Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Anything

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.

 Abby is my first "anything" and I so need to release her and lay her down.  The wrestle to do this exhausts my soul and heart and mind and spirit.  It ages me.  It envelopes me.  It consumes way too much of me.  It sucks me dry.  This child, my first child, is so intertwined in my heart that I feel her every emotion.  She smiles and I feel pure joy and a moment of relief.  She has a bad moment and I have a bad moment.  She is so intertwined in my soul that I don't know how to disconnect from her.  In a good way.  In a needed way.  In a necessary way.

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.

The seizures returned and with them, the deepest dagger to my soul and heart.  Brave face returned and "handle it mode" took over.  Slowly, they increased to the point where medications had to start again.  Medications that delay her learning and block her processing and "change" her... steal her.  Medications that seem the lesser of two evils.  The choice: seizures that cause her to face plant into book shelves, sidewalks, fall down stairs, and take her motor skills away and fry her brain... or medications that cause a fog over all of her... yet bring seizures to a few a week instead of many a day.  It's a choice we have made that eats at me daily.  Her very frustrations that cause so much disruption caused by pills I give her each day.  Frustrations that hurt our relationship, her learning, her friendships, her life, our life.  And yet, that dark hole at the edge of the yard seems to get closer and closer.  And I give her the pills.  And I wonder, why?  Why won't You heal her?  Totally heal her?  I know and believe you can.  We have prayed and prayed and fasted and prayed for it.  And yet, it doesn't come.

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?

  I have not forgotten how close to madness we were... yet I want clarity for her.  I have not forgotten what it was like to carry her from room to room on a blanket... yet I want more for her.  I want all of her.  I want her to have all of her.  I want her to be able to understand and to be delivered from the fog.  I want complete healing.  I want seizure free.  Oh how I hate those things.  I see them as demons.  It chokes me most when they happen while I am praising the Lord that she made it through the night without one.  I can awake at 7 a.m. and realize I have not heard one on the monitor all night.  In my mind, I can be praising the Lord and thanking Him for protecting her and one will hit.  Through the monitor, I will hear her seizing in the middle of my praise.  Talk about a slap to the face and a dagger to the heart.  My emotions range from brokenness to rage.  Lately, simply exhaustion.  Not much left to even have emotion anymore.  Depleted.

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.

I seriously do not know how to lay her down and walk away.  She flew to VA this morning to be with my parents this week and as the plane pulled away without me, I was physically sick.  I thought I was going to throw up all over the window.  Panic started up my throat as I really realized she was on a plane, pulling away, without me. (all four kids went today... she was not alone)  As I walked away, my head was pounding.  "My trust is in the Lord," I chanted all the way to the car.  I prayed over them on the way to the airport and I prayed for them on the way home.  I felt so vulnerable.  They were totally in God's hands.  And it hit me.  I don't like feeling vulnerable.  And I don't fully trust the Lord.  Oh how sad that makes me but it is the honest truth.  As I prayed He would watch over them, I didn't feel peace that He would... I heard taunting that He might not... just to walk me through a lesson like Job.  Fear.  I am tired of lessons and I am tired of being stretched and I am tired of growing.  Honesty flooded me.  Sadness.  Even though I know it all brings me closer to God, how I do wish for a break.

But here I will sit.  I must give Him my "anything".  I must really, really give Him my daughter, and leave her with Him.  I have to stop taking her back.  I have to really come to trust Him with her... and with myself.

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.
Much love,


  1. Michele Norris8:30 AM

    Until reading this I had no idea of what Abby has been through....Or what you have been through with her. I want to give you some words from scripture to comfort and encourage you. But I know that you already know everything that comes to my mind. And boy, I do know that emotion of being broken, and just being tired of "growing". So though many scriptures are so fitting to quote right now, I just want to tell you to take comfort in the simple fact that you are doing something for the glory of God. He has chosen carry this burden and accomplish His purposes. How AMAZING is that?! :-)

    I pray that God will continue to bless and guide you!

  2. Anonymous12:06 AM

    WOW...I never really knew the whole story of Abbey...yes, as the above poster said, YOU were chosen for this for some reason...I can't even imagine how exhausting it must be Dawn...your and her story is meant to be shared for some, just amazed.....


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!