Today I look back at those 27 months and can look at it from two very different perspectives. At times my heart screams to look at it through the losses these 27 months have taken from us while at others I choose to look at all the things we have gained.
We entered this journey at a time when life was at its best. We had just finished a year long journey to adopt our beautiful daughter Brooklyn and were just starting to settle into being a family of three. We had good jobs that met our needs and our wants. We were surrounded by good friends and were living the American dream. We were able to travel and help others.
|One of our early days as a family of three.|
In the 27 months since Dennis has been diagnosed most of that life has disappeared. Dennis has not worked since his diagnosis, I recently went on a leave of absence in order to care for Dennis. Dennis can barely make it out to dinner without being exhausted so we don't travel. In fact, I find it difficult to get out of the house at all as Dennis needs me here to take care of him. Little by little over the last 27 months the person I love with all of my heart is disappearing.
When I look at the picture above I wonder what happened to those people. They seem so far away from where we are today.
I must admit I have to remind myself to choose to look at the blessings of these past 27 months. In the midst of this storm we live in day-to-day, the sunshine sometimes seems so far away.
But there is sunshine. Over and over again we have seen God provide for us. Whether that has been unexpected financial blessings or the labors of love from friends, we have been blessed.
Brooklyn has been a spark of joy and life when everything else around us has plummeted. I cannot imagine life without her. In spite of all that is going on around her, she loves us deeply and has grown in her faith and love for the Lord.
My faith has deepened as I have learned to depend on the Lord to meet the needs of our family. To know that our security is not dependent on the planning I can do but in trusting in God to provide for tomorrow as He has today. This is not always easy for me. I want to plan and map it all out to make sure my world is safe and secure. That is not where I can live anymore. Frankly, some days it takes all of my faith to keep reminding myself that I am not in control nor should I want to be.
I have been meditating on Philippianss 4:11-13 -
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
I am continuing to learn to be content whatever the circumstances may be. Not because of anything in me but the key is in verse 13 - "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
Where we are today -
I miss the things we have lost. Mostly I miss Dennis as he was then. I miss his wisdom and leadership. I miss the "security" in the life we had before. My heart aches for the Brooklyn to have the daddy who adopted her. For him to be here now to take her on dates or play with her and for her to have him to guide her through the years ahead. I miss the security of good incomes and secure jobs. BUT I know God has a plan in this and that gives me peace.
Have you ever thought about Psalm 23 - I know many of you know it by memory but it struck me recently that David talks about being in the midst of the darkest valley and then goes on to say that goodness and mercy follow him. Yes, I can assure you that even in this very dark valley, God's goodness and mercy is with us. I do have to remind myself of that but He is there with me as I walk through this valley.
Please remember to pray for us. Dennis struggles with most everything you and I take for granted. He needs help with bathing, dressing, getting up and down, walking, talking...it is hard for him. Pray for me as I navigate taking care of Dennis and Brooklyn. It is hard to be a mommy sometimes when Dennis has needs in so many areas. Pray for Brooklyn. She is in a new school this year and it is just one more layer of stress for her. We know many of you pray for us on a regular basis. Thank you.