So many times in my life, I look back on circumstances that, at the time, were completely overwhelming and stressful and think to myself, “Why couldn’t I just trust the Lord with that?” I can think of three big ones off the top of my head and they will be the topic of my next three posts.
I’ll start with my last pregnancy. I was 45 years old, my husband, 49. Our oldest son was 20 years old and beginning his senior year of college. I was “late” so picked up a cheap test at Walmart but wouldn’t even allow myself to mention it to anyone, yet alone myself. Early one morning, I crept into my bathroom and did the test. I normally don’t watch as the results emerge, but this time, I did. As the strong, dark “+” sign developed, so did the panic inside me. I burst out of the bathroom into the dark room where my husband was sleeping peacefully and began crying and shaking and calling out to God. To my husband’s credit, he held me and soothed me as best he could. He spoke with confidence about how everything would be fine.
Fast forward to the birth of our daughter, Libby about 8 months later, and of course, he was right. Everything was fine. What was I so afraid of? What people would think? People who loved us were thrilled. People who don’t know us might have judged us, but who cares? I was afraid of something being wrong with Libby because of our age. And my doctor at the time did nothing to assuage those fears, in fact, he fed them. But what if something had been wrong? We would have dealt with it by God’s grace and the amazing support system we have in our lives.
The bottom line is, none of us could even imagine what our lives would be like without our Libby. She teaches us and challenges us in ways that our previous six children have not. Her struggles (and there have been a few) have caused us to lean heavily on the Lord like never before. James 1:17 says that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights. We like to refer to her as the gift we didn’t know we needed.
So, I look back on my reaction to that pregnancy test with chagrin. I thank You, Father of lights, that you know better than me and I ask you to increase my faith to accept the next “good and perfect gift” that I don’t know I need, whatever it may be.
At 7:00 a.m. on October 13, 2014, our little world went crazy. It was Columbus Day and my husband, David, was home from work; we were sitting in bed, enjoying a leisurely morning when our then 9 year-old son, George, came bursting into our room saying that something was wrong with Libby (our then 4 year-old daughter). What we found when we reached her was that she was having a grand mal seizure. It went on for at least 15 minutes and she was taken to the hospital via ambulance. All manner of tests were done that first year, but we were never able to find a reason. Her last seizure was on December 23, 2015. After two years of being seizure-free, we have been able to gradually wean her off of her medication, Keppra. Today is the first time in over three years, she has not taken her medicine.
This was a great and terrible season for our family. We look back on those days and wonder how we made it through. But then we remember….our loving, heavenly Father Himself and His many agents literally carried this family through those dark, frightening days. He used dear friends who dropped everything to be with us at the hospital or watch the other children; excellent doctors and nurses who cared for our Libby with compassion and knowledge; Edison police officers who responded first to our 911 calls and who afterward, would drop by just to check on her status; family and church family who lifted us up in prayer continually, brought meals, or just listened; and finally, her two siblings, Grace (then 11) and George, who watched over her during the night. Grace would literally hold Libby in the proper position and send George down for one of us. Her name is Grace and she is full of it. She was so strong that it helped to keep us strong. The word “grace” means an undeserved gift, and that is what she is.
So, it is with confidence that I can say that I am thankful for that trial. It has changed us and it caused us to lean on the Everlasting Arms more than ever. So, I praise Him for the trial and I praise Him that it’s over!
So, today I was humbled. My two-year-old grandson and the two-year-old boy I babysit discovered the bidet in my bathroom. I thought they were happily ensconced in the playroom watching Diego and did not know that they had stealthily slipped behind me and into my bathroom. I went in to check on them and found them missing. My twelve-year-old son joined in the search and discovered the crime scene. The bidet was on full blast, shooting all over the room and all over them. They were positively blissful! The look of pure joy on their faces turned quickly to tears when Grandma got angry. Grandpa found it funny right from the start. Why was I angry? Because I have often criticized parents who don’t monitor their kids closely and I was angry with myself for being that person. And then I was angry with myself for being that person who criticizes that person….you get the point. Let’s hope I did. By the grace of God…