I haven’t updated here in a while. Thankfully we have been free of weighty trials and just busy with the every day tasks of life. Trent and I went for Chinese today and my fortune cookie said this:
Isn’t that the truth? So I haven’t been writing to give testimony because thankfully we have experienced fewer tests. Can I get an Amen?
So test free? Yes. Theme free? Never. When I reflect on the last 10 months, there are 4 common threads that weave through my time:
1. Gratitude. First, I have never been so grateful for normal. What I used to take for granted or even find boring, I am now finding myself praising God for. On top of that, I prayed last spring for a very specific home for our family. Even my realtor was cautious in suggesting that we could find all that I wanted. We have been keeping our eyes out for years and I finally just laid it all before God and asked specifically for what I wanted. Two days later, I randomly met a lady in her yard who told me that her house was going on the market and invited me in to see it. I knew immediately that it was the one. It had everything that I had prayed for and even things that I felt were selfish to mention. We bought it before it was even listed. We are settled in our new place now and every day I thank God for his provision, as it really is the perfect home for our family. I am grateful.
2. This season has been a re-write. I feel like with each passing holiday or event, we are writing new stories over previously missed or painful ones. Instead of spending Thanksgiving in the hospital this year, I had 20 family members in my home. There have been dozens of moments like that over the last 10 months and each has been therapeutic. Heck I even rejoiced the first time I went to a Chipotle that wasn’t across from Texas Children’s. Trent was like, “Are you sure you want to eat THERE?” New memories. New symbols. New stories. Don’t you love a good re-write?
3. We are cherishing every moment. It may feel like I already said that with the first 2 but that is not what I mean. Maggie’s story is not over. Her trials are not over. We have been given a break but how long we will have these moments is unknown. A sweet little one with Maggie’s diagnosis passed last night and another family, with a child like Maggie, was told their 6 year old is suddenly and unexplainably in heart failure and will need a transplant. Maggie had a few weeks this fall where she would wake up with her face swollen and nobody knew why. These little anomalies and the stories of other families are regular reminders that not every day, but every moment with her is a gift.
4. I have been redefining my roles.
My role as a PT has changed. For 16 years I worked as a physical therapist and it was mostly about what fascinated me, what challenged me, where I wanted to work, and whom I wanted to work with. When Maggie was discharged, I quit my loved outpatient sports medicine job and took on the role of pediatric home health PT. Being a PT is much less about what I want and so much more about the ministry that God places before me now. He uniquely equipped me for this role change and I love it.
My role as a pastor’s wife has changed. This has been a hard one and honestly I am still working it out, but it came down to a couple pretty simple truths for me. It is not my job to pursue approval from the church. It is only my job to pursue peace. They may sound the same but they aren’t. Approval is outside of my control, it is incredibly restrictive, it is inauthentic, and frankly it is impossible. Peace comes when I do my best to fulfill my God defined role in an authentic way that is free from the opinion or evaluation of others. My release of the need for approval has also given me great comfort in saying no more. I am loving that too. :)
I am about to redefine my role as a photographer and pull back a little more. I am tired of editing at night while my kids are growing up in the other room. I will still do photography but it will be less and I am excited about being present.
I was in a great conversation with a friend today and she asked me, what in my life is worth fighting for. Of course, that also prompted the thought of what I have I been fighting for that is not worth the time and energy? Maybe that is its own post but I hope it foreshadows where we go from here. Right now, I want to fight for days that reflect my faith, cherished moments, authenticity, peace, and gratitude.