It has been a month that we’ve been living with our world wildly attempting to spin off its axis. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I even notice that several days in a row have slipped by where I haven’t cried. Today was not one of those days, neither was the day before, nor the one before that.
When I learned to drive I was taught to always be aware of my surroundings but to focus on where I was going. Take notice of the disabled car or accident on the side of the freeway but don’t stare at it. Why shouldn’t I look longer than a quick glance?
Because we inevitably steer toward what we’re focusing on.
When someone crashes into a police cruiser with its lights flashing on the side of the road it’s not usually because they didn’t see it, it’s because they were looking right at it.
As a 16-year-old I had a hard time staying in the middle of my lane. I would look down at the painted lines on the road to determine where the car should be. Soon I’d drift too far one way, then too far the other way in my attempt to correct. I learned that I shouldn’t be looking down, focusing on the guide lines. I needed to look up toward where I wanted to go. When I kept my eyes always focusing on where I needed to be, in the center of the road ahead, staying evenly in the lane was an easy task.
I still have to remind myself of this technique when I am driving through a particularly bad rain or snow storm. When the weather makes it difficult to see the road I’m not always sure that I’m in a lane and driving where I should be. The temptation for me is to look down to try to determine where the stripes on the road are. Then instead of guiding me in the right path I’m suddenly struggling to keep my car straight and I’m not paying attention to potential hazards ahead. I must remember to look beyond the swirling, blinding snowflakes and focus on where I need to go. I get out from behind the car that is swerving in front of me and find a vehicle that is driving steadily in the direction I want to go. I focus on that car. It keeps me on the road, headed in the right direction and I can see the pitfalls it encounters before I get there.
It’s so easy to get focused on all of the things that are completely beyond my control right now. I find myself feeling overwhelmed and sinking into despair.
What if we can’t find a place to rent in Denver? What if we find a place but it turns out to be a disaster? What if we rent a place, then the worst happens and we don’t need it anymore?
The chance of our baby surviving surgery is higher than the chance of not surviving it, but the reality still exists; what if we’re that one family out of ten who loses their baby?
I think about the surgery. I think about what my tiny baby will have to endure, what he will look like and the pain he will be in. This is when being a nurse does not come in handy. I know too much. I know what open heart surgery entails. I know that children are often undermedicated for pain. I know I can’t bear to see my child go through this.
Ethan was born with the assistance of vacuum extraction. The resulting bruise and swelling to his head was so magnificent I couldn’t look at it without crying. I kept his little newborn cap on for the sole purpose of hiding the injury from myself because I couldn’t bear to see it.
How in the world will I bear this? I think about it and I sob as the pain, grief, and fear overtake me. Then I realize that Jonathan can probably feel my sadness. I don’t want that kind of sorrow to settle into his being. I want him to know joy, love, hope, and peace.
I wrote down a word that was spoken during church on Sunday (@hendersongirl)
We will keep our eyes fixed on You. You will finish what you began.
It’s time to refocus and get my eyes fixed on Jesus.
I feel like this is a lot easier said than done. I am not even sure how to pray anymore. It’s not like I’ve never been through anything hard before. Until about four months ago I honestly believed that I had already endured such difficult situations that I had been adequately prepared to face any trials the future may hold. Still, I find myself crying out “Jesus where are you?”
Where do I want to be? I want to be with Jesus. Focus on Jesus.
Where is Jesus? Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. (Ephesians 1:20)
He is seated at the right hand of the Father because the work is already done.
There is no reason for me to panic because none of this is a surprise to God. So I have to say “come Holy Spirit” and fix my eyes on comfort and healing; on the comforter and the healer.
Where do I want to go? At the end of this journey where do I want to be? I want a healthy baby. I want a son who is living life to the fullest. I want all of my sons to live life to the fullest, and Ethan weighs especially heavy on my heart already.
How do I get there? I don’t know how to get there, all I know is where to fix my eyes.
I wish I had something poetic or inspirational to share but right now all I can do is focus on the Lord instead of focusing on the wreck that I am trying to avoid.
If you think of it, pray for us, especially Ethan right now.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin….So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.