Sunday, February 12, 2017

The gift of...too much.

That wording our pastor used this morning just hit me right in the heart.

Have you ever been given the gift...of 'too much'...?

He spoke about the spiritual myth I've long detested. You know...that one that everyone consoles everyone with? That made up... "God will never give you more than you can handle."....? Yeah. That one.

I've always hated it. It's not scriptural at all.

And well...now I'm living...much more than I can handle.

I think in this journey, one of my greatest cringe moments has been when someone hears our story and says "oh...you are WAY stronger than I am. I'd never survive THAT!".

Oh.

Really...?

What makes you think...that I have?

You think I would have ever signed up for this? Who signs up for cancer? Who signs up for the death of a child? Who signs up for financial ruin? Who signs up for a cheating spouse? Who signs up for anything less than lovely? Who signs up for their worst nightmare? Really. I mean...who?

No one does.

Not you. I know. I got that. But not me...either.

I...am not stronger than you.  That is also a myth.

I died hundreds of times along this journey. Somehow...? I lived.

I, like you, have heard of people dying of a broken heart...and I don't know how mine survived.

Truly.

Not stronger.

The likelihood? Weaker. Much, much weaker.

The gift...of too much.

He went on to talk about God telling Paul that His strength was made perfect in Paul's weakness. That.  Broken. Hurting. Weak. Frail.  Done.

And when you are there...you only have one option if you wish to survive.  Yeah. Brought to nothing. All the 'you' stuff is gone.  And God is all of a sudden your everything.

The gift...of too much.

I don't know what your 'too much' is. But I do know I'm not the only broken one. Perhaps in this exact situation...yes. But so many of us are...broken.  Falling apart at the seams.  Amazed we are still here and functioning.  Under the weight of...too much.

Could it somehow, someway...be a gift? Don't over analyze it. Because there's little in our story right now that is silver lined. But did it bring me crashing into the only true solid in my life...? Yes.

One of my favorite songs right now is "Sleep In The Storm".

Watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USu2p44kymU

...for the winds that push against me...push me straight into Your arms...

That.  The gift of 'too much' has made my faith a reality.  My absolute foundation. My survival.

You will...have much more than you can handle.  I'm sorry if I'm the first to tell you.  I truly am. But in what you cannot do...He can.  Nothing is more than He can handle. That's not trite...that's coming from someone being tossed to and fro by waves that overwhelm me.

In this gift of 'too much'...let Him carry you. You are not strong enough. You are not stronger.  In our frailty we are carried and see just how very strong He is.




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ten years.

Sunday we drove to Seattle to stay with my cousins before a day at Seattle Children's for Azlan and Zihao.

It's a good thing we did! We woke Monday morning to see many many inches of snow. It was stunning and well...Seattle was all but shut down for the day :) We left the older kids with our cousins since school was cancelled and we headed into the city.

Orthodontia, Pulmonary, Audiology, Cranio Facial, Speech, Plastic Surgery you name it. We were running or waiting non stop.

Azlan will start his first phase of braces in May.  This is in prep for his big distraction surgery on his jaw once his 12 year molars come in.  You can google halo distraction to see what he will have done but it's major. He will have the halo on for 10 weeks or so and when the doctors at Seattle Children's say "I'm SO thankful you homeschool him" you know it's a big deal.

Zihao's audiology report finally came back what we believe to be accurate. I've always felt he would just raise his hand b/c it was fun in that test. So this time I talked to him about how he really struggles to hear and he is to only raise his hand if he hears the sound in his ear. Both ears came back with moderate hearing loss. Honestly...so thankful. He needs help with hearing. So we have an appt with ENT for CT scan and then hopefully hearing aides.

As I wrote the date many times on every document I had to sign yesterday...I stopped in my tracks. Wait... was it really 2/6...?

The plastic surgeon came in. I asked him if he knew what today was. He said "2/6" I said yes...any significance? He quickly pulled up Azlan's history.  He lit up. "Azlan...today...do you know what today is?"

2/6 is the day Dr. Birgfield met Azlan. And met me. He was a resident doctor.  I was a mom with my heart beat being taken from me, wrapped in a warm blanket and whisked down the hall sedated.  I sobbed. Five month old Azlan's eyes seemed somewhat locked with mine.

2/6 was the day I said good bye to the most precious, beautiful, flawless face I had ever seen. Something so perfect in all of it's imperfection.  A face that melted me at the worst moment. A face I mourned ever saying good bye to.

2/6 was a day I dreaded since the moment I met him. I never ever looked forward to his cleft lip being repaired.  I sobbed my way through that day.

I will never...ever...ever...ever forget that day.

That day they whisked him down the hall in his crib and I can still see the sign on his bed that said "Walker, Azlan" and I kept screaming "No, no, no....! That's not my baby!!!" I couldn't see him. My legs were rubber. Dean was holding me. The nurse kept saying "he's there, Janice, he's there. You'll see". His face was swollen. His lip was whole. Complete.  And my heart was anything but.

The nurse put her arm around my shoulders as I wept. I was searching for him. I couldn't see him.  Why...why did they change him so much. Why was the world so unfair that he had to change?  Yes. Don't write me and tell me he wouldn't want to live his life with a wide open cleft. I know that. I know all the logical reasons but none of those mattered in that moment.

I had experienced a love like no other. A love that saw beyond. A love that saw perfection in the notable...imperfection.

I hope you get a chance in your life to love like that.

That love for Azlan is what started us down a road of adoption. Not because we needed. Not because we lacked. But because our love for Azlan opened our eyes and hearts to a world in need.

Oh my darling. I will never forget that day.