Such an array of emotions and thoughts flood my mind tonight. Tomorrow it will be three years since my life got turned upside down.
I look back over those years with awe, pain, sorrow, sadness, relief, contentment and joy.
There is the awe as I look at the way neighbors, family, friends, friends of friends, and even complete strangers chipped in to help this grief stricken family. We had so much help and support that it is hard for me to grasp just what a needy situation we really were in. In a lot of cases we had help before we even knew we needed it. It is amazing to see God’s family working together the way He intended it to. I can’t wait to see what our relationships will be like when we get to Heaven.
There is pain as I remember again those agonizing days in the hospital and the weeks following when getting out of bed to face the day was a struggle of monumental proportions. I can remember the agony so great and so consuming that my knees would literally buckle and I would sink to the floor clutching my heart trying vainly to somehow pull all the pieces back together.
There is the sorrow as I think of all the milestones of which Dan has had no part. The birth of Caleb(2), Payden’s(3) first steps, Maranatha’s(5) first words, Hadassah’s(6) first day of school, Abigail (7) losing her first tooth, Josiah(8) shooting a bow and arrow, Benjamin (9) catching a fish, etc.
There is sadness as I think of the future of my children and I see their loss. Their Daddy will miss their wedding day, their graduations from high school maybe college. He won’t be there to help them learn to drive, to mentor them, to help them get their first job. Caleb (2) never even met his Daddy.
There is relief as I realize that we have made it this far, the worst is over. There is relief in knowing that God is faithful and He’s proven over and over again that He is quite capable of taking care of us. My foundation is secure, my hope is eternal, and my future is in His hands.
There is contentment in knowing that I am right where God wants me to be. I have chosen to believe that no matter the choices we made leading up to the surgery, God was leading and directing and He was the one who has put me on this path and He is the one who will continue to guide me and care for me. I am content to follow Him.
And there is joy as I realize the growth in myself and my children as a result of our heartache. My compassion for those around me who are struggling has grown so much that I find it necessary to rein myself in lest I play God and try to fix everything possible (good thing God didn’t give me much to work with). My children’s sensitivity to others who have suffered a loss and to those who are in need of a Savior is convicting. And tonight Josiah (8) reminded me that we have been blessed by the mercies of God, which he informed me was “stuff we didn’t deserve.” Their trust that God will bring them a new Daddy, their lack of bitterness and only minor struggles with anger, their sensitivity of spirit and softness of heart cause me to hope that they will survive this experience and be the better for it. With God all things are possible.
So, how are we doing? I would say we are growing and are a living testimony that God’s grace is sufficient. God is faithful, He has brought us this far. We have a new “normal” now. The bad days are rare. And tonight when our devotional book asked us to choose and pray for a specific request we all agreed that we would like a ‘new daddy.’