The One Where I Dig a Little Deeper Into My Feelings

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I am feeling a lot of emotion today. Maybe it's pregnancy. Maybe it's what life has been for us in the last couple of months. Maybe it's how uncertain the future feels.

I thought I would just write. Get it untangled from my mind.

You see, I love my little girl so much, in the most profound and tender way. My love for her is big. Really big. But you already know that. Her spirit has carved such sweetness and joy into our lives and I find myself trying to protect her in ways that I know I can't.

I have trouble shaking the image of that early morning in May when life stopped for Cayman.

I can barely breath passed the lump in my throat. What a mother feels when her child is in danger is a strong and awful thing.

It is bothersome to me that the thing that caused Cayman's life to almost pass from here will always remain a threat to her. There is no cure for her hydrocephalus. She will always need a shunt to treat it. That shunt has no guarantees that it will not fail her. It already has six times in the past.

I don't want to live my days in worry but I have to admit I am struggling. I want there to be a fix to this. For a child that drowns but is successfully revived, you would get them swimming lessons or stay on high alert whenever a pool of water is around. Taking action to prevent that from ever happening again.

A shunt failure? I can't protect against that. There is absolutely nothing I can do. I do not want to belittle prayer by saying that because I do think it is powerful. It's just not tangible nor in my control. I have much measure in growth and maturity to do yet, learning to let go and trust God.

I find myself clinging to my little family, scared that in any moment everything might change. At home I take everything in under a safety precaution.

I've slammed the door shut to the basement stairs, upset that I found it left open again. The fan has been put above Cayman's reach. The rocking ottoman she likes to climb onto is pushed back into a corner when I leave the room. I check her buckles repeatedly after securing her in her car seat. At an intersection I look both directions multiple times on a vacant, open country road. I kiss Mike just one more time before he leaves the house. And if I forget to say to him "be safe" I call his cell phone because somehow it feels more secure to me if it's spoken. And now carrying a newly forming life inside of me makes it all feel even more fragile. I google nearly everything before I eat it, touch it, or breath it.

I remember very specifically what I prayed for all those months when I was pregnant with Cayman. In my human and limited thinking I asked God to give Cayman a normal brain. To take her hydrocephalus away.

We never saw any improvements.

At each ultrasound I thought to myself, "Maybe this time it will be different."

It was different but not in the way I was looking for. Cayman's hydrocephalus kept getting worse.

Much, much worse.

I had asked God to take it away but I felt Him say, "I have something different in mind. It's okay you cannot understand it right now. Just wait. And trust. Keep looking to me. This is going to bring me glory! It's going to further your testimony and point others to me. It's going to be better. It's going to be bigger. Just wait and see."

That day, I surrendered with a big obedient, "Yes!" to my Lord. And some days since then, it's taken small yeses here and there to remind myself there is a bigger picture to all of this than what I can see.

I do have faith of that.

And on those days when I need that reminder, just like today, I talk with God, spilling out all my fears yet again. He gently urges me to remember that He alone determines our days and that while it is good to be a mindful parent and wife, the pressure I place on myself to believe that I can be in complete control is a lie.

So here I sit quietly. Humbled. Praising the One that shows me over and over that He is the only One in complete control over Cayman's life.

He is the reason that she is a statistical medical miracle.

He is the reason that Mike made it through a recent car accident safely.

He is the reason I can trust that this little baby is growing deep inside of me exactly the way He wants him or her to.

In my weakly flesh I want so badly to push forward to the day when we will have an ultrasound that would give me a peace of mind that everything is developing okay.

In my heart...deep down in that place of knowing...I know I must trust. I must have faith. God has a specific plan and He's so big that nothing can stop His plans when He has a willing servant standing before Him.

Oh boy, am I willing!

There is so much God is trying to show me.

But when I am looking at my world through eyes of worry I wonder how many things I am missing.

"Lord, I am thankful that your strength is perfect when my strength is gone."

14 Showin' Comment Love:

Karen said...

You don't know me, but the impact you have had on my faith is profound. You have made me draw closer to the same God who has seen you through the past and sees well into your future. He blessed me with a son with Epilepsy and developmental delay. He also blessed us with 2 others. He has also blessed me with your blog. Your faith ASTOUNDS me.

I read about Cayman every day and always get inspiration, even when the days are hard.

Keep the faith, that you are so rooted in, even when it is hard. I cannot imagine what life is like for you, but know that because of Cayman and this blog, you have touched my life and strengthened my relationship with Christ.

Thank you!

Dawn said...

You don't know me, but your blog is such an encouragement to me. I have been so inspired by your struggles, which many times make mine seem small. Your faith spurs me on to become a stronger Christian myself. I think we all, special needs kids or not, have struggled with the things you have shared. Everyone has challenges. For you it is a daughter with a complex medical condition. For me it is a 2 yr old with as-yet undiagnosed developmental delays. For someone else, it may be a difficult boss to deal with. I have heard the old saying that God only gives you as much as you can handle, and, like you, I have found myself asking "But Lord, must you trust me so much??" Hang in there, knowing that you are in His hands. You are an amazing woman, and I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog.
Many Blessings,
Dawn

*Monica said...

The unknown is so hard and you are doing a great job handling it! Your strength and faith inspires me.

The Soldatke family said...

Absolutely beautiful, Kristen. Your faith is so inspiring. What trust you have in your heavenly father...even when it feels like all you do is worry. I think we as mothers feel like if we "do enough" we can protect our babies, when really we have little control but it is ultimately God who is in control. That is a hard one for me at least; to give up control...I LIKE to be in control...or at least feel like I am in control.

I am blessed to be able to call you "friend". You are such a beautiful person; and I am all the better person for knowing you!

Jennifer said...

This post is incredible! I struggle with anxiety, too. Mostly about my family. What if something happens to them? What if, what if? It drives Brian a little nuts. :)
Anyway, there's no need to fill this comment with "all the right things" cause you already said them. My pastor just preached a message on anxiety and frustration. If you'd iike to hear it, comment on my blog and I'll link it for you. It was amazingly good.
Praying for you!!!! Hugs!

Diana Parker said...

Wonderful post! You are an awesome mother and wife, and it's clear how much faith you have in our mighty God. You are helping all of us learn the lesson of trusting and abiding, and we are grateful for your words!

Tiffany said...

I can honestly say I know how you feel with the new pregnancy...I was a wreck throughout both boys but each day reminded myself that it was not in my hands and just tried to keep the faith. You have amazing faith. That's why you were given Cayman!!

Gabriella said...

Surrendering is probably the hardest thing any parent has to do. I can relate to many aspects of this post. Keep strong!

TherExtras said...

Such beautiful testimony, Kristen.

"the thing that caused Cayman's life to almost pass from here will always remain a threat to her"

This is true for the near future, but I disagree on the 'always'. I believe God's hand is in medical science and over time there will be improvements for every threat to her life.
Barbara

Steph- Kendal's mom said...

I can't tell you how much this has blessed my heart. With Kendal's recent seizure, I find myself in that state of worry all the time!! Kendal is not talking or walking yet. I worry what her future will be like and I can't do anything about it. I know God speaks to me through your blog. Thanks for pouring your heart and soul out. I know that I'm not the only one going through this like satan would have me believe!!

Sue said...

I sooo agree with 'TherExtras'. In our medical 'walk' with Libbey, someone who also had a daugher with similar problems told me that they were going to let God heal her and not go through the usual medical ways that we were using. Although it made me feel that maybe I didn't have a strong enough faith....or something.....my feelings are that doctors have awesome abilities, but I feel that they are not working alone at all....God is working through them all the time. We also have walked a rough road, but we have walked it with our many docs, and with our great God....all have been with us every step of the way. 'Our' time, the 'docs' time, and 'Gods' time are not always the same and waiting and wondering....never easy, but as many people have told me....'I don't know how you do it', I could say the same to you...but I know how you do it....with Mike, with Cayman and with God. Thoughts are sooo with you!

Tyler said...

I also hate the unknown. I am a planner and like to know what's up ahead. But that's not how life is, so we just have to deal with it as it comes and handle it a day at a time.

Every word that you post inspires me. Your faith in God is so wonderful and that is what is going to help you "handle" life a day at a time.

Diane, Tyler's mom

P.S. I absolutely LOVE that picture and quote. I think you need to send that to Hallmark. I can totally see that on a card.

Lisa said...

I'm glad that I decided to take a break from vacation and check your blog :)

This was beautifully written.

I hope that your fears will be eased.

It's a hard thing to get rid of, fear is, but it is a dangerous thing to let control your life. Because when fear seeps in, it takes over....and it is never ending.

I decided a while ago that I wouldn't let fear rob me of the joys in life. I have simply resigned myself to the fact that I can't control everything...so instead, I just enjoy it all while it's here. And I am determined to continue to enjoy life...even when the unknown or unwanted do happen.

Because that's what's life is all about; change, growth, challenge, and joy [among other things]

I just adore you and your sweet family. I can't wait to meet you in just a little over a month!!!

David said...

Joel Osteen could have delivered that sermon :) do you ever watch him? i love that guy!