We all say it as our kids get older.....How can it be? 20 years have gone by for my baby girl and my heart feels heavy.
Oh, friends. I want to be positive. I want to use fluffy unicorn words to portray a fake, picture perfect response to such a monumental day. Can I just be real? Can I just be honest?
If nothing else, this....this being real......showing my human weakness is a big part of this faith journey I've been on. In many respects, it parallels Olivia's current physical recovery efforts.
What the heck am I talking about?
I was just discussing this concept with a friend the other day. The concept is simple and hard in the same breath......as we recover....as we heal we have good days....but then we have bad days. As time goes on, soon our good days are equal to those bad days. Then, all of a sudden, there are more good days and the bad days aren't quite as bad as they were.
You get the picture.
Olivia and I are two peas in a pod. Those good days are multiplying, but the bad can overtake us in a moment.... sometimes for more than a moment.....kind of like the fierce storm that swept through our area in the last 24 hrs. Clouds moving in swiftly, lightning that appears to be coming through your windows and of course the gigantic "BOOM" of the delayed thunder as it wakes every living creature in the middle of the night. While laying in bed thinking, (let's be real....OVERthinking) the firey storm reminded me of one of my "go to" songs from a long time ago....."Praise You in The Storm " by Casting Crowns. Those heavenly lyrics...they kept me going when my bad days outnumbered the good. Here's a sampling:
I was sure by now, God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away,
Stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
That it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
The God who gives and takes away.
Here's the good new about my journey thus far.....
As I think back, my bad days only turned good as I grabbed hold of God's word. In actuality, my "bad" days back then were really bad even though Olivia's health was better (she was eating by herself, walking and did not need a wheelchair). I hope I'm articulating this correctly. So, even though this "storm" in my life has intensified to a present day tsunami level, my bad days are a fraction of what they used to be and I give all that praise to the One who has led my heart down a path of redemption and freedom.
Redemption. One Oxford definition says that is is "the act of being saved by error".
Redemption and Freedom. Yes, freedom from the guilt and shame of my error.......blindly trusting a "belief" system, freedom from my self condemnation for such blatant ignorance of the choices I was making for my beautiful girl. My beautiful young lady.
That's how Good He is.
Here's what's crazy........my annual "what does God's word say about numbers bit".....she's 20 now. Biblically speaking the meaning of 20 symbolizes redemption, and/or a complete or perfect waiting period.
Can't make this stuff up.
Olivia can be redeemed. Her life can be saved from that error. Remember, I told you we are on a new path? So far...... so good. Like anything, we still have those bad days.....but the bad aren't as bad as they used to be. More on this later.
I feel I've reaped the benefit from "Praising Him In The Storm". On to a new skill.......Learning how to tell my heart to beat again. Teaching Olivia to allow hers to do the same.
"You're shattered - Like you've never been before
The life you knew - In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these - When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back - To the you that used to be
Tell your heart to beat again - Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away - Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door - You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been - And tell your heart to beat again
Beginning --- Just let that word wash over you
It's alright now ----Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one --- Leave the darkness, feel the sun
'Cause your story's far from over --- And your journey's just begun