Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hard Pressed But Not Crushed

In His time, in His time, 
He makes all things beautiful, in His time, 
Lord, please show me everyday, 
As You're teaching me Your way, 
That You do just what You say, in Your time. 

In Your time, in Your time, 
You make all things beautiful, in Your time. 
Lord, my life to You I bring, 
May each song I have to sing, 
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

It's been 4 days since I've been able to play with the girls, take care of their needs, kiss their chubby cheeks, tuck them in at night...but what I miss the most is the simple joy of holding them close. On Monday, I came down with a terrible illness that left me bedridden and quarantined. Ava had to immediately leave for the Ronald McDonald House in order to keep a safe distance from whatever it is I had. Between my feverish dreams, I fervently prayed that Ava would not catch this because I knew her weakened immune system wouldn't stand a chance without intervention. 

Thankfully, Ava is doing well with Mike at RMH and has not shown any symptoms so far. She continues to struggle with keeping food down but I heard that yesterday she had an awesome 12 bites of dinner. It was enough to start another dance party---in my heart, at least. 

In the meantime, my mom has been holding down the fort by caring for me and Gwen full-time. I don't know what I would do without her...I stumbled out of the room the other day, disinfecting everything behind me, and got to the kitchen to ask for a glass of water. My mom took one look at me and said, "Your children should piggyback you around in your old age to thank you for how well you cared for them." My eyes immediately welled up. How could she, a woman who has served her family tirelessly, faithfully, thanklessly, joyfully, say this to me? I have made my mom cry many times during this season with my hasty and thoughtless words. And I am only a fraction of the mom that she is and yet her love blinds her enough to praise me. Wow. There is no one more biased than your parents-I have witnessed it first hand. The fact is, she is the epicenter of this family. She is the one that keeps our world in order, oftentimes sacrificing her own desires, commitments, and plans. I promise to take care of you as lovingly and patiently when you can no longer take care of yourself, Mom. I will come up short but I will try. 

I had the unique opportunity to witness what life looks like for Gwen when we are gone with Ava. Since I was in quarantine, I was still home and could hear her interaction with my mom. It was a sad scene as Gwen adjusted to being "alone" with just grandma. I heard a lot of crying and screaming fits but then, after the second day, it died down...almost as if she were resigned to it all. Ugh, it's like a hit to my gut to see my 4 year old learning to cope with being parentless. At one point, she sat near my door with her little knees drawn up to her chest and sobbed. This whole experience must have been so hard for my middle girl. She's had to grow up so quickly but I am thankful for my parents and for friends like Ms. Meg, who make her feel special and loved. 

Thank you for your faithful prayers during our post-transplant journey. We continue to wrestle with trusting that He will make all things beautiful in His time. But, regardless if we see the beauty in this lifetime or not and despite our lack of faith in the beauty of God's plan, His words remain true.  

I'm waiting eagerly for the day Ava gets to come back home. I know it's only been 4 days but, man, how sweet and beautiful it will be when the time comes for her to fly into my arms again. 

Prayer Requests:
1) Ava has a CT scan scheduled for tomorrow to see if her lungs are in a better state. This scan will also be more telling in regards to any lung GVHD or lung damage from radiation. We pray that the scan shows that her lungs are perfectly clear and healthy without any signs of damage. Ava is, also, still on TPN and needs to be able to keep down her food in order to come off of the IV nutrition. At her last checkup, her glucose was at a dangerous level of 40 so we are continuing to keep an eye on that.

2) Gwen's skin is still really torn up. I spoke with National Jewish hospital in Denver today to schedule an appointment to have her treated there as soon as possible. Prayers for all the logistics involved would be so appreciated! We are also doing some extensive lab workups so that we would find some answers and Gwen would find more permanent healing soon.

3) Jude and I are still sick and in quarantine. We hope to get better soon but MOST IMPORTANTLY we pray that we do not spread this to anyone, especially Ava and Gwen. And we just want Ava and Mike back home!!!

4) Mike and my mom have done a lot of the heavy lifting this week while still managing the things they are responsible for so please pray for an extra measure of God's grace and strength on them!

Thank you for loving us through prayer! 

Miss having these 3 monkeys in my bed! (Must teach kids how to open eyes when smiling.)

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