healing others miraculously, lucia took 10 steps unaided to isabella without hesitation! no braces, no hand holding, no nothing! lucia was incredibly proud as was isabella for being such an amazing teacher. i thought of the perfect timing in that. God gave us this much waited-for miracle at the exact moment – when we could cheer for and celebrate both of our girls at the same time. isabella, who has been such a true warrior through her sister’s journey, needed and deserved the title of being the one who taught her sister to walk….after months and months of waiting…she was the one who finally did it! perfect, PERFECT, timing.

i know that God doesn’t always respond with miracles after periods of waiting. i’m not saying that the wait is not gut-wrenching. i’m not gonna lie, if i could take detours around it, i would. all i’m saying is that i would not have been able to know and experience God in the way that i have had i not ever jumped.

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this season

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this season inevitably comes with its cool, its gray, its rain tapping at my window and its slow seep of nostalgia – the foggy mist of memories rising in my heart. i remember her long index finger tracing invisible lines on the tablecloth, her chin resting in her other hand and in her eyes a distant gaze visiting another time somewhere in the past – perhaps her mother laughing, a lover wooing. i would lay my head down on the table and peer at her over my elbow, the steam of my breath warm to my nose. i’d study her, almost to the point of memorizing, though today i find my memory fading. i do, however, remember her wrinkles were marked and unsuccessfully covered in a powdery tint from a pink circular box which now sits in my closet – the smell of which seizes my heart and, momentarily, brings her back to life. sometimes her music played in the background and tears streamed from her eyes…

si tienes un hondo a penar
piensa en mi
si tienes ganas de llorar
piensa en mi…

piensa en mi
cuando beses,
cuando llores
tambien piensa en mi…

i’d touch the soft skin of her arm to break her thoughts hoping she’d turn and reassure me with that sideways smile. though, i knew well, a smile meant she’d stand up and walk away. how i long to take her hand and say “don’t go, abuelita, sit with me and remember for a while. let’s gaze into the past together, cry our tears and listen for the melodies of our youth rising up like the love we yearn for in our hearts.”

Abuelita

spice date numero dos

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adam and i were lucky enough to get a second night out the weekend after our first spicy date (thank you mr. pops & ms. patti!!). we went to an event at the botanical gardens called “gardens by moonlight” (how romantic is that?!). i wouldn’t have thought that we’d be able to see much of the gardens at night, but the moonlit lighting drew out the lush greens and made the gardens feel vibrant even in the dark. the night was breezy and cool as we sat on the higher part of a grassy slope waiting for the band to start. oh yes, we saw “the greencards” (how very apropos for me!) in concert – they were phenomenal, fantastic musicians. the kind of musicians that just blow me away by their raw talent and natural ease with instruments. not only did we get to see them perform, but we got to see them perform with the most amazing view of the city skyline glittering behind them. it was a splendid night – adam’s fingers entwined in mine.

(let’s take a pause now to hear adam gag after that last line)

anyway, here’s the pictures:

Botanical Gardens date night 10.13.12

The Greencards 10.13.12

Gardens by Moonlight 10.13.12

i’m also adding a video of “the greencards” so you can take a listen. they truly are great. this video doesn’t show off all of their vast talent and the blue-grassiness they are known for, but i like this song – so, there you go.