Honestly, I (Amy) feel like a shut-in sometimes.
Most days, my schedule literally consists of planning meals, preparing meals, cleaning up after the meals, reading about and researching intestinal health issues, scouring books & websites for recipes, taking trips to the grocery store, unloading & reloading the dishwasher, emailing and corresponding with various medical personnel, and oh yes, trying to find time to actually play with my child in there. There just doesn't seem to be the time (or the motivation, honestly) for cleaning my house or laundry or doing things I'd actually like to do...
I just feel like I'm in a perpetual survival mode. Day in and day out. On days like this it weighs so heavy on me. It feels like it will always be this way. I feel depressed and overwhelmed. And not to mention alone.
I feel alone on this. No one else can make the decisions for me. (I miss the days when someone could just tell me what to do & I didn't have to question it.) No one else knows my child better than I do. No one else seems to understand what I need. And maybe that's because I don't know what would help me, either! (and if I did, I'm terrible at asking for the help I need. Oh, the life of a broken sinner!)
An old friend from our Texas days came into town last weekend-- and the minute I saw her & we hugged, we both instantly started sobbing together. It is moments like that that I need to keep going.
As she listened to me talk about what was going on with Caroline's health, she wanted to know what Megan, Caroline's birthmom, thought about all of this. And I told her what Megan had told me-- that this breaks her heart, too, but it also confirms to her that she made the best decision for Caroline. Megan is doing a GREAT job at raising her son, Brayden (4), but she'll be the first to tell you that it's incredibly hard to make ends meet. And I am sure she thinks about the "what ifs" just like I do. I'm sure she wonders how she would've been able to find the time (& money) for all of these doctors visits, tests, & organic/gluten-free foods. (Megan, I know you & you're an amazingly strong woman- I know you could've done it if you'd had to.) But as I've watched what has happened to this precious girl of mine, Marc and I can't even fathom the thought that had Megan made a different choice, she would have been just another little girl in Texas that we would have never met. To remember that brings tears to my eyes.
And then as I shared that thought with my friend, she said something that I'll never forget.
"That's why He chose YOU, Amy! He knew what was going to happen to Caroline all along, and He knew YOU could handle it."
"But I CAN'T handle it!" I screamed through tears.
"YES YOU CAN!" (I love a friend that will talk back to me and hug me at the same time.) That's why He wanted YOU to be her mama. YOU are the only one that can do this. He knew that. That's why He picked YOU, Amy! He picked YOU."
Wow. Who knew that when Megan placed that precious little girl in our arms at the hospital what was to come just a few years later. I had NO idea what was in store. No one ever does. But if all of THIS isn't proof that there is a Creator who had His loving hand upon my sweet Caroline from even before she was born, I don't know what is.
"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake..." (Phil. 1:29)
In our church, we commonly recite deep truths about the Lord together, and my goodness, if this question #1 from the Heidelburg Catechism written centuries ago wasn't written ESPECIALLY for me right now... (how comforting are these words-- I've almost got it memorized.)
Q. 1 Christian, what is your only comfort in life and death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.
I love how dwelling on the Gospel just pulls me back into sanity. When I started this post, believe me-- I was NOT there. (isn't life like that? We live with a constant need to be reminded of the Gospel.) So thankful for the Holy Spirit, who calms and comforts us with the truth when we are so prone to wander.