The Greatest of These
We move into our new home on Sunday.
This move has been a source of panic attacks and sadness for me and I have had trouble understanding why. I mean, this should be a source of joy and gratitude, right? What is wrong with me that I have felt anxiety and dread?
One of the most frustrating things about trauma is that often one’s body and repressed memory responds before the present mind and body catches up.
The last time Martin and I bought a home, we were pregnant with Bella. We moved into that Bend, OR home when Bella was around nine months old – only a couple of weeks before we drove down to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in California for Bella to have both of her kidneys removed and I was trained to administer peritoneal dialysis at home so that we could return home.
I was the only parent in my group given the opportunity and responsibility to administer dialysis on my daughter from home – all other families had to remain at the hospital or nearby until time of transplant.
This means my daughter’s life was literally in my hands.
Instead of picking out paint colors or decor for the kitchen, I was setting up a dialysis machine over my baby’s crib and trying not to splatter the fluid on the walls.
Instead of experiencing tummy time with my baby daughter on the newly laid carpet, I was praying over the syringe as I pulled out blood from her catheter to send to the lab to detect infection – praying to God that I would not kill her in the process.
Instead of having a housewarming party or visitors of any sort to our new home, I was investing in cans upon cans of lysol and disinfectant wipes to ensure the most germ free environment I could offer my immuno-suppressed baby.
And in the end?
Our daughter’s lifetime insurance payout of $1 million dollars by the time she was two was the beginning of the spiral toward medical bankruptcy and the loss of our home.
We even lost her Make-A-Wish playhouse in the backyard, customized for her by a team of unbelievably selfless people in our community.
So, thus the panic attacks,
and the sadness,
and the grief.
But it does not end there.
It never does, does it?
For some reason we will never fully understand, we have a new home.
I picked out paint colors.
And I even bought a couple cool lamps and rugs.
We get to have a housewarming party.
We get to host things because my daughter is miraculously stable.
Admittedly, I still get overly excited about lysol and disinfectant wipes.
As a woman of faith, this season of Advent has been super powerful for me.
Advent is for those of us who grieve and mourn and shake our fists. Advent is for those who cling to hope as we do our very breath because life has proven over and over again that Hope does indeed come in the morning.
The Giver of All Things has not forgotten you, nor me – in the grief,
the very personal cries of our souls lined in
Faith, Hope, Love.
The greatest of these is Love.