Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our own time

School officially started two weeks ago.  Sweet Elizabeth spiked a fever during breakfast. No school for her, no first day pictures for me.  Two days and another prescription for antibiotics later, we finally have a first grader!


Being out of sync with the rest of the world once again stirred my heart, and I was reminded that seven years ago, God gave Matt and me a most precious gift: He began the process of freeing us.

We were on a fast and beautiful track. Happily married, medical school success, church and community we loved, and a baby on the way. Everything about our future seemed full of hope. At the time, Elizabeth's prenatal diagnosis with Turner Syndrome seemed like a devastating blow to our hopes and dreams. We wrestled with all the questions that flooded our broken hearts. We stumbled blindly through twists and turns on our faith journey, trying to make sense of our new life 

...and the change in our destination, from Italy to Holland.

And then, the gift: during that season, God took us out of the race. Not His race, but THE race. To be the best. Do the most. Raise the cutest, most accomplished. I remember naively saying to a friend, "How can I be the perfect mom, when all my parenting books...don't apply??"

What felt at first like a trap, was truly freedom.

I am a people pleaser. I prize approval. I want to fit in.

God knows my frame. And He gently lead me to still waters, toward LIFE.

Through Elizabeth's difficult and beautiful life, we have been set on a road less traveled.  And one day at a time, I'm slowly getting my bearings.

Elizabeth will develop in her own time. She is on a unique journey and is not at all concerned if she goes along with the crowd. All the childhood moments I could get worked up about, are instead held loosely. She has missed weeks and weeks of school, class pictures, birthday celebrations, family reunions and holidays. Her own birthday has been celebrated in the hospital twice. We've cancelled swim lessons and therapies, changed schools, walked out of the symphony and the outdoor theatre, skipped more activities, parties and normal childhood events then I can count. I've had to become comfortable saying, "That doesn't work for her. For us." and "I'm sorry to cancel at the last minute, Elizabeth is sick."

Every time I start to try to make our family fit in the matrix, to do what everyone else is doing--gets to do--God gently pries open my hands and reminds me that He is our inheritance.   And while it's especially true for our special daughter, God continues to whisper the truth of it for each of us.

We're not being called to look like other families.

The Author is writing our story, full of beauty and joy, laughter and tears, full precious friends and the hard work of learning and changing and growing up, all of us.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this today. It spoke deeply to my heart.
Love always,
Jocelyn

Becky said...

So good, Sara...such a good reminder for my mother's heart! Your words are such a gift:)

Courtney said...

I think I could have written this post, Sara. Except sometimes our family looks so "normal" that it is hard for people to understand why we have to do things the way we do. I do think, though, that I have a better appreciation for the milestones my kids hit (even WAY late!! ;)) because of how our family works and what it has taken to get us here.

Laurie Hawley said...

I really appreciated this post. I can totally relate.

Stephanie said...

Just watched your video on YouTube about God's faithfulness to your family. Oh, how dear it was to hear another family echo the cries of my heart! We lost our daughter at 15 weeks last fall, and I am currently pregnant again and learning all over again what it means to really trust God. I loved how you said that you don't understand how God taking baby's lives can be good, but you accept it. Thank you for sharing your story!