It’s amazing to me how sights and smells can transport you back in time. Walking by the room where we spent so much time as Jas fought for her life – seeing that plastic tent, the silver nitrate stains all over everything, the same familiar faces… and the smell of the antiseptic hand soap. Suddenly I’m 29 years old again – scared and unsure of so much.
Then I remember… a dozen years have passed and we have seen God’s faithfulness in incredible, mind-blowing, life-altering ways.
I have more wrinkles around my eyes, but also a deeper understanding of how the Father uses absolutely EVERYTHING to draw us to Himself.
My baby girl is now less than a year away from adulthood, and this woman-child has come to know what it’s like to take the Lord’s hand herself, and trust Him with her life.
Twelve years ago Joel and I had been married less than a year, and had a new son on the way – now we stand, having weathered this and several other major storms, our marriage strong, with a 12 year-old boy who has stolen all of our hearts.
I’ve watched another girl grow from an insecure pre-teen into a strong, confident woman – a beautiful woman – living on her own in a strange city, and taking responsibility for her life.
I’m in awe of all He has done. My head knows how far we have all come. I know this, and I am grateful…yet my heart – for just an instant – walks these corridors and relives some intense emotions as if no time has passed. I glance into the hall and see our incredible burn surgeon, sinking to the floor beside me as he delivered news I didn’t want to hear and then reached out to comfort me. I look at the glass doors to this room and picture them covered in paint – a landscape of hearts, flowers, trees, and Scripture verses. I chat with the same maintenance man who came in daily to change the trash, and realize that although the years have whitened his hair, and added a few pounds to his frame, his smile is still the same – as is his heart.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time fighting tears over the last 24 hours. Not because I’m afraid for my girl. This is routine surgery and we’ve been through the drill dozens of times before. This time, however, due to an allergic reaction to some pain medication, we’ve spent the first day after surgery in the Acute Care Unit, as opposed to the regular patient floor. This is the place we called home during some of the darkest days of our lives. It’s where Jesus stripped away everything but Himself and taught me that He is everything, and all I need. It’s where I experienced the truth that He gives grace as it is needed, and that we never know how strong we can be until He is all we have and we find that He is enough. More than enough.
So I cry. I cry as I feel the pain and fear wash over me again, remembering it all. I cry as I marvel over His faithfulness and tender mercies. I cry as I think of everything He has taught me through the years… of how He has revealed more and more of Himself to me, giving me glimpses into His heart. I cry as I thank Him. Eucharisteo.
“Joy is always a function of gratitude – and gratitude is always a function of perspective.” ~Ann Voskamp
I am crying, but I am joyful. I’m glad for the opportunity to remember… to really remember… and to reflect on how far we’ve come, how much we’ve learned, how magnificent I’ve discovered my God to be. And I can honestly say… it was worth it. All of it.
Thank you for your prayers.