New normals

Emotions have run rampant this week… I had a few moments to reflect this week on where we are and where we were, and it’s been a lot to process.  Exactly two years ago I was in scary place, fighting for my marriage, facing unknowns and circumstances I didn’t know how to deal with.  Exactly one year ago, I was in the midst of a different battle, this time fighting for my daughter’s life- again, facing unknowns and circumstances I didn’t know how to deal with.

And now, here I am, living a completely different life, learning to accept new normals and learning to live with unknowns.  Yesterday I was faced with that reality as we took Harper to Duke for her check-up with the neurosurgeon.  It was a basic appointment with no tests or scans this time, just a physical exam of her head, check of her neurological signs, and questions for us regarding her development.  All in all it went well, but it was a stark reminder that our lives will never again be the same.

As the doctor examined my baby girl’s scars, it hit me that she will forever have those as a reminder of her fight for life.  While I rarely notice them anymore, other people do, and one day she’ll notice them and we’ll share with her the miraculous story of how she beat the odds.  As he quizzed me on her developmental delays, I realized that while I just see progress, outsiders may look at my seemingly perfect, beautiful baby and wonder why she doesn’t do certain things, particularly as she grows older.  As he reminded me that he expects her to be delayed, I felt anger well up in me, because I expect complete healing.  And as he spoke of all of the unknowns, all of the wait and sees, I had to accept that it is all completely out of my control.

Now we are back home, back to the days of balancing homeschool and three girls with very different needs and personalities… back to juggling the activities of the older girls with Harper’s therapy appointments… back to updating people on how Harper is doing and sharing her story… back to the pile of medical bills and phone calls with caseworkers and signing papers and care plans… back to this new normal that has somehow become our life.

It can be overwhelming.  It can be exhausting.  It can be frustrating and emotional.  But, at the very moment that I feel like throwing in the towel, when I feel like complaining and telling God that I didn’t sign up for this, He comforts me and reminds me that He designed me for this.  His plans are greater than any I could imagine, and His plans are for my good, and for Harper’s good.  And He has chosen to bless me far beyond anything that I could ever deserve.  So as I get back to the new normal and all that it entails, I also get back to a life of thanksgiving… back to seeing Him in every milestone Harper makes… back to cherishing every little moment that I have with her… back to accepting His plan with a grateful heart.

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