During the last month when we thought that there was a very real possibility that Parker could lose his vision (and possibly more), I felt like we were living in an alternate reality. I would look around at families going about their days seemingly so simply, their kids so healthy and I felt like it was something that I could not grasp anymore. That reality had finally slipped through my fingers and along with it our whole reality was changing. I kept getting the image of being submerged in a pool. Did you ever do that when you were a kid? I used to love to go down under the water and look back up at the world. It felt so surreal to know what was up there but to have every sight and sound changed. That is exactly how I have felt for the last few weeks. We had been plunged into the deep end and there was no way to come back to the surface. I just could not make sense of, grapple with or fingure out how to be strong enough to walk the road that was unfolding before me.
The day before our appointment to find out Parker's diagnosis was a Sunday so we headed to church. In some ways I was really dreading it because I just could not stop the tears. At Parker's last round of testing, I was able to see his chart laying on the counter. It had a diagnosis on it that would have been progressing to blindness, deafness and battling diabetes. I was terrified.
As the music began, so did my tears and something in my heart finally broke flooding my emotions out...pouring out my fear and grief to God. I cried and cried and then cried some more stuck in a place of wanting to be strong enough and yet feeling like this was just too much, God had finally given us far too much.
Then, it came...a song that has spoken to my heart so many times. A song that made me love Fridays because the Elementary kids would have chapel and they would sing this song. I loved nothing more than to sneak into chapel and watch as my children sang about how God is stronger. If you are not familiar with it, the song is by Hillsong and some of the lyrics go like this:
There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross
You broke my shame and sinfulness
You rose again victorious
Faithfulness none can deny
Through the storm and through the fire
There is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me
You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me
It is written, Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all
As the words began to sink in to my heart, I looked over at Parker. He was in a different aisle because part way through the service he wanted to go and be front and center. There he was, looking so small, his blond hair shining...with his hands lifted in the air singing with all his might....and I heard the Lord whisper, "I have placed you on this road because you will care for Parker's passion. I will not leave you or forsake you. I will never let go."
Slowly I began to see the road again, but this time I did not feel so alone. Yes, I still could not tell where it would lead but I knew who held my feet firm, and that those hands would never, ever let go." So, ever so slowly, I began to surrender. "Lord, I give you this journey...Lord, I give you the appointment tomorrow...Lord I give you my son." You know what happened? Once again, ever so slowly, peace began to seep into my soul. The fact that we had a scary appointment the next day did not change, where this road led was still un determined but I could look and see and stand again on the promises of the One who never lets go.
So as we slowly re-emerge from the deep end, I feel like it is my vision that has been changed. Yes, we do have things to walk through which are different than we thought. There are things to rejoice in and some things that may bring grief. We now still have three children with significant special needs. Amazingly, the thing I feel the deepest is that sense of my feet being placed on solid ground. They are safe, I am safe come what may because I am held by One who never lets go.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.