I think the fog is finally starting to lift. We’ve seen the last of the medical specialists for our initial evaluations, we have a rough understanding of the ways Shep’s drowning affected him and we are aware of what to keep an eye out for down the road. I can cook dinner a 3-5 nights a week. (That’s the best I can do even in the most desirable of circumstances.) And I can speak of Shep’s accident, I can tell the story, if I really need to, without holding my breath or wanting to scream. I am relieved to have arrived at this point, but I’m a little bit wary….as horrific as Shepherd’s accident was, there were so many holy moments I don’t want to fade as I move further away from the trauma.
Having Shepherd’s life spared was a miracle, our doctors will tell us that, but there were many other miracles I watched play out during the 16 days we were at Children’s. Particular verses, pictures or gifts sent at just the right time, and as wild as it sounds, dreams and visions by strangers, ABOUT Shep, that were relayed to me when I needed to hear them most. These things, which I would I have felt a bit strange about before, brought me incredible comfort.
At the risk of sounding crazy or preachy, I can only speak for myself, but while I was walking through hell, I felt engulfed in God’s mercy. It was a strange sensation. I’m just now trying to put the time table back together and it’s overwhelming because there is just so much that took place spiritually.
I remember the day they took Shep off the paralytic. It was one day earlier than planned and I was beside myself with fear. Erron and I were prepped to expect anything from unnatural, jerky movements to even worse, nothing. Mere hours after they took him off the drug, Shep moved, agitated, pulling at his ventilator tube with intentional fluid motions. Looking back I can see that when our nurse kept sneaking glances at us, she was checking to see if we were grasping at the enormity of what we were witnessing. We totally weren’t. We were so busy calming our boy, restraining his hands, it did not even register. But my dad got it. I remember him becoming so overcome with emotion that he walked out of the room and stood in the hall by himself. My brain was unwilling to connect the dots about what it meant to see Shep respond the way he did. My heart was too scared to hope. I didn’t feel worthy enough to get a second chance at being Shepherd’s mom.
Twenty minutes later, once I knew Shep was comfortable and adequately restrained, I suck away alone to process what had just happened. I took the new copy of Jesus Calling my friends had given me and opened it to the place where the book mark happened to be placed. March 14. It was June 24th. And I cried. It was the sweetest letter I’d ever read, and I knew, I KNEW, that it that moment, it was written for me.
“Do not hesitate to receive joy from me, for I bestow it on you abundantly. The more you rest in My Presence, the more freely My blessings flow into you. In the Light of My Love, you are gradually transformed from glory to glory. It is though spending time with Me that you realize how wide and long and high and deep is My Love for you.
Sometimes the relationship I offer you seems too good to be true. I pour My very Life into you, and all you have to do is receive Me. In a world characterized by working and taking, the admonition to rest and receive seems too easy. There is a close connection between receiving and believing: As you trust Me, more and more, you are able to receive Me and My blessings abundantly. Be still, and know that I am God.” -Sarah Young
(2nd Cor 3:18, Ephesians 3:17-19, Psalm 46:10)
I wonder if by continuing to walk forward in my own mental healing, I will walk further away from the intimacy I experienced with God. My daily prayer is that this not be so, I don’t want crisis to define my relationship with the Man Upstairs and I think deep down I know that it won’t. Because I felt how big He was yet I am acutely aware of how He cared for my needs so specifically, because I was desperate for it. My belief in God’s goodness and his promises was all I had to hold onto, regardless of outcome for Shepherd. I’m no fool and realize it may have mattered even more had it turned out a different way. I also know there will still be difficult days, that I may never fully extinguish the pain of being faced with the very real possibility of losing a child. But it definitely dims. So now that life is slowly beginning to take on a different pace I’m trying to keep my heart soft, and open…because I don’t want to miss what He’s trying to whisper in my ear.