Saturday, January 5, 2013

Four Years

How has the 5th of January arrived again? Time moves so fast and yet so slow...It's been four years since he kissed me goodbye.

An amazing drawing Thomas' student did for us
Four years later, the kids are healthy, happy and hilarious. Tyler and I are enjoying our marriage more each day and all four of us have the support of an earthly army among families (Culps, Kings, Bruces) and our church, along with a multitude of friends. We are blessed. That doesn't mean we don't have hard times or sad days, it just reaffirms what God has provided for us to make it through today. We cannot know what tomorrow may bring, but we have right now together.
Christmas snow in Batesville!
 After the last couple of weeks I've had, I'm able to focus more on rejoicing today than the sadness. I've mentioned in a post before about Post Traumatic Stress and how for me doctors/sickness/hospitals trigger my most severe reactions. We've been watching baby T's tonsils for a while since one of them was much larger than the other. The last appointment I thought would be like the others where the doc says we will keep watching, so I hadn't requested prayers, hadn't steeled myself for any "news etc. So when the doctor looked in his throat and abruptly said it's time for surgery, I didn't handle it well. I know it is a "routine" surgery. I know most of the time it turns out fine, but this is Thomas...Our baby, the one we prayed so hard for when he was just 6 weeks old in my tummy when his dad went to heaven. And of course they have to say, it's probably okay but we need to send his tonsil off to rule out a tumor. The room spun a little and then they said we will be back after you watch a video. Seriously?
I'm sure people with a normal stress level would be concerned, but I'm not normal. I cried through the whole 1983 produced video while the mom told her kid in his Jordache shirt, you'll feel so much better, it will be fine.
All I could think about is how sometimes is isn't "fine." Thoughts rushed back to Jan 5 2009 when people tried to tell me, I'm sure he will be fine...
And when Kimberly's daughter went in to ACH, it will be fine....
It really is hard to hear those words when you know personally that no one knows "it will be fine."
As the dumb movie ended, Thomas patted my face and said "Be happy mommy." Okay, I'll try.
So after I calmed down, I was able to call some friends that reminded me of what we've learned. One way or another God will make it fine. Life has some very rough spots, but we get through them together. Prayer works. I felt the peace that transcends all understanding. Hallelujah. Prayerfulness=Peacefulness, try it, I promise it works.
I love how this pic shows his special birthdate he shares with his dad.
We made it through surgery day and the peace that helped me make it through can only be attributed to God. Then a week of "recovery." Holy cow that was rough. I don't want to rehash it, but it was like taking care of a sick newborn who has to take medicine every three hours round the clock and not knowing when he would be back to himself. Then yesterday (Jan 4) our checkup with the ENT. He said Thomas was recovering well and see you in six months. Before he stood up I asked if the path labs had come back and so he took about a minute pulling them up on the computer. Tyler, Thomas and I were silent and I didn't breathe. Finally, "Nothing worrisome. That's a relief." Um, HECK YEAH, that's a relief.  And it was like a thousand pounds I didn't realize I was carrying was lifted. I wanted to cry and collapse from weariness and elation.
I have been pretty hard on myself how I handled this whole situation. I feel like with all I've been through and all I've learned, I should be more "together", I should be stronger, I should fill-in-the-blank.
First smile 5 days after surgery.
I arrived home to put T down for a quick nap and I wanted to sleep as well, but I had to let prayer warriors know how the appointment turned out. Just as I had a minute to rest before picking up Caroline, my phone dinged and it was a caringbridge update for a friend of a friend, Sarah Henry recovering from a stroke. A mom of three little ones, she has been making great improvements, but what the author of the update included was aimed right at my heart. It's from one of my favorite daily devotionals Streams by the Desert by L.B. Cowman that someone gave to me when Thomas died. This was an email update from God to my heart telling me that I'm right where I SHOULD be. Not to expect to be in a different place of coping or to be discouraged by my progress or lack thereof.

I [will] move along slowly at the pace of the droves before me and that of the children. (Genesis 33:14)

What a beautiful picture of Jacob's thoughtfulness for the cattle and the children! He would not allow them to be driven too hard for even one day. He would not lead them at a pace equal to what a strong man like Esau could keep or expected them to keep, but only one as fast as they were able to endure. He knew exactly how far they could go in a day, and he made that his only consideration in planning their travel. He had taken the same wilderness journey years before and knew from personal experience its roughness, heat, and distance. And so he said, "I [will] move along slowly." "Since you have never been this way before" (Josh 3:4).

We "have never been this way before," but the Lord Jesus has. It is all untraveled and unknown ground to us, but He knows it all through personal experience. He knows the steep places that take our breath away, the rocky paths that make our feet ache, the hot and shadeless stretches that bring us to exhaustion, and the rushing rivers that we have to cross—Jesus has gone through it all before us. As John 4:6 shows,"Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down." He was battered by every possible torrent, but all the floodwaters coming against Him never quenched His love. Jesus was made a perfect leader by the things He suffered."He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" (Ps 103:14). Think of that when you are tempted to question the gentleness of His leading. He remembers all the time and will never make you take even one step beyond what your feet are able to endure. Never mind if you think you are unable to take another step, for either He will strengthen you to make you able, or He will call a sudden halt, and you will not have to take it at all. -Frances Ridley Havergal

In "pastures green"? Not always; sometimes He
Who knowest best, in kindness leadeth me
In weary ways, where heavy shadows be.
So, whether on the hilltops high and fair
I dwell, or in the sunless valleys, where
The shadows lie, what matter? He is there!

So I feel like I have to keep learning this lesson over and over, but that's right where I SHOULD be. Right here, where I am. God provides when we ask for help.
To my friends, family and acquaintances through this blog and Har Ber High: Thank you for praying for us we are experiencing peace and happiness because of your prayers releasing God's will for us. Love you all. Bonnie
"You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." James 4:14