I stood in church Sunday morning holding Kaleb as the worship team began. I stood there singing along with them as he laid his head against my chest and placed his little hand in my own. I couldn't believe how full my heart was, how in love I was with this little boy in my arms. While I was savoring the moment TJ leaned over to me and motioned to one of the worship leaders and asked, "is she the one?" I knew exactly what he was asking and I looked. Sure enough she was. I was suddenly transported back to another church service, one that happened eleven months ago.
A week and a half after having Kaleb we went to church before heading to the NICU. While there this lady began leading worship. I became angry. I had already held myself together as I passed pregnant women or mothers with their little babies. Then the worship team began playing. I had watched this lady as she began to sing. That is when the anger and frustration hit. I could just picture her, this beautiful lady with her beautiful life. As I said in a previous post, I could picture her beautiful family in their beautiful house which held their beautiful family pictures. My eyes had filled with tears as I experienced this anger. That was suppose to be my life. Now 11 months later my eyes filled with tears as I remembered that moment in time and my feelings that had accompanied that moment. Now here I was, once again listening to this beautiful lady with her beautiful voice but this time it was different, I was different.
I always love listening to my coworker, Dr. Josh McNall, but that day he couldn't have brought a more perfectly timed message. I wouldn't ever do it justice if I were to try and talk about and summarize it all. In short he spoke about not wasting our trials. That has been my prayer the past year. While I might not understand why this is the story that God has given me, my prayer is that he use this, that he use me, to bring Him glory.
Then Josh went to his next slide which read, "we finish well when we learn to LOVE and LIVE WITHIN the story God has given us, instead of the one we might have written." I once again thought back to the lady on the worship team and the difference a year can make. I hadn't even noticed her today as I worshipped, when it was not quite a year ago that I had been beyond angry and hurt as I listened to her. I couldn't believe that God had completely changed the story I had penciled in for my life. Oh how I had desperately wanted to cling to the life I had planned. As I have said before, the past year has been a daily battle and has served as a reminder for me to let go. To let go of my sense of control, to let go of my plan for my life. This year has included hospitalizations, surgeries, team of doctors, home medical equipment, countless doctor appointments, and extra chromosomes. Through all of that I have learned there is freedom in the letting go. I have learned how limiting my story was. He has written a story that definitely has much more trials and heartache than I would ever willingly include. However, he also includes more possibilities, hope, and overwhelming love than I could ever imagine and therefore could not have written on my own. He has included many supporting characters within the story. I couldn't begin to name the individuals who have leant a helping hand, an ear to listen, or shoulder to cry on. So many have played a part to us being where we are today. I think of each meal provided, each gas card, all of the notes/cards/messages of encouragement, and all of the prayers that have been said for our family. Even the lady singing worship who has no idea the role she has played in all of this.
Kaleb's heart might have been the one to have open heart surgery to correct his AVSD, but it was my heart that has been transformed this year. Kaleb may wear the visible scar from his procedure but my goal is that my life and my actions shows the evidence of mine.
As we draw to the year anniversary of this crazy story rewrite my anger is gone. It has been replaced with the love I have for my family. Far from perfect and not what many would consider beautiful. My family and life story are beautiful. So I will sit in my house with my beautiful family surrounded by our beautiful family pictures that display a life story far from what I could have imagined and written for myself.
"And not a tear is wasted, in time you'll understand. I'm making beauty from the ashes, your life is in my hands." -Just Be Held by Casting Crowns
"This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long." -Blessed Assurance