Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sister You've Got it All!

Wow, I guess I fell off the planet for a bit. Didn't I? It wasn't that I didn't have anything to say. I think just too much to say and unable to make anyone really be able to understand it. Well, God told me to blog it today. He said girl speak, some people need to hear this. The past year has been a roller coaster of faith for me. I knew as I was driving to Steve's childhood home after I had just got a text message that Jessie had found mom dead that life was feeling very unstable and unfamiliar and I better hold on tight. We went into shock and it just didn't go away. Steve shut down. We couldn't bear the pain and the loss.

Just a few weeks after Mom Sweetapple died Ryan's preschool teacher informed me that she thought Ryan was autistic or at least showing autistic characteristics. We took Ryan in for testing and low and behold not only Ryan but Ruby was also showing signs. Impossible. Then, even more shock. Steve is tested and he is also diagnosed Autistic among other things. So, in just two months we lost Mom Sweetapple and I gained a household full of Autism. Then December hits and I lost my grandma Creech (my dad's mother). It was again hard but less a shock. I talked to her about Jesus and held her hand as I believe he took her to be with him. I sang "Amazing Grace" and "White Christmas" at the funeral and thanked God for the gift of his son Jesus in a manger in the same week.

Months went by as I tried to educate myself on Autism, get the right diet, find the right specialist, yet nothing made the impact that I prayed for. Steve became more angry, frustrated, retreated in his own world. I tried everything I knew to pull him back. The grief was overwhelming most days for all of us. During the summer I started to get sick and weak. So weak sometimes that I couldn't do much more then get out of bed. I decided to had to see a doctor. It was becoming obvious something was really, really wrong. I couldn't really ignore it anymore. Whispers and concerns of possible cancer, leukemia, blood disorders, bone marrow transplants started swirling in my head. I was almost too weak to pray. I was tangled in fear. I started getting infusions because my blood count and hemoglobin were scary low. Three times a week I went to a hematologist oncologist to get infusions.
Then September came and Steve had a pretty bad car accident. It seemed like things got much worse. I'm not even sure anymore it was an accident. I continued to pray. God had to so something big.

The leaves started to change with Fall and then God called home my maternal grandmother. "Grammy". Again I sang. This time "On Eagles Wings", her favorite. We buried her on Halloween. Again I couldn't cry. Grammy was strong. I knew where Grammy would rest eternally. No tears were necessary. I was becoming numb to the loss.
In November my veins were starting to take a toll from all the needles and poking. My levels were still low so I got a medical port put into my chest to flow directly into my heart to make it easier to have the infusions.
I was assigned a wonderful nurse named Mary who would come to my house and help me do treatments. Thank God for her. She has been a continued blessing. Steve was so distant at this point that he couldn't take care of me after the surgery. I am pretty sure that is the point where my heart started breaking. What was God doing? When was he going to show up? How?
As I started to feel better from the frequent treatments I decided that I would fix everything at Christmas. I was going to get my kids and Steve everything they ever wanted and they would be so happy that everything would just be back to "normal". Ok, well whatever normal was.
Well, in playing God/Santa I failed. Can you believe that? Neither my husband or my kids had the miracle I thought I could make happen or force. If possible it made things worse.
In January Steve and I were somewhat forced to separated. The details of how are not really important to the story. But, now things seem to be getting better for him. I think life, being my husband, working, my business, the kids were just all to much for an Autistic man dealing with finding out he is in fact Autistic and living with loss and grief.

I'm in a place I never thought I'd be again. Still trying to raise my kids, still trying to inspire, create, love, dance. I've given everything to God once again. I do mean everything. I don't have the answers. I don't know everything. I can't fix everything. I can't make everyone happy. Only he can mend the pieces of this brokenness. Only he can be the artist to take all this mess and turn it into a masterpiece.
One thing I know for sure, God is speaking and I am listening. I couldn't see him then but now looking back I can see the faith in between the grief and loss and sickness. It wasn't me holding it together. It was him holding me together. How many times could I have fallen apart? Crumbled? But, somehow I'm stronger. He is making me stronger!

I don't know if there is any hope for my marriage with Steve. That is up to God. But, I do know that God will always be with us, with me. He is the bridegroom and I am truly his bride.
I will never, ever again doubt a loving and awesome God. I pray that my relationship with him and with others is His work, His love, His purpose. He is my all in all.
I hope this blog that I just wrote gives you hope for your life. I hope it shows you God working in all things in every moment, every breath of your life. Don't for a second forget him. Don't for a moment let this life and this world rob you of the beautiful truth. It is written. And, if for a moment you do happen to forget, then close your eyes and ask him to remind you. He will. He has for me.
Happy and Blessed Lent, (count your blessings)
In his love and peace,

Lord, help me not to fear, for You are with me; I need not be dismayed, for You are my God. You will strengthen me and help me; You will uphold me with Your righteous hand. (Isa.41:10)


Suzi Scott said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. Sometimes our faith does not move the mountains, but it helps us to climb over them! You have amazing strength and all the while doing many things for other people. You words have inspired me!
Your friend,

Kim K said...

I miss you Josie... looks like God is truly working in your life.


jamie said...

Josie, for some reason I can always find what I need from you. Your strength and boldness in your faith truly inspires me. Thank you for posting this, and for allowing others to read it. God put it in front of me today, on a day when I truly feel out of control and a disaster. Thank you for reminding me who to turn to!