December has arrived, although I’m still trying to figure out where the past two months have gone. The Christmas season is here! We love this time of year and have already started to take evening car rides to look at lights and drink hot chocolate. In the midst of all of the holiday excitement, we have had not one, but two, false alarms for Myka’s transplant in just the past three weeks. Unfortunately, due to Myka having a lingering runny nose, cough and congestion, we have had to decline both times.
Moments of selfishness have snuck in to my life frequently as of late when, instead of being at church or having fun at a wedding, I was at home running tube feeds and taking Myka for a chest x-ray…..or when we had to continually remind the couple whose wedding my husband was officiating that we could literally disappear at any given moment if “the call” came…. and even when I’ve bought Myka’s Christmas gifts, not knowing if we’ll be home on Christmas Day at all. I start to feel sorry for myself, for our situation, for how this all affects our five year old, Alivia, and of course, for sweet Myka who is completely oblivious to the whole situation with no concept of what lies on the horizon.
After a few days of feeling rather down, God once again reminded me of His grace, His love and His timing. Just 48 hours after that chest X-ray, we got “the call” but had to pass because of Myka’s illness. A couple of hours later as I was talking on the phone to a dear friend and found myself finally letting some emotions from the week, she gently reminded me that Jesus himself wept, pleaded with God for His circumstances to change — Jesus, who was all-knowing, God’s own son, and knew that ultimately the plan of His Father was better than the one He wanted to write. She reminded me that it was ok to feel everything I was feeling rather than stuffing those feelings or putting on a false “calm.” But the turmoil Jesus experienced didn’t end with the frustration or despair….He continued, through great stress and pain, to say in Matthew 26, “‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death….My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as YOU will.” Oh that my wandering heart and mind would feel every feeling but through it find my way back to the TRUTH — that the plans of the Lord are more important and far better than mine.
And then a gift of grace.
Through an interesting conversation with another mom at preschool pick-up yesterday, she informed me that perhaps she might know who received the liver that we had to decline. After reading about the family who flew up to Pittsburgh and then contacting that family, we found out that it was indeed that little girl who got the liver we couldn’t have….how incredible is that?! I KNOW that each time we’ve had a false alarm, that some other child’s miracle has happened and that, for some reason, it wasn’t the right liver at the right time for Myka Joy. How often have I missed the gift of grace by being disappointed when my prayers are answered with a “no” or “wait” instead of what I thought should happen? What if we looked for His reasons rather than being consumed by our reasons?
Just how would my perspective change if I chose brokenness – being poured out, giving grace and choosing love — rather than expecting any type of wholeness or happiness apart from the lasting joy that is only found in the hope of Christ? Dare I ask, how would your life change or our world change with this focus?
I sit here and take a deep breath — somehow refreshed by just processing these thoughts — reminded again there is grace in the days we are given, within the air that fills our lungs and in more hidden places than I could imagine because I fail to look when my eyes are on myself…
So we wait. In the waiting are answered prayers and grace for each minute.