Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mostly Cloudy

I planned to show you round II of my Junk Evolution loot today, but I'm just not feeling it. It's been another bad day.** I've been emotional and jittery and stressed out to the max. I fear a cold sore may be coming on, and that's no big surprise.

The trials of the week are not notable. They are regular life stuff that happens to all of us every now and then. Problem is, our problems didn't confer with one another...they didn't bother checking to see if we were already booked. They all showed up together and just when we think we've gotten them all situated, another one arrives, fashionably late.

On top of my new-found anxiety, I've been walking around feeling very perplexed by how I feel. I'm not used to feeling this kind of stress and worry. I'm not used to crying multiple times a day without warning. It's foreign to me, and I'd just as soon keep it that way. This is not a chair I want to get comfy in, you know?

What I've come to realize is that while we have had our fair share in the past, these recent years have been pretty smooth sailing. And I know God wants to just walk me through this. He wants to remind me that it's not on my own strength that I am generally happy and carefree.

I think it's ok to feel the sting of mundane life. It's ok to acknowledge that bad days come, and that sometimes they stretch out on the couch and stay for a week. Or longer.

I knew that I could very easily show you the loot and no one would be the wiser. But I'm not good at pretending. And much as I panic about people worrying too much about me, or thinking that I'm not as strong as I may seem, the truth is, sometimes I'm not as strong as I may seem. I'm not sure when I decided that people shouldn't know that, but I'm ready to lay that one down.

Years ago, when we found out Calvin was sick, I learned the value of asking for and accepting help. I learned first-hand about God's provision and the ways in which He wants to use those around me to show me His love. I learned that though celebration may be a kind of relational super glue, despair is cement.

In sharing all of this, I want to encourage those of you wandering through grey days. I want you to feel not alone, not weak.

And when my clouds break, as they are certain to do, I want to share that with you, too.

For now, I want to share the blog post I wrote those three years ago.

The truth remains.


****
Thursday, January 18, 2007

We are back home and Calvin is his same, cute self. He’s been such a trooper over the last week or so! Cory and I marveled at the fact that he must have wondered what in the world we were thinking to up and move the 3 of us to a hospital, leaving Ruby behind, confining him to a cage/crib, and turning him over again and again to the nurse’s relentless needles, all while he was feeling fine. If I were him, I would have been angry! In his ever-even-tempered-ness, he went with the flow and made the most of having Mommy and Daddy at his side 24-7. We are so proud of him and our hearts stretched just a little bit more to allow for the kind of love that you find when you feel like you could lose the most important thing.


Hospital-sleep


Hosp-nurse


Hosp-longday


Through all of this we have found the peace that I have only heard about from others. After a terrifying initial shock, we felt our Heavenly Father holding our heads up for us and helping us focus on Calvin, rather than all of the what-ifs and it’s-not-fairs. I am so humbled by this love. We have been supported on every side and I want to thank all of you for that. We reached out and all of you reached back and grabbed on to us.

I want to leave you with a couple of the thoughts that have been pulsing through my mind since That Day. First of all, God has surprised me over and over with the security that comes from realizing that these kids are not our own. I think this is a thought that has obviously been more on the forefront of our minds than on the minds of other parents, for the simple reason that our children were loaned to us through adoption…we have had the privilege of getting to know Ruby’s amazing birth mom and have witnessed the kind of love that wants only the best for her daughter. We have a tangible reminder that Calvin and Ruby have been entrusted to us by their Creator. So, in the midst of trying to ignore thoughts that I didn’t want to hear myself think, an overwhelming feeling would come over me…Calvin is not yours. He’s Mine. It’s not ultimately our fight. And as much as we wanted to take Calvin’s pain and shield him from everything and hold onto him at all times…how much more does Jesus feel those things for Calvin? And for us?

On the second night of our stay, I did the old “flip open the Bible to a random page and hope for something” devotion and this is where I landed: “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3

Looking over the past six months, my family has lived a lot. From Ruby’s arrival and subsequent stay in the NICU, the sudden loss of Cory’s job, my dad’s MS diagnosis, and now this perplexing condition of Calvin’s….I didn’t realize how chaotic things have been until I took the time to take stock. And truly, things have not been chaotic. There have been blessings beyond measure, far out-weighing all else. Just one day prior to Calvin’s stuff I looked in the mirror and thought “Can things get any better than this?”

This is love. This is the kind of love that holds us and gives us clear eyes in the midst of turmoil. This is the kind of love that gives us little surprises and laughs and moments of quiet every day, so that we can fall asleep smiling. This is LOVE. This kind of love will find you, just the way it found me.


Pink headband

*****


For more of the story, go here.


** As with yesterday, your hilarious confessions regarding The Glasses have given me countless belly laughs today. Thank you for understanding (and maybe appreciating?) my humor. I certainly did not set out to cause such a ruckus, but it sure has been fun!