For those of you who don’t know me-here I am in a nutshell. I’m the kid who always asked “why”. Why is this this way? Why is that that way? I always needed an answer. I needed to know and understand. Drove my parents insane, I’m sure. Nothing drove me more nuts than a “because I said so.”
As an adult I still want to know why. And if I don’t get a clear cut answer, I wrestle. I struggle and fight and argue within myself until I come to a place of peace. An understanding of sorts.
You can imagine, with all the life I’ve lived-how much wrestling I’ve done. With God in particular. Because I’m a person of faith I also hold tightly to the idea there’s an ultimate plan behind this whole thing called life. That there’s purpose. And there’s meaning. The problem comes when you have to live out circumstances so painful-it seems beyond all reasoning. Over the last decade I’ve found myself in that space over and over again.
The whys. The wrestling. Endless.
It hit an all-time high with Ellis’ story. Is Ellis’ life a miracle? Absolutely. Is her story amazing? Absolutely. Yet in her recovery there have still been lots of whys. Lots and lots of wrestling sessions.
Why is her recovery taking so long? Why does she have to walk such a difficult path? Why did God save her life only to have us have to be the ones to live out the hard day to day of her recovery? Because honestly speaking, it sucks. I don’t want to have to do it. Many days I don’t understand. And many days that’s made me angry.
The first four years of Ellis’ life I’ve found myself wrestling more than ever before. Every time we would have a setback-I’d wrestle. Every new piece of equipment she had to get-I’d wrestle. Every new doctors visit we would have to line up-I’d wrestle.
But then a funny thing happened. One day I just decided to stop wrestling in regards to Ellis.
I can’t say that I know why this happened. I’ve wrestled against all the hard things my entire life. I just got to the point where I decided I was done. No more.
A few months ago she had an appointment with her Neurologist. There had been some back and forth for awhile about maybe putting Ellis on medication for head drops that we didn’t know if they were from seizures or exhaustion. They could never identify one as a seizure on an EEG but she was having them multiple times a day.
I didn’t want her to go on medication. She hadn’t been on meds for years. To me it seemed like a giant step backwards. Before walking into the appointment I just had one of those gut feelings-her doctors were going to want this for her.
I remember sitting in my car alone with Ellis before I walked in and I just had a moment of being beyond “done”. My prayer wasn’t fancy-it was a little something like this:
“God I don’t want Ellis on meds. It’s upsetting to think about. But I don’t have the headspace anymore to wrestle. So I’m going to try something different, trust. If you believe she’s supposed to be on the meds, then she’s supposed to be on them. I can’t say that I agree, but you are God after all-so I’m just gonna let you do your thing.”
*when I’m really tired my prayers aren’t fancy as evidenced above-ha! Also, I tend to always kept it real, so there’s that.*
So we walk into the appointment and Ellis’ Doctor was pretty adamant about medication being necessary. I said ok. That was that. I left the appointment feeling sad-but inside I was just like-well...there must be something He knows that I don’t.
And guys, I’ll be damned if my Ellis hasn’t thrived on that stupid medication. We’ve had not one negative side affect. Not one. In fact, this medication has greatly increased her appetite, her awareness, her strength and her physical ability. Are those things the meds were supposed to do? No. Is it something it’s somehow now doing? Yes.
Ellis has been the best she’s been on this medication in years. YEARS.
I didn’t want it for her. But I don’t know best. I just don’t. I want to think I know best on everything in my life. Yet truly, if we had gone with my own plans most of the amazing things I’ve experienced in my life would never have happened. I only see in part.
Now we’re at another hard moment with Ellis. Last week we were told she needs to have surgery on her hips this year. I was not expecting this to be. I knew, because of her muscle tone/spine curve issues, back surgery would be a possible option when she’s much older. But I had no idea I would walk into that appointment and be told she needed surgery to reposition her hips.
Am I ticked about this? Yes. I’m mad. I don’t want her to have to experience pain. I don’t want her to have to experience any more hardships in life. Heaven knows she’d had more than her fair share. I don’t want it for her, quite simple.
But you know what? My stomping around and being angry-all those are valid emotions, but it’s all just pomp and circumstance at this point. It all boils down to this-the choice is mine. How hard was I going to wrestle on this one?
The answer is I’m not. I’m just not.
No, I don’t understand it in the least. And I don’t want to have to live this out. Yet at the end of the day, I no longer want to wrestle. I know I won’t ever understand it. I don’t believe it’ll ever truly make sense. Not at this stage. Maybe 20 years down the line when the picture is clearer. Maybe then. Maybe then.
I’m choosing release. I’m choosing trust over endless questions. Just like the many days I have to choose peace over fear. I don’t think it’s wrong to ask questions. In fact, I kinda think God likes my spicy-ness and desire to understand the hard things. I truly do. There just comes a time where the wrestle is exhausting and you can’t do it any longer.
That’s where I am. Tapping my hand on the mat.
This is a new place for me in my individual journey. Approaching things with an open hand, of letting go.
All this wrestling has lead me to surrender. And I’m finding surrender is not a bad place to be. I only see in part. The pen is not mine too hold. So I’ll relinquish. Go ahead God-do your thing-make our story lovely. I’ll let you do the writing....as I simply....and peacefully...watch it all unfold.