Thursday, October 23, 2014

NEW {day 23} :: Lucy's diaversary

For you observant ones who have been following these 31 days closely you may have noticed there was no day 22.  So now you know - I'm not perfect.  I hope you enjoy 23...
Today marks one year.

I am terrible at remembering dates.  Actually, anything with numbers gets me all confused.

But I will never forget October 23, 2013.

It was the day we were introduced to a new life we had never expected.  Our 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Graves Disease - two autoimmune diseases that would change her life forever.

I spent the weeks prior to her diagnoses preparing to speak at a women's retreat that was scheduled to take place the very weekend that we wound up in the hospital.  Instead of enjoying my own hotel room with notes spread out around me, praying for God to show up and equip me for what he had set before me...
I was sharing in a tiny hospital bed with her, diabetes education manuals spread out around me, but my prayer was the same - God please show up and equip me for what you have set before me.

Guess what the topic for that women's retreat was that weekend...
In all my preparing I had no idea that I wouldn't be teaching about it in a room full of women, but learning about it in a room full of monitors and medical equipment.

A couple of months after that hospital stay I stepped into a new year and these were the thoughts I carried with me...
{originally published on January 1, 2014}
Today I watched a mother and daughter walking out of an ice cream shop with treat in hand and smile on face. They looked so happy, so carefree.
I stood there with the lump in my throat that warns of tears. 

We have been living with Lucy's diagnoses of Type 1 Diabetes and Graves' disease for over 2 months now.  

I am hopeful that I will gradually shed more and more of the anxiety and grief and bitterness associated with this season but for now I must be honest in saying this

Today I envied that mother and daughter for being able to indulge in such a simple pleasure without concern for how much insulin would be needed or whether the dairy would cause further damage to her immune system or if any of the ingredients had gluten hidden in them.

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as often lately.  
Yesit was Christmas
and we were busy
and we are still trying to manage the changes that have come our way
and we focused on family time instead of writing time 
but none of those are the real reasons I haven't offered many words to you.

The real reason is because every time I begin to write it goes in the same direction and I want to drive this thing somewhere else.  I don't want to bore you with the details of the latest test results or share my fear of introducing tofu into our diet or agonize over the dozens of different theories about the causes and treatments of auto-immune diseases...

And most of all
I don't want to come across as obsessive or radical or frantic or looney-bin-bound.  But the truth is
I am. 
I am so hesitant to trust myself with words right now.
I keep waiting on myselfwaiting to finally get my act together.  
Waiting until I have a perfect course of treatment so that I can implement it and move one.
Waiting until I can prepare the meals on our new restrictive diet with ease.
Waiting until I don't anticipate the results of every single blood sugar measure.
Waiting until I don't spend every waking moment thinking about my daughter's health.
Waiting until I have completely gotten a handle on this 'new' life.
{You see what I meant by obsessive, don't you?  And somebody out there is looking up the number for the looney bin right now!}

But today I write...even in the waiting I have to do something...I have to step forward.

Our new year came early.  Our new life.

Sometimes we don't want new but we get it handed to us anyway. 
Sometimes our lives feel just about right thank you very muchand we are happy to keep things as-is.
And yet we are forced to accept a gift that at first seems more like a curse.  

Those first two fairies at Princess Aurora's christeningthey brought gifts of life
Flora offered beauty.
Fauna offered song.
And before the final good fairy, Merryweather, could wave her wand, the evil Maleficent steps in to bestow her own offeringdeath by spinning wheel.
Fairytales always have a dark side.
But they rarely end in darkness.  
Merryweather still has her chance and in light of Maleficent's evil curse she offers up something very specific to the princess child...
instead of falling into death on her 16th birthday Aurora would instead fall into a deep sleep...a sleeping beauty.
Shortly after the debacle of the christening Aurora's mother had to say goodbye to the life she had dreamed of with her daughter.  The girl was sent away in an attempt to hide her from harm.  But one day she would return and live her happily ever after.

Sometimes new life involves loss and heartache...but there is always another offering that follows.  Our happily every after is just ahead.

Maybe you are being pushed into a new year that you hadn't planned on.  Maybe you are saying goodbye to a year that was filled with all kinds of 'new' that you didn't ask for.   Either way something is being offered to you in this new year...this new season...this new life.

As you breathe in the first fresh breaths of 2014 you may carry a little hesitation, but let's remember together that there are 365 brand new days in front of us.  
Each one of them contains an offering.  
Some will feel like a curse but each will move you closer and closer towards the kind of 'new' that is being made in you.  
Even when the darkness floods in, there is a gift of light that is coming.  And so we wait for it.  And we keep moving through the waiting even if there are bits of bitterness and grief in our pockets...we take steps forward.

Just like Princess Aurora...those things that seem to promise death can be transformed into something that actually brings life...a new life you might never have expected but that feels just right once you get it all the way on.

Every new thing in this life, 
the ones we enjoy and the ones we just endure, 
can produce good if we place them in the hands of the one who is working for that always.