Thursday, June 22, 2017

Even If..

I've had the urge to sit down and write again for quite a while. However, life happens... Life is funny sometimes. As soon as you think you have it all together, another bump appears in the road. Those bumps, for us, have come in the form of relocations, lifelong diagnoses, unexpected surgeries or hospitalizations, planned procedures with unexpected complications, illnesses, etc.
I sat at the beach over the weekend watching people get knocked down time and time again by the rough waves. I realized how much life is just like that. You get knocked down, then try to slowly, and sometimes not-so-gracefully, get back up, but life comes at you again sending you back down to your knees.

I've been thinking so much lately about this crazy roller coaster that I feel like I've been on since 2008. So many questions and so many thoughts have consumed me. Of course, in times of trial, many people ask "why me?" But that has never really been my hang up. I've always found peace in knowing that I can take the bad, ugly, and trying times in my life and turn them into good. I've been intentional in never letting diagnoses define my child or myself. I have advocated with every ounce of my being, at every possible opportunity, for our diseases. I believe knowledge is power and when you know better, you do better.


The questions that I get stuck on are more like: 
"What happens if Kinsley really does need yearly or every-other-year procedures for the foreseeable future?"
"Will she deal with anxiety and depression forever as a result of the out of control feelings she gets from her procedures?"
"With each procedure, will we have to fight to get our sparkly-eyed Kinsley Anne back?"
"Am I doing everything I can as a mom & advocate to educate my family, my friends, and the general public on Congenital Heart Disease?"
"Am I teaching people to be kind because invisible diseases are still horrible diseases and the people fighting them deserve our compassion?"
"Am I showing people that it's SO much easier to jump these hurdles when I lean on a source of peace greater than myself?"

You see, everyone is fighting a battle. I am well aware that the battles we face as a family are no bigger or more difficult than those any other family is facing. Whether it be that your marriage is crumbling, your kid has walked away from your family, or you are reading this from the confines of your child's hospital room. Whether you're pregnant and moving the day before your due date (been there, done that), you're struggling to conceive and you just don't understand why, you haven't had a vacation in God knows how long, you're working 90 hour weeks, or you have a cold, your kids never listen to you until you act like some type of demonic being, or you're just run down and tired. We all have our cross to bear. 

A couple of months ago, I heard Mercy Me's song "Even If," & it stopped me in my tracks. I have always tried so hard to sing God's praises through our our laughter AND our storms. I've encouraged myself and others to choose joy daily. But the reality is that it's really hard sometimes. For those people who really know me well, know that I have had a very hard time with Kinsley Anne's last procedure and recovery. It's been harder than anything else I've been through. It has been impossibly hard to watch her endure anxiety like I've never known before. It's been gut wrenching to come to the realization that we're not as close to "success" with her heart as we thought we were 6 months ago. I've wrestled and pleaded with God. I've even yelled out to Him as if he couldn't hear me sometimes. And after many nights of crying myself to sleep, I am finally getting some peace that even if God leaves these mountains unmovable for us...for her, that He will give us the strength to sing "It is well with my soul." 

Friends, I'm pouring myself out to you only to tell you that even if you're in the seemingly impossible throes of life, please know that God is there. Don't you dare mistake his silence for weakness. He may be drawing you in, closer to Him, so that you realize that your option is to rely on Him.


Love y'all lots.
Until next time,
Jen

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