It has been the longest 2 weeks of my life. My pain level has been tremendous and the days have faded in and out. The saddest day was Sunday. Two years ago this past Sunday, October 9, was our anniversary of bringing Muluken and Gifte home from Ethiopia. It was the day we stepped off the plane onto American soil into the waiting arms of precious family and friends. I desire to re-live those moments with our children again. To show them all of the videos and pictures of that day and of everything that led up to it. Last year they would not have really understood. They were still learning English, we were still battling to be a family and build trust and relationships. This year though its different. I want to go back through those treasured nine months. Through each event and each moment where God showed himself to be so faithful. I wish that I could go to each person who prayed, provided and encouraged us in the process to say thank you again. There would never be enough ways to say thank you. I pray that the Lord richly blesses each one of those people, some of whom we never met. It took the movement of a mountain to bring them home, and God didn't do it through the faith of one or two, he did it through the faith of many. The body of Christ coming together for a common goal. Amazing! This year they will understand. Muluken found one of the tickets that we sold for our Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser in a box the other day and he asked what it was. We have shown him pictures in the past but it seemed to be dawning on him in a new way. We described it and he asked, "May I keep this one?" Yes sir you may. Never forget how much God loves you. He never left you alone. He never leaves any of us alone, even when we feel alone. His plans and his ways are perfect.
All this being said, we never got to do all that I wanted to do. Instead, I spent the day on the couch in terrible pain. My four older children went to a soccer tournament with their daddy. Three of them played in it. I didn't get to go. I hate missing their games. I went on Saturday and it was just too much. We ended up having sweet friends for dinner that night who were so gracious and prepared a meal for us. But I had it in my mind what I wanted to do and it all went out the window. Isn't that just life? We have our carefully laid out plans and in the end, it isn't about our plans anyway? I need to choose joy no matter what. I enjoyed our company and so did Jared and the kids. It was a sweet time. I think sometimes I enjoy more in life when I am forced to sit and observe rather then jumping in and trying to take care of everything. I am definitely a "Martha" and I struggle to be a Mary. It must be one of the things I am to learn through the process of the ups and downs of this disease, to be a Mary. To be still and know that he is God.
So I am feeling significantly better, still a bit of a hobble and a lot of pain but so much better then a few days ago and my head is beginning to clear. I never understood true chronic pain. Yes, I had 5 shoulder surgeries from the time I was 13 until I was 17 and I have always had shoulder pain. This is different. The pain can be so bad that its like your brain shuts down just to deal with it. I am not even sure how to explain it but I am climbing out of the hole now! Praise Jesus! I am trying not to think about a few weeks from now but instead to focus on the here and now. It is 12am and I can't sleep because my back and hips and a few other joints hurt so bad. I can't lay flat on my back yet and that makes it hard for me to sleep. I chose to do something productive and that is write. I want to hide and push everyone away. I realized that it doesn't matter if anyone ever reads this, it helps me to put it down and get it out. Maybe someday my kids will read it and as they read about my struggle to live my faith out and to cling to Jesus no matter what, it will be encouraging to them. That is my prayer. We will have a whole day soon to go back through those nine months and to remember how faithful God was and how faithful he still is. That day will just have to be on his schedule, not mine.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4