I have to be honest, instead of writing right now I would like to be curled up in a chair with a few boxes of Milk Duds, maybe a Costco cake on the end table? I’m not though. Sigh. These last few weeks around here remind me of my early days in sobriety. Just pushing myself to do the next right thing. Keep going. Make a list, follow it and the day will pass. Passing each day in the midst of waiting.
I came home last Monday on such a high from all I had heard at the She Recovers event I attended in NYC. This week, I had planned on sharing some of the highlights (of which there are many.) When does life ever go as planned though? Certainly not mine! I still plan on sharing many conference moments with you because it was amazing, but today, I have something else on my mind I would like to share with you.
The night before I left for the conference, my husband and I had the blessed experience of going to an ultrasound with our oldest daughter and son-in-law. There we saw our soon to be second grandchild on the screen and I fell totally and completely in love with the goldfish (that's what the parents are calling him/her.) Nobody can really explain this grandparent phenomenon, can they? At least I can’t, because it is a feeling like no other. If you are a grandparent, you know exactly what I am talking about and if you aren’t, believe me, the best is yet to come.
The ultrasound was to get some more accurate pictures of Baby Albers' little heart because they didn't have clear ones from the first ultrasound. I didn't suspect anything wrong and we all left with gratitude for what we had witnessed. The next day, I left for New York in total grandma glow.
Then, the chain of events leading up to today started. A phone call to the parents to come in to discuss the ultrasound and then an appointment with a heart specialist. A 60 minute appointment turned into an all day thing as the new parents found out the baby would need heart surgery after it was born. Also, this heart condition is consistent with Downs Syndrome and they would need to test for that. So, now we wait for the results of the test for Downs Syndrome.
I remember back to when my child, the mother of this little one, was tested for Cystic Fibrosis as a toddler. One of the signs of CF is salty skin. My Dad came over and licked Abby’s forehead to taste for salt, looked at me and said, “She does not have CF. She is fine.”
That is what I want from my Heavenly Father now. For him to let us know this baby is going to be ok. To look at us and say, “The baby does not have DS and will be fine.” To tell me that our little one having open heart surgery is a big mistake. It’s so hard to wait. To watch our kids go through this time of pain, anxiety, and waiting. Who am I kidding? It’s hard for all of us that know and love them!
On top of praying for baby's health, the parents in the waiting, and the fear of the unknown, I have been praying for peace. Peace that passeth all understanding because I do not understand why this is happening. I am trusting though, with all that I have, I am trusting.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7
So that has been my mantra this week; I am working hard to stay there and be the Mom that I am called to be in this difficult time. I believe the Lord knows what I need to supplement this.
Have you ever had it where every devotion or song hits you with new meaning because of what you are going through? That's been my experience here and I know the kids are feeling that too. I have watched them get through this by clinging to their faith and letting others know that as well. I'm proud of their testimony in this time. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not saints over here in Hoppenland. We have run the gauntlet of every emotion there is.
In sharing this with you, I just ask that you pray for them and this child. If you would like to know more about their story, you can follow her blog here: binksandthebadhousewife.com.
On Monday, our youngest daughter, Olivia, left for Africa for a month. While she was very much looking forward to going, it was hard to leave in the midst of so many unanswered questions. She is serving at God's Little Lighthouse for the third year in a row. This time, she is staying for a month (gulp). Hard to let go of that one at the airport. I even walked away from our tearful goodbye with her passport in my purse. Oops, not intentionally, but maybe subconsciously! When she ran back and said, “Mom, my passport,” it made a heavy situation so much lighter and we parted with a laugh. So prayers for her as well please! She has a blog as well: livinsouthafrican.wordpress.com. What can I say - we are a family of bloggers!
I make no apologies for using my blog about recovery to share my family needs and ask for prayer. I encouraged Abby from day one in this to use her platform in the social media world for prayer and she did. I decided to do the same, so thank you in advance for the prayers.
However, it is always about recovery, no matter what is going on. I reflected on this on Mother's Day. I looked around the table at those I love so very much. At these gifts from God that gave me the name, Mom. I thanked God again for my sobriety. I had risked this all. For what? A liquid that gave me a pass on facing life. I now know that I would rather be nowhere else than in the midst of the same pain we are all feeling, instead of isolating myself and drinking again.
It’s not about me and I made it about me for so long. It's about being present here, in this life. In the joy and in the pain. I'm letting go, one day at a time, of all the drama that revolved around my drinking. It hurt so many more than just me. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I want so much more for me and for my family. To just be Mom in the highs and lows of this life here. The highs of having two new grand babies to look forward to. The lows of worrying about their health and well being. I’ll take it. I know from what I went through, I am exactly where God wants me.
I was texting back and forth with a friend as we both have daughters going through some hard stuff and she said this, “Life is sure throwing us curveballs. Good thing I have my glove on!”
I love that! So today, I am doing life on my knees and keeping my glove on.
Then this verse reminds me where to keep my head every second of the day:
Above all, I know this for sure. We have a Heavenly Father who wants to celebrate with us in the joyful moments and comfort us in the pain. He doesn't cause any of the bad things that happen here in this sinful world, but he does promise to be there for us through it all. And that, my friends, is the only way to do life.
Thank you for your prayers for my family.
*at the time of this writing we were still waiting for test results. To follow up, I will be putting any news on the blog when we do hear. Thank you again for your prayers
In his peace,