There are times in my life when I have felt like I have finally arrived at that place of fully understanding so deep down in my heart what it means to lay my life at the foot of the cross–and leave it there.
That life of choosing to be abandoned to the Lord.
And trusting that He knows what is best.
Sometimes I get it right.
And then…there are the other times. Those times.
Like recent days.
Times when anxiousness wants to rise up in my heart and a feeling of confusion wants take control.
Because life is messy and unpredictable and nothing is ever a sure thing.
Except this one thing…
The faithfulness of the Lord never changes. He who never slumbers nor sleeps is able to get us to the other side. Always!
I have needed to remind myself of that a million times in the past few weeks.
Last December we bought a cheap foreclosure that required a lot of work. A LOT! The house had been vacant for a year and a half, and the bank was anxious to get rid of it. A blessing for us! Just after Christmas we moved into the country home of our dreams–along with no appliances (because the previous owners cleared out everything they possibly could!), holes in the walls and doors, original 1950’s wallpaper and carpets in the bathrooms, and a honey-do list a mile long (my man is so ridiculously gracious!). Thankfully, we have always enjoyed renovating our own homes, and since this was to be our forever home, we knew we could take our time and make it ours.
As the winter months rolled on, many of you will recall the horrendous time we had with sickness. We made more midnight runs to the ER (which, thankfully, is just three minutes away) than I can count. As the long, cold months continued, Harper’s health in particular remained volatile. We came so close to losing her in February. She has always struggled with croup, but nothing like this past winter.
For months Anthony and I slept with the monitor right next to our bed–waiting for the all-too-familiar sound of awful stridor coming from Harper’s room. Due to her extremely low muscle tone and narrow airway, she literally cannot breathe when the stridor hits and it is often a matter of life and death to get her to the ER in a matter of minutes. No matter how many times we go through it, it’s frightening, to say the least.
By the time March came, I discontinued sharing here about all the visits to the ER with Harper. It was just too much. Her oxygen levels were dropping dangerously low and an O2 condenser had become a permanent fixture in our home. Our sweet baby girl lived with a cannula in her nose.
At the end of May, spring finally made its presence known, and we were able to take Harper off of oxygen permanently. Warmer weather always means better health for our sweet one.
And so began a quest to find out why Harper had been so very sick for months and months. Why did her oxygen drop so dramatically? Why was it that we put her to bed in relative good health only to wake up several hours later with her gasping for every breath, white as a sheet due to lack of oxygen?
It has been weeks and weeks of consulting with the most knowledgeable doctors in Down syndrome at Children’s Hospital regarding Harpy’s health. Anthony and I have sought many opinions and professional advice as we have looked for ways to get Harper healthier and ensure that she gets through winter easier. Seeing her struggle the way she has over the past six months has been awful. Seeing our little one literally gasping for breath is frightening.
Her team of doctors has consulted each other and the consensus is the same.
Harper cannot live at an altitude of 9,000 feet. She simply cannot get enough oxygen at this elevation. It is just too high for her.
Although this is obviously not what we wanted to hear (we hoped there would be an easy solution, a quick-fix!), when we adopted our children who have special needs we gave the Lord a promise–we would go to the ends of the earth to help them become the best they can be in this life. We knew that the journey would require sacrifice and a laying down of our familiar lives for the sake of these little ones who struggle a little more than others.
Because when we say yes to the Lord, we have to leave our lives at the foot of cross–for our lives are not our own.
If there is one thing our journey in raising many special needs children has taught me, it’s to hang on very loosely to the things of this world–the stuff, the possessions (like finally having the home of my dreams), the places, and the fleshly desires of my own heart.
Because in a heartbeat, things can change.
In a heartbeat, God can change directions.
And whisper to our hearts, “Follow Me!”
And so here we stand at this crossroad in life once again. Of course we’re heeding all the advice we’ve been given by specialists and will do anything to see Harper become the healthiest that she can be. We’re working hard completing renovations on our home so that we can put in on the market before winter comes again.
We’re being still and waiting patiently on the LORD (Psalm 37:7).
One road goes this way. And one road goes another way.
We have no idea where He will lead.
This is our journey of trusting God completely with our lives and with our family. It’s a journey we never saw coming our way–the one where we need to make hard decisions and abandon ourselves to His will…no matter what.
It’s the road called TRUST–where we cannot see farther than the next bend, but we know with all of our hearts that the One who calls Himself Faithful and True is already at the destination.
He’s already there!
And that is good enough for us in this season of waiting, trusting, and learning once again what it means to place our lives in His hands.
“Have Your way, Lord Jesus!”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~~ Phil 4:5-7