Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ten Thousand Reasons

I would consider today to be our first 'observation day' with respect to Evelyn's breathing issues - in preparation for our follow up with pulmonology in a couple weeks. The last couple Sundays we've been in church have been particularly rough for Evelyn - or maybe just more obvious for Daniel and I, sitting with her in the relative quiet of church, noticing how much she's struggling. While we could see that today her breathing was less noisy, we could also see that it was just as labored as it was a week ago.

It just isn't easy to watch your child struggle, in big ways or small ones, and so I find myself slipping in and out of good and bad moods. For that reason, the sermon today and some of the music was particularly poignant. I don't generally write or talk a ton about my faith or the bible, I guess it just isn't my nature to be overly vocal about it, but I feel like there are so many parallels that they bear mentioning. So often we feel imprisoned - by our desires, by our work, by the demands others make of us - or in Evelyn's case, I imagine she feels somewhat imprisoned by her body and its limitations. We've been studying Philippians and though Paul is literally IN prison, he says that he is free. The interesting point today was that though he wasn't free FROM his jail, he was free FOR others.

If there is one thing Evelyn has shown me over the last (nearly) five years, it is grace. Though she may be weighed down and even imprisoned by her many limitations, she is free for grace - and has been a path to grace for so many. There was a hymn sung today that discusses the 'Ten Thousand Reasons' (and more) that we have to praise the Lord. Well, as we were watching Evelyn closely, and the realization that her breathing really hasn't improved was sinking in, hearing those words was so meaningful. Every single day, no matter what comes, we have countless reasons to be thankful, grateful and joyous.

That doesn't mean we handle all this craziness perfectly; it just means that sometimes the right words (or sermon) come at the right time. We all face struggles in our lives. I can honestly say that there is no one I know who hasn't faced or is facing challenges in their lives. Because a lot of our challenges center around Aicardi Syndrome they may look different than the struggles you face - but we all have a choice about how to handle them. We can become worn down and embittered by the 'cruel hand life has dealt' or we can look for the ten thousand reasons we have to be grateful. Sometimes we have to make that choice over and over again, moment by moment - but it is definitely a choice worth making.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for continuing to share Evelyn's successes and challenges. It helps me to know how to pray more specifically. I thank God for Evelyn and the many ways she blesses others, and for the opportunities and ways your family blesses so many others. I am praying for God's direction, for you to feel him holding you in his firm grip and for you to be able to rest in him, day by day, moment by moment. I am praying for Evelyn's medical team, for wisdom and discernment in guiding your decisions as to her care needs. Eves is an amazing little lady and her sweet smiles are infectious. I know she will continue to multiply the more than ten thousand reasons we all have to be grateful each day. Evelyn teaches me how to be grateful and full of joy.
with love and prayers,
Janet Strnad