Last night, I was reading blogs and stumbled across one that led me to another and found this: Jennie Allen's ANYTHING project. I watched the video and read through the book summary and was pretty moved. I am always amazed at how God uses things like this to get to my heart... to speak to me as if sitting across from me at a coffee cafe table.
My anything. What is my anything? Of course the first one that screamed at me was Abby. The timing is spot on, as usual. I have been deep in spiritual wrestling and frustration and exhaustion. Abby at the center. Or is she? Really? The center is not Abby. It's my inability to release her. Really release her. So can I give God my "anything" and be willing for His "anything". It rolled over and over in my head as I lay next to her in bed last night.
Almost losing her, split me in two. Actually, it split me into many pieces. It brought out things from the inner places and caused me to question everything, including God, my faith, and His character. It pushed me to an edge of reality that can make one lose mind and clarity. It tried to snatch me. It told me to let go. And I did. And He caught me. I would never know that He will catch me had I not let go to fall into the darkness. For that, I am thankful. But, it taunts me still. Like a dark hole at the edge of our yard, creeping ever so closer as we dance around it, trying to act as if it is not there. She was on death's door step. Lying there. Unable to help herself as I was drowning in a sea of my own helpless and despair. To watch a child slip away day by day is the worst torture ever a mom can endure. And yet, the Lord bathed her in mercy and healing and restored her. Despite the diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, He reached down and caught her too. Mercy undeserved and Presence never forgotten. The Holy Spirit washed me with knowledge on several occasions as God spoke to me like never before. In that, I was changed forever. My God was alive and living and closer to me than ever before. It was holy.
Abilities lost were restored. She learned to walk again, she learned to speak again, she gained weight and was eating. It was our miracle. It was our heaven on earth. It was our testimony. It was our faith mountain. It was our deepest and most heart breaking prayers answered. It was our life returned. It was joy exploded. It was our world forever changed. It was our greatest gift. Seizures were gone. Medications were stopped. She was learning and moving forward. I thought I would travel the world telling her story. And then it happened.
This is where Abby stays at least half of the time. A place where she seems annoyed. A place where she can't communicate the way she sees/hears others communicate. A place where she doesn't know why. A place where she argues and won't cooperate. A place where she probably just feels crappy. A place where she can't seem to be released from. A place that causes me great pain and frustration and anger and lack of patience and guilt and hopelessness. A place I want to run into and scoop her out of, as any mother should and would. A place that makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs on a daily basis and a place that drives me to my face at the foot of the cross. A place we have lingered for a long time. A place that steals our joy and laughter and life.
Yet, she grows. She is learning again. She blows bubbles, she walks, she talks, she dances, she laughs, she swims, she runs, she scooters, she has learned to ride a bike and tie her shoes. She is learning to read. WHY is this not enough for me? We once thought she would spend her life in a wheelchair and look at what God has given her, given us. WHY is this not enough for me?
She enjoys birthdays and has been blessed with eleven. She enjoys cinnamon rolls and sushi and broccoli and cookies and hot tea. She loves to be funny. She loves to accessorize with bracelets and hats and rings and necklaces and purses. She loves a shoe with a tiny heel and loves to change earrings. WHY is this not enough for me?
And so last night, I was asked what my "anything" was to give to God. And it is my daughter. What keeps me from giving my anything to Him? Fear. Fear that I will not have tried as hard as I should/could to help her. Fear that I have not prayed enough to help her. Fear that I will not have figured out what God wants me to learn and I will fail her. In this fear, I fail her daily as I struggle with this battle and the exhaustion that has taken so much of me. Fear I may lose her. I so don't want to lose her. Fear she could be having a better life if only I could figure out how/what/why. Fear that I hold the key and can't find it.
This is the book. I plan to order it on Amazon. I'll let you know how it goes.
Your prayers are always appreciated and never taken for granted.