Have you ever been on a long road-trip? Last year we were fortunate enough to do just that. As you can imagine it took weeks of preparation and organization just to get us out the door. The anticipation was through the roof as we dreamt of the places we would go, things we would see. For months we counted down the days.
Finally the moment arrived, our joy sky high as we pulled out of our driveway towards adventures unknown. A funny thing happened though. Only an hour into the trip one of my babies went into pure meltdown mode. Another one threw up on me. Then the first one had an explosive diaper which I had to pull over and change on the side of a busy highway. This was going downhill fast.
I realized that day the easiest part was dreaming of the destination, the hardest part is the actual steps it took to get there.
I've thought a lot about that realization in Ellis' life. As hard as the vent-removal day was, in many ways it was the easy part. That was the big, parting of the Red Sea moment, where we realized we got our miracle. From there I've found the much harder part is trusting for what we need from that moment on.
The small moments since the big moment.
The day's of getting Ellis where she needs to be. Medical lobby, after lobby. Pushing her when she doesn't want to be pushed. Even pushing myself past doubt, fear and frustration. Sometimes I worry, will it all work out ok? Is she going to learn what she needs to learn, get to where she needs to be?
It is unrelenting. It is hard.
Lately, I have felt the only answer is to release, to not carry it on my own. Because you know what?
She is His.
As much as I love and care about Ellis, He loves her more. As much as I try to chart out, and stress about her progress, He is the one carrying her forward. He is the one leading and guiding her to the fullness of who He designed her to be.
Still, there's the crazy hard moments of just being a single Mom. They aren't ever easy. Some days are harder than others. Like this very week where both my kids are sick, and so am I, but I don't have time to be. Or the moments my son asks why we can't go be where Daddy is? Or the times when all of it added together is just compounded pain.
Why isn't Joel here? Why did he have to go? But you know what?
He is His.
As hard as it is to understand all of the "why's" of how an untimely death happens, Joel belongs to Him. He knit Joel together in His mother's womb. He knew every hair on his head. He had a purpose and a plan for Joel's life that goes beyond what he or I could've ever dreamed. And as much as I love Joel, God loves him more than I ever could.
Then there's me, the one in the midst of it all. The one who has to walk out the hard moments, wrestle through the tough questions, and work my way through the sobering realities.
Yet there's this.....always this.....
I am His.
He loves me more than I could ever fathom (even more than I love my husband and children, and that's A LOT). He knows my every thought and is constantly at work to meet my every need.
In a world that seems like it's against me, He is for me.
He fights for me, while asking me to be still.
Be still. Let go. I don't have to carry it.
We eventually made it to our destination, half-way across the Western half of the United States; to the place where the sky and water meet, becoming one, with no end in sight. We dipped our toes in the water and squealed in delight.
The journey there wasn't easy, but in that moment all else palled in comparison. In the end, finding ourselves in the very place where we were always meant to be.