Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How He Loves

* there is a treat at the end of this post if you make it that far!! *

I am having a rough morning.

Emotions seem to be overtaking me, flooding me and drawing me ever closer to the foot of the cross.

As I sit here, curled up with my coffee and music I am humbled, brought to my knees by the thoughts that have overtaken my heart.

I am at a major crossroads in life, and though I know it's a great thing, it takes my breath away. I am not kidding when I say I am overtaken with emotions. There are so many that I am having trouble sorting them out. But the thing is, I can't see clearly His path through all of the emotions everywhere, so I am taking this morning to try and ground myself. I want to be grounded in HIS plan, I want to be grounded in HIS peace and I want to make sure that, to the best of my ability, I am taking my family on a journey that is following HIS path for our lives.

Cross Roads number one that seems to be heaviest on my heart, but few know about it since I haven't really be talking about it... Nathaniel's health. This last bout with infection, pressure sores and treatment has terrified me.

We have battled a recurring pressure sore on Nathaniel's right foot for over 5 years now. We have been around and around and around with braces, padding, walking vs. wheelchair, antibiotics and trips to the podiatrist. We had finally got into a somewhat workable routine and were maintaining pretty well, but then the unthinkable happened this summer. I broke Nathaniel's brace. The one that we had worked and worked to perfect. It was an accident, but once it happened there was no going back, we had to start all over and make a new brace. And that has turned into a nightmare of epic portortions!

In the midst of this nightmare the pressure sore came back. Big time. But it was NOT an open wound, there was internal bleeding, but no opening, so the doctors and I went on "monitor" status. Two weeks, no problems. Then it hit.

On Monday it was completely normal.

By Tuesday Nathaniel's entire foot was swollen and HOT (Spina Bifida makes his feet VERY cold all the time, HOT clearly pointed to infection here). We actually thought he might have kicked something and broke his foot or some such thing. But all the XRays and testing came back clear, and the wound still was internal with no signs of an opening, so we scratched our heads, started a round of antibiotics and decided to follow up with his Ortho and pediatrician again on Wednesday.

 Wednesday the wound still looked awful, but when the Ortho tried to draw fluid out of it we got nothing. We were expecting blood or puss (worse case) or even clear fluid (best case), but we got nothing! Ortho ordered a stat MRI and said to stay on the antibiotic.I tried all afternoon to get a MRI scheduled but the best I could get was an appointment for Monday morning. 

By Thursday morning all I did was run my hand over the bottom of Nathaniel's foot and blood and puss were seeping through his skin!!!At this point we hospitalized Nat to get the MRI NOW and figure this mess out. By the next day we had had emergency surgery that removed A LOT of infected tissue (like solid black grossness) from his foot, and were waiting on labs.

Tuesday confirmed the worst. Nathaniel had staph in his foot. Not ONE strand, not even TWO strands but THREE separate strands of staph growing and attaching his little body in that foot!!!!

It absolutely terrified me how fast and furious this whole thing set on. By now, a month latter, we have had surgery, packed a wound, been on antibiotics for the whole time, been confined to the wheel chair, had the braces RE fixed, and now, just last week found out that we are going to have to have ANOTHER surgery to hopefully prevent this from occurring again. It took every ounce of strength I had to not burst out in tears in the doctor's office in front of my children at that news.

Just that little bit of news knocked me right on my ass. This will make the fourth surgery this year. This year, the one that I have become a full time single mom with little support and even less wiggle room. It has been a HARD year for so many reasons, and I feel like the storms just keep coming. Really, how much more can one family handle? The ONLY saving grace is that I know I don't have to handle it, because thankfully God handles it with me. I just have to rest in His arms while the waves beat against us. And that knowledge is the ONLY thing that has kept me the least bit sain through this journey!

Cross roads number two is a bit more public, but there is a deeply personal side to it too.

We (my business partner and I) have made the difficult choice to close Butterfly Boutique. I LOVE my business, but I love my family more. In January, we decided to put the business on the market and sell it because we both needed to focus on our families more. I was totally ok

We had the shop listed for months with little to no interest in it. Then summer hit and the needs of my children hit even harder, and we had to face the fact that we would be closing, not selling. This was much harder on me. Letting go of all of my hopes and dreams in the business world so soon after letting go of my hopes and dreams in regards to my marriage and so soon after letting go of the house I loved was a brutally hard blow. Handing the torch off was fine with me, but closing and basically burying all that hard work is killing me. When I actually think about what I have to do to take apart what I worked so hard to build I can't stop the tears. I KNOW it is  the right thing to do, but darned it it HURTS. I feel like a piece of me is dying, and that is not me being dramatic, be real and honest.

So as the final week draws closer and closer to a close I find myself more and more emotional. It is ridiculous on one level, but totally human on another level. I KNOW that God has a new plan for me, but I am afraid and heartbroken to let go of the old one. Such a human weakness. But, hey, I am human! So if you see me crying for no apparent reason, just know I am grieving....grieving the loss of my business.

And cross roads number three.... I just can't look at it too deeply right now because it WOULD push me over the edge, but know that I am facing HARD choices and letting go of dreams I have for my son too. I have spent a great deal of time on my knees in prayer over the situation with Nathaniel and I have had to face so very heartbreaking facts about his condition. It is time for me to get my head out of the clouds and seek life long treatments and supports for him. And that is NOT easy. But, with God carrying me along, we are going to walk down this path. PLEASE pray for me on this journey... it is so hard for me!

And finally cross roads number four (not that this is the last one, but it is the last one I am going to share today!) is not really a cross roads, just a new step in the grieving process. About a year ago I faced the HARD realization that my husband did not want to be a husband in the biblical sense, and I had to decide whether I could be married without the bible as the base of my marriage. I had to choose no, and while it sounds easy enough, it really is NOT easy to make that choice. Enduring the HATE from his family over the fact that I will not stand around and let his addiction rule his life AND ours. Walking the road of a single mom, and in my case a single mom with a special child. And facing the fact that I will not walk along side of a lifelong partner has striped me of everything. The only thing I have left is the cross... I know that without God NONE of this is possible. But in the past few weeks I have hit another bump in the grieving process and journey of this path.

Mark has chosen not to find another supervisor to supervise his visits with the kids, so I have had to sit them down and tell them that they can not see their father.... again. It breaks my heart that he is so selfish that he is not willing to sacrifice his pride to spare his children this pain. It breaks my heart to see these precious souls struggling with the fact that their dad does not love them enough to walk through a refining fire to see them. And I struggle to find words to comfort them, yet not lay my feelings and my frustrations on them. They have too much to carry of their own, it is not my place to let them carry my burdens too. It makes me sad that I made the choices that gave them this man as a father.... what a heavy burden that is!

So this morning I sit here, with tears streaming down my face and lay it all at the foot of the cross, because there is no other way I can get through this day... and over and over in my heart plays these words, and this song....

How He Loves

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,

Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way
He love us

Thank goodness the Lord loves us SO unconditionally, SO FAR beyond what we deserve and SO fiercely, because I know I for one could not make it through these storms without that knowledge!

And you prize for getting through this post....
You get to enjoy your self a beautiful song from the David Crowder Band!


The Kelleher Family said...

Know that you are loved and being prayed for!

{april kennedy} said...

Always praying for you and your sweet family.

HennHouse said...

Oh, Gretchen... I have no words or advice or anything. Just prayers and love. I sure wish we lived closer. We could share some coffee on the deck. And maybe a talk or a laugh or a prayer.