This morning I got up, kissed my hubby goodbye and headed out for my early morning fun fest better known as my walk/jog. I huffed and puffed, sweat streaming down my face and back. I encouraged and challenged myself to go for one more block. As I was cooling down I passed a school bus. It jarred me back into my current reality. Today for the first time in nineteen years, there will be no school bus, no lunch bag, no backpack or Wednesday folder. I shook my head and tried to right my heart as I headed back into the house.
This is going to be harder than I thought.
I proceeded to make myself a bowl of cereal and sit down with my morning scriptures. I am participating in on on-line bible study right now called the Hello Mornings Challenge. We are going through 1 Peter and it has been a gratifying and convicting two weeks. I am learning much about God and his faithfulness to us.
Oh if we could be as faithful in return.
I wrote my meditation scripture down in my notebook "...who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood; may grace and peace be with you." 1 Peter 1:2.
I was immediately struck by the term "destined" and decided to look it up. It is defined as "developing as though according to plan".
according to plan...
I wrestled with that turning it over a few times in my heart sitting in the quiet. My stomach began to rumble and tumble and my heart began to quicken and I knew I was in trouble. I took a few deep breaths but that did nothing.
I ran into the bathroom and got sick to my stomach.
As I sat on the cold tile floor, wiping my face, I wept.
What plan Lord?
The kind of plan that doesn't allow travel to attend the wedding of the son of our dear sweet friends in New Jersey? I wanted to be there so badly.
The kind of plan that doesn't allow my daughter to perspire so we have to leave the parish picnic a mere two hours after arriving, not allowing time to visit with many? Why can't we have a normal family Lord. Why? Plan? HA!
The kind of plan that makes keeps me within these four walls, making me feel so incredibly alone in this journey with Courtney?
What freaking plan is this? When did I sign up for this?
As the tears fell down and my chest heaved I bowed my head and begged for a new plan. One where my daughter was strong and healthy. One where my son was confident and capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound. One where my husband had peace of heart and mind about providing for his family through whatever challenge comes next. One where I had complete freedom to come and go as I desired and do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it.
I sat on that floor for quite some time. I heard the front door open and my son call my name. He found me on the floor, tears streaming down and immediately asked in his gentlest voice, "Mom, you OK? Are you sick? Do you have a fever?"
I smiled weakly and told him I had probably eaten too quickly after working out. No need to worry him with my internal war. He grabbed my hand and helped me to my feet. I felt very small next to my 6'1" strapping middle linebacker. He has fought his own battle with discouragement and disappointment these past few years. Yet, he had found joy once more and there is a peacefulness about him that wasn't there a year ago.
I want that peace. I want it bad.
I sat back down at the table and my Bible was still open to 1Peter. J made me a hot cup of ginger tea to settle my tummy. Then he went about his own routine. I looked down and read the first verse my eyes settled on...1 Peter 5:7 "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He loves you."
Nice one Lord...
I closed the bible and bowed my head once more and poured out my heart...
I know you love me but this is so hard Lord. This unknown plan ahead of me is so very hard to accept. I love my girl with a love that overwhelms my heart on a daily basis. I love this young man with all I have and I hurt when he hurts. I love Jerry more than myself. I need him to know that deep in the hard crevices of his heart. I need them ALL to know Lord, that they have changed me. They have taught me humility and perseverance. They hold my heart Lord and YOU hold us ALL.
Tears slipped down in the quiet and I just sat with Jesus for a bit deeplybreathing in His grace.
I looked at the clock above the stove and knew that my princess would be waking up soon, so I pushed through to get my email done. I clicked and landed on a blog post delivered to my in-box this morning by one of my favorite writer's Angie Smith.
I know this...deep down I do. I have lived miracle upon miracle. But there are times...mornings like this morning...where I just fall down because it hurts to live this life. It plain hurts and I am so tired of hurting.
So, I decided to come to this place and put it into words...for you and for me...He is the GREAT MENDER. He stitched us together in the very beginning and like a fine tailor He comes time and time again, mending the weak parts, making them stronger with His grace, mercy and love.
This morning as I poured out my heart to him, kneeling on the cold tile floor, He took my hurt, my fear, my worry and He made it His. He took my gift of trusting Him in that moment and gave me a moment of tenderness with my son. A moment that would not have happened had I not fallen in fear. He allowed me to see my son for the man God is molding him to be.
I am so grateful...so very grateful...
My Courtney is still sleeping as I write these words. Her body racked by seizures late into the night. This is how it is supposed to be my friends. It is not perfect. It is painful and hard at times.
HE comes like the rain and washes it all away leaving beauty behind in the rainbow. He brings us tender hearted friends who understand that we can't be away from our girl right now. He brings their understanding hearts...making our friendships stronger and filled with grace.
He brings friends who open their doors so we can feel loved and have fellowship even though we're not at the picnic. They love us through many hands of Hearts and Spades, and hours of laughter and light.
He is mending all those places where I fear through you who come here and read these words, then take the time to reach out and love me and my family through your words of encouragement in comments and emails and your prayers...your constant beautiful, wonderful, awesome prayers that sustain us daily.
I have thought of leaving this space many times over the years, but God speaks through you each time assuring me that all of this is not for nothing. He redeems...He mends the broken hearted...He will not forsake me...EVER! He prepares my mothers heart for the time to come without my daughter in my arms.
I do not fear that time friends. I welcome the surrender of my Courtney to His eternal care.
What is so very hard for me is to continue to watch her suffer each day not knowing when that time shall be. Patience is not something I was born with and perseverance is a virtue that I strive for each and every day.
SO today...my heart is mended together with God's love and mercy. I will once more lay down the burdens of my heart regarding Courtney's daily care. I will lay down my hurt and my pain, asking Our Lady to walk with me in this mother's garden of suffering she knows so well.
Today I will give Jesus my son, my daughter and my husband. He has a plan for each of them. He has put this family together stitch by stitch and today I will do the hard thing and put one foot in front of the other trusting in HIS PLAN.
Jesus I love you with all I have! Jesus I trust in you! Jesus I hope in you! Jesus reigns in THIS house...as for me and my family we shall serve the Lord, now and forever...AMEN!
Blessings and Grace friends...wherever you are today...know that you have been prayed for and you are LOVED!!
I encourage you to purchase Angie Smith's new book "Mended; Pieces of a Life Made Whole". I can't wait for my copy to arrive. You can purchase it here and here.