These past two weeks have added a new facet to our journey..Abbie visibly, and audibly suffering. I think most of it has been tummy upset, so we've changed her diet temporarily. Until a few days ago she'd been subsisting mostly on chicken broth and supplements. We're working milk and food back into her diet now, and it seems to be going OK. But, watching her actively suffer brought a new level of pain to our hearts, and new questions to our mind.
My first instinct is to skirt these questions, not wanting to put them in print. But, to be true to the title of this posting, I'll touch generally on them. Tears flowed as we wondered aloud, for the first time together, whether still being here is the best thing for Abbie. Our hearts' desire is for Abbie's best, and we wondered whether we are being selfish in desiring so strongly for that "best" to be manifested here. Listening to her cry in pain, we wondered if an immediate release, on the day of her accident, would not have have been better, more compassionate, easier. I am so profoundly grateful for all the past three years have given us: finding out she has her Daddy's curly hair, seeing the unshakeable love of her brothers, watching her persevere with smiles and dimples, and much, much more. What I rest on is that just as God has given special grace to Ray and I to walk through this season, a grace that I cannot explain to those who've not yet had to rely on it, God is giving Abbie a special grace that even I cannot comprehend. For me, this is a new level of trust in Him -- it's much easier to trust Him with my own suffering than it is with my daughter's. But, after an agonizing weekend, I find myself in this new, deeper place with confidence settled well into my soul. I cannot always hold her, soothe her, help her...but He can.
Part of the painful series of conversations led us to the conclusion that it would be good for Abbie to go to school this fall, if we can get her into the right school. There is one near our home that would be terrific for her, but it is not in our home district. She was very excited about the prospect of going to school when I mentioned it to her on Monday. On Tuesday, she was agitated around lunch time. I took a guess, and was right...I said, "Oh, Abbie, I didn't mean school would start today, it will start in the Fall, after you are six. But we can still go to school on Fridays during the summer." This thrilled her and ended the fit. Please pray for favor in this area -- we did not have a good experience in our first go 'round with the Dept of Ed., and really want a different outcome this time.
This has been a week of sadness all around us -- funerals, dying, despair...we are pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed...I will never be able to express my gratitude for the hands that carry us when our own feeble strength fails.
Blessed is the man who trusts the LORD
and whose trust is the LORD,
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream,
And will not fear when the heat comes
But its leaves will be green
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.
-- Jeremiah 17:7-8