‘Tis the morning of day 9.
Amanda (and Ted) slept fairly well – relatively speaking for spending the night in a hospital. Amanda is sitting up in her wheelchair eating a cup of ice cream and a McDonald’s hash brown for breakfast that her dad fetched for her. When you’re sick, you get whatever you want for breakfast. I have a feeling there won’t be much accomplished today. All the tests were done yesterday and things slow down a bit in the hospital on a Sunday. Maybe the doctors are all at church?
So I won’t bore you today with a descriptive medical update since there’s not a whole lot of new information. Since it’s Sunday, I think I’ll write a sermon.
Many of you are probably wondering where Ted and I are emotionally/spiritually right now. Having been down this road before, we draw strength from each other and from our faith. We look at each other and stare into tired eyes and know the pain and fatigue our partner is feeling. We can each start a sentence that is too scary to finish about what we think about Amanda and finish it with our eyes. We know and feel the prayers and support from family and friends. Thank you. God’s presence is felt and we keep our hands firmly grasped to His as we walk this path. No need for words. We are too tired for prayer. He knows our thoughts and needs.
For me personally, I simply switch into survival mode and do what has to be done. Most of the time, I keep up a strong facade and draw on God’s strength to keep going. Do I ever crumble? Oh yes. When I am home alone or driving in the car, the tears fall and I yell at God.
This morning as I was getting ready to go back to the hospital, I had time to express in words to God some of my feelings. I told Him that I understand He has a plan for everything and everyone. I said how I realize and desire for Him to be in control.
I want to back up a little bit and tell about how I came to write my book, ‘Amanda, Perfectly Made.’ I was one of those who always joked a little about the experiences I’d had and how I should write a book about it. The passion to write the book got to be a constant gnawing. It was as if God kept tapping on my shoulder, persistently every day, in hopes that I would finally do what He was asking. His prodding continued for probably a year until I finally gave in and said, “All right I’ll write a book, but I don’t know how to write a book or what it is you want me to write so you better show me how.” For more than two years I wrote, off and on and when I could. Each time, I would procrastinate until I could procrastinate no more and would sit down and pray for God to give me the words. Many times, after finally focusing and typing out a few paragraphs or chapters, I would go back to read what I had composed and would wonder who wrote that stuff. God gave me the words and I would simply marvel at how good He was at writing! I guess we should not even question His writing ability as I believe He proved Himself with His first publication, the bible.
Throughout the writing, revising, and finally publishing of the book, it was always my prayer that it would be a tool for God to use for His glory. I wanted it to speak to those who needed to hear our story and read of God’s faithfulness to us.
This morning I acknowledged to God that I knew He had a plan for Amanda and that through Him and this experience I hoped it too would bring glory to Him. But then I sadly told Him how hard it was to see Amanda hurt and suffer through all of this. Why did she have to be sick? Why did she have to hurt and be poked and prodded? Why did He have to let my daughter suffer for others to see … oh wait … that sounded familiar. Darn. Yeah. Huge message here. It was like God was letting me realize how much HE hurt to let people hurt HIS son – until they nailed Him to a cross to let Him die. For us. I had this heart crushing feeling of how God must be so sad and frustrated with mankind. How many times does He try to show us His love or send us a message through others? Through a book or someone else’s story? How incredibly painful must it have been for Him to watch His son be abused, mocked, and scorned until He died in agony for us? And even then, people reject His gift.
What has happened to our world? What has become of morals and faith and family and values? It used to be the American family almost always worshipped on Sundays. The stores were once upon a time always closed on Sundays because that’s what you did – you went to church and spent time with your family. Why are we shutting God out of our lives? He’s not allowed in our schools anymore. Church attendance for most people is only when it’s convenient. I sensed God telling me how much He hurt and was frustrated because people just don’t look for or see God in their lives anymore.
I think it’s time Christians embraced their faith. We can’t be scared or embarrassed to show our faith for this sick, immoral, materialistic world to see. I believe God is ever present and doing things all the time that people aren’t noticing and can’t see. Haven’t you ever prayed for god to ‘open you eyes’?
To God be all the glory – whether it be through a book, a sick child, the helping hand of a friend, a morning sunrise, a good night’s sleep, a clean bill of health, or the glorious gift of redemption through Jesus. Open your eyes to what God is doing around you. He is always seeking us. Let’s seek Him first.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.