Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Healing

wildly popular bean bag chair:)

I've been doing a lot of thinking about healing lately because: 1.  my church did a series on the topic,  2.  it's come up several times in my devotional, and 3.  random people in public keep asking me about if Lilah will be "okay".  One of the weird things about having a child with so many 'problems' is that you kind of have to come up with a party line--you know, what you say about "it" when people ask.  Otherwise, you end up screaming at a poor, defenseless, and very old lady in Walgreens, who just wants to see your baby, who is asleep and covered by her baby carrier (which dons a sign that says "please wash hands before touching me"), "DON'T TOUCH HER SHE HAS HEART DEFECTS!!!!!!" Or, you see an old acquaintance, and because a) you kind of wish you never had to see anyone again, and b) you are not prepared with the party line, you burst into tears in very awkward places.

Anyway, back to the random people part....because of extraordinary circumstances, I took Lilah to BabiesRUs not too long ago (obviously not thinking clearly because..... all expectant mothers want to see a baby on oxygen...no?).  The check out lady: "she's going to be okay, right?".  Me: pause...."uh".  Check out lady:  "I mean, she'll be okay though?".  Me:  pause, pause, pause, "well, uhm".  Check out lady:  "But, she's going to be okay."  Me: "Yes"(because, please just give me my receipt and let me escape).  I did not have the party line ready and I still can't figure out how I would have answered that if I was ready.  "It depends on what your definition" of okay is  (little known fact--I voted for him--I blame youth, and the saxophone).  I think the check out lady meant, "Is she going to die?". The short answer is 'we don't know' and the long answer has more to do with "will she be healed?".

The best, and only, marriage advice I carry with me remember, came from my father-in-law after our rehearsal dinner.  He said, "The reasons marriages fail is because of unmet expectations.  You should not carry expectations"....or something to that effect.  I am trying to apply the same lesson to Lilah....not to impose my expectations of what healing looks like on God's plan for her life....and, trying to trust that He can heal, without expecting Him to.  Clearly if I had my way, God's healing of my daughter would be of the "seven dips in the river to complete healing" variety.  The ironic thing is that, as I begin to let go of my expectations for her health and development, my eyes are opening to all the ways He has healed her already.  She smiles, she is engaged, she knows us, she's gaining weight, she's getting stronger....these are truly gifts to us...things we did not expect.  And, gifts you don't expect are much sweeter.  Those things remind me that God hears our prayers, and is doing a mighty work in Lilah's life and in ours.

So, in case you were afraid to ask...the party line around here on healing is "Yes"! Maybe not yet, but for forever and fully.


"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered..."
Isaiah 65:17


14 comments:

Elizabeth Myatt said...

Ahh...all that I am learning from you. Love you and miss you.

Johnson Party of seven! said...

Gina- Thank you for that! I have been going at this longer than you and here you are opening my eyes!That was so well said and so beautiful. I often have people ask me if Hutton is going to be "okay". Can you imagine asking someone that? I know they aren't being mean spirited when they ask so I really don't even get irritated. I just chuckle to myself. I never know what to say either. But with Hutt, the fact is- YES, she is going to be okay. Whether God chooses to heal her here or heal her in heaven. I BELIEVE that it will be here but know I must accept God's will for her life. The fact is, He loves her far greater than I do. He has her (and our) best interest at heart. Hutton is a JOY to us every single day. We don't take ANYTHING for granted and we celebrate at the smallest things. She is 18 months old and just started bearing weight on her legs. We were jumping up and down and laughing in JOY like she just won the super bowl of develpment. I don't even remember when my four other kids did that.
I guess I could have said all that by saying what Elizabeth said... I am learning from you!

Christy Bonifacio said...

You continue to amaze me! Everytime I check up on your sweet little family, my faith grows. I agree with the two other ladies... I am learning from you, learning what it means to be a Christian and relying not on my own understanding, but having faith that our God is sovereign and he knows the plans he has for us. Still praying for you guys!

Cade and Cora said...

Gina, you are amazing! Thank you for living this out in public so that all of us can learn from you!

Jill Temple said...

I'm with Lizzy on this one.

daisyeyes said...

Can't figure out what to say, keep erasing it...I guess just thanks for being honest, open and wow how God is shining out through you! What a testimony and a reminder to all of us. God truly knew what he was doing when he entrusted Lilah to you both and how lucky she and Garrett are to have you

Amy said...

Gina- thank you for sharing what the Lord has been speaking to you. Your willingness to share your vulnerabilities has touched/is touching so many people!!

Suzanne said...

Gina,
Your heart is really open to learning about the little things in life. Yes, we want the "in the river" healing, LOL, but we can spend so much time waiting for that and yet miss out on the every day miracles God is doing with our little ones. Keep hanging in there and keep your chin up.

Martha Henley said...

I really loved this post, Gina. With all that's going on, this may not be the kind of encouragement you are interested in but I just felt compelled to tell you that you are a very gifted writer!! I feel like I can literally hear your voice in your writing and it's a rare gift, indeed. We love you guys and continue to lift up Lilah.

Anonymous said...

I have not commented before because you and I only know each other because I am Drew's mother. Emily and Drew love all of you so and I'm so thankful that they have such dear, true friends. So I check your blog every few days to see how things are going. You truly have a gift for expressing yourself(someday you should write a book). You are quite an inspiration!! I am amazed at how wonderful Lilah looks in her sweet pictures and am so glad she is doing so well. Thank you for allowing me to see a glimpse of your sweet spirit and strong faith.
Wendy Miller

LilBit said...

Oh wow...

Thank you. :)

The Leonards said...

gina, i love your gift for words. thanks for sharing your heart. i, too, continue to learn from you all...love you!

Anonymous said...

What beautiful and encouraging words. Thanks for sharing.
April G

Dotti said...

Gina - I am Emily Miller's aunt, and sort of feel a connection to you because I went to Calvary years ago when Bro. Bob was there, and knew their family then. I have been so touched by your story with Lilah, and this last post is beautiful. Speaking honestly, even to a stranger at a store, can only expand your heart and theirs. Lilah is perfect. Thank you for letting others (like me) in to your story.
Dotti Scruggs Delffs