We moved into our new house 25 days before Belle was born. We settled on a charming multi-level on one beautiful, wooded acre in the country, purchased from good friends of ours. After five years of house hunting off and on, we were beyond excited to move in and make it our home. I kept hearing “you’ll know” when you finally find the right one. I never had that feeling with any of the other houses we put offers on, but when we walked into the house we ended up buying, we really did “just know.” I never wanted to live in the country. My goal was to be as close to my job as possible. After growing up having to drive 20 minutes to get anywhere, I was over that. Joey and I ended up purchasing a house across the street from where I grew up, the place I never wanted to live, but now adore. Thank God for leading us there because my parents are now pretty much taking care of our house 90% of the time, our son 50% of the time, feeding Joey and Jonah 75% of the time, and getting our groceries 100% of the time. They’ve painted our walls, and fixed our lights, hung our curtains, and decorated our porch while I live at the hospital and Joey works long hours. They are amazing, and moving close to them right before Belle was born is just one of the ways God has proven faithful to us. I want so badly to go to my house and cook a meal, decorate my mantle, finish my kids’ rooms, and have friends and family over for a bonfire in our backyard. I went back to work the the day before we moved, so I never really had the chance to enjoy homemaking, then Belle was born, and well, you know…
I’m excitedly anticipating taking Belle home and finally having our family under one roof, the one we waited so long to own. As excited as I am to get back to our house, the experience of having a chronically ill child has made me long for somewhere else, my true “forever home” in a way I have never previously experienced.
WHAT REALLY HELPS?
A question I have contemplated over the last 7 weeks is “What really helps?” I have asked myself this question so many times in the past when friends/family were going through difficult times. I feel like I never really knew what to do to ease the burden. People have been so incredibly kind and helpful the last month and a half. Many of the things people have done have truly made this situation easier. Many gestures have lessened the burden. I feel like I now have a list of “go to’s” that I will do in the future because I have learned things that really help out in times like this. But to be perfectly honest, nothing anyone else could say or do could truly helps us cope with the fact that our child is chronically sick. All of the help and kindness in the world, though so appreciated, unfortunately can’t make Belle better.
Peace. It’s a need we have that no one else can give us, and the one thing we need the most (Each time the nurses leave the room, they ask, “Can I get you anything, to which my witty husband always responds, “How about a miracle???”). It has taken awhile for me to determine what really makes me feel better, and by “better” I mean peaceful. Amongst the chaos, I do have moments of peace and for the longest time, I couldn’t really put my finger on what it was specifically that was bringing me peace. It’s the one thing that dries my tears when I’m weeping, let’s me catch my breath when I’m grasping for air, and helps me take my thoughts captive when my mind begins to wander about a future that is scary and unknown. I finally figured it out.
Dreaming of home always brings me peace. Learning about home, singing about home, meditating on home truly helps me. And by “home” I don’t mean my little house in the country, I mean my heavenly home.
I know many people turn their backs on God for situations such as the one we find ourselves in. I’ve questioned a LOT, but in the end, I’ve never been more ready for Christ to return than I am now. The truth is, although Anabelle is doing very “well,” she isn’t getting “better.” MMIHS has no cure. She could, or could not live a long life. Worrying about the future weighs heavily on my Mama’s heart. Even when we get out of here and return to “normal life” how am I supposed to just go about my life, not sure from day to day what will happen with her? Fear can debilitate.
A few years ago, my husband shared with me his “hundred year plan.” He tells me he thinks about everything in life in regards to if it will matter a hundred years from now. The hundred year mentality helps me deal with Belle’s sickness. When I think about her life possibly being short, I remind myself that all of our lives are short in light of the timeline of eternity. When I asked Joey how we were supposed to just go on without letting fear of her future cripple us, he reminded me that our son Jonah’s life could be just as short or shorter, should God will it. Focusing on the here and now with a child who isn’t getting better makes me feel a little trapped, as if there is no way out and no end in sight. An eternal perspective provides hope.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
The difference between this life and eternity is just a matter of minutes for everyone.
One car accident, one heart attack, one act of terror. One minute is all that separates us from the hustle and bustle of our day to day and eternity. Talk about perspective…
What good would it be for me to turn my back on God now? Life is short, eternity lasts forever. Should Belle reach the age of making her own decisions, and choose to follow Christ (because it will always be HER CHOICE, not mine), she will spend eternity in heaven where her body will be new. I cry when I think about that day, not out of sadness but out of joy to think she will be made whole again. Drowning myself in the here and now brings tears of sorrow. Focusing my attention on eternity brings tears of joy.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:3-5 NIV)
No more mourning. No more pain. No more death. No more MMIHS. No more TPN. No more failing organs. No more insurance battles. No more fear of the future. Or cancer, or divorce, or corrupt politics, or terrorism or war.. Everything new…
I absolutely love our new house. I’m very excited to return there with my little family, and enjoy our days together in the country. But I’m even more excited, more ready than ever, for my heavenly home. That is the only place my girl will truly be made whole again.
And that gives me peace.