Saturday, April 03, 2010

Season of life

I am sitting in this little 10x10 hospital room taking in all the smells, the sounds and the chaos that surrounds us being in the hospital. I look around thinking that in some ways this has become such a normal routine. Some kids go to summer camp. Some kids go to karate. We go to the hospital. In a way it is a good thing. You know your nurses, your Doctors, you have established family with these friends. Just yesterday one of the chaplains was singing in the hall, just because, Dean joined in then two more and two more…it was a church service right in the middle of the hospital. But here, they get that. Here, you can talk about an Almighty God. They see Him all day working in and amongst these kids lives. They are not ashamed but depend on the miracle of who God is. It has also become an expectation that we will bring Him with us as well. We are asked "Can you talk with this family?" , "I want to introduce you to this Mom", " This baby has no one here, can you hug on him/her a bit today?" and I am more than willing.

We have been ministering in this hospital for ten years. I would say we are missionaries in a mission field that not just anyone can enter. You can pack your bags and study the Chinese language and go into missions. You can become a tent maker in the middle of Africa and what a beautiful testimony that can be. But not just anyone can enter the hospital and call it a mission field.

I don't always see it that way until they come flooding in my room. The nurses and techs want to update me on their lives and what is going on. They want me to pray for them. Most of all, they want to know that all t he hard work they put in for these kids means something. That someone sees past their scrubs and knows they are people with lives and are doing this because they love it. It is one thing to come in and volunteer but it is a completely different circumstance when you walk with them and they walk with you through some of the hardest things you will ever endure. The same is true of the parents on the floor. No just anyone can relate to the hardship they are enduring. Only when you have had those hard nights and long days of no sleep, no real rest, and Doctors coming at you with all kinds of issues that you can't even begin to understand can you really reach them and hopefully share the one and only comforter with them. Because you have earned that right with them.

So here I sit, in my mission field. But I am a little sad. I feel the Lord changing things. I see Him getting us ready for transplant and I believe with all of my heart that this will end this long hard journey. At least the most difficult part. We are moving to a different floor on Monday to be with the CF patients to get Olivia's lungs ready for transplant and honestly I don't like that floor. My family is on the 6th floor. But I know that is also something God may be doing to get us ready to separate from this hospital world. WOW, I said it out loud. I have never been a missionary but I think we have all had seasons in our life that have become known, comfortable because we understand it…maybe we did not like it…but we knew this was where we were meant to be for the moment and made the best of it. Then God changes our "known" to walk a new path. And I am going to be gut honest, I am more than a bit scared. When I allow myself to think about a second transplant, a new healing for Olivia, a normal-regular life that could be ahead. Just the dreams that I have had on hold…the "life" we have put on hold….I get overwhelmed. I want to dream and dream big. I want to have to get up, get school done, go to Homeschool COOP, make some ladies meetings, and have coffee with my friends. They may seem like simple dreams to you but to me, they are huge! If nothing else, over the last ten years I have learned the true meaning of relationships and friendships and there is not price to that.

But in my dreams, in my moments of talking with the Lord I am wondering where that next mission field will be. I have always lived my life with the thought of reaching people for the Lord. But more of a missionary mind than just sharing the gospel with them. I know what it means to have the hands and feet of the gospel presented to you. It changes you, your heart and your life.

I have lived in this bubble so long that the thought of painting a new canvas in my life seems strange and impossible. But all these years have taught me that filling your life with color, with different brush strokes, with beauty from the ashes opens up your heart to live, really live. All over my house I have this saying that is most common these days but means so much to me "live, love and laugh often". This to me is the beauty of life. It brings to mind all those hurting parents, nurses, Doctors lives we have been a part of. It is all those kids that I love to love. It is all my friends that surround me with their support and prayer. It is the essence of a life well lived.

Because when you can live when you think you can't take another step, when you can love beyond your outstretched arms, and laugh wholeheartedly because you are confident and happy…my friend you have bloomed where God planted you and you have lived a beautiful life full of God's grace.

Have a wonderful Easter! Sunday is coming! Praise the Lord!

In His Grip,

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