Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pain and Struggles. This is real life.

We all have moments in our life where our perspective changes. 
It can be small things like a conversation with a friend that changes your thinking about something, or bigger moments like grand trips, new love or times of crisis. 

For anyone following along with me lately you know we've been dealing with some challenging health issues with our 3 year old daughter. "challenging". Everyone says that............like when the doctor says you will feel "some discomfort". Come on already it's gonna hurt! 

Last week we spent 3 days in the hospital searching for answers and getting lots of testing done. While I was happy to be getting it all done and finally know, anyone's natural tendency when in the hospital is just to GET OUT lol. You just want to go home even if you know getting answers is better. 

I've had lots to think about since then. Not only for my own daughter's health but all the other families we met. Since Jules' wasn't a "sick" contagious child we were on the wing of the hospital with the other children getting MRI's or who have cancer. 

I can't stop thinking about them. We got my daughter's biopsy results today and it shows that she has an immune disease called eosinophilic esophagitis, basically her esophagus is having an allergic reaction to foods and such---as I understand it. It was incredibly inflamed and could be the cause of her terrible hiccups and a slue of other problems. BUT it is fixable. She will be fine. Is it what I want for my child? Of course not. But she will be fine. 

So there I am for 3 days hanging out with the parents of kids fighting cancer, watching their life.................and wondering if my child ends up having a brain tumor what my life may look like. Then I get that call today and while I take probably my first deep breath in a long time, I instantly think of all the other parents who didn't get results like that. Sure we can move forward and over time forget that terrible place of sick and dying children, but that is a reality for so many families. 

(I walked into the play room and my mom was telling the kids stories, love my mom)

Jeremy and I were talking on the way home from the hospital about how we all have levels in our life of what is the "most stressful thing in our life (currently)". For us this definitely was the top. MRI's, sedation's, lots of talk of tumors and worse of all unknowns. But for others........MRI's are a part of their monthly check, or they have IV's with CHEMO stamped on it like little Ben who I met and grew so fond of in 3 days. For them, what we are going through is so much lower.
 But then there we were, comparing our problems to our neighbor we had in our room who needed a knee MRI. We found ourselves thinking "I wish we were just here for a knee MRI". But that's just it, for them that was the highest stress they've encountered. They were scared, they were stressed and even if we KNEW (in our minds) our stress was greater it doesn't change the reality in front of them.

We both vowed to try try try and remember this when interacting with our friends, family and anyone we see. 
We always think what we are going through is the most important thing because it is the most stressful thing to us. But that doesn't mean we can belittle other people's struggles just because we know ours are greater. But it does mean we can remember there are others around us who may be battling bigger things. These people are everywhere. 

(Hospital view sunrise, lots of prayer done here.)

You may be running through dollar tree on your way to hang out with friends or in a hurry to get your kids home for lunch and nap but each person you interact with is struggling with something very real and very big to them. On Thursday I walked to a nearby deli while Juliana was having her MRI. There was nothing I could do for those 3 hours. The nurses encouraged me to go for a walk and get some food. Oh sure, ok, I'll walk the park while my toddler is sedated and completely out of my care.
While I felt like standing outside the door and crying (maybe I did that too for a bit :) I knew it was a good idea. So I walked to this beautiful market. I was in my own world. Almost like when ou feel like you're in a dream ya know? Everywhere I saw people laughing and enjoying meals together or deep in conversation. How could life be going on like normal all around me while my baby was inside a machine looking for tumors in her chest? The girl at the counter asked what brought me in that day and I mentioned that sadly I was coming from the hospital. Before I left she brought over two caramel cookies and put them on my table saying "for you" with a smile :) That meant so much to me in that moment. 

So I want to try to do more of that. Not be so in my own bubble of kids, shopping, cleaning and LIFE that I can't see hurting people around me. The opportunities to share the Gospel are endless we just need to look up. We hate talking about pain and struggles but that is daily life people. You're not reminding someone of their struggle when you ask about it....you are showing them you see it and care about it. 

Thank you for your prayers for her! We need lots of prayer that her hiccups would not get that bad again because we really don't want to go back to the hospital :) As much as we miss our little friends :) 

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