October 09, 2010

In Kerry's words

Below is the text from an email that my sister-in-law (Glory's mom) sent out a few days ago.  I had to share.

    I saw myself the other day…I mean the “old me”.  I saw her in a young wife chasing after her daughter at the Fall Festival in the Hillcrest neighborhood close to our hotel.   She was dressed stylishly…matching jewelry, really cute boots, and no doubt was worrying about getting her kids in bed by 8.  Maybe thinking about what leotard she would dress her daughter in for dance class the next day.  Maybe wondering what gourmet dinner she would cook tomorrow night when the couple from church come over to visit and let the kids play.  Maybe wondering when they will fit in their daily family Bib1e story with all the places they have to go the next day.  Worried about her daughter eating a funnel cake for dinner, and thinking that tomorrow she will try to get her to eat extra veggies. 
    I felt like an outsider…like I no longer fit in with this world.  I had on my everyday outfit which consists of worn-out jeans, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes.  It’s a good day when I wear any jewelry at all.  I have dark circles under my eyes, and haven’t yet found time to get to the store to get make-up to cover them.  I’m just happy to be getting my 3-year old out in society for a few minutes to run around and play.  We have no oven and a non-working stove, so Eliana does not get many meals prepared by me.  No doubt she will be in bed after 10 tonight.  We’ll read in her Bib1e for a few minutes before bed, but there won’t be any family Bib1e study or devotional.  Sometimes just the knowledge that my youngest daughter is in CVICU and fighting for her life is more than I can bear to think about.
    One day I will again wear something other than a t-shirt and tennis shoes.  I will again worry about what to cook for dinner, or whether Eliana should take dance or gymnastics.  I will have a bedtime set, and my family will once again benefit from a church curriculum.
    But I’ll never be who I used to be.  I’ll enjoy the same things as I used to eventually, but it will never be the same.  I’ll enjoy them differently…in a different light.  Praise G0D!!  I’m being transformed, and sometimes it scares me.  Who am I turning into?  I found comfort in what I used to value.
    “…The L0RD gave me what I had, and the L0RD has taken it away.  Praise the name of the L0RD!”  Job 1:21.
    I’m learning that as G0D strips me of who I used to be, he replaces it with an unfailing trust in Him.  My prayer is that G0D will teach Eliana in this season through the example of her parents, grandparents, family, and friends.  That somehow she will see this season (although it is not always fun and her parents are by no means perfect) as an example of our invitation to suffer with Chr!st and the joy and blessings that come from it. 
The update on Glory is this:  they were unable to connect her esophagus to her stomach at this time, but she needs oral stimulation now or she will never develop it.  So, they have surgically run her esophagus out her upper chest area (underneath her shirt) where her "practice food" will drain.  She will continue to be fed nourishment through a feeding tube directly into her stomach, meanwhile.  This will go on until she is 2 or 3 years old.  All of this is in addition to her Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  The really good news is that Glory is strong and her heart is doing well, which means she should be in great shape going into her second open heart surgery and between now and then she might even be able to leave the hospital!  Keep praying, friends.  Keep praying!