Monday, April 11, 2016

Truths found in the seeking

I've started this post several times but haven't had the time, or the clarity to put it all together til now. I'm so thankful for the way God works - when we can see the puzzle pieces falling into place! Hopefully this comes out as it is in my head and my heart!

The last few months it seems like we've had more and more conversations with the kids, understanding things from their perspective. General stuff - school, growing up, living with each other, friends, their feelings, etc. Also it seems like we've had more doctor appointments that have been straightforward about what the kids are dealing with - not just from a health maintenance standpoint, but giving us a glimpse into their day to day (hearing, vision, pain, stimulation, etc). Often, I think we (and really adults in general) forget how big and how real the challenges kids are facing! I know I do! I'm so glad to get that deeper understanding and to be able to talk about, though it often sparks some pretty interesting discussions. With the kids, depending on the challenge they're facing, it can take us a lot of ways, right?  Sometimes we trivialize the issue or their feelings, sometimes wonder why the situation happened to us/our kids, sometimes we blame whatever caused the issue. I've been really humbled hearing from their perspective, challenges they're facing.

When Landon was in this hospital last month, I read an article in a parenting magazine that asked how do you answer the question, "why me? why my child?". There were a lot of answers in the article from parents (and I think I would've answered this a lot of different ways over the last 6 years!), but the point of the article says our "answers will vary, but the importance is in seeking our own truth."

How true is that! In any change that's done to us, is natural to question why and try to make an understanding of it. Our answers will probably change as we move through - as we process, grieve, reflect, live. The quote says the importance is in seeking our own truth. Not taking someone else's, not happening upon, but is found IN seeking what makes sense, what's true for us. 

I think the process of seeking is just as important as what happened (the event, diagnosis, etc) and the truth that's found. Situations will keep happening and I need to continually seek and know myself and the journey I'm on. This isn't always pretty stuff - I know for me, I've wrestled with guilt, blame, resentment, envy for the life others lived that I wish I had (or I had planned). Working through this stuff has also given me crazy joy, gratefulness, hope too. Not going through life with a rosy sunglasses (!), but working through stuff changes you and can help give you a different perspective, right? I've written about this before if you're eager to read about my journey....and it wasn't a one time aha moment! :) 

Landon's last hospital stay, he ended up struggling to breathe on a ventilator because he aspirated his vomit from a seizure. There's definitely been "why my kid" thoughts, but that's not helpful for me. The overarching TRUTH I was reminded of yesterday at church, we live in a broken world, we're human and God is using us, our situations to show us Himself. God's plan is to bring us closer to him. So there's no room for the "why me, why my family" comments, it's the chance for us to cling to God. When we continue on in the challenge, through the challenge, despite the challenge - It's in those moments that it's obvious it's not us, but God! Use us, do a good work through us, bring Your glory!

In the conversations we've had with the kids about how they tick - they could be different yes, but no worse than anyone else...they're still beautiful creations. We're all jars of clay created not of perfect gold so God can use us and He can been seen. If we were perfect, would we depend on him and would others see Him living in us? 

When we talk about what their friends have said, how they've felt - we're human, but let God help you respond - us respond - and don't find your worth in your friends. Man, it breaks my heart to hear them feel left out, that they're starting to understand how people view others, but continue loving and being you! 

When we understand more from a medical standpoint how their lives are and likely will be impacted, it's frustrating to think of how to adapt, but you do and encourage them to keep striving, learning, enjoying life!

There's many truths and my journey has helped me really start to understand them. God is enough for all the challenges I'll face. Sometimes I need reminders when the the challenge seems bigger and more central. Perspective...Jennie...perspective! I pray I can help my kids turn to Him or start to straight up rely on God. I know they'll find their truths as they grow, and need to seek and find in their own time. I'm thankful for what my journey has taught me so far and the promise of what's ahead!