For Katie the Warrior

Mourning and Rejoicing

Oh it’s been a roller coaster. I sat down today during nap time and gave myself a few moments to feel all of my feelings. This probably seems ridiculous. It’s been a whirlwind of 48 hours.

Two nights ago I drove up to New Jersey with a few dear friends. Aly and I met in high school and had an instant sweet friendship. Emily and I were college roommates and I am BLESSED to live literally down the street from she and her hubs. Our little boys were born nine days apart which adds a sweetness that is insane. Her husband Ryan drove us up and we laughed that he said zero words the entire drive. Smart man! We went up for a surprise engagement party for my friend Brittany. She has been the sweetest, most supportive friend for the long hall. It was sheer joy to get to celebrate with them!!

Back to reality. I got a text that Lillian was puking at record speed. I got home and went straight to the basement with her where she woke up to vomit every 45 minutes for the next ten hours. Joy.

Then yesterday as we panicked that the rest of us would be vomiting any minute I got a phone call from my mom with some pretty shocking news about insurance coverage for my sister. She’s almost eight months in to a brain injury and although improving weekly she is nowhere near the picture of restoration that we beg the Lord for. Any insurance change is a bad change at this point in the game.

It felt like yet another punch to the gut. Dan and I layed in bed last night yet again with a tear stained pillow bringing her to the foot of the cross and begging for miracles. For redemption like we’ve never experienced. It hasn’t gotten any easier to wake up to slow progress.

We somehow made it to today. My very best friend had her third baby. A boy I haven’t yet met and already adore.

In the midst of worry and tears and sorrow for Kate I somehow have joy and anticipation for a new baby to love. So happy he’s here but cautious because we’ve experienced some hell on earth in the last year and I want all these kids exempt from suffering.

So for 48 hours I’ve experienced joy and excitement. Nervousness over waiting for a new baby to come in the world which caused some thoughtless eating (marshmallows to be exact). Incredible sorrow as it seems like our mountain just got steeper with Kate. Then, as always, I’m forced to end and rest in hope. Hope for a beautiful marriage for a dear friend, hope for a happy and healthy life for baby Elliot. Hope that nobody else hurls. As always hope that my sweet sister is restored on this side of heaven, and constant prayers for her to feel inexplicable hope while we wait.

If you think of it, please pray that this insurance stuff gets figured out for Kate. It’s the last thing we want to be dealing with!

For Katie the Warrior

Nothing to Say

Usually I’m bursting at the seams with things to say but the new year has brought in zipped lips. For some reason it’s feeling sore. I don’t know how else to explain it. The ugliness of a life-altering diagnosis for my sister seemed like a 2016 thing. 2017 was supposed to be all healing and newness; birth and revival but it’s not yet. It’s still just as slow. It is sore.¬†

I’m on the prayer team at church and last week we had an evening of celebrating and remembering all the crazy and miraculous things God has done in the last year. It was a really powerful time! People being healed from physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects of their lives. It’s just incredible to all sit together and put words to the things God let us in on. But we didn’t get through the night without some shed tears about Kate. We can simultaneously rejoice in ways she’s been spared, or in timing to things that brings comfort, or in the many victories. The truth of the matter is that there are some stories from the last year that aren’t really happy endings. They may be one day, but today isn’t their day.

I feel like those¬†people are my people. I have such a kindred spirit for those saying “but what about…xyz?”, “But what about that baby I lost?”, “But what about that marriage I was supposed to have?”, “But what about that cancer that wasn’t supposed to show up in my family?”.

Its so very hard to be in the “not yet” or even the “no” group. It’s not easy being a mourner that’s clinging to hope. I’ve been reading books about where God is in sorrow and let me tell you I had a whole lot of answers to that question before it was my personal struggle. It sure is easy to say “God is good” when your life is going as it should.

The hardest thing in the world to come to grips with is sometimes the clear answer is that it’s not about us. We are promised God and that is not synonymous with healing or rightness. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough but we aren’t the first family to go through hardship. We certainly aren’t the first family to wonder why our loved one isn’t being miraculously healed. Kate may be restored to our family, I truly believe she will and until that is true I will be begging the Lord on her behalf. But even if that’s not the way our story ends, I don’t want to have wasted my life asking “why?”. There’s a lot to be done and it’s just not helpful. So I’ve decided to stop. I’m out of control of this and that’s alright.

One day I’ll have all of the answers but in the meantime I need to be okay with “no” or “not yet”. I’ve got a whole crew depending on my ability to live life while experiencing sorrow and for them and for Kate I need to change my response. No more “why?”. Moving forward there is only room for “God, be near!”